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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

 


Worth Watching

Horses of Interest

Last updated July 3 at 12:04 p.m. ET

Farmington Road breezes on grass

Storm the Court may try grass

Cezanne goes two-for-two

Creed wins allowance, added here

Next race Anneau d'Or, Thousand Words, Uncle Chuck

Next race Art Collector, Attachment Rate,
Mr. Big News, Winning Impression

Ellis considered for Dean Martini

Moved from Looking Good:
Gouverneur Morris, Mischevious Alex, Storm the Court

Short status reports on the following:
Chance It, Colonel Liam, Disc Jockey,
Eight Rings, Excession, Farmington Road,
Fast Enough, Gold Street, Green Light Go,
Independence Hall, Major Fed, Mr. Big News,
Mr. Monomoy, Palm Springs, Royal Act,
Shake Some Action, Silver Prospector,
Silver State, Taishan, Texas Swing,
Thousand Words, Three Technique

Added Celtic Striker, Dean Martini, Mystic Guide

Next race Cezanne


 
Click to go to horse; click back to return

AJAAWEED
AMERICAN THEOREM
AMERICANUS
ANNEAU d'OR
ANSWER IN
ART COLLECTOR
ATTACHMENT RATE
AZUL COAST
BLACKBERRY WINE
CAFE PHAROAH
CASINO GRANDE
CELTIC STRIKER - Added June 28
CEZANNE
CHANCE IT
CHARLATAN
CHESTERTOWN
COLLUSION ILLUSION
COLONEL LIAM
COUNTRY GRAMMER
CREED - Added July 2
DEAN MARTINI - Added June 28
DENNIS' MOMENT
DIGITAL
DISC JOCKEY
EARNER
EIGHT RINGS
EXCESSION
FARMINGTON ROAD
FAST ENOUGH
FINNICK THE FIERCE
FORE LEFT
GOLD STREET
GOUVERNEUR MORRIS - Moved from Looking Good June 29
GREEN LIGHT GO
HAPPY SAVER
HIGH VELOCITY
INDEPENDENCE HALL
INVADER
MAJOR FED
MAN IN THE CAN
MAXFIELD
MISCHEVIOUS ALEX - Moved from Worth Watching June 29
MONTAUK TRAFFIC
MONEY MOVES
MR. BIG NEWS
MR. MONOMOY
MYSTIC GUIDE - Added June 28
NADAL
PALM SPRINGS
PNEUMATIC
RAGTIME BLUES
RELENTLESS DANCER
ROYAL ACT
RUSHIE
SHAKE SOME ACTION
SHOOTERS SHOOT
SHOPLIFTED
SHOTSKI
SILVER PROSPECTOR
SILVER STATE
SOLE VOLANTE
SONNEMAN
SOROS
SOUTH BEND
STORM THE COURT - Moved from Looking Good June 29
TAISHAN
TAP IT TO WIN
THOUSAND WORDS
THREE TECHNIQUE
TEXAS SWING
TIZAMAGICIAN
UNCLE CHUCK
UNTITLED
WELL CONNECTED
WELLS BAYOU
WINNING IMPRESSION
WRECKING CREW

 

 

AJAAWEED (KY)
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Owner: Shadwell Stable
Breeder: Shadwell Farm, LLC.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike (CAN), Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Asiya (Daaher (CAN), Khalia)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-8-10-0-0 (22) 3.40
Foal Date: Feb. 22, 2017

After running fifth in his debut going six furlongs on Aug. 10 at Saratoga, he broke his maiden with a 4 1/4-length score at one mile on Sept. 11 at Belmont Park. Trainer McLaughlin then stepped up the homebred to stakes company, where he rallied from ninth after six furlongs in to finish fourth in the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity on Oct. 5 at Keeneland.

Dec. 1 NOTE: Trainer McLaughlin said, "He's doing very well. He shipped to Kentucky last time but didn't ship really well and wasn't quite himself for a couple of days. He came back here and has been training very, very well, and he's ready. We think he wants a mile and an eighth, so all is well."

In the Dec. 7 Remsen Stakes, Shotski broke on top and never looked back to get the win. This followed two other stakes races that day at Aqueduct won gate to wire. After breaking sharply from the gate under Luis Saez, Shotski went to the front and set honest splits of 24.26, 50.08 and a slow, slow 1:15.19 over a tiring track, with Chase Tracker shadowing him to the inside and longshot Prince James to the outside. Leaving the far turn Saez let Shotski out a notch and Shotski responded well, opening up a three-length lead by upper stretch. Ajaaweed a threat to his chances down the lane, but the advantage proved insurmountable, and Shotski was able to to prevail by a half-length. Behind Ajaaweed, it was 3 3/4 lengths back to Chase Tracker in third and another 6 1/4 lengths to Informative in fourth. The winning time was 1:54.24.

Joel Rosario: "He ran well. He dropped back in the middle, and I had to get after him and ride him a little. He was responding really well in the end. We just couldn't get to the winner. He has talent. He finished really well the last part. We'll see what he's got going forward."

LATER: Trainer McLaughlin said, “He was unlucky not to win, but we were very pleased with his effort. He’s doing very well and we’re excited about getting his 3-year-old campaign started and taking the first step to the first Saturday in May, if he’ll take us there."

March 4 NOTE: Kiaran McLaughlin annouced today he's retiring from training effective the end of March. He'll become the agent for Luis Saez. No word yet on who will succeed McLaughlin as trainer of Ajaaweed.

March 6 NOTE: Todd Pletcher will succceed McLaughlin as trainer, according to a Shadwell release.

March 14 NOTE: Ajaaweed being entered in Louisiana Derby by trainer McLaughlin. The trainer said yesterday of the Tampa Bay Derby effort: “We were obviously disappointed. He got beat a long way, but he came out of it in good shape, and he definitely wants distance."

March 14 NOTE: Ajaaweed was not entered in the Louisiana Derby.

March 20 NOTE: Trainer McLaughlin said, “He continues to train well, and we’re pointing for the Florida Derby. We’re happy with him. He’s always worked well and he continues to train well. The last race he was just so far back and he had to make up ground from well back. Hopefully, things go a little better next Saturday. It’s a mile and an eighth so he gets a little more distance. We decided to stay home this time instead of going to Louisiana with him, with everything that’s going on in the world. There’s a lot of adjustments being made everywhere, but he’s doing very well and we’re looking forward to running.”

March 27 NOTE: Will be scratched from the Florida Derby. Trainer McLaughlin told DRF, “He had a little bit of an issue this morning. It’s not a big deal. He was real dull, wasn’t quite 100 percent.”

April 19 NOTE: Kiaran McLaughlin is still listed as trainer of record for Ajaaweed on the list of Arkansas Derby nominations. He previously announced his retirement from training effective April 1. Ajaaweed was probably an early-bird nomination.

May 20 NOTE: Ajaaweed has not put in a published workout since being scratched from the Florida Derby.

May 21 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said in a Shadwell release, “Ajaaweed is back at Shadwell (Farm in Kentucky) getting a little break after a minor setback, so hopefully we see him in the fall of the year."

 

 

AMERICAN THEOREM (KY)
Trainer: George Papaprodromou
Owner: Kretz Racing LLC
Breeder: Sierra Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile, Littleprincessemma)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Mighty Renee (Maria's Mon, Margy)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-2-4-0-0 (8) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 6, 2017

$190,000 Keeneland September 2018

A ridgling


NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden first time out at Del Mar on Aug. 31.

His second start, American Theorem finished second behind Eight Rings, beaten six lengths in the September 27 American Pharoah Stakes. That was his final start of the year.

Jan. 11 NOTE: Jan. 12 was the scheduled date of his first workout the American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27. Exercise rider Shane Conlon will be aboard.

Feb. 16 NOTE: He put in workouts on Jan. 12, 19 and 26, then didn't put in another one until today.

March 6 NOTE: More workouts followed, and now the Rebel Stakes is next.

March 8 NOTE: Trainer Papaprodromou will ship American Theorem TO Oaklawn Park on Wednesday, March 11.

In the March 14 Rebel Stakes, American Theorem went head to head to Nadal in the first six furlongs before fading to a seventh-place finish, beaten 27 1/4 lengths. Eight ran.

May 8 NOTE: He's been missing from the worktab since April 17 (58.60, 1/27). Horse Racing Nation reported yesterday he has a shin and will be given time off. He had the same problem last year after the American Pharoah Stakes.

 

 

AMERICANUS (KY)
Trainer: Mark Hennig
Owner: Courtlandt Farms (Donald and Donna Adam)
Breeder: Courtlandt Farm
aSire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): War Front (Danzig, Starry Dreamer)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Sapphiresndiamonds (Mineshaft, Unbridled Lassie)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-10-15-0-0 (32) 3.27
Foal Date: March 11, 2017

$230,000 RNA Keeneland September 2018
$345,000 RNA OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE:

Americanus was a 1 1/4-length winner on Sept. 28 over the main track at Belmont Park, where he defeated well-bred rivals Toledo and Mandatory.

BEFORE THE NASHUA: Trainer Hennig said, "He's been training well. It's a tough spot, and the stretch out in distance is always interesting, but we think he's up for the task. We're optimistic, but that happens when you're one-for-one. He seems versatile in the mornings, so the pace will dictate where he's at early on. I don't think he'll be quite as close as he was last time."

On Nov. 3, Americanus finished eighth in the Nashua Stakes.

After some time off, Americanus returned on Jan. 15 to finish second in a seven furlong allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. He was beaten 5 1/4 lengths by 1-5 favorite Premier Star.

On Feb. 22, Americanus won a good first-level allowance race, again seven furlongs at Gulfstream. Americanus slipped up the rail under Javier Castellano to register a one-length victory over previously undefeated Violent Times, with the highly regarded pair of Silver Ratio and Cost Basis also in his wake. His time was 1:23.59.

Mark Hennig: “I think it was a solid group he beat. In his previous start, we kind of got stuck being the chaser, which is not really what he wants to do. This race had plenty of pace in it, and he was able to place himself where he didn’t have to rush or anything and was able to finish with good energy. I think he’s a horse who is going to stretch out some, I don’t know how far, but he’s certainly earned himself a way to some stakes, somewhere. The Gotham in three weeks probably comes back too fast after the hard effort he put in here. But if he comes out of this good, we’ll take one shot and see where he lands.”

March 14 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said to DRF's Mike Welsch, “He’s doing excellent, but we haven’t made any plans yet. I’ll keep nominating him up everywhere and figure it out as we go along, I guess. The Florida Derby is definitely still in play, especially in light of everything going on in the world right now. It might just be easier to keep him here.”

April 22 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said of the poor finish in the Nashua, “We felt he displaced in that race. We did a myectomy on him. It seems to have corrected things. We put a tongue-tie on and haven’t had any issues since.”

In the April 25 Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Dr Post endured a brutal trip while being squeezed at multiple points while never more than two lengths back in a closely-bunched race. He split horses in the stretch and had a narrow lead at the furlong marker before winning by 1 1/2 length as the even money favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and galloping out alone. Attachment Rate broke last and closed in the lane, only 3/4 length off the lead at the furlong marker, to get an unimpeded second while ridden by Luis Saez. Americanus, who led at the first three calls, gave way to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths, followed by Necker Island, Relentless Dancer and Soros. Seven lengths separated the field at the finish. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled Stakes was 1:43.07.

June 4 NOTE: Absent from the worktab since the Unbridled.
 

 

ANNEAU D'OR (KY)
Trainer: Blaine Wright
Owner: Peter Redekop B. C., Ltd.
Breeder: Highland Yard LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Medaglia D' Oro (El Prado (IRE), Cappucino Bay)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Walk Close (Tapit, Spring Awakening)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-11-8-2-0 (28) 3.67
Foal Date: March 17, 2017

$170,000 RNA Keeneland September 2018
$480,000 OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE: Los Alamitos Derby

Debut race: he broke his maiden by eight lengths on the turf going a mile at Golden Gate Fields in September after being bet down to 6-5 favoritism.

LATER: Trainer Wright said, “You never expect them to come out and win as easy as he did. That race was a key race. It produced four or five next winners, so that is always nice to see. At that time we wanted to get into the Juvenile Turf, but the way it played out, the Juvenile was going to have a smaller field. We figured if we can get into the dirt race, let’s just take a shot. Our horse was doing well, and the race was in California."

At 45-1 odds, Storm the Court and Flavien Prat led at each call and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita by a neck after fighting off a stretch-long bid from Anneau d’Or. The winner covered 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.93. Odds-on favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving post 1 and trailed the field of eight as Storm the Court took the lead with Eight Rings and Anneau d’Or in closest pursuit. Storm the Court maintained a narrow advantage through splits of 23.49, 47.07 and 1:11.60. At the head of the lane Anneau d’Or, who was never worse than two lengths behind while ridden by Juan Hernandez, ranged up alongside the leader and the battle was on. Storm the Court refused to let Anneau d’Or by. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Wrecking Crew and Paco Lopez, who were always close by Anneau d'Or until the stretch run commenced, but who went wide on the far turn. Scabbard ridden by Mike Smith, ran evenly throughout and came in fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Full Flat, Eight Rings, Shoplifted and Dennis’ Moment completed the order of finish.

Juan Hernandez: “At the three-eighths pole it wasn’t him, but when I started working him, he started running again. At the eighth pole, I thought he might win, but the horse came back again and got me.”

LATER: Trainer Wright said,  “As soon as I saw him get over the track the first day training there, his class, demeanor and the whole nine yards, there was no doubt in my mind he was going to outrun his odds (in the Juvenile). With the favorites running as poorly as they did, even Mr. Redekop and I had questions about the quality of the race, but I really had a good feeling about how he tried and pulled up clean. We got home, and after coming up short on Derby points last year with Anothertwistafate, we thought running back in the Los Alamitos Futurity was a good idea.”

Thousand Words narrowly edged 6-5 favorite Anneau d'Or in the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 7. Only four ran. The winning time was 1:43.19. Thousand Words dueled with High Velocity until well in the stretch while Anneu d'Or sat immediately behind those two. Thousand Words shook off High Velocity, then held sway over Anneau d'Or by a neck after coming again. The chart says, "Thousand Words stalked outside a rival then bid alongside the pacesetter to duel for the lead, took a short advantage in upper stretch, fought back between horses a furlong out, was briefly headed by the runner-up nearing the sixteenth pole and gamely prevailed under urging. Anneau d'Or savedground stalking the pace, came out on the second turn and three deep into the stretch, bid three wide in the drive, momentarily put a head in front nearingthe sixteenth pole and continued gamely to the end."

LATER: Trainer Wright said, “The track was a little weird that day. They got a couple different rain storms and it was heavy and deep in spots and hard and fast in others. We got stuck on the inside, and a horse that is still undefeated outran us.”

Jan. 8 NOTE: After naming several options for his next race, trainer Wright said the Santa Anita Derby would be a logical final Kentucky Derby prep for Anneau d'Or.

Feb. 5 NOTE: Trainer Wright told Bloodhorse.com the Risen Star would be next and added, “We added a little bit of a blinker to him, been breezing him. Everything looks pretty decent to this point. Hopefully, he will put himself in a position to come at ‘em at the top of the lane.”

Feb. 7 NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “That (85 Derby points) was probably the number one factor in our decision to come to Fair Grounds. Last year (with Anothertwistafate) we were forced to ship all around the country to chase points. We decided we wanted to do our training at our home base and keep our group together if we could. The spacing between the Risen Star and the Santa Anita Derby is really nice. It allows us to travel across the country, come back and still get six weeks in between races. Those are the two races we’ve targeted, and hopefully the horse and I keep doing what it takes to get us where we want to go. We knew right away that he was a pretty decent race horse. You could see in his early workouts he didn’t really want any part of sprinting. He’s kind of a horse you really have to ride hard, one of those grinder types. This horse was probably already ready to go a mile and a quarter in his first start. That’s just the way he trained. We think the synthetic track at Golden Gate is to our advantage. It’s a terrific surface. The same every day. It’s a deep, demanding track, and horses come fit off of it. If I’ve done my job right, then I hope I got him fit enough to run nine furlongs.”

Feb. 7 NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “I think that we are going to add some blinkers to him. n my opinion, we were a head and a neck away from winning an Eclipse Award. We have to find a way to get past horses. Joel Rosario is going to ride our horse. He flew up and worked him last week and got to know him. Hopefully the changes will work out to our advantage. I’m bringing my wife and daughter,” Wright said. “It is my daughter’s birthday and of course Valentine’s Day, so the timing works out well. We get in Tuesday and will stay almost a week so we can do a bit sightseeing on the days we’re not working. The horse will get in Wednesday afternoon and will stay in Grant (Forster’s) barn. Hopefully he’ll get a jog and a gallop over the race track and be ready to roll.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “Our number one factor coming to Fair Grounds was the spacing between the Risen Star and Santa Anita Derby. It allows us to travel across the country, come back and still get six weeks in between races. Those are the two races we’ve targeted and hopefully the horse keeps doing what it takes to get us where we want to go. … In my opinion, we were a head and neck away from winning an Eclipse Award. We have to find a way to get past horses. Joel Rosario flew up (to Northern California), worked him last week, and got to know him. Hopefully the changes will work to our advantage.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries.  In the second division of the Risen Star, following a poor break and a bump with Mailman Money into the first turn, even-money favorite Anneau d’Or finished ninth, beaten 12 3/4 lengths.

Blaine Wright; “He was pretty good back at the barn and he scoped clean. I’m not sure what to think at this point. We will just have to re-evaluate and go from there.”

