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Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

 


Preakness Entries

Final



 

Click to go to horse; click back to return

BRAVAZO
DIAMOND KING
GOOD MAGIC
JUSTIFY
LONE SAILOR
QUIP
SPORTING CHANCE
TENFOLD

 

BRAVAZO (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley)
Breeder: Calumet Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Awesome Again (CAN) (Deputy Minister (CAN), Primal Force)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Tiz O Gold (Cee's Tizzy, Pep O Gold)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-8-16-0-0 (30) 2.75
Foal Date: Jan. 29, 2015

JOCKEY: Luis Saez

On Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs, in his second career start Bravazo won going a mile under Jon Court in a field of nine favored at 2.4-1. He won impressively, by 4 3/4 lengths, after pressing the early pace that included a half-mile in 46.22. The final time was 1:38.38.

In the Oct. 7 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, Free Drop Billy was lively in the paddock, was sent off as the 3-2 favorite, was rated behind the early leaders and took command at the head of the stretch before drawing off under Robby Albarado to a four-length victory over longshot Bravazo. Albarado had Free Drop Billy in mid pack as longshot Ready Prospector led the field of 11 through fractions of 23.34, 47.11 and 1:12.66. On the turn, Bravazo briefly took over before being collared and passed by Free Drop Billy, who covered the 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.43 over a fast main track. Bravazo, ridden by Jon Court, finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Lone Sailor under Florent Geroux. Lionite finished another half-length back of Lone Sailor in fourth and was followed in order by Givemeaminit, Ezmosh, Crea’s Bklyn Law, Bourbon Resolution, Ready Prospector and Lone Rock. Ten City broke down and was later euthanized.

D. Wayne Lukas: “Jon Court rode a great race. He could not have been in a better spot than the one Jon put him in. That was significant in the race. I love these old men who have experience. (Calumet Farm owner Brad Kelley) will have to make that decision (on Breeders' Cup). I have mixed emotions. We would like to win the Kentucky Derby. Sometimes if you put them away after, we see a little something, it works out better down the line. We know he has quality. If Mr. Kelley wants to go to the Breeders’ Cup, of course we will go. He got beat by a good horse today but we beat some good horses, too.”

Jon Court: “Exactly what Mr. Lukas just said. It was perfect.”

On Oct. 29 in the Street Sense Stakes, 8-1 Gotta Go rallied from off the pace to beat Lone Sailor by a head after an exciting stretch battle. The one-turn mile was timed in 1:37.48. Bravazo led the field of 10 into the turn after fractions of 22.55 and 45.66 while Lone Sailor raced in mid-pack. Gotta Go traveled a couple of lengths behind him. Bravazo still led after six furlongs in 1:11.76. Lone Sailor, from the inside, and Gotta Go, on the outside, drew even with an eighth of mile to run and battled stride-for-stride to the wire with Gotta Go prevailing in the final jump. Bravazo finished 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Renaisance Frolic, 5-2 favorite Honorable Treasure, Ebben, Souper Smart, Netas, Rubus and Twin Farms followed.

The Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes was next in Bravazo's progesssion, but he regressed with a 10th-place finish.

Not one to let any grass grow under his feet, trainer Lukas shipped Bravazo to his winter base and ran him on Jan. 13 in an entry-level allowance that Bravazo won by a neck after laying five lengths off the pace in fifth for the first half-mile. The mile was timed in 1:37.74. Gary Stevens rode. Eight ran. Bravazo overcame difficulties: squeezed at the start, four wide in the far turn. Ezmosh ran second, and the third finisher, Dream Baby Dream, was beaten 9 1/4 lengths.

D. Wayne Lukas: “That was race-horse time. It was what, two seconds or (10) lengths better than the other division, and there were some horses in the other division they liked." Lukas said Bravazo has “probably earned his way” for a return to stakes company to be determined.

Jan. 25 NOTE: Trainer Lukas said the Risen Star is next.

The Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 17 started with Bravazo (21-1) and Snapper Sinclair (41-1) duking it out, and that's the way it ended as the former nosed out the latter.  Noble Indy, always prominent, finished third, and 7-5 post time favorite Instilled Regard, who also was among the top four at each call, finished fourth. Miguel Mena booted Bravazo home after Gary Stevens, who was named to ride Bravazo on his entry form, didn't make the trip from Oaklawn Park. Adam Beschizza took Snapper Sinclair to the lead, hounded by Bravazo. In the first turn, Noble Indy, who broke well under John Velazquez, found himself just behind the leaders in third with Instilled Regard and Javier Castellano three wide to his outside in fourth. The group ran closely bunched through fractions of 24.15, 47.96 and 1:12.85.  Going into the far turn, Instilled Regard made a bid at the pacesetters, but in the stretch, Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair wouldn't be denied, and Instilled Regard's bid fell short. Meanwhile Noble Indy, looking a bit green, continued to run strongly and retook third position. Bravazo and Snapper Sinclair hit the wire virtually together, and photo showed them separated by a nostril. Noble Indy was two lengths back, a neck ahead of Instilled Regard. The top two got to the wire in race horse time with the clock stopping in 1:42.95.

D. Wayne Lukas:  “I didn't know it was that close. (Mena)was getting into him pretty good and he drifted out. That cost us a little bit. He's a fighter. He's tough. He's got real good tactical speed. He's a horse that carries his weight well and can withstand training up to the Derby. We’ll get him back here with me and if everything checks out and goes right, then I’m going to lock up Miguel Mena. I'll pack him and the horse in Styrofoam and keep them under lock and key until the next race. Gary (Stevens) had a commitment on a live horse in the Bayakoa, so I made a phone call. I felt pretty good about getting the meet's leading rider. Hell, he knows every grain of sand on the track.”

Miguel Mena: "I found out two or three days ago that Gary wasn't coming, and he gave me the call. I talked to Bas this morning and told me how much they liked the horse. They told me to ride him with confidence.  I think they expected me to be fairly close, but I didn't think I'd be that close. A couple speed horses didn't show up. The horse came out sharp and he was on the bridle nice. I was confident and had a lot of horse. The horse on the inside was hard to beat. I didn’t know if I had it, but thankfully I did. I have a nice horse.”

In the March 24 Louisiana Derby, Noble Indy won, and Lone Sailor, My Boy Jack and Givemeaminit were second, third and fourth.  Longshot Marmello that broke on top and led the field through the first turn and up a portion of the backstretch with Noble Indy, running under John Velazquez with blinkers for the first time, in closest pursuit, followed by Bravazo on the inside, Snapper Sinclair several paths wide, and Givemeaminit .  Initial fractions were a spritely 22.97 and 46.64. From there on out, Bravazo retreated and finished seventh, beaten 21 lengths. The chart says he "was asked leaving the gate, lugged out into the first turn, went three then four wide on that bend, raced up close on the outside, lugged out in the six path on the far turn, drifted inward in upper stretch and faltered."

Gary Stevens:  “He warmed up good, got away from there good. We were going fast and I eased into the three-path going into the first turn and all of a sudden he wanted to go straight. I didn’t make the turn, I had a steering malfunction for whatever reason. I just don’t know, but he was lugging out with me the entire trip and I had both hands on the inside rein, literally, trying to hold him in. I was breaking his momentum and he was fighting me, and I was just trying to keep him on track but wasn’t really able to accomplish that. I can’t explain why. He was sound after the race, pulled up good, but he was mad.  I don’t know what happened, I really don’t. Maybe they’ll find some cuts in his mouth or a bad tooth or something. That’s what he acted like, like he was really fighting the bit, and it all happened at once. I’ll talk with the Coach when I’m done here and he’ll figure it out, but it was very disappointing.”

March 29 NOTE: Trainer Lukas said, “He’s assured himself a spot, so I’ve got the luxury of having six weeks to fine tune him. I’ll have a nice fresh horse for the Derby, it looks like.”

In the May 5 Kentucky Derby run on a sloppy track during rain, Bravazo finished sixth, beaten eight lengths. He was 11th, seven lengths off the pace, going into the far turn.

D. Wayne Lukas: "He ran really well. I’m very pleased. He was in contention at the eighth pole. His odds were 69-1 and he ran way better than that.”

Luis Contreras: “I was surprised how good he handled the sloppy track. I got a good break and tried to stay as close as I could. I got a bit of a wide trip but it happens in a race like this. He moved very good on the far turn but horses passed me in the end.”

With the Preakness starting gate and the track at Pimlico enshrouded in fog, Mike Smith and Justify broke from post 7 and rolled down the sloppy-sealed stretch the first time to the outside of Good Magic and Jose Ortiz, who had exited post 5. With just a head separating them, Justify and Good Magic posted fractions of 23.11 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.19 for the half and 1:11.42 for six furlongs. As the pair approached the top of the stretch, Justify could be seen with Smith's white WinStar silks begin to get the better of Good Magic, and he led by a half-length with an eighth of a mile left. At that point, Tenfold had advanced from sixth in the early going to be third, 3 1/2 lengths off the lead, and Bravazo was fifth, five lengths in arrears. With Good Magic tiring, Tenfold got by him late, then Bravazo, and at the wire Justify had won by a half-length. It was a neck from Bravazo back to Tenfold in third and another neck to Good Magic. Lone Sailor finished fifth, beaten only two lengths, after being last after the first half-mile. Another 8 3/4 lengths behind him was Sporting Chance, followed closely by Diamond King. Quip was distanced, beaten 45 1/2 lengths when he faded badly after the first six furlongs. The final time was 1:55.93.

D. Wayne Lukas: “What I saw of it, I liked a lot. I want them to extend it another 50 yards. He was running on in the end. Luis did a good job. A very good horse won the race, a very good horse. We ran at him. We kept him honest just like we said we would. Bob’s tough in these and if he gets the right horse, he’s really tough. But, kudos to him, and we’ll see what happens in the next one. We’ve got three weeks. I’m pretty confident he’ll be OK. I thought all day long we were going to be very competitive.”

Luis Saez: “He broke very nice. When we came to the three-eighths pole Justify and Good Magic took off on us. Because me horse doesn’t have a quick turn of foot, it took me time to get him going. He was coming and coming down the stretch, and I thought we were going to catch Justify.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 7, four in 50.60 Breezing 24/238 at OP
Jan. 22, five in 1.00:40 Breezing 1/47 at OP
Jan . 29, five in 1.03:40 Breezing 26/38 at OP
Feb. 5, five in 1.02:00 Breezing 10/18 at OP
Feb. 12, four in 47:80 Breezing 1/22 at OP
Feb. 26, four in 49:00 Breezing good track 19/99 at OP
March 5, five in 1.01:80 Breezing muddy track 4/8 at OP
March 12, five in 1.00:00 Breezing 1/8 at OP
March 18, five in 59:60 Breezing 1/26 at OP
April 2, four in 48:60 Breezing 4/15 at OP
April 13, five in 1.01:20 Breezing 9/23 at CD
April 20, six in 1.15:40 Breezing 1/3 at CD
April 28, five in 1.01:40 Breezing 10/49 at CD
May 13, four in 50:60 Breezing 42/47 at CD

 

 

DIAMOND KING (KY)
Trainer: John Servis
Owner: Cash Is King and D.J. Racing (Leonard Green)
Breeder: JSM Equine, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Whywhywhy (Mr. Greeley, Thorough Fair)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Belle of the Moon (Malibu Moon, Silent Siren)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-6-10-0-0 (20) 3.00
Foal Date: April 10, 2015

$55,000 Keeneland September 2016
$235,000 Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic May 2017

JOCKEY: Javier Castellano

After winning his Sept. 23 debut, he ran in an Oct. 22 entry-level allowance at Parx. Diamond King pressed the early pace through an opening quarter mile in :21.81 before taking control in the final stages of the 6 1/2-furlong race and recording a 2 1/4-length win.

Nov. 23 NOTE: Trainer Reid said before the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, “We don’t get many opportunities to run two turns in Philly. I think the two turns should hit him right between the eyes. He’s speedy but doesn’t necessarily have to be on the lead. He may just be quicker than the rest of the field and inherit it naturally.”

In the Nov. 25 Jockey Club, Diamond King clipped heels and lost his rider in the first turn. Later, trainer Reid told the Daily Racing Form that Diamond King suffered only a couple of scratches and some light swelling but was healed.

He returned to action on Dec. 30 in the seven-furlong Heft Stakes at Laurel and beat the other five at 6-5 odds, prevailing by 1 1/2 length in a time of 1:24. 45 under Frankie Pennington. Devine Entry was second, and the third finisher was another eight lengths back in third. He showed early speed and was always near the lead until he took over in the stretch.

Dec. 31 NOTE: The Jan. 1 card at Aqueduct, which included the Jerome Stakes, was canceled due to frigid weather. Diamond King had been entered.

Jan. 13 NOTE: The delayed Jerome was run without Diamond King, who was sent to Florida.

Jan. 28 NOTE: Looking for a workout.

Jan. 30 NOTE: Diamond King was transferred from the barn of Butch Reid to that of John Servis. Still no workout showing at Equibase.

Feb. 2 NOTE: Trainer Servis said, “He’s been training all right, I don’t want to say he’s lazy, but I think he’s a horse that needs competition to get him to do more. I worked him, but his work was just OK. I worked him by himself, and I don’t think he’s too keen on that. I talked to Frankie, because I wasn’t impressed with his work, and Frankie said, ‘That’s him. He won’t do too much by himself. They’re just like people. You have practice players and you have team players, that’s what I relate that to. He can be as lazy as he wants in practice as long as he shows up on game day. I’m anxious to see how he runs and go from there and see what we got. He’s not a very big horse, but he has a really big stride on him. I think he’ll stretch out. That’s probably where he’ll show his best, stretching out.”

On Feb. 3 in the Swale Stakes, Strike Power showed the way to five rivals and drew away to a 2 3/4-length victory under Luis Saez. His fractions were 22.95 and 45.45 with a final time of 1:22.68 for seven furlongs. Tricks to Doo chased him in second but gave way to finish fourth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths. Gotta Go was sixth of six, six lengths off the lead after a half-mile. He closed along the rail under Chris Landeros to finish second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Diamond King and Frankie Pennington.

Diamond King's chart call says he "broke near the back then steadied along inside coming out of chute. bit keen in early stages while being firmly rated before settling more, slipped through along rail and came under ride nearing quarter pole, altered three wide top stretch making contact with Tricks to Doo, continued willingly chase but could not reach leader, prevailed for share."

March 17: Scratched from the Private Terms Stakes

In the Frederico Tesio Stakes on April 21 at Laurel, Diamond King was victorious at 2-1 odds under Frankie Pennington. He "prompted the pace outside Noble Commander while in hand, moved to engage that one leaving the far turn, drew on near even terms past the five sixteenths, dueled past the furlong grounds while holding a short lead, kicked clear under a drive with a sixteenth remaining and dug in late to fend off Holland Park" by three parts of a length. The time was 1:50.31 for 1 1/8 mile. Ten ran.

John Servis: “I’m tickled to death. It was very impressive. I was a little worried about the distance off a long layoff and he’s never really been that far because the only time he was, he had that incident. I thought he did great. He handled himself well, relaxed really good, got to loafing a little bit in the stretch which I like to see because that tells me there’s more there. I’m happy with him. I didn’t tell Frankie a whole lot. I told him Julien is very good at controlling pace and just don’t let him get out there and put everybody to sleep, because he can do it. Sure enough, he got out there quick and slowed it down the second quarter and Frankie lapped right on him, so it was good.”

Frankie Pennington: “He did it very nicely. He settled in nice going the mile and an eighth, which was fantastic. When it was time to go, I asked him and he gave it to me.”

Cash is King managing partner Chuck Zacney on going to the Preaknesss: “That’s the plan. That’s why we aimed for this. We never lost faith in this horse. He started with a couple wins, and had a troubled trip in the Swale. We were looking forward to the next race and he got sick right before the race. He did everything right going into this race. I guess the only concern going into this race was the mile and an eighth, but there’s certainly no doubt after that."

In the Preakness Stakes, Diamond King seemed to have trouble getting hold of the track. He slowly backed away from the leaders as the race progressed and finished seventh, beaten 12 1/4 lengths.

John Servis: “I didn't get to see much. Javier said he broke a step slow and he had to use him a little bit to get position. Once he was in position he was comfortable. On the turn, they started to quicken, he asked him, and he started to quicken, but he just couldn't keep up. No real excuse."

Javier Castellano: “Out of the gate, I missed the first step and that cost me a little bit. He was off the pace, and we dropped three, four lengths behind. I had a good trip after that. He didn't really take to the track, and it was tough to try to put him in the game."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 17 five in 1:02.90 Breezing 4/4 at PMM
March 4, five in 1.01:06 Breezing 2/7 at PMM
March 24, one mile 1.47:67 Handily 1/2 at PRX
March 31, five in 1.02:12 Handily 5/18 at PRX
April 10, five in 1.02:42 Breezing 1/12 at PRX
May 6, four in 50:21 Handily 11/18 at PRX
May 13, five in 1:01.51 Handily sloppy track 1/2 at PRX
June 5, five in 1.02:35 Handily 16/18 at PRX

 

 

GOOD MAGIC (KY)
Trainer: Chad Brown
Owner: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds & Stonestreet Stables LLC
Breeder:  Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike (CAN), Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Glinda the Good (Hard Spun, Magical Flash)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-6-10-0-0 (22) 3.40
Foal Date: March 1, 2015

$1,000,000 Keeneland September 2016

His dam is a half-sister to five stakes winners.

JOCKEY: Jose Ortiz

Good Magic finished second his Aug. 25 debut race, a sprint.

He was put into the Champagne Stakes on Oct. 7. Firenze Fire overtook Good Magic in the stretch and outkicked him by a half-length to win, getting his third win in four starts. Enticed was another three lengths back in third. Aveenu Malcainu was the 3-1 favorite and went to the front to pace the 12-horse field in 22.90 and 45.94 on the fast main track. Out of the turn, the maiden Good Magic surged ahead from the outside. But Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Firenze Fire surged to the lead in the final furlong, hitting the wire in 1:35.91. Behind third finisher Enticed were Kowboy Karma, Hazit, Honorable Treasure, Aveenu Malcainu, Full of Run, Bahamian, Stronger, Master Manipulator and Blame It On Honey to complete the order of finish.

Chad Brown: "He just got beat. I thought he ran very well especially for a maiden. It's the first time he's seen dirt in his face, probably going to learn a lot from that, he just ran second best again. I thought we had a big shot. That horse came and got us, we were well clear of third so it says something about how well both first-and-second place finishers ran."

Jose Ortiz: "He can go a little farther with the right kind of situation. He broke really clean, very well. Chad told me to let him fall wherever he was comfortable, and he was right behind Luis (Saez, aboard Aveenu Malcainu), the favorite, and I sat there until we hit the turn. I went in, so I was right behind Johnny (Velazquez, aboard Hazit) and I kept riding. It was a little bit trying with the dirt, a 2-year-old, first time taking dirt, and when I was in the clear near the quarter pole, he gave me a great run, great turn of foot, and he was just second best. I had run. He never quit, he just got caught."

In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4, Good Magic at 11-1 odds stalked the pace to the top of the stretch and finished well to break his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths. He was timed for the 1 1/16 mile in 1:43.34. Solomini was forwardly placed and also finished well to get second. Bolt d’Oro, the 3-5 choice among 12 runners, dropped too far off the pace before offering a belated run for third, finishing a length behind Solomini. U S Navy Flag broke from post 1 and set splits of 22.83 and 46.75, but he gaver it up on the far turn. The Tabulator was close early, and Good Magic relaxed a few lengths behind. Solomini advanced to take the lead on the far turn, but Good Magic got into full gear and took the lead entering the stretch and quickly separated himself from the field. Solomini saved the place by a length over Bolt d’Oro. It was another 8 1/4 lengths back to the 63-1 Givemeamint in fourth. The Tabulator, Hollywood Star, Firenze Fire, Hazit, Free Drop Billy, U S Navy Flag, Golden Dragon and Bahamian came next under the wire.