March 18 NOTE: Juan Hernandez will ride Anneau d’Oro in the Santa Anita Derby. Joel Rosario was on board in his 3-year-old debut when he finished ninth in the second division of the Risen Star Stakes.

April 16 NOTE: The Santa Anita Derby was postponed, so trainer Wright says he pointing to the Arkansas Derby. Looking back on the Risen Star, he told Larry Stumes of Paulick Report, "He obviously didn't run well, but was it a fluke? Time will tell. I haven't lost any confidence in him. He's maturing and putting on weight. Maybe everybody else has lost confidence in him, but I'm not there."

On May 2, Division 1 of the Arkansas Derby went to the front-running Charlatan, while Anneau d'Or finished fifth, beaten 9 1/2 lengths. He was within three lengths of Charlatan the first six furlongs, then faded. Nine ran.

Blaine Wright: “He broke a little flat footed. Then he had to use him a little to get some pisiotn. We didn’t want to be too far back. We knew that horse had lone speed. Man, what a horse he turned out to be. He’s in a different league. It would have been nice to hold on to fourth place money, but all and all not a disgrace for us.”

May 30 NOTE: Trainer Wright said, “Our plans are to leave Monday morning (from Golden Gate). We had to use him a little more than we wanted the first part in the Arkansas Derby. He broke bad, but that’s no excuse. The winner (Charlatan) ran off the charts. Nobody was outrunning him that day. Maybe we would have placed a bit better, but on the other hand, it had been nine weeks since he ran in the Risen Star, and it was another nine weeks from the Los Al Futurity to the Risen Star. We had been at Santa Anita and breezed over the track for the Santa Anita Derby when it was originally to be run on April 4, but was ultimately postponed, so we came home to Golden Gate. Now we’re looking forward to running him back in 30 days, but make no mistake; all of what transpired is no excuse as to why he got beat. He’s got to step up his game, obviously. He really likes the track at Santa Anita. He breezed super over it (six furlongs in 1:13 flat March 28) when we had him there earlier and we were really looking forward to the Derby before racing was shut down.”

In the June 6 Santa Anita Derby, Anneau d'Or finished fourth, beaten 5 3/4 lengths by Honor A. P. and a time of 1:48.97. Early on, he contended for the lead with Shooters Shoot and Authentic. Seven ran.

July 1 NOTE: Entered in the Los Alamitos Derby.
 

 

ANSWER IN (KY)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Owner: Robert V. LaPenta & Madaket Stables
Breeder: Glen Oak Farm & Two Stamp Stables
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Dialed In (Mineshaft, Miss Doolittle)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): D'yaknowwhatimean (Broken Vow, Tamina)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-6-6-1-0 (18) 3.50
Foal Date: Jan. 15, 2017

$175,000 Keeneland November 2017

NEXT RACE:

Answer In won for the first time at second asking. He was at Churchill Downs on Oct. 27 when he demolished a field of 10 going 1:22.48 going seven furlongs, besting second finisher Race Driver by 5 1/4 lengths.

In the Springboard Mile at Remington on Dec. 15, Shoplifted beat Answer In by a head while timed in 1:37.95.  Those two were a tandem, swapping fifth and sixth places, about two or three lengths off the early pace of 23.49, 47.75 and 1:13.34 set by Rowdy Yates, then Maximiliano, both of whom faded badly. Embolden finished third, beaten a half-length. The remainder of the field of 11 was far back at the finish.

Feb. 16 NOTE: Trainer Cox said, “He’s not a big, strong, strapping horse, but I think he’s very, very honest. I thought he got a lot out of his first two-turn race at Remington. I’m hoping he moves forward. It’s obviously going to be a very deep and talented group of horses. He’s going to need to move forward, and I think he has since his last race.”

In the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, Silver Prospector rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes with a one-length victory as the 9-2 third betting choice. He broke near the back of the field and was sixth but only 1 3/4 length off the pace after the first quarter-mile. He moved up into third through the first turn as Wells Bayou led through fractions of :22.89 and :46.60 for the first half mile. Silver Prospector was right off Wells Bayou's butt in the far turn, then was swung out perfectly entering the home stretch. He wore the down the pacesetter to win by a length in 1:43.01 for 1 1/16 mile. Favored Answer In was third, second or fouth at each call, never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace for six furlongs, but he began losing ground and was three lengths off the pace at the furlong marker before losing by 6 1/2. Fourth finisher Shoplifted was eighth of nine the first half-mile but was within five lengths of the leader through six furlongs before fading, beaten 8 3/4 lengths. Chase Tracker and Gold Street, second and fourth in the bettin, finished eighth and ninth.

Brad Cox: “I was proud of both horses (Wells Bayou, Answer In). They ran extremely well. Obviously, set some nice hot fractions, or some hot fractions, and was able continue with a nice run down the lane. I was very pleased with them both. We'll regroup with them and see what's next.”

Jockey Javier Castellano, third on Answer In: “I had a little bit of a wide trip on the first turn, but there was nothing I could do. When I broke out of the gate on the outside post on a 9-horse field it cost me a little bit of a play. I don't think I could of have won the race. It might have cost me second place.”

In a 1 1/16-mile alllowance optional claiming race on a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park on April 4, Finnick the Fierce was declared the winner after Winning Impression was disqualified and placed fifth. Finnick the Fierce always saved ground after breaking from the rail. He was bothered twice and  also made a nifty move under Martin Garcia to get around a tiring foe in the stretch and get up for second. Winning Impression, in the meantime, was four wide while making a huge move on the far turn and drew off to win by a length. Stewards ruled Winning Impression interfered with Answer In in the stretch. The charts guys wrote that Answer In "forwardly placed while three wide,remained within striking distance the middle half, moved a bit closer turning for home, was appearing to flatten out late when put in tight by a drifting Winning Impresssion." Answer In finished fifth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths,  before being moved up to fourth. In third and fourth behind Winning Impression, before being moved up, were General Trev and Adhhar. The winning time was 1:45.60.

June 4 NOTE: Answer In has not put in a workout since his most recent race on April 4.

 

ART COLLECTOR (KY)
Trainer: Thomas Drury, Jr.
Owner: Bruce Lunsford
Breeder: W. Bruce Lunsford
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Bernardini (A.P. Indy, Cara Rafaela)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Distorted Legacy (Distorted Humor, Bunting)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-9-11-0-0 (24) 3.36
Foal Date: Feb. 11, 2017


NEXT RACE: Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Art Collector broke his maiden in his second start going 6 1/2 furlongs at the all-turf Kentucky Downs meet last September.

Next out, he was seventh in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes.

He was put in back-to-back dirt sprints at Churchill Downs. He showed little in the first one and won the second one but was disqualified to last after beating six horses that have not gone on to prominence.

Given a 5 1/2-month break, Art Collector returned to Churchill Downs and on May 17 won a seven-furlong allowance optional claimer in 1:22.65 from off the pace after making a strong move on the turn.

At Churchill Downs on June 13, there was a four-horse allowance race, and Finnick the Fierce was the second choice at 3-2 while Art Collector was the 7-5 favorite. The latter one prevailed by 6 1/2 lengths over Shared Sense, who beat Finnick the Fierce by 3/4 length. Necker Island was another 2 1/2 lengths back in last. Art Collector led at every call with moderate splits of 24.59, 48.43 and 1:12.46 before finishing the job in 1:41.35 for 1 1/16 mile. Finnick the Fierce tracked him closely in second before falling back in the stretch.

June 14 NOTE:  Per Marty McGee, Art Collector was given a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for yesterday's race. McGee reported owner Lunsford said he is probable for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes if all goes well. Trainer Drury said, “He’s certainly getting better at the right time. That is as impressive as it gets to kick clear as he did. I asked Bruce to let us enjoy this one for a couple of days and then we’d get together and talk about our next options.”

 

 

ATTACHMENT RATE (VA)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Owner: Bakke, Jim and Isbister, Gerald
Breeder: Mr. & Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Hard Spun (Danzig, Turkish Tryst)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Aristra (Afleet Alex, Sunset Service)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-4-10-0-0 (16) 2.20
Foal Date: May 18, 2017

$100,000 Keeneland November 2017
$200,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE: Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

He showed nothing in his June debut at Churchill Downs, and we didn't hear anything about him for several months.

Market Analysis debuted on Jan 25 at Gulfstream Park at 6-5 favoritism, and he won, but it wasn't until after holding off a late charge by 50-1 shot Attachment Rate, who came from the clouds, almost erasing an 11-length deficit after the first half-mile. Prevailing by 3/4 length, the winner was timed in 1:24.13 after pressing the early pace of 22.44 and 45.53. Precise Dancer was third, beaten two lengths, and the next finisher was another 5 3/4 lengths back. Ten ran.

In a one mile, one turn maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 15, Attachment Rate won big. He lagged behind in sixth, eight lengths off the pace, after a torrid quarter-mile split of 21.34. The half went in 44.04, at which Attachment Rate was third and only 3 1/2 lengths off the pace. He went on to win in 1:35.03 and prevailed over second finisher Rag Tag, who was second at each call, by 6 1/4 lengths going away. Tons of Gold finished third, beaten nine lengths.

In the March 7 Gotham Stakes, after breaking on top and fighting for the front with War Stopper, Celtic Striker and Untitled the first quarter-mile of the race, Mischevious Alex finally had the lead all to himself going into the turn and took the field home from there to prevail by two lengths.Untitled held off a bid by Attachment Rate to best that one by a head, and it was another 2 3/4 lengths to fourth finisher Montauk Traffic. The winner was timed in 1:38.80 for the one-turn mile.
 
Luis Saez: "I had a good trip. He broke well, but I think more distance will be better for him. He was travelling pretty good, but when we came to the top of the stretch he was a little intimidated because he was inside. But once he got clear he started running again. He's still young and improving. I think he will be all right."

April 5 NOTE: Trainer Romans said yesterday to DRF's Mike Welsch after Attachment Rate breezed, “He looked great this morning, didn’t he? He’s really doing well right now.” Pointing to the Arkansas Derby.

In the April 25 Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Dr Post endured a brutal trip while being squeezed at multiple points while never more than two lengths back in a closely-bunched race. He split horses in the stretch and had a narrow lead at the furlong marker before winning by 1 1/2 length as the even money favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and galloping out alone. Attachment Rate broke last and closed in the lane, only 3/4 length off the lead at the furlong marker, to get an unimpeded second while ridden by Luis Saez. Americanus, who led at the first three calls, gave way to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths, followed by Necker Island, Relentless Dancer and Soros. Seven lengths separated the field at the finish. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled Stakes was 1:43.07.

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “He’s been a later developing colt. He’s run four solid races including third in the Gotham and second in the Unbridled. Really, his only bad race was in his debut at Churchill last June. We brought him back in Florida this winter and we thought we had something when he finished a fast-closing second at 50-1 in a maiden race.”

The 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn Stakes, the first Kentucky Derby points race ever run in May, was won by a surging Maxfield. He got off to a characteristic start behind other horses; he was eighth during the early going -- but only 2 3/4 lengths off the pace. Meanwhile, Celtic Striker, Pneumatic and Ny Traffic ding-donged through moderate fractions of 23.98, 48.21 and 1:12.44 during the first six furlongs.  Celtic Striker gave it up leaving the turn while Ny Traffic and Pneumatic went at it down the lane. They were joined by Maxfield at the furlong marker. That one and Ny Traffic bumped as the wire neared before Maxfield ran on to get the best of the other two. Ny Traffic was beaten one length in second place, just 3/4 length ahead of Pneumatic. Attachment Rate was fourth at every call and finished fourth, beaten five lengths.The winner was timed in 1:43.05.

 

 

AZUL COAST (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Karl Watson, Paul Weitman & Michael Pegram
Breeder: SF Bloodstock, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Super Saver (Maria's Mon, Supercharger)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): 3-9-12-0-0 (24) 3.00
Dosage Profile (Points) Index:
Foal Date: March 14, 2017

$150,000 Keeneland November 2017
$320,000 Keeneland September 2018

NEXT RACE: 

Azul Coast aired by four lengths on an off track in his one mile debut at Los Alamitos on Dec. 8 as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven.

Joel Rosario was engaged to ride in the Sham Stakes because Drayden Van Dyke chose to ride Authentic back.

In the Jan. 4 Sham Stakes, Azul Coast finished a well-beaten second. Authentic broke from post 1 as the 6-5 favorite and registered a strong gate to wire triumph, but he ran greenly late while getting the two-turn mile in 1:37.57 after setting splits of 23.87, 47.94 and 1:12.18. Early on, Authentic was all business on the front end. When he approached the furlong pole, he began to race erratically, altering course and nearly brushing the inner rail inside the sixteenth pole. With all that, he beat the other Baffert horse, Azul Coast, by 7 3/4 lengths. Azul Coast was last early and rallied nicely through the lane to finish 1 1/2 lengths in front of Zimba Warrior, who was third, beaten 9 1/4 lengths.

The El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 15 at Golden Gate was won by Azul Coast, who was sent off at favored odds of 7-5. Azul Coast sat fourth in the early stages. Under the guidance of Rafael Bejarano, he peeled three-wide into the stretch, turned away eventual third place finisher Indian Peak and disposed of another rival, second place finisher American Farmer, in a driving finish. He prevailed by 1 1/4 length going away.

Rafael Bejarano: “I figured he would get a good trip. He was going well the entire time under me, and he showed me a real nice kick when (American Farmer) tried to come get us at the sixteenth pole.”

June 2 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “He’s a late-running horse. It’s going to be a short field. We’ll run him here, and you never know.”

In the June 6 Santa Anita Derby, Azul Coast finished last of seven, beaten 13 1/2 lengths by Honor A. P. and a time of 1:48.97. He was sixth the first three calls and then pretty much called it quits. Seven ran.

 

 

BLACKBERRY WINE (KY)
Trainer: Joe Sharp
Owner: Calumet Farm
Breeder: Calumet Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Oxbow (Awesome Again (CAN), Tizamazing)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Classicism (A.P. Indy, Colour Chart)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 8-9-15-0-0 (32) 3.27
Foal Date: Jan. 30, 2017


NEXT RACE:

It took him four races to break his maiden, but he was disqualified for a medication issue.

His debut sprinting on dirt at Saratoga was ho-hum. Next, he finished third on turf at Kentucky Downs.  His third start yielded a third-place finish behind Chapalu and Duke of Carthania going a mile on turf at Keeneland.

It was back to dirt in his fourth start, and he went 1 1/6 mile in 1:45.65 on a sloppy track, prevailing by 5 3/4 lengths, at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30, but he was disqualified.

His fifth start was on turf at Fair Grounds, and he ran third with some difficulty that was his own fault.

On Jan. 18, in Blackberry Wine's sixth start, Digital attended the pace set by Blackberry Wine before those two ran one-two going 1 1/16 mile on a Fair Grounds track rated fast. Blackberry Wine prevailed by a length. The other four runners were 5 1/4 or more lengths back of those two. Splits were a consistent, and I would say strong, 24.20, 48.40, 1:12.89 and 1:36.80, with an impressive final time of 1:43.22. Enforceable won the LeComte the same day in a slower time, 1:43.72. Both Blackberry Wine and Digital ran a faster time than Enforceable. However, Blackberry Wine was later disqualified, for a medication infraction.

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Sharp said, “We’ve been high on him since day one, and that’s why we took him to Saratoga to start. He likes a firm turf but has also shown he likes the main track.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries. In Division I, Blackberry Wine pressed pacesetter and winner Mr. Monomoy to the top of the stretch, then faded to seventh, beaten 11 lengths. Mr. Monomoy led through fractions of 24.22, 48.57 and 1:12.85 and won by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:50.43, nearly a second faster than division two winner Modernist, who was timed in 1:51.28.

On March 14 at Oaklawn Park, Blackberry Wine won big, breaking his maiden for the second time, kind of. He won by 13 lengths after being sent off at 3-5 odds on a track that was sloppy-sealed. Longshot Sturgill set the pace in 23.21 and 47.49 with Blackberry Wine in closest pursuit. Blackberry was then in charge and went six furlongs in  1:12.4 and finished in 1:44.48.

In an April 11 allowance at Oaklawn, Shooters Shoot won his second straight start, edging Blackberry Wine by a head -- the chart says a neck -- after those two dueled for the lead just about the entirety of the 1 1/16-mile race through fast half-mile and six-furlong splits -- 23.10, 45.87 and 1:09.94. Shooters Shoot hit the wire in 1:36.66. The third finisher was another 5 1/2 lengths back. The chart says of those two: "Shooters Shoot broke with the leaders, dueled into the turn closest to the inside, continued to alternate up the backstretch and through the far turn,regained a narrow advantage a furlong out, dug in to the wire to narrowly prevail in game fashion. Blackberry Wine broke well, set or forced the pace inthe two path, set down for the drive, headed in midstretch and was then outgamed in the final strides, well clear of the others."

April 26 NOTE: Not entered in the Arkansas Derby.

June 4 NOTE: He hasn't put in a workout since April 25.

 

 

CAFE PHAROAH (KY)
Trainer: Noriyuki Hori
Owner: Koichi Nishikawa
Breeder: Paul P. Pompa
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile, :Littleprincessemma)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Mary's Follies (More Than Ready, Catch the Queen)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-1-2-0-0 (6) 5.00
Foal Date: March 3, 2017

$475,000 OBS March 2019


Cafe Pharoah broke his maiden at first asking in a race called the Two Year Old Newcomer at Nakayama on Dec. 14. He broke from post 1 in a field of 14 and was timed in 1:54.70 for 1,800 meters.

Next up, he won the Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 23 after breaking from post 3 in a field of 14, timed in in 1:37.70 in the 1,600 meter race.

He remained undefeated after taking the one-turn, 1,600 meter Unicorn Stakes at Tokyo on June 21 in an impressive time of 1:34.90. His margin of victory was five lengths. Cafe Pharaoh broke from the far outside post 15.

 

 

CASINO GRANDE (KY)
Trainer: Christophe Clement
Owner: Calumet Farm
Breeder: Calumet Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile, Holy Bubette)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Selective (Tapit, Wednesday's Child)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-5-3-0-0 (10) 5.67
Foal Date: March 9, 2017


NEXT RACE:

He won his career debut, a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs on March 14. His time was 1:22.98 with Samy Camacho at the helm.Casino Grande quickly opened a two-length lead and held all others at bay by about that distance until winning by 1 3/4 length.

On May 16, heavy favorite Untitled finished fifth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths, in a one-mile allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park. The horse that won the race is Casino Grande, who prevailed by 3 1/4 lengths under Irad Ortiz, Jr. in a time of 1:36.75. Eight ran. The chart says Casino Grande "broke out at the start, tracked the pace three wide, ranged up to poke a head in front after six furlongs outside Untitled and Cajunbrother, drew clear in upper stretch and widened under pressure."

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Clement said Casino Grande is likely to target a stakes race at Belmont Park in June, noting, "He won at Tampa first time out and got a very good Ragozin number. He then came back and won a salty allowance at Gulfstream. He's two-for-two and won both impressively. I think he's very good. The question now is whether we continue to stretch him out or not."

June 4 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown.

June 25: Scratched from today's Easy Goer Stakes.

 

 

CELTIC STRIKER (KY)
Trainer: Ray Handal
Owner: Imperial Racing, LLC
Breeder: Stoneview Farm & Craig D. Upham
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Congrats (A.P. Indy, Praise)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Shylock's Daughter (Star Dabbler, Stellar Affair)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 9-6-11-0-0 (26)  3.73
Foal Date: Jan. 30, 2017

$100,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE: Peter Pan Stakes on July 16

He won at second asking sprinting at Monmouth Park in October. After finishing fourth in the Jan. 1 Jerome Stakes, beaten 15 4 lengths by Independence Hall, he won an allowance race at Parx, timed in 1:40.30 for the mile on Feb. 8.

On March 7, he was buried in the Gotham Stakes, last of 11 and beaten 42 1/2 lengths after he quit following the first half-mile. Celtic Striker fared a little better in the Matt Winn Stakes on May 23, finishing sixth, beaten 8 1/2 lengths by Maxfield after leading for the first half-mile.

The Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park on June 25 was literally a two-horse race, and Celic Striker ran off from Sonneman to win by 19 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:42.37 for 1 1/16 mile. The winner set early fractions under Manny Franco of 23.55, 46.55 and 1:10.50.

Ray Handal: "I felt good early on. I could tell he was really travelling well. Jose (Ortiz, aboard Sonneman) tried to angle him in early on the backside and make a little bit of a middle move, but when Celtic Striker kicked away from him and then came back over in front of him, I felt pretty good. I knew there was a lot of running to do. But I knew he was going to be tough the way he was travelling out there."

Manny Franco: "I knew that my horse was a lot faster than the other one, so I took advantage. I just wanted to keep him on the inside to see what kind of move he made, and I made my move first. In a two-horse race, I didn't want to move too soon if I didn't have to, but I wanted to make it difficult for the other horse, too."

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Handal said the Peter Pan could be next. "He's looking really good. Came back like it was just a walk in a park. He ran though. It wasn't like he went around there and galloped. He didn't just canter around there. He performed. He ran hard. (The Peter Pan is) a little sooner than I want to, but the way he came out of it, that's the short term goal."

 

 

CEZANNE (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: M. V. Magnier and partners
Breeder: Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings & St. Elias Stables LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike, Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Achieving (Bernardini, Teeming)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-6-9-0-0 (20) 3.44
Foal Date: Feb. 12, 2017


$3,650,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2019

NEXT RACE:

May 5 NOTE: Back on the worktab again since mid-April, Cezanne is reported to be about a month away from racing. Trainer Baffert told Jonathan Lintner of Horse Racing Nation, “He’s still a little bit behind. I’m just starting to lean on him now. He’s really grown up to be a big, beautiful horse. We’re just bringing him along at his own schedule, no rushing. He looks good, though.”

June 4: Trainer Baffert told DRF's Brad Free, “He’s been ready to run. I don’t think he’s a sprinter, but he has enough speed. I think he’s a very good horse. He just had little baby issues, nothing drastic. I just took my time with him.” Cezanne drew the rail for his debut.

June 4 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown.

In his career debut, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up at Santa Anita on June 6, Cezanee was bet down to 2-5 from a 4-5 morning line, broke alertly from post 1, stalked the pace set by Rayray from the inside, got outside Rayray going to the turn and scooted by mid-stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths. He was timed in 1:16.13. The chart says he "stalked inside then bid between rivals on the backstretch to duel for the lead, took the advantage outside a rival into the stretch, inched awayunder urging in midstretch and proved best."

Flavien Prat: "He broke well enough to put me in the race, then we got outside the leader (before taking the lead). He was really cool before the race, I was worried he was too cool, but he was an old pro."

June 12 NOTE: He's a big boy. Reportedly, Cezanne weighs 1,258 pounds.

June13 NOTE: Santa Anita's oddsmaker Jon White said, “Cezanne was credited with a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Considering he was making his career debut as a three-year-old, I wondered how a 90 Beyer stacks up against the debut Beyers for Arrogate, West Coast and Justify. They also debuted at the age of three for Baffert. Because there had been so much hype for Cezanne’s debut, some probably expected to see him win by a bigger margin and get a higher Beyer. But a 90 is a lot higher than Arrogate’s 80 Beyer in his career debut. And keep in mind that after Arrogate’s debut, what he did later that year was extraordinary. What Cezanne’s 90 Beyer is comparable to was West Coast’s figure in the first start of his career when he got a 91. Justify’s debut Beyer went through the roof, a 104, when he won his first race by a huge margin. That really was some performance. Justify showed everyone right from the start what an outstanding equine athlete he was. Cezanne raced a bit greenly in his first start and should improve with that race under his belt. I also think there’s a good chance that he will do well when he goes farther. Baffert has said that he believes Cezanne has the potential to have a big second half of the year like Arrogate and West Coast. So it’s sure going to be interesting to see what Cezanne can do during the rest of the year.”

In a one-mile allowance race at Los Alamitos on July 2, Cezanne won by 1 3/4 length after a stalking trip behind stable mate Bronn, who gave way leaving the turn, and Itsthattime, who was through after a half-mile. Cezanne got the lead with six furlongs gone in 1:10.63, was ahead by three lengths at the furlong marker, and finished in 1:35.99. Jockey Prat hit him once right-handed and a couple of times left-handed in the stretch. The chart says Cezanne "went three wide into the first turn, stalked outside a rival then off the rail, started to move midway around the far turn, gained control at the top ofthe lane, kicked clear of Bronn and inched away, drifted inward in the final furlong and held sway."

Bob Baffert: "I think he made the lead a little early and was kind of lost. We wanted to get a nice two-turn race into him. He needed it, and he ran pretty fast."

 

 

CHANCE IT (FL)
Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Owner: Shooting Star Thoroughbreds, LLC
Breeder: Bett Usher
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Currency Swap (High Cotton, Echo Bluff)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Vagabon Diva (Pleasantly Perfect, Clear Distinction)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 0-6-4-0-0 (10) 4.00
Foal Date: March 9, 2017


NEXT RACE:

After finishing second in his June 1 debut, Chance It broke his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths June 29 while recording the fastest Beyer Speed Figure in the country at the time for a 2-year-old this year, a 91.

He matched that figure in his next two starts, capturing the first leg of the Florida Stallion series, the six-furlong Dr. Fager, and finishing second, losing by a head to Liam’s Lucky Charm, in the seven-furlong Affirmed..

The In Reality Division of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Sept. 28 was Chance It’s first try around two turns, and he much the best, dominating nine rivals with a 7 1/4-length triumph. He was timed in 1:44.26 for the 1 1/16-mile. Chance It was outsprinted for the early lead by Smash Factor, who was making his first start since defeating Chance It in his debut at Gulfstream Park. Smash Factor set fractions of 23.66 and 47.78 second for the first half-mile, pressed by Chance It into the far turn. Chance It, who relaxed under Tyler Gaffalione while pressing the pace, moved to the lead on the turn and moved away to a very comfortable victory in 1:44.26. Smash Factor finished second under Jesus Rios, well ahead of third-place finisher Liam’s Lucky Charm. Chance It, Gaffalione, and Joseph were greeted in the winner’s circle by 45 members of the Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC syndicate managed by longtime thoroughbred Florida trainer Mary Lightner.

Saffie Joseph Jr. "The other one (Math Wizard's win of the Pennsylvania Derby) was unexpected, but this was the important one. We had unknown questions as far as if he could go the distance, which we thought he could. But, in racing, they have to do it first before you can become a believer. Today he answered all the questions. Joseph said the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is “on the radar.”

Tyler Gaffalione, who flew in from Louisville for the mount: “The horse broke good and put himself right where he needed to be and traveled well throughout the race. He had a ton of confidence going around the second turn and I just let him out a little bit and he finished the job. He got to looking around a little bit down the lane, but then he opened up so much on the field. He’s still a young horse and just keeps improving, all the credit goes to Saffie and his team. They do a fabulous job. It has been a heck of a two weeks for him, so I’m incredibly happy and proud for him.”

Syndicate manager Mary Lightner: “I don’t know. He’s run five times. He’s a 2-year-old. That’s a lot. I think we’ll see how he comes out of it.  Can’t really say yet. I think five races for a 2-year-old is a lot. I know he’s had high Beyer numbers every single time. I think we’ll let him have a little bit of a break and see how he comes out of it.”

Dec. 29 NOTE: Following a four-furlong work in 46.12 (1/112) at Gulfstream, trainer Joseph said, “He had a good work, sat off another horse, finished up well and galloped out strong. Tyler Gaffalione was aboard. We’re happy with where we’re at. He came back good, scoped good. We’re ready to go. He looks really good in the flesh. He has a really good coat. The colder weather has helped him a lot. He’s really enjoying the cooler weather.”

In the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man Stakes, Chance It prevailed by a nose following a stretch-long battle with As Seen On Tv. Making his first start in open company, Chance It scored as the 3-5 favorite in a well-balanced field of seven. Chance It saved ground along the rail as Smash Factor opened up a clear lead along the backstretch under Jose Ortiz, stalked by As Seen On Tv with Paco Lopez aboard. Tyler Gaffalione bided his time around the far turn before making a decisive move inside of tiring Smash Factor entering the stretch to set up the dramatic stretch duel with As Seen on Tv that resulted in a hard-fought victory. As Seen On Tv’s trainer lodged an objection against the winner that was disallowed by the steward following a review. Sole Volante closed late to finish third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths under Luca Panici, to Chance It, who edged As Seen on Tv by a head. He was 8 1/2 lengths back after the first half-mile. South Bend was fourth, beaten 9 1/4 lengths. The one-turn mile went in 1:35.53.

Saffie Joseph, Jr.: “Today is great. This is the one I needed, though. If he got beat, I wouldn’t sleep. I thought he was beat at the eighth pole, I really did. He switched leads and he just dug in for that something extra. That’s the heart of a champion. I don’t want to call him a champion, because he has to earn it, but that’s the quality of a horse that becomes a champion. Hopefully he comes back good. He’s the best horse I’ve ever had in my life. There’s the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth. We’ll decide which one we want to go to. We have plenty of options but I want to stay home. We’ll see which way we want to go.”

Tyler Gaffalione: “He broke well, there were a couple horses in front. Paco was keeping an eye on us so I sat inside and had to wait. I was wanting to get outside of him but he was keeping an eye on us during the race. Jose stayed a little off the fence and I knew Paco wasn’t going to let me out so I took my shot and went inside. My horse fought gamely. Saffie did an incredible job. He’s been off since December. He did a great job.”

Feb. 9 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said following a workout, “It was a good work. I’m happy with where we’re at. He’ll have two more works, and we should be ready to go in the Fountain of Youth. The true test for any race comes in four or five weeks when you see how the form works out. Smash Factor came back to win and Sol Volante won at Tampa. To beat those horses off a layoff was impressive."

Feb. 17 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said yesterday, “Dennis’ Moment has been impressive. I think Chance it…I feel confident against other horses. I just want to make sure everything is right. Talent? There’s no question about the talent.”

Feb. 17 NOTE: Trainer Joseph, following a workout by Chance It: “He worked well. He sat off two horses from our barn – he sat between seven and nine lengths off them. He went by them well and finished up good. Overall, we’re really happy with it. Mentally, he’s a very strong horse – strong, in that nothing fazes him. He handles his job well. He still has time to play, but he knows when it’s business. He’s relaxing great in his works, sitting off horses, like he did today, and finishes up and does his job.”

Feb. 24 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said following a 34.68 breeze today, “He did it the right way. He moved well. We were plenty fit, so today was to make sure he was in good form. All’s good. I thought he did everything he was asked today. As far as fitness goes, he’s spot-on fit. We just need to have a good week. Hopefully, everything goes to plan for the rest of the week, and we should go over there with a good chance.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said, “As far as fitness goes, he’s spot-on fit. We just need to have a good week. Hopefully, everything goes to plan for the rest of the week, and we should go over there with a good chance. He’s so good that I never want to get him beat. If he gets beat, it’s our fault. That’s why I wanted to make sure he was fit enough (for the Macho Man) that if he had to belly down he could, and he did. I have a ton of respect for him. He’s a really good horse.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Jockey Gaffalione said, “I think he’s only going to keep improving, especially off that kind of layoff, to fight like that (in the Mucho Macho Man). It really shows the kind of heart he has. He’ll run all day, he’s just a big, long-striding colt.”

Feb. 29 NOTE: Trainer Joseph scratched Chance It from the Fountain of Youth, saying, “We thought about it long and hard. It’s a tough post (11) to overcome. I’ve never had a horse like this. I want to respect him and do what’s right. I want to give him a fair chance.” Joseph said he'd enter Chance It in the Tampa Bay Derby. Gaffalione will not be available due to a prior commitment.

March 2 NOTE: Paco Lopez will ride Chance It in the Tampa Bay Derby.

March 5 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said, “We just weren’t comfortable running him (in the Holy Bull) with that outside post. I know horses have overcome that post in the past but it is very difficult to do at Gulfstream. He’s so good that I never want to get him beat. If he gets beat, it’s our fault. That’s why I wanted to make sure he was fit enough (for the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man) that if he had to belly down he could, and he did. I have a ton of respect for him. He’s a really good horse.”

March 6 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said, “I feel that if he shows up and runs his race, his ‘A’ game is as good as any horse in there He has tactical speed, which makes him easy to ride because you can put him in the right spot, and he has stamina. To have his class, stamina and speed, it’s a package that’s hard to find. He’s special, and hopefully he can show it.”

In the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby, Chance It was the 5-2 second choice. He didn't break okay, but he found himself sixth by four lengths early on. He stayed about that much off the pace to the furlong marker, then lost ground on the winner, King Guillermo, to finish fifth by 8 1/2 lengths.

March 12 NOTE: Trainer Joseph said on March 11, “It’s so easy to make different excuses. We haven’t come up with an idea yet. We’ll just go over him for the rest of the week and maybe around Sunday come up with a reason why he didn’t run better. It could be many things. We don’t know at the moment. They were going slow that day, I don’t know why he was that far back. They ran 48, I don’t think he’s run that slow in his life. It’s hard to say. We just have to let everything play out for a week and come up with a game plan. By the end of the week, we’ll go over him to see if anything starts to show up. If nothing shows up, then we’ll make plans – if we give him another (Derby points) race or just keep going one turn.”

March 27 NOTE: Chance It is getting a couple of months off, per DRF's Mike Welsch.

June 4 NOTE: Chance It has not returned to the worktab.

June 29 NOTE: Still off the worktab.

 

 

CHARLATAN (KY)
Trainer: Bob Bafferrt
Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding & Golconda Stables
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Speightstown (Gone West, Silken Cat (CAN))
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Authenticity (Quiet American, Court of Appeal)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-9-10-0-0 (24) 3.80
Foal Date: March 2, 2017

$700,000 Keeneland September 2018

NEXT RACE:

Charlatan's debut roused a lot of attention when, on Feb. 16, he debuted at Santa Anita following a long group of workouts. Facing only three opponents, he ran six furlongs in 1:08.85 after setting pretty much uncontested initial fractions of 21.89 and 44.72. His margin of victory was 5 3/4 lengths. Second finisher Shooters Shoot hit the wire 7 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place horse. In all, 17 3/4 lengths separated the quartet at the finish. Drayden Van Dyke was aboard. The chart says Charlatan 'had speed three deep then inched away and angled in, set the pace inside, came a bit off the rail into the stretch, drew off while drifting in under left handed crack of the whip inside the eighth pole and a long hold."

Trainer Baffert: Could not be at the track due to what was described as a prior engagement.

Drayden Van Dyke: “I gigged him just a little after the break, just to get him into the race. I really didn’t know that much about him. You could see he had a couple bullet works from the gate and that he’d been training well. He blew by those horses so easy and as you could see, he galloped out big.”
     
Bob Liewald of Starlight Racing: “This race gives us great hope. The time on this racetrack, was pretty good. The next race, we’ll have to step up in a bigger field and see what happens.”