Chad Brown: “I thought he was a winner every step of the way. I didn’t know who was coming behind him, but I loved the way he was traveling. We took a shot because he was a maiden, but he’s developing rapidly. I am so proud of this horse and proud of my staff. I feel so grateful that the two great owners who are partners in this horse gave me a chance with him. This is a shining example of the program Stonestreet has. He’s a homebred, then he was broke and trained on their farm in Ocala, and right on through to a Breeders’ Cup race. That’s doing it from start to finish. To allow me to be a part of their team now and train a horse like this is quite an honor. It sure is a thrill to have a really good 2-year-old in the barn. They’re so hard to find. This guy here is developing rapidly. He’s not a real big horse, but he’s growing. It was his first time around two turns, and he aced the test.”

Jose Ortiz: “It went the way Chad (Brown) drew it up for me. He said, ‘Break good and leave. When you make your move, be ready to be on the outside.’ Because he didn’t like the way the track was playing inside. I waited and went to the outside. I had the opportunity to go inside but I stuck with the plan to go outside.”

Dec. 30 NOTE: It looks like the plan for Good Magic is to run once at Gulfstream Park and then likely either in the Wood Memorial or Blue Grass Stakes.

Feb. 5 NOTE: Trainer Brown told Mike Welsch of DRF, “He’s right on schedule now, he’s made a lot of progress over the last few weeks after getting started a few weeks later than I wanted. He’s made up all that ground on his own and is really coming to hand well.”

Feb. 24 NOTE: While preparing for his 2018 debut, Good Magic worked in company with stablemate Eoncomic Model, who won the Hal's Hope Stakes on Feb. 24. Irad Ortiz, Jr. said of Economic Model after the race, “He looked really good and he felt great. He was working great and he was working against Good Magic, too, who’s a nice horse. I worked him like three times and he was doing good.”

In the March 3 Fountain of Youth Stakes, Promises Fulfilled won, Strike Power was second, Good Magic was third and Machismo was fourth. An 18-1 shot, Promises Fulfilled was hustled over from the outside post by Irad Ortiz, Jr. to take the lead, and that's where he stayed With Strike Power in closest pursuit while making his first start at two turns under Luis Saez, Promises Fulfilled clicked off fractions of 23.80, 48.39 and 1:12.60 while Strike Power stayed a length behind him, parked to his outside. Meanwhile Good Magic, at 3-5 odds, was five wide and a couple of lengths back in fourth, then third,  as Jose Ortiz surveyed the front runners. Rounding into the top of the stretch, Strike Power was asked for his all, and he loomed toward Promises Fulfilled. Good Magic had been asked on the turn and advanced toward the leader. Promises Fulfilled held Strike Power at bay through the stretch, and Good Magic was set down for the drive, but he was too short to make up the needed ground.  Promises Fulfilled prevailed by 2 1/4 length, with Good Magic another 2 1/4 lengths back in third. Machismo, who broke poorly and was well back early, picked up some pieces to get fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Those four were followed by Marconi, Gotta Go, Storm Runner, He Takes Charge and Peppered. The winner was timed in 1:44.17.

Chad Brown: “He got a good trip. He had no trouble and got good position early. The latter part of the race, he didn’t have it. The horses that were 1-2 the whole way just kicked ahead of him. The horse came back a little tired. He was blowing pretty good. It looked like he needed the race. Hopefully, he got what he needed out of it and go on to the next step.”

Jose Ortiz:  “He broke good. Irad went and Saez was second. I sat third in the perfect position, rode him like the best horse. They slowed it down on the backside pretty good, going 23, 48 but my horse was pretty handy getting whatever I wanted to. When I went after them in the three-eighths pole, he didn’t kick very well. It’s a speed favoring track with a short stretch, but no excuses. He’s coming off the layoff and I’m sure he will move forward with this race under his belt, next time we’ll be OK.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Brown said, "The horse came out of the race a little tired. He's in good order. He scoped clean. Hopefully he got something out of a race it looks like he needed. I'm disappointed he didn't win, but happy with how he came back." Brown told Jay Privman of DRF on a free DRF Live post that  advantage of the Blue Grass is just one major ship from Florida before the Kentucky Derby.

In the April 7 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, Good Magic won, Flameaway finished second, and Free Drop Billy was moved up to third after Sporting Chance was disqualified to fourth. Good Magic and Flameaway  broke adjacent to each other near the outside of the gate, and Flameaway, ridden by Jose Lezcano, sprinted to the lead. Good Magic and Jose Ortiz were never far back as Flameaway set fractions of 23.55, 47.40 and 1:11.89 saving ground all the way. Arawak hounded Flameaway through the backstretch before giving way, at which point it was Good Magic in closest pursuit with Sporting Chance close by in third. Turning for home, Flameaway maintained a slim lead. Good Magic drew nearer and took over in upper stretch With an eighth of a mile to go, Good Magic led by 1 1/2 length, with Sporting Chance another 1 1/2 length back in third. Flameaway gamely held on for second, beaten the same margin that he trailed at the furlong marker. In the middle of the track, Sporting Chance challenged Flameaway nearing the wire but suddenly bolted to his right under a left-handed whip from Luis Saez. He finished third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, but he impeded Free Drop Billy and Irad Ortiz, Jr, who closed from 12th position after a half-mile to be beaten four lengths.  When all was said and done, the final time for the race was 1:50.18.

Chad Brown" “In hindsight, he was probably a couple of works short.  If you want to stay on the (Kentucky) Derby trail, you have to run when it’s time to get started. This horse came out of that race real well – bigger, stronger and has had some impressive workouts since. We were pretty confident coming into this race. I love the way he did it today. We’ll get him over to Churchill and give him at least one work over the track and hopefully get him out to a mile and a quarter and hopefully he can handle it.

“Jose rides this horse so well, and once again he put him in a position to win the race. I loved where he was all throughout the race – became a matter of is he good enough and fit enough today?

“I thought it was an outstanding performance. He was well-placed early and kept steady throughout. Maybe we dock one point where it looked like he jumped a shadow near the wire, but that’s him. He’s going to look around a little bit. I was really happy how he ran today. For only two starts this year, I was hoping to be peaking for the Derby and hopefully we’ll advance another step on Derby Day. Looks like is a very good crop of horses this year and it’s going to be a tough race.

“This is our first Blue Grass (win) – we ran second the last two years. Once you get a little taste of that – Keeneland in the spring – you start looking to bring one back next year to win this race. It’s important – I’m so happy to win this race.”

“I was worried (about snow this morning). The timing for the Derby – I really don’t’ want to run beyond today. As happens in Kentucky, it can change by the hour. Thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful day.

“He seems to love Keeneland. I’m going to think about it, talk to my staff about it, talk to my team. Right now, I’m leaning toward leaving him here a couple of weeks, maybe getting his first breeze out of the way here, on a track I know he likes. Then get him over to Churchill – he’ll have at least one work at Churchill.”

Jose Ortiz: “It was perfect, we had a good trip. We broke really well and everything went really well. The way I planned was to sit back a little bit off the front and everything turned out perfect. I was pretty confident on him because I know he’s a good horse out of the gate. I knew he was going to help me a lot and I was going to have a clear road to the first turn. It means a lot. I really love Keeneland, I’m going to stay here for the whole meet. I really want to win a title here.”

In the May 5 Kentucky Derby run on a sloppy track during rain, Justify tracked Promises Fulfilled through fractions of 22.24, 45.77 and 1:11.01 with Flameaway, Bolt d'Oro and Good Magic closely tracking those two. Justify took over going into the far turn and emerged into the stretch with a 1 1/2-length lead over Good Magic. Meanwhile, Audible entered the far turn in 12th position, eight lengths off the lead; Instilled Regard was 17th, 10 lengths off the lead, and My Boy Jack was last of all, 17 1/4 lengths back. Justify increased his advantage to 2 1/2 lengths at the finish, with Good Magic holding off Audible's late charge by a head. Instilled Regard finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, and My Boy Jack was fifth, another 2 3/4 lengths back.

Chad Brown: “I’m very proud of him. He attended a very fast pace. We knew going in that Justify looked like a big monster and we didn’t want to be too far away. Jose executed it perfect. I asked him to follow him even if the pace was a little quick to keep him in close range. We thought he was the horse to beat and it was true. Very proud of our horse. He held on for second there. We’re working our way toward that winner’s circle. It wasn’t to be this year. It was a tough field. But I’m real proud of this horse. He kept fighting all the way to the end and he showed that he’s a top-class horse.”

Jose Ortiz: “I really thought I was going to get there. It felt great to be in the position I was in. My horse tried so hard and I can’t wait for his future. We had a great trip and he ran so hard.”

With the Preakness starting gate and the track at Pimlico enshrouded in fog, Mike Smith and Justify broke from post 7 and rolled down the sloppy-sealed stretch the first time to the outside of Good Magic and Jose Ortiz, who had exited post 5. With just a head separating them, Justify and Good Magic posted fractions of 23.11 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.19 for the half and 1:11.42 for six furlongs. As the pair approached the top of the stretch, Justify could be seen with Smith's white WinStar silks begin to get the better of Good Magic, and he led by a half-length with an eighth of a mile left. At that point, Tenfold had advanced from sixth in the early going to be third, 3 1/2 lengths off the lead, and Bravazo was fifth, five lengths in arrears. With Good Magic tiring, Tenfold got by him late, then Bravazo, and at the wire Justify had won by a half-length. It was a neck from Bravazo back to Tenfold in third and another neck to Good Magic. Lone Sailor finished fifth, beaten only two lengths, after being last after the first half-mile. Another 8 3/4 lengths behind him was Sporting Chance, followed closely by Diamond King. Quip was distanced, beaten 45 1/2 lengths when he faded badly after the first six furlongs. The final time was 1:55.93.

Chad Brown: “No, I didn't want the horse on the lead. I'm disappointed with the trip. The post didn't help. We were inside him the whole way. Unfortunately, our horse took the worst of it being on the fence and getting pressed the whole way. He's just not a horse that runs on the lead, so I'm pretty disappointed. He didn't give up. I know this horse very well, and he's not a horse to be on the lead. No way. You guys asked me all week what I wanted to do – sit off the pace and follow him around the track. And he's following us around. Obviously, I entered my horse in the race because I thought there was a chance that he could be beaten and we could win the race. But it just wasn't a good fit. I would have liked to see a different scenario where maybe we were just off the pace a little bit and not being pressed on the fence the whole way. I'm disappointed. The post really hurt. When the horse broke so well as he did and you're inside the other horse it doesn't leave the rider with too many choices.”

Jose Ortiz:  “Mike broke very well as we expected and he stayed in the middle of the track which I knew he was going to do. I tried to take back a little but the pace wasn’t too fast. He was relaxed but Mike was just sitting chilly on his horse. We were going very easy. I made my run the same time he did, but I didn’t have horse underneath me.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 21, three in 36:95 Breezing 1/10 at PMM
Jan. 28, four in 48:45 Breezing 1/37 at PMM
Feb. 3, five in 1.01:10 Breezing 3/28 at PMM
Feb. 10, five in 1.01:40 Breezing 5/20 at PMM
Feb. 17, five in 1.00:45 Breezing 3/18 at PMM
Feb. 24, four in 48:30 Breezing 5/56 at PMM
March 17, four in 48:90 Breezing 14/77 at PMM
March 24, five in 1.01:45 Breezing 5/36 at PMM
March 31, four in 48:00 Breezing 1/54 at PMM
April 21, four in 48:00 Breezing 6/71 at KEE
April 28, five in 1.01:20 Breezing 7/49 at CD

 

 

 

JUSTIFY (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: China Horse Club International Ltd., Head of Plains Partners LLC (Sol Kumin), Starlight Racing & WinStar Farm LLC
Breeder: John D. Gunther
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Scat Daddy (Johannesburg, Love Style)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Stage Magic (Ghostzapper, Magical Illusion)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-6-8-1-0 (20) 3.00
Foal Date: March 28, 2015

$500,000 Keeneland September 2016

JOCKEY: Mike Smith

On Sunday, Feb. 18, Justify debuted at 1-2 odds and blew away four rivals in a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Santa Anita. Timed in 1:21.86 under Drayden Van Dyke, Justify won by 9 1/2 lengths. He led at each call. After being challenged by Show Time Rocket through fractions of 21.80 and 44.37, he shook loose in the turn, led by five lengths with a furlong left and drew off. Meanwhile, Show Time Rocket faded to last.  The chart says he was "a half step slow into stride, had good early speed and dueled between horses, inched away just off the rail on the turn, drifted in a bit in the stretch and drew off under some left handed urging and steady handling."

Bob Baffert: “He does not need blinkers! It’s not too late. I’ve got a plan…We’re looking for (a graded stake). He’s shown his brilliance in the morning.”

In a one-mile allowance race on a sealed muddy track on March 11 at Santa Anita, Justify made short work of four rivals, putting them away in the blink of an eye when asked by Mike Smith. He raced three wide dueling for second place untill Smith smooched him, and then he was gone. The race was timed in 1:35.73. In the winner's circle, Smith compared Justify to Easy Goer.

Mike Smith: “That was extremely impressive. He passed the two turn test with flying colors. He had a little bit of the second race jitters in the post parade, in the beginning. But man, he took a deep breath and chilled out. For a young horse he has a great mind. That might allow him to catch up even sooner than a normal horse, because of his talent and the mind to go with it. He settled and took dirt. Just a little, I didn’t want to get carried away with it. He just kept passing every test so I just stayed out of the way.

(After hearing the final time of 1:35.73) “And he was gearing down. I didn’t want him to completely pull up so I just squeezed him a little bit but he was gearing way down and did that with flying colors. I was happy to keep the weight on his back anyway. That (acceleration) came so natural. He switched leads and naturally opened up his stride and was two in front. I was like, ‘wow.’ I didn’t ask him to move, he just did that extremely easily. He came off that turn like it was a stroll. Just very, very impressed. I hate to compare him to other horses right now, but doesn’t he remind you of an Easy Goer way back in the day? Just a big ol’ red horse with a big, powerful stride. The distance didn’t seem to bother him. I know that was just a mile but he could have galloped out another quarter of a mile if he had to. There’s a lot of potential there.

March 16 NOTE: Trainer Baffert told John Cherwa of the LA Times that he’s decided to keep McKinzie at home for the Santa Anita Derby and that Justify would be ticketed to the Arkansas Derby a week later. “It could change, but that’s the plan right now,” said Baffert in a text message to the Times this morning.

April 2 NOTE: After Justify worked this morning, trainer Baffert said he will compete in the Santa Anita Derby instead of the Arkansas Derby.

April 5 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “I’ll let Mike Smith deal with (the early going). Last time, he sat off a horse, but the jump is more important than the barrier. We call him Big Red at the barn, We’re always looking for the big red sonofagun, but he’s got to pass this test before we start calling him anything special.”

In the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, Justify won, Bolt d'Oro finished second and Core Beliefs and Instilled Regard were third and fourth. Justify was made the 4-5 favorite by bettors. Bolt d'Oro was 11-10.  Ridden by Mike Smith, Justify broke on top of the seven-horse field and set fractions of 23.96, 47.85  and 1:12.61 going into the far turn. Bolt d'Oro, under Javier Castellano, gave chase and tracked the leader first about 1 1/2 length back, then three lengths. Approaching the turn, the chase was on and 'Bolt' narrowed the gap to 1 1/2 length again.  As the pair left the turn, the ultimate result was in doubt for a few moments, but Justify edged ahead of Bolt d'Oro and widened the gap to three lengths at the finish line. The mile and an eighth was timed in 1:49.72. Core Beliefs, a 41-1 longshot, finished third, beaten 9 1/2 lengths. Instilled Regard, the third betting choice at 5-1, lagged far behind the pace and failed to rally.

Bob Baffert: There was concern down the backside when he took off like that. I was worried about him. Mike let him run a little bit but he said he (Justify) saw something in the infield and he sort of spooked. He said I might want to put a little more bit on him to control him, and I told Mike he better start working out between now and then (Kentucky Derby May 5) to hold him down.

“It was very exciting. Those are two really tough horses. I figure that race for Bolt d’Oro probably took a little bit out of him with McKinzie (in the San  Felipe on March 10), but they’re two really good horses. I think the whole field is really tough. But Justify is just a natural and he’s just learning how to run. He has that big, beautiful stride. He reminds you a lot of Point Given, just a big, red train type of horse. He’s quick and he’s light on his feet. It’s just good that he showed up, he did what we thought and were hoping he was going to do. I just feel fortunate to have him. It takes a lot of the sting out of what happened to McKinzie. It’s a tough business but we’ve just got to keep going.”

Mike Smith: “He rides with room to grow. He’s learning and it’s the first time he rides with the infield open, I don’t know if he saw the umbrellas and everyone screaming that he got to looking at them so much that I had to get the bit out of his mouth to really make him pay attention and that’s when he kind of skirted away and focused. What you’re seeing right now is really just raw talent. He’s got so much room to grow and to even get better, believe it or not. I think this race is going to put a lot more bottom into him. He handled a 1 1/8 really well and like I said what you’re seeing right now is just raw talent. If he moves forward off of this race, which he should, then it’s even kind of scary to talk about.”
 
Jack Wolf (Starlight Stables), part owner:  “He did it pretty easy.  We came in late on both him and Audible and they’re both Grade I winners. We’re just tagging along here with WinStar, the China Horse Club and Head of Plains…Even I couldn’t screw it up!  We’ve got two great trainers with Bob here and Todd back there.”

April 15 NOTE: Trainer Baffert told Jay Privman of DRF that  Justify is scheduled to have two works prior to the Derby, the first of them slotted for later this week at Santa Anita. Baffert left the door open for Justify to work at Churchill Downs, too.

April 22 NOTE: As reported yesterday, Justify will put in final pre-Kentucky Derby workout at home at Santa Anita and won't arrive in Kentucky until Derby week.

In the May 5 Kentucky Derby run on a sloppy track during rain, Justify tracked Promises Fulfilled through fractions of 22.24, 45.77 and 1:11.01 with Flameaway, Bolt d'Oro and Good Magic closely tracking those two. Justify took over going into the far turn and emerged into the stretch with a 1 1/2-length lead over Good Magic. Meanwhile, Audible entered the far turn in 12th position, eight lengths off the lead; Instilled Regard was 17th, 10 lengths off the lead, and My Boy Jack was last of all, 17 1/4 lengths back. Justify increased his advantage to 2 1/2 lengths at the finish, with Good Magic holding off Audible's late charge by a head. Instilled Regard finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, and My Boy Jack was fifth, another 2 3/4 lengths back.

Bob Baffert: “We saw something really great. That’s greatness right there. When he won his second race, we were in Pharoah territory.”

Mike Smith: “Going into the race the main concern was just getting him out of the gate. This horse is so talented. I keep using the term ‘above average’ because he has a mind to him as well. It was a sigh of relief when I got him out of the gate and I just stayed out of his way. Bolt d’Oro came to my outside the first time by the wire and I figured if we were going fast up front, they’re going fast behind me as well.”