Feb. 17 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “We knew he was a really fast horse,. His gate works were very impressive. He worked one 12 and two from the gate (on Jan. 22) with an older horse, and that tipped them off, but I thought he still might need one. He still looks a little soft, and until they run, you don’t know, but he was pretty impressive.”

Feb. 18 NOTE: Charlatan earned a 105 Beyer for his debut win. What about that name? According to Starlight Racing, "His name came out of a conversation with one of our Louisville, Ky. partners. He and a group of friends were discussing a fellow they all knew to varying degrees. One of the people said, "He's a charlatan." To which one of our partners replied, "What? I thought he was from Louisville." (Come on, we've all had those moments!) Hence... Charlatan. At this stage we can only hope that he is neither a fraud nor an imposter but he has certainly inspired a great story and a good laugh - and some colorful dreams.

Feb. 29 NOTE: California clocker Gary Young said yesterday, “Charlatan’s works from the gate before he started were super, but his works from the pole were very average. Obviously, he ran to his gate works. He’s very talented, but might be a one-turn horse."

March 8 NOTE: Drayden Van Dyke handled today's workouts for both Charlatan and Nadal.

March 14 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said to DRF's Jay Privman, “It’s all about, will the party continue? We’ll know more after this. We’ll know if he can go two turns. It’s a tough race.”

On March 14 at Santa Anita, Charlatan, in his second career start, daylighted his competition by 10 1/4 lengths in a first condition allowance at one mile. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Charlatan led every step of the way and got the distance in 1:36.24. Initial fractions, all set by the winner, were 23.14, 46.86, 1:11.04 and 1:23.34.

Bob Baffert: “Right now, we’re just glad they didn’t cancel (today’s races), cause we were going to go to Sunland Park. Drayden did a great job.  I thought he broke just a little slow, but he took the lead easily…He’s quiet in his demeanor and he was out there on cruise control. He can do it any way he wants…He was pretty fresh because we didn’t get to train yesterday. We don’t know if we’ll run here in the Santa Anita Derby, because nobody’s really sure when anything is going to happen. Churchill is saying they’re not going to run the Derby without the people there, so I’m hearing maybe June or in September.. Whenever they cancel the Masters, that’s like the Derby…I’ve never seen anything like this, it’s kinda scary. Hopefully they can get everything under control."

April 5 NOTE: Part-owner Jack Wolf told Bloodhorse.com's Bob Ehalt yesterday the Arkansas Derby could be next for Charlatan, adding, "Even if they split it, that may not be enough for all the horses who want to run it."

April 8 NOTE: As reported by Carolyn Greer at Horse Racing Nation, Bob Baffert told Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss he'd rather not race Charlatan and Nadal against each other. Charlatan could go to Arkansas or maybe the Santa Anita Derby. "If we could separate them, it’d be better. We’re hoping for a split (two divisions of the Arkansas Derby), maybe, we don’t know, but that’s just talk. But right now, he’s doing really well. He’s the only one who doesn’t have any points, and so it’d be nice to have him get some points.”

April 8 NOTE: Trainer Baffert was asked to compare Charlatan with Nadal and said, “I think he’s just a smaller version of him. The superstardom is there on him. But I really think my three horses I have, Authentic, Nadal, they’re all superstar material.”

April 15 NOTE: Trainer Baffert spoke about Nadal, Charlatan and the Arkansas Derby. Charlatan has low earnings, which might leave him out of the field, which might or might not be split into two divisions. Baffert said as reported by HRN's Jonathan Lintner, “Right now, everything is speculation. It’s day by day, hour by hour. All I know is they’re both being prepared for it. If he doesn’t get in, he doesn’t get in.”

April 27 NOTE: Martin Garcia will ride Charlatan in the Arkansas Derby. Drayden Van Dyke rode him before. Van Dyke still has Authentic when he returns to racing.

May 1 NOTE: Connections of Charlatan, announced today that they will donate 10 percent of their net earnings to support New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. The participating owners include SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich III, John D. Fielding and Golconda Stables.

On May 2, Division 1 of the Arkansas Derby went to Charlatan, who won by six lengths in a time of 1:48.49 after breaking cleanly from post 1 and leading all the way. Basin crossed over from the far outside post to be positioned second going into the first turn, and that's where he finished. Gouverneur Morris chased those two home to get third, a neck back of Basin, and Winning Impression was fourth, beaten 9 1/4 lengths. Charlatan broke well and cruised through inital fractions of 22.88, 46.08, 1:09.68 and 1:35.33. He was never challenged for the lead. Nine ran.

Bob Baffert: “Very exciting day, to say the least. I thought both horses were going to run really well. Charlatan, what a talent he is and how fast he is. I just loved the way, third out, to ship and to do that, what he did today - only the really good ones can do that. I just want to thank the Cella family and Oaklawn Park for the fantastic job. Just fortunate and happy that they were able to split it and give everybody a chance to get some Derby points."

Martin Garcia: “I can say I am really lucky to ride him. Mr. Baffert and the owners had a lot of choices. They pick me. I just did my job. He just took me to the winner’s circle. They told me we were smoking. I went in 1:09 and he was just galloping. He did in all within himself. I felt someone coming at the 3/8ths and I let him go. He just took off. That’s a sign of a really good horse.”

“I was the #1 and sometimes being #1, it takes a while for the others to load. He was very professional in the gate. He broke good and then he just took me to the lead by himself. It felt like he was galloping and I thought I was going slower than I was. At the 3/8th, he just took off. At the top of the stretch, I asked him to go and he found another gear. It is just amazing when you are on a horse like that.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Baffert said Charlatan exited the race in good order and on his way back to California.

May 6 NOTE: The breeding rights to Charlatan were purchased by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm. “Horses with Charlatan’s immense ability combined with superior pedigree, conformation, depth of female family and star-quality appeal are a very rare commodity,” said John G. Sikura, President of Hill ‘n’ Dale. Stonestreet Farm’s bloodstock adviser John Moynihan said in a press release, “Physically, he’s one of the best physical horses we’ve ever bred. What sets him apart is the way he moves. He moves like a great horse. He is just a real athlete. He is the epitome of what we’ve tried to breed up to this point. Charlatan is a perfect combination of the genes meeting the physical. He is an absolute standout.”

May 19 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes on June 20.

May 25 NOTE: Now listed probable by NYRA press office.

May 28 NOTE: After a few days of talk about Charlatan failing a drug test, reported to be lidocaine by Joe Drape at the New York Times, trainer Baffert yesterday told Bob Ehalt ot Bloodhorse.com, "I really don't want to run both horses. The Woody Stephens was an option for Charlatan before this, and I'm not going to let what happened since then change my thinking. I don't want to rule anything out, because I may not like the way Nadal is training and I might start just Charlatan in the Belmont. In a perfect world, both of them will not start in the Belmont, but we'll see. It's still three weeks away."

May 31 NOTE: Trainer Baffert told Bill Finley of TDN, “I was thinking about running Charlatan in the Woody Stephens and then the Haskell because I had Nadal for the Belmont. Now that has changed. I am leaning toward the Belmont. The next work will be an easy half-mile. We’ll know for sure after his work the next week. Right now, I would say it is the Belmont.”

June 7 NOTE: Charlatan is off the Derby Trail with a front ankle filling. Trainer Baffert said it will require a very minor surgery, that he'll be off for 45 days and will miss the Kentucky Derby.

 

 

CHESTERTOWN (NY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds, Chester Broman, Sr., Mary Broman, Woodford Racing, LLC, Siena Farm LLC, & Robert Masiello
Breeder: Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Artemis Agrotera (Roman Ruler, Indy Glory)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-11-14-1-0 (32) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 9, 2017

$2,000,000 OBS March 2019


NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden in career start number two, and that made him an early bird nominee to Fair Grounds’ Road to Derby series, which included the LeComte on January 18 and Risen Star on February 15. However, he wasn't entered in either race.

His third start came on LeComte day, when he was beaten by Blackberry Wine and Digitial in an allowance race in the Big Easy.  Blackberry Wine ran on the lead, and Digital was right there but couldn't get by, losing by a length. Those two ran bang-up races that led to their entries in the Risen Star. Chestertown lost by 5 1/4 lengths. He didn't run all that bad, he just couldn''t get to the top pair, and his trip was a bit wide.

At 6-1 odds, Shake Some Action won a nine-furlong allowance on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds, holding off late-running Chestertown by a neck after Winning Impression grudgingly gave up the lead in the stretch. Chestertown was stuck down inside early in last place, appeared to not like the kickback, and ran much better when pulled clear outside in mid-stretch. Shake Some Action sat behind four, then five runners before taking command before the furlong marker. Winning Impression, who pressed the early pace of 25.40 and 50.24 and led through the second turn, finished third, beaten a length. The early fractions were soft with six furlongs run in 1:14 and change. Final time was 1:51.80, so his finishing fractions weren't bad.

In the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby on March 21, Chestertown finished eighth, beaten 11 3/4 lengths by the front-running Wells Bayou and a time of 1:56.47. The chart says he "bumped with an opponent early, went three wide onthe first turn, settled in the front half of the field, was urged along while two then three wide on the far turn then driven five wide into the stretch and failed torespond then ducked out sharply late."

June 4 NOTE: Chestertown has been working steadily since April 25 and has been in residence at Belmont Park since late May.

In a June 10 allowance race for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park, Chestertown finished second, but he couldn't keep up with 6-year-old Our Last Buck, who led all the way to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Chestertown was tracking the winner when he suddenly swerved out at the 3/16 pole, letter the other one get away. Danny California finished third, 6 1/2 lengths behind Chestertown. The winner was timed in 1:42.64 for 1 1/16 mile on a muddy-sealed track.

 

COLLUSION ILLUSION (FL)
Trainer: Mark Glatt
Owner: Dan Agnew, Rodney Orr, Jerry Schneider & John Xitco
Breeder: Donald R. Dizney, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Twirling Candy (Candy Ride, House of Danzing)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Natalie Grace (First Dude, Midway Squall)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-3-7-0-0 (12) 2.43
Foal Date: Jan. 26, 2017

$50,000 Keeneland September 2018
$300,000 OBS April 2019


Late-nominated to the Triple Crown

NEXT RACE: Allen Jerkens Stakes

He broke his maiden at first asking at Del Mar on July 21. That was followed by a win in the Best Pal Stakes at the same track on Aug. 10.

Connections entered him in the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita, but something went wrong and he didn't finish the race and had to spend a long time on the bench.

He was a stirring three-length allowance winner going six furlongs off a 7 1/2-month layoff on May 17, running his record to three wins from four starts.

In the Laz Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita on June 20, Ragtime Blues looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, but 2-5 favorite Collusion Illusion wasn't done yet and kicked into high gear before drawing off to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Ridden by Flavien Prat, he got the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.03 and induced his connections to think about the first Saturday in September. Breaking alertly from the rail in a field of five, Collusion Illusion was unhurried early as Phantom Boss and Ragtime Blues disputed the early running heading to the turn.  With Mike Smith encouraging Ragtime Blues, he assumed command a half mile out and opened up a three length advantage a quarter mile from home. Ragtime Blues offered little resistance late while finishing 3 1/4 lengths in front of longshot Howbeit. Collusion Illusion galloped out strongly.

Mark Glatt: “He’s pretty good.  He obviously followed up on his comeback race today.  He had me a little worried there at the top of the stretch, but I think he’s a pretty smart horse and Flavien has a lot of confidence in him.  He’s very athletic, there’s no wasted action in his stride. (The Kentucky Derby is) on our radar. We paid the late supplement ($3,000).  I don’t know what’s next.  I just wanted to get by today.  We’ll need to stretch him out and figure out how to get enough points.”

Flavien Prat: “Around the turn I was inside and he was taking the dirt not quite well.  Mike Smith opened up a little at the turn, so I wasn’t super confident, but I knew as soon as we turned for home, if we switched leads he would give me a good kick. As of right now he’s running well short but he probably could go longer.”

 

 

COLONEL LIAM (KY)
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Lawana L. and Robert E. Low
Breeder: Phillips Racing Partnership
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Liam's Map (Unbridled's Song, Miss Macy Sue)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Amazement (Bernardini, Wonder Again)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-15-8-0-0 (26) 5.50
Foal Date: April 17, 2017

$50,000 Keeneland September 2018
$1,200,000 OBS April 2019

NOT EARLY-NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

NEXT RACE: 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park allowance optional claimer on May 24. Race 9, 4:52 ET.

In a one-mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park on April 11, Colonel Liam made his career debut. He set a pressured pace of 23.46, 45.88 and 1:10.61 under Luis Saez, was challenged in upper stretch by Per Capita (a 4-year-old) and Tyler Gaffalione, was fouled by that one, lost by two lengths but was placed first after Per Capita was disqualified to second. The chart describes what happened: "Per Capita stalked the pace along the inside down the backstretch, tipped out and put to a drive at the quarter pole, moved up to challenge Colonel Liam for the lead upper stretch, held a slim lead racing two wide then angled over bumping with rail running Colonel Liam and forced rival to be taken up late. Colonel Liam set a pressured pace with Fugitive forcing the issue along  the  outside down the backstretch then repelled the challenge from aforementioned foe near the quarter pole, fought back while under attack from Per Capita top of the lane, vied for the lead along the rail with rival holding a slight  edge, continued to put in a gritty effort, thengot bumped and was forced to be taken up when Per Capita drifted in a path in deep stretch. THE STEWARDS POSTED AN INQUIRY, THE RIDER OF #7 LODGED CLAIM OF FOUL AGAINST #1 FOR INTEREFERENCE IN THE FINALSIXTEENTH, AFTER REVIEW STEWARDS FOUND #1 GUILTY OF IMPEDING THE PROGRESS OF #7 AND WAS DISQUALIFIED FROM FIRST AND PLACED SECOND.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race on May 24 at Guflstream Park, Colonel Liam faced five older horses. After pressing the early pace, he faded to third in the stretch while favored Blue Buff closed strongly to win his fourth straight race. Colonel Liam was beaten 6 1/4 lengths to a time of 1:43.49 on a track that was sloppy-sealed. Indimaaj stayed on in the stretch to come a very close second to Blue Buff.

June 29 NOTE: Colonel Liam worked on the turf training course today at Saratoga in 1:03.67. He had two dirt works there on June 13 and June 22.

 

 

COUNTRY GRAMMER (KY)
Trainer: Chad C. Brown
Owner: Paul P. Pompa, Jr.
Breeder: Scott Pierce & Debbie Pierce
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tonalist (Tapit, Settling Mist)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Arabian Song (Forestry, Prima Centauri)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-10-8-0-0 (20) 4.00
Foal Date: May 11, 2017

$60,000 Keeneland September 2018
$450,000 OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE:

His debut was a mile on turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 5, when he finished fourth, beaten two lengths to a time of 1:38 and change under Luis Saez. He ran evenly throughout while three or four wide.

He was switched to dirt and got a 3 1/4-length maiden win going 1 1/8 mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 11 to close out his 2-year-old campaign. The time on the deep track was 1:54 and change. Irad Ortiz, Jr. was aboard.

After a couple of workouts in New York, he was shipped to Florida and began putting in workouts at Payson Park on Jan. 19.

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 29, it was all Ete Indien as led at each call and won by 8 1/2 lengths. Ete Indien set inital fractions of 23.14, 46.72 and 1:11.30 before hitting the finish line in 1:43.02. A half-half length separated the next four runners at the finish line. Of the three horses that were in closest touch with the winner going into the far turn, only As Seen on Tv was around at the finish, but Candy Tycoon edged him for second by a neck in the shadow of the wire after being in eighth place, lengths off the pace after the first half-mile.  Shotski, who was third leaving the far turn and at the furlong marker, came in a head back in fourth. Country Grammer, broke very poorly and was ninth of 11 runners, nine lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile. He finished another neck back in fifth, beaten nine lengths. Dennis' Moment, the 6-5 favorite, finished last by 25 1/4 lengths.

Javier Castellano: “It was pretty rough out of the gate. The horse stumbled a little bit, and the other inside horses squeezed a little bit out of the gate. But he’s a young horse and still developing. He never had dirt hit him in the face, but he came running. Unfortunately, it was too late.”

March 14 NOTE: Trainer Brown told DRF's Marty McGee, "I have one shot at making the Kentucky Derby,” and it's with Country Grammer. “I thought his race in the Fountain of Youth was sneaky good with the way the track was playing, and plus he galloped out past everybody. I really like him. I think he’s coming around at the right time."

March 28 NOTE: Next-race plans for Country Grammer unknown; obviously bypassed the Florida Derby.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont Park on June 4, Country Grammer checked in third, but it was Tap It to Win who ran away from the competition in a stunning time of 1:39.76. His winning margin was five lengths after leading by 7 1/2 at the furlong marker. Tap It to Win set initial fractions of 22.65, 45.64, 1:09.39 and 1:33.39 -- and STILL finished up the final sixteenth in 6.37 seconds. John Velazquez was aboard, and supporters caught them at 6-1. The 8-5 favorite, Mystic Guide, chased in second. He made a move in the turn to get within 2 1/2 lengths of the leader, but to no avail. Country Grammer was seventh of eight, 5 1/2 lengths off the lead, and finished third, beaten 6 1/2 lengths.