With the Preakness starting gate and the track at Pimlico enshrouded in fog, Mike Smith and Justify broke from post 7 and rolled down the sloppy-sealed stretch the first time to the outside of Good Magic and Jose Ortiz, who had exited post 5. With just a head separating them, Justify and Good Magic posted fractions of 23.11 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.19 for the half and 1:11.42 for six furlongs. As the pair approached the top of the stretch, Justify could be seen with Smith's white WinStar silks begin to get the better of Good Magic, and he led by a half-length with an eighth of a mile left. At that point, Tenfold had advanced from sixth in the early going to be third, 3 1/2 lengths off the lead, and Bravazo was fifth, five lengths in arrears. With Good Magic tiring, Tenfold got by him late, then Bravazo, and at the wire Justify had won by a half-length. It was a neck from Bravazo back to Tenfold in third and another neck to Good Magic. Lone Sailor finished fifth, beaten only two lengths, after being last after the first half-mile. Another 8 3/4 lengths behind him was Sporting Chance, followed closely by Diamond King. Quip was distanced, beaten 45 1/2 lengths when he faded badly after the first six furlongs. The final time was 1:55.93.

Bob Baffert: “It was a nail-biter. They put it to us. That was a good horse [Good Magic] and it was like they had their own private match race. Somebody had to give, and I’m glad it wasn’t us. I’m so happy that we got it done. He’s just a great horse, to handle all that pressure and keep on running. He had to really work for it and I’m happy for the horse and Mike and all the connections that we pulled it out. They ran fast; I’ve never had one run that fast here. It took a lot out of me but I’m just glad … everybody came to see a good horse race. It was a great horse race. Good Magic, I tip my hand to him. He made us really work. He’s a really good horse.”

Mike Smith: “It’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true, to be honest with you. It’s been 25 years since I was blessed to win my first one, which was here, and to go into it with Bob and [wife] Jill and the whole crew, WinStar and China Horse Club and everyone who’s involved, Jack Wolf, I’m just so blessed to be riding for these people right now. I’m on cloud nine. He got a little tired. This is the hardest race that he’s had, but he was also waiting on competition. It was awful loud out there and the track’s pretty narrow and he was kind of looking and jumping tracks and doing a few things, but it was a good kind of tired. It was that kind of tired I’m hoping, anyway, and I feel like he’ll move forward.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 6, five in 1:01.00 Handily 5/19 at LA
Jan. 15, five in 1:00.00 Handily 1/6 at LA
Jan. 29, five in 1:01.20 Handily 12/45 at SA
Feb. 5, six in 1:12.40 Handily gate 1/7 at SA
Feb. 12, six in 1:13.80 Handily gate 4/14 at SA
Feb. 26, five in 1.01:40 Handily 33/55 at SA
March 5, five in 1.00:80 Handily 29/106 at SA
March 20, four in 46:40 Handily 1/103 at SA
March 26, five in 59:60 2/116 at SA
April 2, six in 1.13:20 Handily 2/8 at SA
April 21, six in 1.13:20 Handily 4/16 at SA

 

 

LONE SAILOR (KY)
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Owner: G M B Racing (Gayle Benson, et al)
Breeder: Alexander - Groves - Matz, LLC.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Majestic Warrior (A.P. Indy, Dream Supreme)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Ambitious (Mr. Greeley, Aldiza)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-7-14-0-0 (26) 2.71
Foal Date: March 30, 2016

$120,000 Keeneland September 2016

According to a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune last year, G.M.B. Racing had invested in a $11.2 million Kentucky farm and upped their stable count to 29 horses. "When we first started with the horses, we had no idea it would take us here," Gayle Benson told the Times-Picayune. "It's been fun. We've really enjoyed everything about it.”

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Lone Sailor was fifth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths, in his career debut which took place at Saratoga.

He broke his maiden at second asking at Saratoga, where he was an emphatic 11-length winner on Sept. 3.  That races was an off-the-turf seven furlongs timed in 1:24.69 on a sloppy-sealed track. Florent Geroux rode. Nine ran, but none of the other eight had made my lists by year's end.

LATER ON: Trainer Amoss said on Jan. 4, “He had been training well. I actually thought he would run well in his first start, but he made some mental errors that cost him coming out of the gate and it just ended up not going well.”

In the Oct. 7 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, Free Drop Billy was lively in the paddock, was sent off as the 3-2 favorite, was rated behind the early leaders and took command at the head of the stretch before drawing off under Robby Albarado to a four-length victory over longshot Bravazo. Albarado had Free Drop Billy in mid pack as longshot Ready Prospector led the field of 11 through fractions of 23.34, 47.11 and 1:12.66. On the turn, Bravazo briefly took over before being collared and passed by Free Drop Billy, who covered the 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.43 over a fast main track. Bravazo, ridden by Jon Court, finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Lone Sailor under Florent Geroux. Lionite finished another half-length back in fourth and was followed in order by Givemeaminit, Ezmosh, Crea’s Bklyn Law, Bourbon Resolution, Ready Prospector and Lone Rock. Ten City broke down and was later euthanized.

Florent Geroux: “My horse started very nicely, fell back a little, and then there was some bumping going on in front of me. But when I called on my horse at the top of the stretch, he made a nice run. He was just a bit too far back to catch those two horses who were in front of him. He ran a big race.”

On Oct. 29 in the Street Sense Stakes, 8-1 Gotta Go rallied from off the pace to beat Lone Sailor by a head after an exciting stretch battle. The one-turn mile was timed in 1:37.48. Bravazo led the field of 10 into the turn after fractions of 22.55 and 45.66 while Lone Sailor raced in mid-pack. Gotta Go traveled a couple of lengths behind him. Bravazo still led midway after six furlongs in 1:11.76. Lone Sailor, from the inside, and Gotta Go, on the outside, drew even with an eighth of mile to run and battled stride-for-stride to the wire with Gotta Go prevailing in the final jump. Bravazo finished 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Renaisance Frolic, 5-2 favorite Honorable Treasure, Ebben, Souper Smart, Netas, Rubus and Twin Farms followed. 

Tom Amoss: “He was in a battle today and at times had to wait for room. There were just a lot of things that contributed to winning or losing the race. But I was really pleased that when they’re in those kinds of races a lot of young horses will give up, and he didn’t do that. He fought and he ran to the wire. We’re looking forward to running two turns. Quite honestly, I never make too many plans right after a race, but I’m sure the owners and I, when we see if he comes out of the race in good shape, we’ll want to try the Jockey Club if he does.”

In the Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, Lone Sailor didn't show much early speed but gained in the stretch to finish fifth.

Jan . 4 NOTE: Trainer Amoss said, “Lone Sailor is going to run in the Lecomte. He’s a horse that has shown great potential in the mornings, and to some extent he’s given us that in the afternoons, but to me we’re not seeing the best of Lone Sailor and a lot of that has to do with mental maturity and I get that. We’re hopeful that this race will allow him to move forward in that department. I think he’s very talented, but he is very mentally immature and that can be costly in races. He had a very troubled trip in his most recent race in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs with (Diamond King) who ended up getting loose in the first turn. He made up great ground in the end, which was encouraging. We’re going to take the first step in the three-year-old campaign and see where it goes.”

In the Jan. 13 Lecomte Stakes at a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds, Lone Sailor finished ninth, beaten 12 3/4 lengths.

Feb. 18 NOTE: Trainer Amoss added blinkers in the LeComte and admits that it was not the right move. He said, "Lone Sailor has not done for me in the afternoons what he’s done for me in the mornings so we’re doing a lot of experimenting with him. Keep in mind that he’s Grade I stakes placed, so we know that he’s a good horse but he’s showing me more in the mornings. Looking back on it, I know better. All horses have a style and trying to do make them do something different than what they do is never a good experiment, so the blinkers come off. We’re going to let him run his race and try to make a late run. Hopefully this leads us into the right direction.”

In a Feb. 19 allowance optional claimer going a mile and 70 yards at Fair Grounds, Dark Templar and Florent Geroux won in a time of 1:42.58, prevailing over Lone Sailor by 1 1/4 length. He led at every call with splits of 24.3,  48.85 and 1:13.41. Lone Sailor and James Graham came up just short after being in seventh of seven, seven lengths off the pace after the first quarter-mile. Big Gemmy was a neck back in third after tracking a length back in second much of the way. Bobby's Wicked One finshed fourth, beaten 1 3/4 length, after tracking a couple of lengths back in third much of the way.

March 16 NOTE: Trainer Amoss said of Lone Sailor going in the Louisiana Derby, “I worked him and (Fair Grounds Oaks candidate) Chocolate Martini (four in 48.00), and assuming they look good tomorrow morning, they will run."

In the March 24 Louisiana Derby, Noble Indy won, and Lone Sailor, My Boy Jack and Givemeaminit were second, third and fourth.  Longshot Marmello that broke on top and led the field through the first turn and up a portion of the backstretch with Noble Indy, running under John Velazquez with blinkers for the first time, in closest pursuit, followed by Bravazo on the inside, Snapper Sinclair several paths wide, and Givemeaminit .  Initial fractions were a spritely 22.97 and 46.64. Marmello yielded before the second turn, and Noble Indy was leading by two lengths after six furlongs in 1:11.47. Noble Indy sped into the turn close to the rail with Lone Sailor and James Graham in sixth position, four lengths off the lead. My Boy Jack and Kent Desormeaux were last of 10 after the first half-mile and still last by almost 11 lengths after six furlongs. Noble Indy exited the turn with his advantage shortening. Lone Sailor grabbed a one-length lead mid-stretch a couple of paths outside Noble Indy. Meanwhile, My Boy Jack flew down the center of the track and also got ahead of Noble Indy, but not Lone Sailor. Noble Indy dug in and impressively surged back to the lead and reached the wire first, a neck in front of Lone Sailor, with My Boy Jack another half-length back in third. Givemeaminit, in fourth, was beaten 8 1/2 lengths. The race was timed in 1:50.28.