 

 

CREED (KY)
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Owner: Edward J. Hudson, Jr. & Lynne Hudson
Breeder: G. Watts Humphrey Jr. & W. S. Farish
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Honor Code (A.P. Indy, Serena's Cat)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Aspiring (Seeking the Gold, Lassie's Legacy)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-6-13-0-0 (26) 3.00
Foal Date: April 16, 2017

$650,000 Keeneland September 2018


Creed began his racing career at Tampa Bay Downs on April 22 when he finished second to Sense of Justice, beaten 3/4 length to a time of 1:24.00 for seven furlongs. He was two lengths behind at the furlong marker after checking to avoid traffic. The chart for those two says, "Sense of Justice tracked the pacesetter (Five Star Colonel) four deep, then three wide as part of the second flight racing through the backstretch, steadily moved to term snearing the turn to wrest the advantage after a half and held sway to the end under firm handling. Creed tracked off the second flight three deep between foes in the opening stages, was prompted to gain position between foes after the opening quarter, was held up avoiding tight quarters approaching the bend, swung out four wide nearing upper stretch and continued willingly in that path to close the gap to the end."

Creed wasted no time breaking his maiden, winning next out in a MSW at Belmont Park on June 11. He was ahead by 7 3/4 lengths at the finish line after getting 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.20 under Jose Ortiz. Favored Cousin Andrew was second. Creed was fifth of eight after a half-mile, behind a 45.65 pace by 5 1/4 lengths. The chart call: "Creed three to four wide in pursuit from near the rear, advanced five wide through the turn under light coaxing  from  the seven-sixteenths, took over command at the five-sixteenths, swung five wide into upper stretch and drew clear under a drive kept to task."

Facing winners for the first time on July 2, again at Belmont Park, Creed won again while going a mile and a sixteenth again, this time in 1:42.14 with Jose Ortiz back on board. He has established a come-from-behind style, being 7 1/4 lengths off a pace of 45.88 after the first half-mile while sixth of nine. He came on to win by 1 1/4 length after making a strong move down the lane. The chart says he was "five then four wide in pursuit from near the rear of the field, came under coaxing at the three-eighths, angled five wide into upper stretch, dug inunder a drive rallying to issue a challenge to the top dueling pair, collared them in tandem seventy yards from home and went on by to inch away safely infront to the finish."\

 

DEAN MARTINI (KY)
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Owner: Raise the BAR Racing, LLC
Breeder: Brereton C. Jones & Bret Jones
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile, Holy Bubbette)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Soundwave (Friends Lake, Echo Echo Echo)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-5-5-0-0 (12) 3.80
Foal Date: Feb. 22, 2017

$72,000 Keeneland November 2017
$220,000 Keeneland September 2018

A gelding


NOT NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

Dean Martini was claimed from David A. Bernsen LLC, Brad Cox trainer, for $50,000 out of his eighth start, which took place on May 17 at Churchill Downs. That race turned out to be his maiden-breaker. He was timed in 1:43.80 for 1 1/6 mile and won by 6 3/4 lengths.

Two weeks later, he finished second to Man in the Can at Churchill in a two-turn allowance optional claimer.

In the June 27 Ohio Derby, Dean Martini (14-1) rolled up the inside to the lead hitting the far turn under Ricardo Mejias and controlled in the stretch to win, while South Bend was a late running second under Rafael Bejarano, beaten only 3/4 length. Dean Martini was never far back. He, Lebda and Rowdy Yates vied for the lead during the first quarter-mile timed in 22.80, and after a half-mile in 47.22 he was fifth but only two lengths off the pacesetting Lebda, with Rowdy Yates, Establlshed and Storm the Court closest to the leader. In charge after six furlongs in 1:11.88, the winner put away Lebda in the stretch with Rowdy Yates and Storm the Court still chasing. Dean Martini led Rowdy Yates by three lengths and Storm the Court by four with an eighth of a mile left in the race. South Bend and Rafael Bejarano made a big run from there to finish second, two lengths ahead of Storm the Court. It was three more lengths back to Rowdy Yates, who nosed out post-time 3-1 second choice Sprawl for fourth. The winner was timed in a slowish 1:51.60 for 1 1/8 mile.

June 30 NOTE: Darren Rogers (of Churchill Downs) told Horse Racing Nation the late supplement fee for the 2020 Kentucky Derby is 1.5 percent of its $3 million purse, or $45,000. All entries also have to pay $25,000 to enter and another $25,000 to start. Brad Rives of Raise the Bar LLC said, “The fact that he wasn’t Triple Crown nominated is an impediment, clearly. That’s a lot of money, and it would be hard for us to come up with supplement money. Never say never, but that’s a pretty big undertaking at this point since he wasn’t nominated.”

July 1 NOTE: Trainer Amoss said of the Ellis Park Derby and his claim of Dean Martini for $50,000 two races before the Ohio Derby, “It’s definitely under consideration. Absolutely timing-wise we’ll look at the race at Ellis. I liked the fact that he was a horse who looked like on the ‘sheets’ that he was developing. The day we claimed him, he ran a very big race. In the allowance race, he ran just as well. I just got lucky. I didn’t do anything special with this horse. He came in great shape. I think I got him at the right time. I claimed a horse that was in the process of developing, getting better. I did nothing more than pick up where the old barn left off.”

 

 

DENNIS' MOMENT (KY)
Trainer: Dale Romans
Owner: Albaugh Family Stables LLC
Breeder: Tolo Thoroughbreds
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tiznow (Cee's Tizzy, Cee's Song)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Transplendid (Elusive Quality, Doyenne)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-4-7-0-0 (14) 3.00
Foal Date: March 15, 2017

$400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August 2019


NEXT RACE:

He clipped heels and lost his jock in his debut.

Second time out, he won by 19 lengths going seven furlongs in just under 1:22 at Ellis Park. Twelve ran.

In the Sept. 15 Iroquois Stakes, Juggernaut led the field of 10 through early fractions of 23.35, 47.31 and 1:11.96 as Lebda pressured the pace just off his right hip with Zyramid covered up down on the inside and Dennis’ Moment tracking from fourth in the clear on the outside. Lebda briefly poked his head in front of a fading Juggernaut midway around the far turn, but a looming Dennis’ Moment was making a bold three-wide move, and it was all over from there. Dennis' Moment drew well clear in the stretch, and Irad Ortiz Jr., geared down Dennis’ Moment to a gallop inside the final sixteenth of a mile. Scabbard, who briefly checked his run into the far turn, recovered to rally down the lane but was clearly second best while beaten 1 3/4 length.  Lebda was another 5 1/4 lengths back in third. Letmeno rallied from last of 10 to finsh a head behind Lebda in fourth, nosing out Rowdy Yates, who bid from mid-pack but didn't have a closing kick. The race was timed in 1:43.58.

 Dale Romans: “This horse is speaking for himself, I don’t have to build him up anymore. He’s just an amazing animal. He goes out there and does it, his ears up, like he’s just galloping around out there. The jock was shutting him down with a sixteenth of a mile to go, and he still finished in the time he did. He’s something special.

“It’s important going into these big races, to be versatile. That’s what I was worried about today, I was concerned about him getting in a speed duel, with this being the first time around two turns for all these 2-year-olds. And it worked out perfect, he sat outside a horse that didn’t bother him at all, and went three-wide, which is not easy to do on this racetrack and keep on going, and he kicked home good. We’ll be going straight to the Breeders’ Cup from here.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “He’s good, he’s a nice horse, he’s done everything he’s been asked to do, we’ll see what’s next (Breeders’ Cup). He felt great, really great for a 2-year-old. He did everything right. I asked him to run and he was going really well. He had some more, but I saved it for the end. He was going to win going away, so I didn’t ask him for any more.”

Co-owner Dennis Albaugh: “Right here in my hand is the invitation to the Breeders’ Cup. They officially delivered it, so that’s exciting. His name came from his sire, Tiznow — the “now” — and we went with Dennis’ Moment. We’re very happy with him now, and they named him after me, which was a surprise. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, of course, but getting 10 points toward getting into the Derby, that’s a big help. We’ll give this horse plenty of time. Dale Romans has been excellent on what’s the timing, where do we go. We’ll start looking at things next week, once we see how he came out of this race, although he looked like he’s perfect after the finish.”

In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, Dennis' Moment was the odds-on favorite, but he went to his knees at the start, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. somehow hanging on, and was last of eight entering the first turn. That's where he finished, beaten 21 1/4 lengths.

Jason Loutsch, racing manager Albaugh Family Stables: “It was over. We had no chance from the start. Dale just about took off out of box when it started. We talk all the time about highs and lows of the game. I can tell you this is about as low as I’ve ever been in a horse race. But, we have a lot of confidence in this horse, and I have no doubt he’ll bounce back. I don’t even know how Irad stayed on to be honest. He went straight down all the way. It was unfortunate circumstances, but hopefully he came back good and we’ll live to fight another day. That’s all that matters right now. We know we have a horse who can do anything. He had no chance. That’s the bottom line.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “Out of the gate, I said to myself ‘Oh man.’ You don’t see too many horses like that stumble that badly out of the gate and come back to win the race. I asked him for run early, he gave it to me and put a good effort into the turn but then at the quarter pole he slowed down.”

Feb. 8 NOTE: Dennis’ Moment breezed five furlongs today, his fifth workout since arriving at Gulfstream Park. Trainer Romans said, “Everything went well, exactly what we were looking for. He hasn’t missed a beat. His progression has been great. He’s just a good horse. He’s only going to improve."

Feb. 10 NOTE: Flavien Prat will ride Dennis' Moment in the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 29, substituting for Irad Ortiz, Jr., who’ll be riding that day in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Feb. 23 NOTE: Trainer Romans said after Dennis' Moment breezed in 48.05 (13/76), ”I thought it went perfect. It was just what we were looking for from his last work. I told Tammy, ‘Just break him off at the half-mile pole and just sit on him and don’t do a thing.’ He got 47-and-a-couple, galloped out strong and looked good to me.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Romans said, “I’m feeling a lot of pressure. I’m not usually in this situation where I feel pressure. I usually like being the underdog because there’s not much pressure. With this horse, there’s so much hype with him – well deserved, he’s very talented. I put pressure on myself because of what I think of him. I think he’s ready to roll. All horses are different. Kitten’s Joy has always been my gold standard. He’s the best horse I’ve ever had. This horse is good, right there with him.”

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 29, it was all Ete Indien as led at each call and won by 8 1/2 lengths. Ete Indien set inital fractions of 23.14, 46.72 and 1:11.30 before hitting the finish line in 1:43.02. A half-half length separated the next four runners at the finish line. Of the three horses that were in closest touch with the winner going into the far turn, only As Seen on Tv was around at the finish, but Candy Tycoon edged him for second by a neck in the shadow of the wire after being in eighth place, lengths off the pace after the first half-mile.  Shotski, who was third leaving the far turn and at the furlong marker, came in a head back in fourth. Country Grammer, broke very poorly and was ninth of 11 runners, nine lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile. He finished another neck back in fifth, beaten nine lengths. Dennis' Moment, the 6-5 favorite, finished last by 25 1/4 lengths.

Dale Romans: “I just hope he’s all right. We’l take him back and check him out. That wasn’t what I was expecting. When he didn’t get to the lead early, I was concerned.”

Flavien Prat: “He bobbled out of the gate but then after that he regrouped, and I thought I was in a good spot. When I hit the five-eighths pole, he just dropped the bit and after that I was done. After that, there was no reason to beat him up. He didn’t want to go.”

March 1 NOTE: Trainer Romans told DRF's Jay Privman, “Nothing has shown up yet. We’re working on it. Very puzzled so far. We’ll figure it out. I’m not giving up on him. He ate every oat. It really is confusing. I’ve never had one run like that where something didn’t come up at some point.” Romans also said Dennis' Moment didn't bleed.

March 28 NOTE: No workouts since the Fountain of Youth. Twitter post on Feb. 29 from the Romans barn said, "Of course we are disappointed that things didn't go our way today. We're going to take some time to give Dennis' Moment a thorough look and hopefully we'll have more to share in the near future. He looks good at the barn. No injuries." On March 8, DRF's Mike Welsch tweeted, "Dennis’ Moment just open galloped a mile in 155.28 his final 3/8 in 39 and change out in middle of track with Tammy Fox up and looked good doing it. Trainer Dale Romans said yesterday Blue Grass likely the next stop following FOY disappointment." But since that post, I can't find anything about him.

April 5 NOTE: Trainer Romans told DRF's Mike Welsch,  “He’s really feeling good right now, he’s ready to get back on the worktab real soon."

April 19 NOTE: Nothing on the worktab yet for Dennis' Moment.

May 20 NOTE: Still missing from the worktab.

May 22 NOTE: We're late to this, but Dennis' Moment is officially out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Romans told The Pressbox no one could find anything wrong with the colt. Connections will try to race him as a 4-year-old.

 

 

DIGITAL (KY)
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Owner: Tom Durant
Breeder: Breeder: Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Cool Spell (Grand Slam, Lovethespell)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-3-5-0-0 (8) 3.00
Foal Date: March 28, 2017

$200,000 RNA Keeneland September 2018
$260,000 Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic May 2019


NEXT RACE:

A “buzz” horse on the Churchill backstretch before he competed in the afternoon, Digital was bet down to 6/5 favoritism sprinting against 11 rivals on debut. He lost to 24/1 longshot stablemate Mailman Money.

Digital was a sharp maiden sprint winner at second asking at Fair Grounds on Dec. 28. Sitting fourth of nine early on behind hot fractions on a muddy track, he made a bold move in the stretch and ran by Steely Danza to win by 1 3/4 length.

LATER: Trainer Calhoun said, “I thought his win was impressive. He has always been a very forward type horse, so we were actually a little surprised. It was really professional -- it looked like he did it easily within himself. He sat just off them and cruised down the lane. I like what Brian told me when he got back. He said this horse can and wants to go farther. That’s always the hope with a talented, young horse like this, but until they do it you just don’t know. Brian’s a good judge of horse flesh and has a pretty good idea of their distance capabilities.”

Jan. 9 NOTE: “We’re going to point him towards a two-turn allowance race at Fair Grounds on January 17. If that race doesn’t ‘go’ we’ll think about going in the Lecomte. I don’t necessarily want to go in the Lecomte just because he’s never been two turns. I don’t want to have that be his first experience. It is a possibility though. We expected him to win that race first time out. He just broke slow and got left on a sloppy and speed biased track, and the winner ran a really good race.”

On Jan. 18, Digital attended the pace set by Blackberry Wine before those two ran one-two going 1 1/16 mile on a Fair Grounds track rated fast. Blackberry Wine prevailed by a length. The other four runners were 5 1/4 or more lengths back of those two. Splits were a consistent, and I would say strong, 24.20, 48.40, 1:12.89 and 1:36.80, with an impressive final time of 1:43.22.

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun said, “He’s a horse that is a little lighter physically. He needs a little more time between works and races. … (His last race) was his first time going two turns, and the horse that won (Blackberry Wine) had some experience going two turns already as well as more race experience in general.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries. In Division I, Digital ran mid-pack early on, then advanced tor third, then second in the stretch with pacesetter Mr. Monomoy his target. Inside the furlong marker, Digital flattened out and finished fifth, beaten six lengths. Mr. Monomoy led through fractions of 24.22, 48.57 and 1:12.85 and won by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:50.43, nearly a second faster than division two winner Modernist, who was timed in 1:51.28.

March 6 NOTE:  Trainer Calhoun said, “We’re going to take him off the Derby trail. We think he has the quality to be a Derby horse but we don’t think he’s ready for it yet. We’re going to point him to the Pat Day Mile. We’ll get him ready for that in an allowance race and go from there.”

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Digital was eighth, eight lengths off the pace after the first half-mile during which pacesetter Gold Street was timed in 45.47. He finished sixth, beaten 14 1/2 lengths by Mr. Big News and a time of 1:49.89. The chart says he was "in mid pack while off the inside, crept a bit closer in the four path midway on the final turn then flattened out in the drive."

April 14 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun yesterday told Christine Oser of BloodHorse that Digital will once again be pointed to shorter races.

In a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 25, at 9-1 odds Digital was held off by 4-5 favorite Echo Town by a half-length. Echo Town led through blazing fractions of 21.61 and 44.99 before winning in 1:09.05. Digital was sixth of seven, 4 1/2 lengths off the pace, after the first quarter-mile.  Menu was third, just a neck behind Diginal. Relentless Dancer checked in fourth by 3 1/4 lengths after trailing the field early.

 

 

DISC JOCKEY (KY)
Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Owner: Frank Carl Calabrese
Breeder: Woodslane Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Bodemeister (Empire Maker, Untouched Talent)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Cup o' Luck (Borrego, Hey Gorgeous)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-6-3-1-0 (14) 4.60
Foal Date: March 16, 2017

$35,000 Keeneland January 2018


NEXT RACE:

Disc Jockey won at first asking sprinting in a very slow time at Gulfstream Park on Sept. 13.

His second start came on Jan. 11 in a starter optional claiming race at the same track, and he won again, but in a much better time, getting the one-turn mile in 1:35.86. The margin of victory was over five lengths.

Next was the seven-furlong American Fabius Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 17. Disc Jockey was always close but was defeated 1 1/4-length by the front-running Scarlo, who was timed in a solid 1:22.61.

March 2 NOTE:  Disc Jockey, with Tyler Gaffalione aboard, breezed what was descirbed by DRF's Mike Welsch as an "easy half-mile" in 46.58 and was out five furlongs in 59.39 on Welsch's watch with a couple of mates as targets.

March 28 NOTE: Scratched the morning of the Florida Derby.

June 4 NOTE: Disc Jockey breezed on April 12, May 3 and May 10; and has been absent from the worktab since then.

June 29 NOTE: Still AWOL from the worktab.