Tom Amoss:  “I’m not going to get spiritual about this thing, but I’ll tell you this – I really felt Mr. Benson was with us today. This guy reminds me a lot of Mylute, who came from off the pace and just got beat a neck in the Louisiana Derby and that’s what happened to day with Lone Sailor. We’ve got the points now. I know the group wants to go to the Kentucky Derby, and I stand behind that as well so if he’s happy then we’re going to go.  We had a little traffic on the turn. I’m not going to knock it; that’s horse racing. We got outrun down the lane. We engaged the winner and he fought us to the wire. We just couldn’t put him away. I look forward to seeing Mrs. Benson and I want her to see the look in my eye because it’s the same as all the other citizens of New Orleans. We loved him, we love his legacy, and I want her to know how important this was to me. Everybody feels like they’ve got a connection to Tom Benson if they’re part of this city. He’s one of us and I’m so proud and honored to be part of it. This is a really big day in my life. To win the Oaks, which I’ve never won, and to barely get beat in the Louisiana Derby, all in the same day, it’s more than I could’ve hoped for.”

James Graham:  “He picked up and he sprinted away. He kind of got there maybe a little too soon. When they came to him on each side, he stretched his neck out and ran again.

In the May 5 Kentucky Derby run on a sloppy track during rain, Lone Sailor finished eigthh, beaten 9 /14 lengths. He was 10th, 6 3/4 lengths off the pace, going into the far turn and encountered trouble in the turn.

Tom Amoss: “It started out really, really good. We had a good position inside. We were making up some ground and then on the backside we had to wait behind a horse that was stopping. We were forced to drop back and re-rally and that’s tough to do. We’re very proud of our horse."

James Graham: “I had a great trip. I was on the fence the whole way and got a little unlucky.”

With the Preakness starting gate and the track at Pimlico enshrouded in fog, Mike Smith and Justify broke from post 7 and rolled down the sloppy-sealed stretch the first time to the outside of Good Magic and Jose Ortiz, who had exited post 5. With just a head separating them, Justify and Good Magic posted fractions of 23.11 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.19 for the half and 1:11.42 for six furlongs. As the pair approached the top of the stretch, Justify could be seen with Smith's white WinStar silks begin to get the better of Good Magic, and he led by a half-length with an eighth of a mile left. At that point, Tenfold had advanced from sixth in the early going to be third, 3 1/2 lengths off the lead, and Bravazo was fifth, five lengths in arrears. With Good Magic tiring, Tenfold got by him late, then Bravazo, and at the wire Justify had won by a half-length. It was a neck from Bravazo back to Tenfold in third and another neck to Good Magic. Lone Sailor finished fifth, beaten only two lengths, after being last after the first half-mile. Another 8 3/4 lengths behind him was Sporting Chance, followed closely by Diamond King. Quip was distanced, beaten 45 1/2 lengths when he faded badly after the first six furlongs. The final time was 1:55.93.

Tom Amoss: “He got beat 2 1/2 lengths, but I don’t know anything else. I know we went by the grandstand last but fairly close, closer than last time. I know I broke better. But after that, I can’t tell you much. Look, Justify was favored. We were 2 1/2 lengths from Justify today, which is a moral victory. Unfortunately we weren’t better than fifth. But I don’t know the details of the race.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “He had a real good race. No complaints. He got beat maybe a length and a half, two lengths. He's a good horse."

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 7, four in  49.80 Breezing 33/144 at FG
Jan. 22, four in 50:40 Breezing 35/52 at FG
Feb. 2, five in 59:60 Breezing 1/48 at FG
Feb. 9, four in 48:80 Breezing 21/108 at FG
March 2, four in 48:00 Breezing 6/68 at FG
March 8, seven in 1.26:20 Breezing 1/1 at FG
March 16, four in 48:00 Breezing 8/99 at FG
April 11, four in 47:80 Breezing 6/30 at CD
April 19, five in 57:60 Breezing 1/19 at CD
April 27, four in 48:00 Breezing 13/75 at CD
June 3, four in 47:00 Breezing 1/64 at CD

 

 

QUIP (KY)
Trainer: Rodolphe Brissett
Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International & SF Racing LLC
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Distorted Humor (Forty Niner, Danzig'z Beauty)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Princess Ash (Indian Charlie, Boston Lady)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-2-6-0-1 (16) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 19, 2015

JOCKEY: Florent Geroux

Quip won his first two starts, which took place at Churchill Downs and Keeneland. The latter race was at 1 1/16 mile, and he led at each call and won by 6 1/2 lengths at 9-5 odds under Florent Geroux in 1:44.98. The second finisher was Boxing Glove, and like him none of the other runners are on our lists. Seven ran.

In his third outing, he finished seventh, beaten eight lengths by Enticed, in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25. The chart call: "Quip chased the pace early, steadied near the five sixteenth pole, shifted into the four path entering the lane and faded late in the stretch."

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Brissett has been working Quip at the Fair Grounds all winter, but Brissett said his sophomore debut may take place either in the Gotham Stakes or in the Tampa Bay Derby, both on March 10. “It gives us enough time to be ready,” Brissett said. “Week by week we’ll play it by ear. He’s been doing well. He came back great after his five-eighths work (1:00.00 on Sunday morning).”

In the March 10 Tampa Bay Derby, Quip paid $40.20 on a $2 win ticket by outlasting Flameaway. World of Trouble was third and Vino Rosso fourth. Quip, a Fair Grounds shipper ridden by Florent Geroux, took on post-time second choice World of Trouble and Irad Ortiz, Jr. and hounded the pacesetter from the outside through the first turn, down the backstretch and around the second turn. Flameaway, with Jose Lezcano aboard, and 8-5 favoriteVino Rosso, ridden by John Velazquez, dueled for third position a couple of lengths back during the first half-mile. Early splits were timed in 24.54 and 49.48 and 1:13.78. Turning for home, World of Trouble held a slight advantage over Quip, and Flameaway had put away Vino Rosso. At the furlong marker, only a head separated the two leaders, but as they neared the finish line, World of Trouble slowed, allowing Quip, then Flameaway to get by. Quip was timed in 1:44.72. Quip finished a length in front of Flameaway, who was a neck better than World of Trouble. Way back in fourth, beaten six lengths, was Vino Rosso. Another 5 1/2 lengths back was Tiz Mischief, followed by Untamed Domain and three others.

Rodolphe Brisset: “He is a pretty forward horse and he’s a smart horse. On paper, it looked like we were going to be there early, and it was a matter if they were going to let us go in 47 seconds or 49. I guess they let us go in 49, which was a little surprising to me. It was just a matter of him being fit enough; I’m not sure if we had him 100 percent, but he was fit enough to win today and that’s the main thing."

Florent Geroux: “I’ve always thought a lot of him. The way the Jockey Club unfolded, he was between horses most of the time and he didn’t really respond when I called him. But I’ve always known he had talent. Rodolphe rides him in the morning, and he said he was doing fantastic. It seemed like he handled the track very well. Both horses (Quip and pace-setter World of Trouble, who finished third) were doing great, and I’m glad to know Quip was best today.”

Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm: “We knew he had a lot of talent after he won his first two races, but he got a little lost in the Kentucky Jockey Club. I’m not sure what’s next; we’re going to enjoy this one and go from there.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Brisset said, "He matured a lot physically and carried more weight. When he got back to Fair Grounds (after a three-week break at WinStar Farm) he wasn’t a 2-year-old anymore, he was a racehorse. The transition from two to three is very important for a Thoroughbred, and I could see by the way he acted that he had grown up. I don’t think he was cranked all the way to the bottom, but he was fit enough to run that race and win it. We walked him this morning and his legs were good and everything was in good shape. We’ll probably keep him here for a few days (before sending him to Keeneland)."

April 1 NOTE: Trainer Brissett said following today's workout at Keeneland, “I was happy with it. We got lucky with the weather having the rain hold off. I had worked him twice on a sealed track at Fair Grounds and was not concerned about having to do that, but you prefer to have the track like it is this morning. He is training well and he is a good shipper." Clockers said they got Quip in 12.60, 25, 47.20 and 1:00.40, which would mean the second quarter-mile went in 22.20 and the final eighth went in 13.20.

April 5 NOTE: Quip will scratch from the Toyota Blue Grass and be entered in the Arkansas Derby. Explanations: Per Britney Eurton on Twitter, with Justify (similar ownership group) staying at Santa Anita, the team opted to seek a grade I victory in Hot Springs instead. Trainer Brisset told Alicia Hughes of BloodHorse, "The Arkansas Derby is a grade I and it's a very big to try and win a grade I."

Magnum Moon won the April 14 Arkansas Derby by four lengths, with Quip, Solomini and Combatant separated by less than a length second, third and fourth. With Luis Saez aboard, Magnum Moon broke from post 6 and immediately went for the lead, but Quip and Florent Geroux quickly joined him to his outside. With Magnum Moon ahead by less than a length, they ran through the first turn and up the backstretch in fractions of 23.34, 48.60 and 1:13.39. Closest behind them were Beautiful Shot, Tenfold, and, for the first half-mile, Machismo. The battle for the lead continued on the second turn, but Magnum Moon cut the corner into the stretch and quickly separated himself from Quip. At the furlong marker he led by two lengths, and he went on to win despite drifting five or six paths toward the outer rail inside the furlong marker. Quip finised second, a neck ahead of Solomini, who was a head in front of Combatant, who was a neck ahead of Tenfold. Following them were Plainsman, beaten 7 1/4 lengths, Dream Baby Dream, Beautiful Shot and Machismo.

Rodolphe Brisset: "I guess that's just the way the race set up. We could have tried to go on the lead. I think Florent did the right thing."

Florent Geroux: “We had a good trip. He always breaks sharp and is always forwardly placed. When Luis smooched to his horse, I knew he wanted the lead. I let my horse settle, and he did very nicely. My horse ran hard. Solomini is a nice horse too. I’m very satisfied with his race.”

April 23 NOTE: Elliott Walden of WinStar told Jay Privman of DRF that Quip "needs more time" and is out of the Kentucky Derby, says Preakness is possible.