 

 

EARNER (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Alex and JoAnn Lieblong
Breeder: White Fox Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Carpe Diem (Giants' Causeway, Rebridled Dreams)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Devious d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro, Hafifah)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-8-11-1-0 (24) 2.69
Foal Date: April 13, 2017

$425,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

On Jan. 18, Earner debuted at Fair Grounds and finished second by 2 1/2 lengths to Echo Town at six furlongs timed in 1:09.39. Earner pressed the pace and was overtaken by Echo Town.

His second start came on April 11, when Earner was impressive drawing away under Ricardo Santana, Jr. from a field of 12 to win by 3 3/4 lengths. He was favored at 4-5, and his time was 1:44.41 for 1 1/16 mile. The chart says Earner was "within striking distance while four wide first turn, continued off the inside, three wide advance second turn, outside bid, drove well clear."

June 4 NOTE: Working away at Churchill Downs.

In a 1 1/8-mile allowance optional claiming race on June 12 at Churchill Downs, Earner (5-1) finished third, beaten beaten two lengths by 5-2 favorite and Arkansas-bred Man in the Can and a time of 1:49.74. Earner set the pace under Ricardo Santana, Jr. with initial splits of 23.27, 47.77 and1:12.48. Dean Martini (10-1) was second by 1 1/2 length after stalking the pace and hitting the lead around the furlong marker. The winner was sixth in the field of 12 after a half-mile, but he was never more than 3 1/2 lengths off the pace. Neither Man in the Can nor Dean Martini was nominated to the Triple Crown.

 

 

EIGHT RINGS (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich, III, John D. Fielding, Golconda Stables, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor & Derrick Smith
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Empire Maker (Unbridled, Toussaud)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Purely Hot (Pure Prize, Wood Not)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-6-5-0-2 (20) 3.44
Foal Date: March 24, 2017

$520,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

Eight Rings won his debut by eight lengths going only 5 1/2 furlongs.

In the Del Mar Futurity, he ducked in at the break, unseating Drayden Van Dyke as the 1-2 favorite.

In the Sept. 27 American Pharoah Stakes, Eight Rings, trying two turns for the first time, was sent to the front by John Velazquez, and they dominated proceedings throughout, winning by six lengths while getting 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.41, several lengths faster than Bast won the Chandelier earlier on the card. He was favored at 6-5. Early fractions were 23.72, 47.06 and 1:11.71. The track was not playing fast. Trained by George Papaprodomou and ridden by Tiago Pereira, American Theorem, a son of American Pharoah, was second throughout and finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Storm the Court. Off at 7-1, American Theorem paid $7.60 and $6.00. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Storm the Court was off at 19-1 and paid $8.80 to show.

Bob Baffert: “I told Johnny V. to ride him with confidence. “I thought he might be in front. Johnny said let’s get him away from there, and he’s figured out this track.  He gigged him a little bit, but he said, ‘Wow, he’s really fast.’  He just got out there really quick and I was actually just watching his ears the whole way. Johnny said he’ll be going good, then he’ll start looking around and lagging, and all the way down the stretch he was still looking around. My heart is still with American Pharoah, so I’m glad to see his babies are doing well.  I’m blessed and fortunate to get these kinds of horses.”.

John Velazquez: “He’s still not 100 percent confident in what he needs to do. If he can put his mind to running, he’ll be a dangerous horse.”

In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, Eight Rings, the second wagering choice under John Velazquez, pressed the pace of 23.49, 47.07 and 1:11.60 set by Storm the Court, but he began to lose it in the turn, and when he found himself between horses at the top of the lane, he faltered and finished sixth, beaten 12 1/4 lengths by Storm the Court.

Bob Baffert: “He was in a good spot the whole way and Johnny said at when they came to the three-eighths pole he took a deep breath and then he just didn’t go when  Johnny asked him.  He didn’t show up. That’s not like him. I thought he was training really well, but for some reason he just didn’t show up today. He was perfect, he broke beautifully, he was right there. You’ve got to give credit to the winner. He just kept on going; they were going pretty quick on this deep track. When they turned for home my horse was completely out of it. I always blame myself. Maybe I missed something, but I thought he was ready. Everything was going great until the real race started. He didn’t show up. The winner ran a great race.”

John Velazquez: “Perfect position. I was just where I wanted to be. Sat well. Got to that second turn and I didn’t have anything.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: After a long time away from the worktab, Eight Rings finally registered a four-furlong work in 47.20 today at Santa Anita.

Feb. 29 NOTE: California clocker Gary Young said yesterday, "I’m not sure how far Eight Rings wants to run....”

March 15 NOTE: Eight Rings has been pulled from the Derby Trail, whatever that is at this point. Trainer Baffert said they need to back off him for awhile.

March 28 NOTE: Eight Rings worked on March 16 and 22.

April 5 NOTE: Trainer Baffert told DRF's Steve Andersen yesterday that he has no race plans for Eight Rings.

April 15 NOTE: Eight Rings arrived yesterday at Oaklawn Park and is being pointed to the April 25 Bachelor Stakes at six furlongs, per Jonathan Lintner's story at horseracingnation.com. This wouldbe the 2020 debut for Eight Rings.

April 18 NOTE: Yesterday at Oaklawn Park after Eight Rings worked under Martin Garcia, assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes said, “I heard we ended up working with a pretty good horse (Hot Shot Kid). He hasn’t run since the Breeders’ Cup and California, we had some wet weather, so he wasn’t able to work him before he left, so then this was our scheduled breeze. It’s not uncommon to see us go to the gate off a layoff to make sure we’re ready. It helps to have Martin here. It’s been a big help. He knows our horses so well. He knows how Bob wants them worked. You go out there with a lot of confidence.”

In the April 25 Bachelor Stakes, poor Eight Rings finished fifth of six at 4-5 odds, beaten seven lengths by Long Weekend, who was timed in 1:09.63 for the six furlongs. Eight Rings was prominent the first half-mile, then weakened.

June 4 NOTE: Worked three furlongs today, his first since the Bachelor Stakes.

June 29 NOTE: Still working. He's been on the worktab at Los Alamitos since early June.

 

 

EXCESSION (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Calumet Farm
Breeder:  Randal Family Trust, R David & Marylyn A Randal Trustees
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Union Rags (Dixie Union, Tempo)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Draw It (Tapit, Illustrated)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-7-9-1-0 (20) 2.64
Foal Date: Feb. 26, 2017

$150,000 Keeneland September 2018


It took Excession five starts to break his maiden, and he did that on Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs going 1 1/16 mile on a sloppy-sealed track timed in a very slow 1:47 and change.

Shipped to Fair Grounds, he was third in an allowance race, again on a sloppy track, defeated by Lynn's Map.

His next two starts resulted in a seventh-place finish in the LeComte Stakes and an eighth-place finish in the Risen Star, beaten a combined 13 3/4 lengths.

In the March 14 Rebel Stakes, Nadal shook off challenges early, middle and and late while doing all the heavy lifting to win in 1:44.97. After being pressured all the way to the stretch, he held at bay a late charge by 82-1 Excession. Basin and Three Technique finished a non-threatening third and fourth. It was Nadal's first race away from his base at Santa Anita, his first at two turns, and his first over a wet track. After breaking from post 1 cleanly, Nadal briefly vied with No Parole in the first turn and headed into the backstretch with a slight lead. In the blink of an eye, American Theorem was all over Nadal, and the two ran together through a quarter-mile in 22.84, a half in 46.00 and six furlongs in 1:11.38. Nadal had a mere head advantage at each of those calls into the far turn.

No sooner had Nadal shaken off American Theorem in the the turn, there was a cavalry charge of challengers in the form of Three Technique, Silver Prospector and Basin, but Nadal dispatched them running for the final furlong. He led at the furlong marker by 1 1/2 length, but out in the middle of the track, Excession was produced by Tyler Baze, and for a few moments, it looked like the longshot might cruise by Nadal. But it was not to be. Nadal dug in doggedly and held off that challenger by three parts of a length. It was seven more lengths back to Basin, who finished a head in front of Three Technique.

Tyler Baze: “He's a really nice horse. I had the trip I wanted. I loved him last year when I first rode him when he was a maiden. He’s a special animal. I can't wait until he learns how to run. He's kind of a big dummy, but I had the exact trip I wanted. I wish I would have had a clear trip, but he ran his heart out.”

June 4 NOTE: We don't know what's wrong, but Excession hasn't put in workouot for at least two months.

June 29 NOTE: Still away from the worktab.
 



FARMINGTON ROAD (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Chrysalis Stables LLC & Robert V. LaPenta
Breeder: Chrysalis Stables
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Quality Road (Elusive Quality, Kobla)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Silver La Belle (Langfuhr (CAN), Northern Silver)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-4-9-0-0 (16) 2.56
Foal Date: May 14, 2017


NEXT RACE:

After Farmington Road finished fifth sprinting in his debut at Belmont Park on Oct. 23, he finished second to Moon Over Miami going a mile at Aqueduct on Dec. 7 and earned a trip to the Sunshine State.

In his third start, Farmington Road stepped up his game while running a mile and 40 yards in 1:39.88 at Tampa, winning by 1 3/4 length over Noble Empire, who was in turn 16 3/4 lengths better than the third finisher, Sunsation. The chart says he was "off a step behind the leaders, tracked off the first along the inside racing into the first turn, shifted out splitting foes after a half while advancing through close quarters, steadily advanced on the leaders three wide racing into the far turn, wrested the advantage in uppper stretch and edged clear under firm left handed encouragement" from Daniel Centeno.

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries. Mr. Monomoy won Division I. After breaking from post 9, led through fractions of 24.22, 48.57 and 1:12.85, disposed of challenger Blackberry Wine at the top of the stretch, and then held off the late advances of both Enforceable and Silver State to win by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:50.43, nearly a second faster than division two winner Modernist, who was timed in 1:51.28. Off a step slow and wide on both turns, Enforceable closed well to be second. He was last after a quarter-mile and eighth, 7 1/2 lengths off the pace, after a half-mile. Silver State ran mid-pack into the stretch and finished willingly to get third, beaten three lengths. Farmington Road was fourth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths after a trip similar to that of Enforceable, but he galloped out best of all.

March 18 NOTE: Farmington Road is being re-routed to the Wood Memorial after being named also-eligible for the Louisiana Derby.

March 28 NOTE: With the Wood Memorial postponed at best, Farmington Road's schedule is uncertain.

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Mr. Big News raced 11th in the 13-horse field under Gabriel Saez while Gold Street grabbed the early lead from post 13 and ran through fractions of 22.07 for the quarter-mile, 45.47 for the half, and 1:10.92 for six furlongs. Gold Street was stalked by Sir Rick, Flap Jack, Basin and Taishan. The winner came wide into stretch and easily collared Taishan, who had a short lead at the furlong marker. Mr. Big News held off the late charging Farmington Road, who was dead last by over 11 lengths after the first half-mile, by one-half length. Taishan, who was close to the pace throughout, held on for third, 3 3/4 lengths back from the winner. Basin ran evenly, fourth to sixth at each call, and finished fourth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths. The winning time was 1:49.89 over a sloppy track.

Martin Garcia: “It was his first time with blinkers here, and I expected he’d have a little more speed, but no. When he broke, he broke clear. He doesn’t have any speed, so I’m trying to save ground as much as I could. I ducked in to the rail and at the 3/8ths, I found a way to go and followed the winner around and he just took off. It looks like my horse is going to be a good horse. A little more distance, and he’ll be better. Big time, he’ll be tough next time.”

April 16 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher told Oaklawn officials today that Farmington Road came out of his runner-up finish in “good shape” and is “pointing for the Arkansas Derby.” Pletcher noted that Farmington Road is still at Oaklawn Park. He was previously being based at Palm Beach Downs in south Florida.

April 19 NOTE: Jockey Castellano is slated to ride Farmington Road in the Arkansas Derby. Per a DRF report by David Grening, track officials told Castellano or his agent he had to get out of New York and quarantine somewhere for two weeks before he could ride at Oaklawn. Castellano left New York on April 16 and will hang out at his mom's apartment in Florida.

May 1 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, “We decided after the race in the Oaklawn Stakes just to leave him there since he was guaranteed a starting position. Just came back with one easy half-mile breeze and we’ll hopefully get a little cleaner start this time, hopefully, a little better tactical position. He would also be one who would benefit from a good, honest pace. Hopefully, he can make a good sustained run like last time. He’s a horse that just wants to settle back and make one run. The blinkers didn’t change that, but I think they did have him, perhaps, a little more focused. If there’s a good, honest pace early, it will certainly enhance his chances."

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. When the gate opened, Wells Bayou crossed over from the far outside post to grab the early lead, which he took into the far turn with splits of 23.08, 46.21 and 1:09.85. Nadal, who took heavy pressure on the lead in his previous two race, turned the tables by sitting outside the flank of Wells Bayou, with King Guillermo closest to those two.  Leaving the far turn, Nadal pounced, led into the stretch, hit the furlong marker in 1:35.63 with a length-and-a-half lead, briefly facing a challenge from King Guillermo before shaking that one off. He crossed the finish line in 1:48.34, best by three lengths over King Guillermo. Finnick The Fierce ran third, another 1 1/2 lengths back at odds of 62-1, followed an additional 2 1/2 lengths by the late-running Farmington Road in fourth.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Pletcher said Farmington Road is heading back to Florida and added, "We would have liked to have been able to get a little closer position early with Farmington Road, but he put in a long, sustained run. I thought it was two solid performances for him while he was there those three weeks. Seems like a horse that still has room for improvement, so happy with that."

May 19 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes on June 20.

May 25 NOTE: Now listed probable by NYRA press office.

May 27 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "He's a horse that likes to drop back and make one run. He'd benefit from a good, solid pace, and unfortunately we've found ourselves in a few races where there hasn't been much pace. He's still closed well, but would certainly benefit from a hot pace up front."

May 30 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher told DRF's David Grening yesterday, “Good, solid work. I had him shading a minute, looked good. He’s kind of a laid-back horse to train, but that was an excellent work today.” Expected to ship to New York June 7 or 8.

June 11 NOTE: Co-owner Aron Wellman said, "It's still the Belmont regardless of how you slice it. It's still a very meaningful race with a rich history. It would be an enormous honor to add another Belmont to our trophy case. Any number of owners, trainers and breeders would be happy to have a representative. (The distance being shortened is) a bit of a bittersweet feeling. From the moment he walked into Todd's barn, we had him pegged as a Belmont horse. Obviously, we know the unforeseen circumstances but nevertheless, we still believe that the horse is doing exceptionally well. With better luck and a better trip, he can make his presence felt with money on the line. Tiz the Law is a horse that's done it all, so we have the utmost respect for him, but after him it's wide open. We don't dodge any race for one horse."

June 13 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "I was very pleased with the work. I was a little concerned going in, working the two horses together, but I felt like that was the best matchup for each horse. They worked in company together last week at Palm Beach Downs, and it seemed to go well. I thought both horses relaxed nicely in the early part of their work, finished up strongly and galloped out very, very nice. All in all, it went well. You can see similarities in both of them to their sire (Quality Road). I would say that Dr Post looks more like Quality Road because he's a bit of a bigger horse, but you can definitely see a similarity in both of them.  We felt like he could be the horse that would really enjoy the mile-and-a-half. But since that's not an option, we're hoping that the mile-and-an-eighth, if he gets a good honest pace to run at, he would certainly benefit from that. He's got a patented style; he's going to drop back and make one run. We just need a good solid pace to come back to him a little bit. Solid effort in the Arkansas Derby and I think it was a tough track to make up a lot of ground. He's got a good three-eighths mile run, and we have to time it just right. The main thing is getting a track that suits that style and an honest pace. That's what he really needs."

In the Belmont Stakes on June 20, Farmington Road was eighth of 10 after the first half-mile, 5 1/4 lengths off the pace, but he steadily lost ground from there. He finished eighth, beaten 21 1/4 lengths by Tiz the Law and a time of 1:46.53.

June 21 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "We'll have to find a track that's more kind to closers."

June 29 NOTE: Expect to see something different than Derby Trail going forward.

July 3 NOTE: Farmington Road breezed on turf this morning at Belmont Park, 49:60 breezing firm inner turf (7/13).






FAST ENOUGH (CA)
Trainer: Rafael Becerra
Owner: Craig Martin
Breeder: Craig Martin
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Eddington (Unbridled, Fashion Star)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Brilliant Melody (Bertrando, Unchanged Melody)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-10-5-2-2 (24) 2.69
Foal Date: Feb. 5, 2017


A gelding

NEXT RACE: Arkansas Derby Div. 2

He was a first-out maiden winner on May 31 going 4 1/2 furlongs. That was followed by a long break.

In the Jan. 19 California Cup Derby, Fast Enough made his second start and rallied late to collar longshot Sacred Rider close to home, winning by a neck under Tiago Pereira. Fast Enough, a 3-year-old gelding by Eddington, got 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.23. Fast Enough was seventh, about five lengths off the lead, mid-way around the far turn. Fast Enough rallied five-deep turning for home and gradually gained the advantage with about 30 yards to run. He was sent off at 9-2 in a field of nine Cal-bred or sired sophomores. Sacred Rider was an attentive third early, and when early pacesetter Bettor Trip Nick tried to slow the pace down heading up the backside, he stayed clear of any traffic trouble while about three lanes off the fence. Sacred Rider finished five lengths in front of Bettor Trip Nick. Fractions were 23.64, 47.83, 1:12.21 and 1:38.51.