In the Preakness Stakes, Quip ran about a half-mile and then pretty much quit. He finished last of eight, beaten 45 1/2 lengths.

Rodolphe Brisset: “It looked like we had a good trip but he just stopped. We were in good position. It looks like he came back OK."

Florent Geroux: “The horse seemed to come back fine. At the half-mile pole, he just stopped.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 7, three in 37.40 Breezing 5/30 at FG
Jan. 21, four in 48.40 Breezing 10/168 at FG
Jan. 30, four in 49.40 Breezing 8/50 at FG
Feb. 5, four in 49.40 Breezing 11/59 at FG
Feb. 11, five in 1:00.00 Breezing 1/9 at FG
Feb. 18, five in 1:01.60 Breezing 8/28 at FG
Feb. 25, five in 59:80 Breezing 1/37 at FG
March 5, five in 48:00 Breezing 2/13 at TAM
March 24, four in 48:40 Breezing 3/55 at TAM
April 1, five in 1.00:40 Breezing 2/15 at KEE
April 6, four in 48:60 Breezing 14/47 at KEE
May 3, four in 48:00 Breezing 2/27 at KEE
May 13, four in 48:20 Breezing 6/21 at KEE

 

 

SPORTING CHANCE (KY)
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Robert Baker and William Mack
Breeder: Hunter Valley
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tiznow (Cee's Tizzy, Cee's Song)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Wynning Ride (CAN) (Candy Ride (ARG), Wynard (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-1-5-0-0 (8) 2.20
Foal Date: Feb. 21, 2015


$275,000 Keeneland November 2015
$575,000 Keeneland September 2016

JOCKEY: Luis Contreras

Sporting Chance won his second career start going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga. Next up was the Hopeful.

In the Hopeful Stakes on Sept. 4, a crazy ending saw Sporting Chance survive a stewards' inquiry after he veered out wildly in deep stretch in close quarters with the late-running Free Drop Billy. Luis Saez was on the winner, and Robby Albarado was on Free Drop Billy, who lost by a neck with Givemeaminit a head back in third. Sporting Chance, sent off at 5-1, stalked pace-setter National Flag through splits of 22.50 and 45.92. The pair was followed closely at that point by Firenze Fire and Psychoanalyze as Free Drop Billy, Givemeaminit, Mojovation and Oskar Blues followed. Leaving the turn, Sporting Chance took the lead as National Flag began to tire. Free Drop Willy, last from the break, made a move five wide as Givemeaminit made a move near the rail after three quarters of a mile in 1:10.30. The final time was 1:23.71. It was trainer Lukas' eighth win of the Hopeful.

D. Wayne Lukas: "Well, this surprised me more than it did the horse. I thought he was comfortable in front and he was moving well. I think he was best in the last 50 yards where he accelerated; that's his style. Unfortunately, he saw something, I guess Luis explained that he ducked from the whip I'm not sure. I have a tendency to think it might have been something else; you never know. These are 2-year-olds and he's just in his third race so you can see things happen like that everyday in 2-year-old races.

"I thought the fractions were realistic. I wasn't so worried about the fractions posted. I thought Luis was well within himself clocking the speed. That's the thing I was comfortable with. Somebody said twenty-two in our box, and I said at this point they're all there. Everyone was in contention in the first quarter. Even at the half-mile, they weren't spreading out, there were horses all bunched there. So I was more comfortable with what Luis was doing. He was in comfortable position, he was on the outside of one of the obvious speed horses and I felt comfortable that we'd finish.

"He didn't disappoint me at all. I thought he ran even better than I expected. I expected him to run a strong race. I would've liked to have seen it without incident. You want everything to go smooth. I don't think it diminished his quality any, I think we'll move forward from this. Stuff like this is very correctable."

"I had this name in the back of my mind for maybe a year or two. I was holding off on it and hoping nobody would take it. I loved the name. Bill Mack and his wife Phyllis are big into art. They back a lot of museums and she trades art, so I wanted Sporting Art or Sporting Chance and this one was available."

"I'm going to get together with the (owners), my first blush reaction is to maybe get a two-turn race. I might try to go straight to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile but I'm not real fond of Del Mar. I know that sounds crazy, but I'm going to weigh all our chances. Another logical spot would be the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland and go two turns, another grade I. There's all kinds of options now."

Luis Saez: "He was perfect, I was going to win the race anyways so I wanted to teach him a little bit to the left because I had never hit him with the left. So when I hit him a little, he got scared and came out. I had the race I just wanted to teach him. He is one of the best horses I have ever rode in my life so I want to be okay with him, so he learned a little bit in the game today. But Jesus, when he came out like that I almost fell.

"He's a good horse so when he came out he was still going. But I grabbed him a little bit and he was straight up. He had the best trip, he is very fast. He has everything, the speed, he can go anywhere. Wayne taught him well."

Nov. 4 NOTE:  Trainer Lukas disclosed at some point that Sporting Chance had a knee chip removed shortly after the Hopeful, sidelining him for 60 days. However, Sporting Chance didn't race again in 2017 after the Hopeful.

Dec. 14 NOTE: With Sporting Chance off since winning the Hopeful, trainer Lukas said the colt is targeting the Southwest Stakes on Feb. 19 and the Rebel Stakes on March 17. “We haven’t had any serious works or anything, but we’ve got six or eight weeks,” Lukas said. “More than that, I guess. We should be in great shape. Really, a talented horse.”

Jan. 10 NOTE: Sporting Chance breezed three furlongs. Trainer Lukas said two days earlier, “He hasn’t missed a day, even with the cold weather. We were able to do something in the barn, so he’s doing fine.”

Jan. 15 NOTE: Following a workout, trainer Lukas said,  “He’s an extremely talented horse. If he’s fit, I think I can drop right in to the deep end of the pool and take on the seasoned horses because he’s got a beautiful mind and he handles racing very well. Very easy horse to train. Normally you say, ‘Boy, we need some experience.’ But I’m not so sure I can’t put a strong work into him and run him where I want to.”

Jan. 25 NOTE: Trainer Lukas commenting on the Jan. 22 workout: “Very impressive. The thing that surprised me the most was the strength of the gallop out. If he had worked 1:13, I would have been impressed, too, let alone gallop out. It was really a nice work. Very pretty. (The Southwest) is still the target. We don’t have to commit, but it’s definitely on the radar screen for us. I would say after that work, we definitely moved a notch closer.”

Feb. 2 NOTE: Trainer Lukas said, “We didn’t have any target when we first got here because we didn’t know how quick he would come in hand. But he’s done so well since he got here, we started getting more optimistic that the Southwest was a doable deal. We’re turning up the heat a little bit/ I don’t think I did a real good job with that horse that ran two turns yesterday (Transgress, who finished second at 4-5 in his two-turn debut). It’s hard to get them fit.  We’re probably not going to be as tight as we need to be or should be with those horses all having an out. But, I think we’ve got a very talented horse, so maybe he’ll overcome me.”

Feb. 4 NOTE: Sporting Chance worked in company outside Hill Bent starting on even terms. He seriously outworked his mate, the latter timed in 1:15.60. Luis Saez will ride in the Southwest.

Feb. 14 NOTE: Sporting Chance breezed by himself two days ago, although he was joined by another horse near the half-mile pole. Trainer Lukas said, “I wanted to work alone, but it worked out all right. It was not by design, but it worked out all right.”

The Feb. 19 Southwest Stakes on a muddy track was won by My Boy Jack, followed in the top four by Combatant, Sporting Chance and Mourinho. The race opened predictably with 6-5 favorite Mourinho going to the lead under Drayden Van Dyke. He was pressed by Road to Damascus, who briefly led between calls, and the pair headed into the far turn closely followed by Ezmosh after early fractions on the sticky surface in 23.46, 47.70 and 1:13.56. At that point, My Boy Jack, who was 8 1/2 lengths back in ninth after the first half-mile, was in eighth place but only 3 3/4 lengths from the lead. Combatant ran that first six furlongs just in front of My Boy Jack. Into the stretch, My Boy Jack stayed on the rail while Combatant, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., was swung five wide. Meanshile, Sporting Chance and Luis Saez had been third or fourth at each call, a length or two off the pace....   Heading to the furlong marker, Desormeaux and My Boy Jack gained rapidly on Mourinho, and they spurted away in the final eighth mile to win by 4 1/2 lengths in a slow time of 1:46.00. Mourinho also gave way to Combatant mid-stretch, and that one finished second. Sporting Chance, who was bothered by Combatant in the stretch, got by Mourinho by a neck in the shadow of the wire. Zing Zang was another length back in fifth at the finish, and the rest of the field was nowhere to be seen.

D. Wayne Lukas: “Good effort. He got shot down in the stretch, They came in on both sides and broke our momentum. Still came back to run third. Off a six, seven month layoff, I was very pleased.”

Luis Saez: “A pretty nice trip. When I came to the clear I thought we were going to blow them off, but he looked like he needed a break. He was a little tired but he will be ok for the next time.”

March 6 NOTE: Luis Saez rode Sporting Chance in the Southwest Stakes, but he will be aboard Magnum Moon in the Rebel Stakes, and John Velazquez will ride Sporting Chance. No word about who made the first move, but it's probably worth noting that Saez was very complimentary of Magnum Moon after his most recent race, an allowance win at Tampa Bay Downs. After the Southwest (see above), Saez said of Sporting Chance, "He was a little tired but he will be ok for the next time.”