In the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 9, Nadal made almost all the running at 1-5 odds, with help from Ginobili. Initial splits were 21.89, 44.09 and 1:09.05 before Nadal stayed on to finish a short length in front of Ginobili in 1:22.59. Ginobili was more used than the winner. Fast Enough was not quite fast enough, beaten a couple of lengths. Storm the Court was fourth, also not too far back, and I find it hard to knock their performances.

April 29 NOTE: He has a shin and is out of the Arkansas Derby. Jay Privman reported surgery is being considered.

June 29 NOTE: Nothing on the worktab.

 

 

FINNICK THE FIERCE (KY)
Trainer: Rey Hernandez
Owner: Arnoldo Monge & Rey Hernandez
Breeder: Paige Jillian Blu Sky Stables
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Dialed In (Mineshaft, Miss Doolittle)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Southern Classic (CAN) (Southern Image, Stutz Classic (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-2-6-0-0 (12) 3.00
Foal Date: April 22, 2017


Gelding not have his right eye.

NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden at Indiana Grand in his career debut, then finished well to come fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in an allowance race at Churchill Downs.

Silver Prospector won the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30 on a sloppy track. It was a race that something had to win, with 7-1 Silver Prospector edging 87-1 Finnick the Fierce by 3/4 length and 3-5 favorite Tiz the Law a head back in third, Enforcebable fourth, beaten only two lengths and longshot pacesetter New Eagle (who set splits of 24.39, 49.92 and 1:14.83) beaten 2 1/2 lengths in fifth. Eight ran. Silver Prospector out-kicked Tiz the Law in deep stretch and held off hard-charging 87-1 Finnick the Fierce to win. Tiz the Law bided his time in the pocket on the rail while arguably not having running room until his stretch bid. The time was a modest 1:45.94. Silver Prospector was well positioned in fifth and in the clear a couple lengths back of the leader in the backstretch. Midway around the far turn, South Bend made the first run on leader New Eagle with Silver Prospector poised to pounce from the outside. Tiz the Law appeared set to strike but was bottled up down on the rail behind New Eagle and South Bend. Silver Prospector raced three-wide down the lane and took the lead with an eighth of a mile to the finish. Simultaneously, a seam finally opened for Tiz the Law and he drew even with the eventual winner, but Silver Prospector had more left after the long drive and edged clear. It appeared that Tiz the Law switched to his wrong lead leg at the sixteenth pole. Finnick the Fierce, who had one horse beaten early on, closed from the five path down the stretch to edge Tiz the Law at the wire for the place.

Sonny Leon: “He ran such a good race. He ran amazing.”

In the Jan. 19 LeComte Stakes, Enforceable was the winner, with Silver State second, Mr. Monomoy third and Finnick the Fierce fourth. The lukewarm 3/1 post time favorite, Scabbard, finished fifth. Thirteen ran. The final time was 1:43.72 for 1 1/16 mile. Off a step slow, Enforceable was forced to go four wide around the first turn under Julien Leparoux.  Eleventh of 13 early on behind honest fractions of 23.46 and 47.41, Enforceable settled into a comfortable position down the backstretch and was three wide on the far turn. He rallied six wide turning for home and galloped down the lane to score a 1 1/2-length victory as the 6/1 fourth choice.  Silver State bobbled at the start and bumped with a foe; he was two wide on the far turn and also closed well to be second after being positioned ninth after a half-mile. Mr. Monomoy finished another neck back in third, and was the only horse to be part of the early fray that was close to the winner at the end. He saved ground throughout but had to wait on horses into the stretch. Finnick the Fierce finished fourth, beaten seven lengths, after being in 12th position for the first half-mile and flattening out in the stretch. Scabbard was nosed out for fourth after being sixth, only 3 1/2 lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile and having to be steadied behind horses in upper stretch.

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries.  In the second division of the Risen Star, Finnick the Fierce was ninth at the first call, seventh at the second call, eighth at the third call. He ran evenly throughout, never more than 5 3/4 lengths off the pace and finishing seventh, beaten 4 1/4 lengths.

Feb. 27 NOTE: Finnick the Fierce breezed four furlongs in 46.60 today at Turfway Park. An entry in the Jeff Ruby Steaks would not be surprising.

March14 NOTE: He was entered but was scratched the morning of the Jeff Ruby.

March 28 NOTE: Hard luck horse couldn't race on March 26 when track closed three days early following governor's pronouncement shutting down certain classes of businesses.

In a 1 1/16-mile alllowance optional claiming race on a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park on April 4, Finnick the Fierce was declared the winner after Winning Impression was disqualified and placed fifth. Finnick the Fierce always saved ground after breaking from the rail. He was bothered twice and  also made a nifty move under Martin Garcia to get around a tiring foe in the stretch and get up for second. Winning Impression, in the meantime, was four wide while making a huge move on the far turn and drew off to win by a length. Stewards ruled Winning Impression interfered with Answer In in the stretch. The charts guys wrote that Answer In "forwardly placed while three wide,remained within striking distance the middle half, moved a bit closer turning for home, was appearing to flatten out late when put in tight by a drifting Winning Impresssion." Answer In finished fifth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths,  before being moved up to fourth. In third and fourth behind Winning Impression, before being moved up, were General Trev and Adhhar. The winning time was 1:45.60.

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. When the gate opened, Wells Bayou crossed over from the far outside post to grab the early lead, which he took into the far turn with splits of 23.08, 46.21 and 1:09.85. Nadal, who took heavy pressure on the lead in his previous two race, turned the tables by sitting outside the flank of Wells Bayou, with King Guillermo closest to those two.  Leaving the far turn, Nadal pounced, led into the stretch, hit the furlong marker in 1:35.63 with a length-and-a-half lead, briefly facing a challenge from King Guillermo before shaking that one off. He crossed the finish line in 1:48.34, best by three lengths over King Guillermo. Finnick The Fierce ran third after never being far back, another 1 1/2 lengths back at odds of 62-1, followed an additional 2 1/2 lengths by the late-running Farmington Road in fourth.

May 26 NOTE: Trainer and co-owner Rey Hernandez told Tom Pedulla, as reported as HorseRacingNation.com, Finnick the Fierce is being pointed to the Toyota Blue Grass, not the Belmont Stakes. He said,  “It’s only one turn. I really like my horse going two turns. He’s really improving. The last race was a big race. I think he’ll run a really good race next time. The two in front of me look like really nice 3-year-olds. I was really happy with third place.”

June 10 NOTE: He's entered for a June 13 two-turn allowance at Churchill Downs in prepation for the Blue Grass Stakes on July 11.

At Churchill Downs on June 13, there was a four-horse allowance race, and Finnick the Fierce was the second choice at 3-2 while Art Collector was the 7-5 favorite. The latter one prevailed by 6 1/2 lengths over Shared Sense, who beat Finnick the Fierce by 3/4 length. Necker Island was another 2 1/2 lengths back in last. Art Collector led at every call with moderate splits of 24.59, 48.43 and 1:12.46 before finishing the job in 1:41.35 for 1 1/16 mile. Finnick the Fierce tracked him closely in second before falling back in the stretch.

July 1 NOTE: Possible for the Blue Grass Stakes.

July 2 NOTE: Not on Keeneland's possibles list today.

 

 

FORE LEFT (KY)
Trainer: Doug O'Neill
Owner: Reddam Racing LLC
Breeder: Machmer Hall
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Twirling Candy (Candy Ride, House of Danzing)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Simply Sunny (Unbridled's Song, Carolina Sunrise)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-15-6-0-0 (24) 7.00
Foal Date: Feb. 22, 2017

$97,000 Keeneland September 2018
$145,000 RNA OBS March 2019


NEXT RACE:

Fore Left demonstrated good form in his first three starts, all at one turn and including a win in Belmont Park's Tremont Stakes. He finished fifth in the Best Pal Stakes. All that led to an entry in a grade I race -- but he finished seventh, beaten 31 lengths in the two-turn American Pharoah Stakes on Sept. 27.

Fore Left returned sprinting, rocketed from the gate and was all heart late in holding off stablemate Strongconstitution to take the Oct. 20 Sunny Slope Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita.  Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Fore Left was timed in 1:17.54 after setting fractions of 22.51 and 45.74. Strongconstitution sat of of four third while head and head with 4-5 favorite Mo Hawk into the far turn and finished second best by a neck, finishing 5 1/4 lengths clear of Zimba Warrior. Mo Hawk was spent a quarter mile out and finished last..

Doug O'Neill: “He got back to what he does best today and it was great to see. I’m really happy with both of my horses, they ran big.  We tried two turns with him last time, and this is much more what he’s comfortable with. Really happy.”

Next out, he was third in the Gold Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate.

Sent off at 24-1 odds, Fore Left finished 10th, beaten by 6 lengths, on December 1 at Del Mar in a grass race, the Cecil B. Demille Stakes.

On Feb. 6, Fore Left won the UAE 2000 Guineas over 1600 meters (about a mile). Fore Left overcame post 14 of 16 to make all the running under William Buick and prevailing by 1 3/4 lengths in a of 1:38.43 after setting fractions of 24.08 ( with no run-up) and 46.45. The next three finishers were not nominated to the Triple Crown. Zabardast was a hard-charging second under Mickael Barzalona, while stable mates Emblem Storm and Lake Causeway completed the top four with one length between them. Fore Left became the earliest-ever American to win during the DWC Carnival.

Doug O'Neill by phone: “That was so cool. I was absolutely going nuts, and I’m so happy for Mr. Reddam and for my whole team. I am so proud to be part of a great team with Leandro (Mora, assistant) and Tony Romero and the entire team there and back home in California. What an awesome experience. With the post and the way the race was run with a little bend before the backstretch, he had to work a little extra-hard to get into position, so that was very impressive—but that’s why William is a top jockey. He did exactly what he had to do and didn’t overdo it. He got a little tired late, but probably had a lot to do with what I just mentioned and that he had two months off. This race will do him a world of good. After this, we will see how he comes out. If he’s diving into his feed tub, we may run him one more time (in the Al Bastakiya), but if for any reason he shows fatigue, we’ll wait for the (UAE) Derby. Dubai has made it so easy for us to relax and enjoy this, and I’m a big believer that horses are a reflection of the people around them, and this has been a great experience.”

William Buick: “Doug O’Neill and his team were very confident that this horse had more speed than any other horse in this race, which he showed, but of course, I had to work hard and it took me a long time to eventually get across. He set good fractions, got a little bit of a breather on the turn and then kicked again. He’s just a very game, honest horse who stuck on very well. He’s got a lot of speed and stayed the mile. I guess they’ll be pointing him to the UAE Derby now, which is another furlong and a half, so we’ll see about that. It was a huge performance from the horse to get where he did, from where he did, and in the manner he did. He got there within himself and put himself in a position after three furlongs to control the race, but it took a good horse to do it and that’s what he is.”

June 4 NOTE: Fore Left wasn't even nominated to the Santa Anita Derby, much less entered, as he continued to put in workouts at Santa Anita through May 25. Now he's in New York, where he breezed today at Belmont Park in 59.05.

June 17 NOTE: Fore Left, previously pointed to the Woody Stephens per his stable, is being re-routed to the Belmont Stakes. Jose Ortiz will be aboard.

June 18 NOTE: Trainer O'Neill said, "His last two works over the track were exceptional. He's settled in well over there and he has a win over the track. He's just maturing into a really nice 3-year-old and I think that a one-turn mile and an eighth is going to be great for him. He wouldn't be up for a mile and a half right now. It's one of the most prestigious races and even family and friends with very little to no knowledge of racing is familiar with the Belmont Stakes and it's an honor to be a part of it. It's on all of our bucket lists and Paul and Zillah are pumped to have a horse good enough to compete. More than anything, we're just listening to the horse, and he's showing us that he's ready. He's got gate speed, and he'll without a doubt be forwardly placed. I like the fact that we drew the outside to some opposing speed in the race. He came back fantastic (from Dubai). We had around 12 horses over there for about three months. As opposed to a usual trip to Dubai where you ship in for the week and then ship out, he was over there for quite a while, and he's really flourished and matured with his time out there."

In the Belmont Stakes on June 20, Fore Left was second of 10 and only a length off the pace set by Tap It to Win through six furlongs, but he steadily lost ground from there. He finished ninth, beaten 22 3/4 lengths by Tiz the Law and a time of 1:46.53.

 

 

GOLD STREET (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Mike McCarty
Breeder: Erich Brehm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Street Boss (Street Cry (IRE), Blushing Ogygian)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Morakami (Fusaichi Pegasus, Astrid)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-3-7-0-0 (16) 3.57
Foal Date: March 14, 2017

$55,000 OBS Winter Sale 2018
$150,000 Keeneland September 2019


He broke his maiden by seven lengths at Churchill Downs in his fourth start, sprinting on a sloppy track.

In the Dec. 21 Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds run at six furlongs on a sloppy track, Gold Street had a perfect, pressing trip. He took command and opened up at the top of the stretch en route to a 3 1/2 length victory at even money. He stopped the clock in 1:11.20. Amongst was second, Axiomo finished third.

Ricardo Santana, Jr.: “He’s a sharp horse that always breaks well. The track today is holding speed, so I wanted to let him break and put us in a good spot near the leaders. He’s improving every day. He ran a good race at Keenland and then went to Churchill and broke his maiden really nice. Today he just put us in a good spot and got the job done.”

In the one-mile, short-stretch Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 24, Gold Street again got a muddy track in his two-turn debut, and he posted a wire-to-wire win at 10-1 best by 2 3/4 lengths. Per James Scully, seven of the nine races on the opening-day Oaklawn program were won in front-running fashion. Gold Street was the highest priced of four runners trained by Steve Asmussen. He broke on top and proceeded to set fractions of :24.08 and :48.96 for the first half mile while being tracked early by Lynn’s Map. The favorite Three Technique, a close fourth after the first half-mile, moved into second rounding the turn for home, but was no match for the winner, who easily won by 2 3/4 lengths under Martin Garcia. Shoplifted ran evenly to finish third, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Silver Prospector made a belated bid from ninth of nine to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:39.63 for the mile.

Steve Asmussen: “I think the way the racetrack’s playing today, speed-favoring, Gold Street had the most speed today. Obviously, we still have high hopes for several of them, and it does change considerably when the distances get (longer). We felt very fortunate to have four stakes winners coming into this race, obviously, we have very high hopes for them in the future. Gold Street is three for three on an off track, so I was surprised they let him get such an easy lead. We’ll see how he comes out of this and make our plans from there.”

Martin Garcia:  It felt really good to win on the first day and to win a big race like this, especially for Steve. That horse can probably go to the Kentucky Derby. That's the first time going two turns, and he did it so easy, so I don't see why he wouldn't go.”

Jan. 30 NOTE: Trainer Asmussen said, “Nice horse - that’s now three wins together in a row, all three on off race tracks. I think that the racetracks are definitely playing conducive to his natural style, and he took advantage of it. He’s a big, strong colt that’s finally put it together. There’s a lot of him there, and he’s in a very good rhythm and obviously on a three-race win streak.”

Feb. 6 NOTE: Trainer Asmussen said Gold Street “most likely” will make his next start in the Southwest Stakes.

In the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, Gold Street ran mid-pack for a quarter-mile and was done early,  finishing ninth of nine, beaten 23 1/2 lengths by Silver Prospector and a time of 1:43.01.

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Digital was eighth, Gold led through the first half-mile timed in 45.47. He finished eighth, beaten 21 1/4 lengths by Mr. Big News and a time of 1:49.89. The chart says he was "asked to clear from the outside past the wire the first time,set the pace inside, faltered when headed turning for home."

June 4 NOTE: No workouts showing since May 18.

June 29 NOTE: Still nothing showing on the worktab.

 

 

GOUVERNEUR MORRIS (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Team Valor International & WinStar Farm LLC
Breeder: Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden, Craig Brogden & James F. Miller
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Constitution (Tapit, Baffled)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Addison Run (Unbridled's Song, Fleet and Fancy)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index:  3-16-5-0-0 (24) 8.60
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2017

$200,000 Keeneland September 2018
$600,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2019


NEXT RACE: ?

He debuted at Saratoga at 5 1/2 furlongs and drew off to a nine-length victory going just 5 1/2 furlongs under a hand ride by John Velazquez.

He was second by 5 1/2 lengths to Maxfield in the Oct. 5 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity. He made a promising move on the far turn, looking like a winner, but he flattened out in the stretch as Maxfield jetted away from the field. American Butterfly led the field through fractions of 24.01 and 47.78 as Maxfield bided his time. Meanwhile, Gouverneur Morris had broken from the outside post and was wide. On the far turn, Gouverneur Morris mounted a strong rally and blew past American Butterfly,  but Maxfield was getting wound up and quickly erased any doubt about the outcome. Enforceable finished another half-length back in third under Florent Geroux. It was another five lengths back to Ajaaweed, with By Your Side, American Butterfly, January Won, King Theo, Life On the Road and Tap It to Win following. The winner was timed in 1:44.21.

Javier Castellano: “It was a good trip. Unfortunately,we were kind of wide in the first turn, but that’s hard to deal with breaking from the outside post. He broke well enough to get into a good spot. We were just second best today. He earned it and fought for second place, but the winner was the best horse in the race.”

THE NEXT DAY: Per trainer Pletcher, plans are pending discussion with ownership. As things turned out, they were done racing for the year.