March 7 NOTE: Trainer Lukas on the one-mile workout under Terry Thompson two days ago: “It’s kind of an old-school move. I’m an old man, so reaching down for the old methods sometimes is where you go. I was really pleased with the way he did it.” Lukas said he wanted the first half-mile in “:51 and change” and come home the last half-mile in “:50 and change. That’s exactly what he did. On that muddy track, he looked good. I was so pleased. It was textbook. I complimented Terry all the way home. I said, ‘That was absolutely textbook.’ ”

In the March 17 Rebel Stakes, Magnum Moon won, Solomini was second, Combatant was third and Title Ready finished fourth. Magnum Moon, the second choice at 3-1, stalked pacesetter Title Ready behind initial fractions of 23.42, 47.15 and 1:11.26, pounced on the far turn and sped away from the field in the stretch, winning by 3 1/2 lengths going away in a time of 1:42.68. Solomini, favored at 11-10, was third at the first call, fifth at the second call and third after six furlongs. About an eighth mile from home, he had regressed a couple of lengths, but he re-rallied to finish second, a head in front of Combatant, who had to break from the far outside post 10 and was ninth, five lengths back in the early going. Title Ready stayed on for fourth, beaten five lengths. Sporting Chance, right there at the top of the stretch, was unable to keep up down the lane and finished 3/4 length behind Title Ready. The race was timed in 1:42.68.

March 29 NOTE: Trainer Lukas said, "I have great respect for the horses that are showing up for (the Blue Grass). I just think it might be a better fit. Trying to find out the proper keys, the right buttons. (Tuesday was the) best work he’s had this spring. Real pleased. Excellent work (under Luis Contreras). I thought he looked well within himself. He did everything right. Clearly, the best work he’s had all spring.”

In the April 7 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, Good Magic won, Flameaway finished second, and Free Drop Billy was moved up to third after Sporting Chance was disqualified to fourth. Good Magic and Flameaway  broke adjacent to each other near the outside of the gate, and Flameaway, ridden by Jose Lezcano, sprinted to the lead. Good Magic and Jose Ortiz were never far back as Flameaway set fractions of 23.55, 47.40 and 1:11.89 saving ground all the way. Arawak hounded Flameaway through the backstretch before giving way, at which point it was Good Magic in closest pursuit with Sporting Chance close by in third. Turning for home, Flameaway maintained a slim lead. Good Magic drew nearer and took over in upper stretch With an eighth of a mile to go, Good Magic led by 1 1/2 length, with Sporting Chance another 1 1/2 length back in third. Flameaway gamely held on for second, beaten the same margin that he trailed at the furlong marker. In the middle of the track, Sporting Chance challenged Flameaway nearing the wire but suddenly bolted to his right under a left-handed whip from Luis Saez. He finished third, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, but he impeded Free Drop Billy and Irad Ortiz, Jr, who closed from 12th position after a half-mile to be beaten four lengths.  When all was said and done, the final time for the race was 1:50.18.

D. Wayne Lukas: “He has shied twice with Luis with the left-handed stick and I guess he doesn’t like it. He has never given any indication in the morning. He is probably the easiest horse in the barn to train. We needed those 40 points to get to the Derby and now we only have 12.

Luis Saez: “I thought he was going to win. He was perfect (until) we came to the wire. When I hit him he (veered) out. He did it twice today. I don't know why he does that. He was perfect today up until then.”

In the Pat Day Mile run on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs on May 5, a horse never on my radar, Funny Duck, won at 39-1 odds. New York Central was second at 31-1 and Givemeaminit was third at 21-1. Sporting Chance closed from 11th of 14 to finish fourth, beaten eight lengths.

May 13 NOTE: Per a DRF Nugget report by Marty McGee, Churchill Downs clockers said Sporting Chance refused to breeze this morning, "even when given at least three chances to break off."

In the Preakness Stakes, Sporting Chance was never in contention and finished fifth, beaten 10 3/4 lengths. His trainer and jockey had completely different takes on the race.

D. Wayne Lukas: “He got really in trouble, He got wiped out in the first turn, big time. He almost goes down. It was really bad."

Luis Contreras: “He never really performed like we wanted. The first time I tried to put him in the race he just didn't want to go forward.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 9, three in 37.00 Breezing 2/19 at OP
Jan. 15, four in 47.60 Breezing 1/112 at OP
Jan. 22, four in 1:00.40 Breezing 1/46 at OP
Jan. 29, five in 1.01:40 Breezing 4/38 at OP
Feb. 4, six in 1.13:80 Handily 1/4 at OP
Feb. 12, five in 1.00:40 Breezing 2/15 at OP
Feb. 27, four in 48:20 Breezing 4/102 at OP
March 5, one mile in 1.41:40 Breezing muddy track 1/1 at OP
March 12, four in 47:00 Breezing 1/21 at OP
March 27, five in 59:20 Breezing 1/9 at OP
April 2, four in 48:40 Breezing 3/15 at OP
April 17, four in 47:80 Breezing 2/20 at CD
April 24, five in 59:20 Breezing sloppy track 1/9 at CD
May 1, three in 34:60 Breezing 1/5 at CD

 

 

TENFOLD (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Breeder: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike (CAN), Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Temptress (Tapit, Perfect Cause)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-8-13-0-0 (26) 3.00
Foal Date: March 27, 2015

JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Tenfold didn't debut until Feb. 9, when he won an Oaklawn Park maiden special weight going 1 1/16 mile. At 5-1 odds under Ricardo Santana, Jr., he took the lead and stayed there until he was under the wire with a 5 3/4-length advantage in 1:44.93. Contested splits under pressure were 23.73, 47.72 and 1:13.06, and then he was able to separate from the others. Twist Off was second at 7-2, and Animus was another 4 1/2 lengths back in third. The chart says Tenfold "led inside, drew off in the stretch and was ridden out for the win."

In a 1 11/6-mile allowance optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park on March 18, Tenfold was sent off at 3-5 odds, and he won by a neck under Ricardo Santana, Jr. After stalking Plainsman, then 5-2 second choice Navistar, through splits of 23.26, 47.37 and 1:12.45, he and Navistar, riden by John Velasquez, began separating themselves from the field as they rounded the far turn. Those two dueled in the stretch, and it was Tenfold who won the day. The race was timed in 1:44.16. Another 3 1/4 lengths back, Plainsman was in third at the wire. The chart says Tenfold "broke readily to gain a forward position tracking just off the leaders while angling inwards a bit on the first turn, continued outside a rival under light rating to the second bend, shifted three deep nearing upper stretch while advancing to challenge for command, then wrested a narrow advantage in time under firm handling."

April 8 NOTE: Agent Brian Beach has Victor Espinoza booked to ride Tenfold in the Arkansas Derby.

Magnum Moon won the April 14 Arkansas Derby by four lengths, with Quip, Solomini and Combatant separated by less than a length second, third and fourth. With Luis Saez aboard, Magnum Moon broke from post 6 and immediately went for the lead, but Quip and Florent Geroux quickly joined him to his outside. With Magnum Moon ahead by less than a length, they ran through the first turn and up the backstretch in fractions of 23.34, 48.60 and 1:13.39. Closest behind them were Beautiful Shot, Tenfold, and, for the first half-mile, Machismo. The battle for the lead continued on the second turn, but Magnum Moon cut the corner into the stretch and quickly separated himself from Quip. At the furlong marker he led by two lengths, and he went on to win despite drifting five or six paths toward the outer rail inside the furlong marker. Quip finised second, a neck ahead of Solomini, who was a head in front of Combatant, who was a neck ahead of Tenfold. Following them were Plainsman, beaten 7 1/4 lengths, Dream Baby Dream, Beautiful Shot and Machismo.

With the Preakness starting gate and the track at Pimlico enshrouded in fog, Mike Smith and Justify broke from post 7 and rolled down the sloppy-sealed stretch the first time to the outside of Good Magic and Jose Ortiz, who had exited post 5. With just a head separating them, Justify and Good Magic posted fractions of 23.11 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 47.19 for the half and 1:11.42 for six furlongs. As the pair approached the top of the stretch, Justify could be seen with Smith's white WinStar silks begin to get the better of Good Magic, and he led by a half-length with an eighth of a mile left. At that point, Tenfold had advanced from sixth in the early going to be third, 3 1/2 lengths off the lead, and Bravazo was fifth, five lengths in arrears. With Good Magic tiring, Tenfold got by him late, then Bravazo, and at the wire Justify had won by a half-length. It was a neck from Bravazo back to Tenfold in third and another neck to Good Magic. Lone Sailor finished fifth, beaten only two lengths, after being last after the first half-mile. Another 8 3/4 lengths behind him was Sporting Chance, followed closely by Diamond King. Quip was distanced, beaten 45 1/2 lengths when he faded badly after the first six furlongs. The final time was 1:55.93.

Steve Asmussen: “Honestly, you saw them go by the first time, and I was concerned with where he was. He was a little farther back than I thought he would be. He was pretty wide around the first turn. You see them down the backside, and you know he got in a great position into the second. When they came out of the fog, he was in the game. I’d say he got beat three-quarters of a length for all of it. He’s a top-class horse who is getting better. We were three-quarters of a length away from where we want to be, let’s figure out how to get it.” (The Belmont next?) “Absolutely. Heck yes.”

Ricardo Santana Jr.: “I was happy in the position I was in. He ran a good race, but he’s still just a baby. I am happy with the third place and how he finished. He’s going to be tough later this year. I was happy with the way he ran.”

WORKOUTS SINCE JANUARY 1
Jan. 7 five in 1:01.00 Breezing gate 5/62 at FT
Jan. 22 four in 49.60 Breezing 18/52 at FG
Jan. 29 five in 1:02.00 Breezing 9/38 at OP
Feb. 4, four in 52.00 Handily gate 75/78 at OP
Feb. 26, five in 1.02:00 Breezing good track 8/43 at OP
March 5, five in 1.02:00 Breezing muddy track 5/8 at OP
March 12, four in 50:60 Breezing 14/21 at OP
April 2, five in 1.01:20 Breezing 1/10 at OP
April 9, four in 49:60 Breezing 16/39 at OP
April 30, five in 1.01:80 Breezing 9/13 at CD
May 7, five in 1.00:20 Breezing 7/23 at CD
May 14, four in 49:40 Breezing 13/23 at CD

 

 

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