In a Feb. 14 allowance race at Tampa going a mile and 40 yards, Untitled led early under Antonio Gallardo with opening splits of 23.40, 47.50 and 1:11.33, but he was run down in the stretch by 1-2 favorite Gouverneur Morris, ridden by John Velazquez. The latter one won by 1 1/4 length in a time of 1:38.88. The third finisher lost by five lengths. Gouverneur Morris was never more than 1 1/1/2 length back. The final time was only .02 second off the track record for the distance set by Jackson; however, the Equibase speed figure was two digits, so the track must've been playing fast. Only five broke from the gate, and one of them, Dudley Square, immediately lost his rider. The chart says of the top two: "Gouverneur Morris bobbled slightly while breaking on terms with the leaders, shifted out three deep racing into the first turn attending a rival's pace, came under some prompting to maintain terms with that foe racing into the far turn, then continued with a steady bid to wrest command leaving midstretch, edging forward under left handed pressure. Untitled broke sharply, angled inwards to dictate the pace on a narrow margin racing a bit off the rail, held sway through the far turn but proved no match for the winner in the final sixteenth."

John Velazquez: “I had to change my strategy (when Dudley Square lost his jockey), because I was expecting that horse to be on the lead. But it worked out anyway. He finished real nice. This was a real tough race to come off the bench, but you have to start somewhere.”

Co-owner Team Valor's Barry Irwin: “Johnny told me that the plan was for (Dudley Square) to set the pace, but when that horse lost his jockey, he had to go up and do the dirty work (keeping within range of Untitled) on the turn. He’s kind of a quirky horse. In the morning, he’ll get halfway down the stretch and kind of lose interest or something, then he’ll just refocus and take off. That’s kind of what he did today on the turn. It looked like he was floundering for a second, then when Johnny got after him he put (Untitled) away. Each of his last three workouts, he has improved so much. If he runs first or second next time and we feel good, then we’ll go to the Derby. If not, there are plenty of other races."

March 19 NOTE: He may go in the Florida Derby if an upcoming work goes well. Team Valor's Barry Irwin said, “With opportunities and travel options expected to be limited, we have changed our outlook on racing him. We want to run him while there are still races available.”

March 21 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, “He worked as well as he ever has this morning.I think we should take what's in front of us, assuming they keep running at Gulfstream.”

Tiz the Law stamped himself once again as a leading Kentucky Derby contender following a going-away win of the Florida Derby on March 28. After breaking well under Manny Franco, 7-5 favorite Tiz the Law sat behind the dueling duo of 5-2 second choice Ete Indien and 80-1 longshot Shivaree through opening fractions of 23.75, 47.95 and 1:11.94. Heading into the far turn, it looked like Ete Indien was getting the measure of Shivaree, but that one fought back even as Tiz the Law began to launch a serious bid.  Leaving the far turn, Tiz the Law established himself as the leader while Shivaree pushed back on Ete Indien. From there, it was all Tiz the Law, who galloped to a 4 1/4-length win while geared down the last 70 yards. Shivaree was second, three-fourths of a length better than Ete Indien. Gouverneur Morris, who was sixth or seventh at the first three calls, finished fourth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths. Tiz the Law was timed in 1:50.00.

April 8 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher told DRF's Jay Privman that Gouverneur Morris came out of the Florida Derby well, and he pretty much said the Arkansas Derby is the only game in town at this time.

May 1 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, “He’s run against the best of his generation, or a lot of the best, and he’s accounted himself well. We feel like he has every right to take a step forward.”

On May 2, Division 1 of the Arkansas Derby went to Charlatan, who won by six lengths in a time of 1:48.49 after breaking cleanly from post 1 and leading all the way. Basin crossed over from the far outside post to be positioned second going into the first turn, and that's where he finished. Gouverneur Morris chased those two home to get third, a neck back of Basin, and Winning Impression was fourth, beaten 9 1/4 lengths. Charlatan broke well and cruised through inital fractions of 22.88, 46.08, 1:09.68 and 1:35.33. He was never challenged for the lead. Nine ran.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Pletcher said Gouverneur Morris is heading back to Florida and added, "Gouverneur Morris, I thought he ran hard. We were concerned about the pace scenario there, but worked out the best trip we could and was hoping he could get up for second. Just missed that, but overall I thought he gave us a good effort. Not exactly what we were hoping for, but pleased."

May 19 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes on June 20.

May 25 NOTE: Now listed probable by NYRA press office.

May 27 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "I thought it was a good effort (in the Arkansas Derby). He's also looking for the right kind of trip, and it seemed that at Oaklawn that day it was hard to make up a lot of ground. Ideally, he's suited for a race with a true pace where he can settle and make one run. He didn't have a bad trip in the Arkansas Derby, but at the same time he was never really able to settle into the rhythm you'd like him to. He always had horses inside and outside of him and in front of him, and he was always in an awkward position, so I thought it was encouraging that he continued on and tried to the wire."

May 30 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher told DRF's David Grening yesterday, “I don’t think blinkers made him too rank, but I can’t say I’ve seen a huge change with them. He was on the bridle in the beginning, but they went off in 13.” Gouverneur Morris hasn't raced in blinkers but wore them in this workout. Pletcher said jockey Velazquez suggested blinkers for the Arkansas Derby, but the trainer opted out after he worked the horse in them. Expected to ship to New York June 7 or 8.

July 11 NOTE: Gouverneur Morris has defected from the Belmont Stakes and is now pointing to the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on July 11, per the NYRA press office.

June 20 NOTE: DRF reported yesterday Gouverneur Morris has a leg infection and was sent to the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland earlier in the week to get oxygen-tank treatment. He is expected to be there for at least a week. Trainer Pletcher said, “It puts the Blue Grass as a question mark. The Peter Pan could be in play, we’ll just have to play it by ear.”

June 29 NOTE: The Commish noticed and mentioned to me that Churchill Downs has a line drawn through Gouverneur Morris on its Derby Points Leaderboard. I have not seen anything officially removing him from the Derby Trail, but this is not a good sign.

 

 

GREEN LIGHT GO (KY)
Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
Owner: Stronach Stables
Breeder: Adena Springs
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Hard Spun (Danzig, Turkish Tryst)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Light Green (Pleasantly Perfect, Green Light)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-8-13-0-0 (24) 2.69
Foal Date: April 5, 2017


NEXT RACE:

Green Light Go won his first two races, his debut a 3 1/4-length debut win on July 4 at Belmont going 5 ½ furlongs, and the second one a 3 3/4-length win in the Saratoga Special on August 10 when Green Light Go drew away from runner-up Noose and third-place finisher Tuggle.

In the Oct. 5 Champage Stakes going a one-turn mile, 6-5 favorite Green Light Go went to the front under Junior Alvarado, leading the six-horse field through opening fractions of 22.57 and 46.15. Tiz the Law, under Manny Franco, stayed covered in fifth position on the backstretch, moving up to third around the turn. Entering the top of the stretch, Tiz the Law easily overtook Gozilla and Green Light Go from the outside and continued to press on to the wire, recording a final time of 1:35.41. Green Light Go edged longshot Big City Bob for second but was beaten four lengths.
 
Junior Alvarado: "Just second best. He was in a nice rhythm. I thought he was very relaxed. Turning for home, I asked him for a run and he gave me his best. Just second best.  I'm thinking the others were going to go. They broke right next to me. I waited for them to go. I got the lead without even asking."

Things didn't work out as well as hoped in the Swale Stakes when Green Light Go finished third.

LATER: Trainer Jerkens told DRF's Mike Welsch, “That race was a little disappointing. I thought they’d be more spread out down the backside instead of clumped up like that, and he wasn’t in a very comfortable spot. He ran evenly down the lane at least, which was encouraging. He picked up the bit again a little at the end. He’s trained well since his last start, he had a nice work the other day in company with Mihos. He seems to be moving forward. Now it’s time to see what we have. It’s hard to say where he fits distance-wise. He’s a son of Hard Spun, who gets all sorts of horses, so you can’t go by him. The dam (Light Green) is by Pleasantly Perfect. She was a sprinter, and her mother was a sprinter. But his body type changed over the winter. He’s become longer and more slender through the middle, like he might be a router. I just hope he draws a good post. We’ve got to give it a shot and see where we stand.”

Feb. 25 NOTE: Javier Castellano will ride in the Fountain of Youth.

Feb. 25 NOTE: Green Light Go is out of the Fountain of Youth almost as fast as he was in. Trainer Jerkens said he spiked a fever Monday night. Next-race plans were not publicly discussed.

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Jerkens said, "He's still a little quiet but we have some cool days coming up here, so hopefully that will perk him up some."

May 13 NOTE: Trainer Jerkens said ahead of the Roar Stakes, “I thought (the Swale) wasn’t great, but it didn’t set up right for him. It looked like there was a lot more speed than they showed, and the field was in a ball all the way around. When he had his run-up there really wasn’t anywhere to go, and he ended up falling back on the turn. He made a little run to be third, but we were hoping for something a little better. He didn’t do well after the race. Nothing soundness-wise, but he just didn’t go on and develop the way we wanted. He got a little sick, and it was a long time getting over it. Leading up to the Fountain of Youth, he just wasn’t up to snuff. But, he looks like he’s on the way. I didn’t want to start him out in something that would knock him out. It’ll be over three months since he ran so this should be a good spot to start him back. He’s been training well. He should give a good effort. It’s kind of been disappointing, he didn’t develop like we had hoped to be a candidate for the big races but, who knows, he still might later on in the year. We just have to get him back going and see what happens. There’s a lot of big races still out there.”

In Gulfstream Park's May 16 Roar Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs, Green Light Go didn't win, but he finished second by only a half-length to Double Crown and a time of 1:16.57. With Verve was another length back in third. Green Light Go started out a length off the pace and had a little trouble when he turned for home. The chart says he "pressed the pace outside Cajun Casanova from thestart, was in tight briefly between that one and Double Crown in upper stretch, and stayed on stubbornly inside the winner."

June 29 NOTE: He worked on May 30, then not again until June 21.

 


HAPPY SAVER (KY)
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Wertheimer and Frere
Breeder: Wertheimer et Frere
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Super Saver (Maria's Mon, Supercharger)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Happy Week (Distorted Humor, Lassie's Legacy)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-8-0-0 (16) 3.00
Foal Date: March 5, 2017


After a string of workouts dating back to April 24, this homebred debuted on June 20 at Belmont Park a couple of weeks after being shipped up from Florida. After not doing all that well at the gate in the mornings, he got a flyer when the bell rang today, was always prominent, and drew off to win by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:21.51 for seven furlongs under Irad Ortiz, Jr. at 4-1 odds. An impressive performance. The Angry Man (5-1) was second, favored O'Trouble (9-5)  third in a field of eight. The chart says he "prompted the pace of O'Trouble from the outside three then two wide, swung four then three wide straightened away into upper strertch, took over command at the three-sixteenths and drew clear under a drive to prevail."

June 21 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said, "He had been training well. We were looking forward to getting him started. I have to admit, the win was more impressive than I could have hoped for. It's always exciting when you have that. It surprised me when he showed as much as he did. There are plenty of options, so we'll let him take us where we need to go."
 

 

HIGH VELOCITY (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Gary and Mary West
Breeder: Dell Ridge Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Quality Road (Elusive Quality, Kobla)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Ketel Twist (Dixie Union, Frozen Treat)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-2-9-0-0 (14) 2.11
Foal Date: Jan. 30, 2017

$350,000 Keeneland September 2018

NEXT RACE:

He won his debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on Oct. 13 at Santa Anita, prevailing by two lengths.

In the seven-furlong Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 16, High Velocity outdueled highly-regarded Strongconstitution to win in impressive fashion. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, he was even-money in a field of only four, while Strongconstitution, piloted by Abel Cedillo, was the 4-5 favorite. High Velocity went to the front at the break, closely followed by Strongconstitution, and from there it was a virtual match race. The pair came into the stretch head-and-head, and High Velocity responded to urging in the final furlong to gradually draw off from Strongconstitution and score by 1 1/4 length in 1:23.16. Zimba Warrior finished 4 1/2 lengths behind the runner-up and eight and one-half lengths ahead of last finisher Rager. There were two scratches.

Bob Baffert: “He handled everything well for his second out. It’s always a tough test after you break a maiden, and he didn’t have a lot of time between races. But the way he worked we thought he would run well. I liked the way that when that other horse (Strongconstitution) came to him, he dug in and took off again. And that’s a nice horse that ran second.”

Drayden Van Dyke:  “I was loaded all the way. He’s a fast horse, I knew that; I broke him out of the gate the other morning. I got away with some pretty easy fractions here, so I was feeling good about that. I told Bob (trainer Bob Baffert) that he was just hitting his best stride as we went past the wire. He’s a nice one.”

In the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 7, High Velocity was head and head to the top of the lane with Thousand Words. He tired late to finish third, beaten 5 1/4 lengths by his stable mate. Anneau d'Or was second, beaten a neck.

In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1 at Santa Anita, Thousand Words sat back in fourth of six runners for three-quarters of a mile while High Velocity and Tizamagician dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.65, 47.20 and 1:11.44. Royal Act wasn't far back in third, two lengths in arrears after six furlongs. In the stretch, High Velocity and Tizamagician began to regress, yielding the late lead to Thousand Words, who came on between horses, as Royal Act was wide to get up for second. The winning margin was 3/4 length, and the top four finishers were separated at the wire by only 1 3/4 length. The winning time was 1:43.64 for 1 1/16 mile.

June 4 NOTE: He hasn't put in a published workout for at least two months.

 

 

INDEPENDENCE HALL (KY)
Trainer: Mike Trombetta
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC, Kathleen Verratti & Robert N. Verratti
Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Constitution (Tapit, Baffled)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Kalahari Cat (Capetown, Desert Stormette)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-6-0-0 (14) 3.67
Foal Date: April 17, 2017

$100,000 Keeneland September 2018
$2000,000 RNA Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2019


NEXT RACE:

He won at first asking at Parx, and Jose Ortiz happened to be there that day and saw him run.

In the one-turn, one-mile Nashua Stakes on Nov. 3, Independence Hall was much the best in a field of nine at 9-1 odds under Jose Ortiz, winning by 12 1/4 lengths in racehorse time of 1:34.66. He pressed Spycraft through the first half-mile in 22.68 and 45.55, led by two after six furlongs and then left them in his dust while briefly racing greenly in response to the whip in the stretch. The chart says, "Independence Hall away in good order, was a contender for the top in short order, going about the task in the two path, picked (up) in interest when let out a notch in the form of some hand encouragament to begin to edge away from the competition during the final stages of the run around the bend, settled in upper stretch and got called upon for more, took charge, came in one path from one right side shot leaving the eighth pole, ducked out two to three paths a few strides later after the pilot switched the whip to the opposite, saw the rider resort to a hand drive, became professional and drew even farther away from the others, most impressively." Menu was second, Chase Tracker was another length back in third, and Famished was fourth, beaten 16 3/4 lengths. The 9-5 favorite, Ashaar, was fifth, beaten 19 3/4 lengths. Liveyourbeastlife, Spycraft, Americanus and Lebda completed the order of finish.

Michael Trombetta: "I wouldn't imagine that any of my horses could do that. I thought this was a great group that was assembled, and it was an intimidating bunch of horses, actually. For him to come up and run this well, I don't have the words to describe it. There's not much of a ladder to walk up as far as allowance races and things like that. So it works out. We all have to jump into the water and try our best. We'll see how he is and talk to the owners and come up with a plan for him. This is a great conversation to have. This was a step in the right direction."

Jose Ortiz: "Very impressive. He looked very good first time out. I was there at Parx when he broke his maiden. I was very excited about riding him today. Mike told me the first time out that the only thing he didn't do well was break. Today, he broke really clean and I had to go ahead with him. When I went to the crop at the quarter-pole I knew the race was done. I don't think any other 2-year-old out there can kick like him. He seems special."

Dec. 1 NOTE: The Remsen in early December was ruled out in favor of the Jerome on Jan. 1. Trainer Trombetta said, "It falls well on the calendar. Off of such a big win, the Remsen was a little close and the Jerome allows us to run over a track and a distance that he's familiar with."

Dec. 29 NOTE: "We're real pleased with how he's doing coming into this race. That was a real big effort he gave in the Nashua, and we've given him a lot of time to recover since then. Part of the plan in returning to Aqueduct for this race was the comfort level in him having run already at the track. We believe this race will be a good place to start in kicking off his campaign before we head south to continue our plans in mapping out the year."

In the Jan. 1 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct, Independence Hall acted up in the paddock but won anyway. The track was rated good. He broke last of six under returning pilot Jose Ortiz and was quickly maneuvered outside rivals to stalk from second position as Dubai Bobby set splits of 23.79 and 47.47. Independence Hall cruised four wide through the turn and opened up a 2 1/2-length advantage mid-stretch. Prince of Pharoahs launched a bid up the rail, and Bourbon Bay cranked up the pressure from the outside. Under confident handling, Independence Hall continued widened through the final sixteenth and was never threatened while stopping the clock in 1:37.27. Prince of Pharoahs and Bourbon Bay dead-heated for second, beaten four lengths.

Mike Trombetta: "I thought it was good. Jose said it was a bit tiring. He didn't get away good, and this probably got to the bottom of him because it's been two months. This is a different track than he ran on last time. I'm just glad to get through it, and it's one more step in the direction we want to go. Truthfully, even if he didn't win and he was a little vulnerable, if he did things right and was still well, that's horse racing. As hard as it is to take sometimes, I would have been good with it. Everyone knows what our goals are and we're trying to get there one step at a time.
 
"I'll talk to the partners but I think the plan will be next week to head down to Tampa and train down there and get out of this weather and get him ready for the next step. It could be the Sam F. Davis, it's on the radar in five weeks. But the intent was after today was to head south. We schooled him and he schooled well, but he's obviously different in the afternoon when he comes over. He's smart enough to know it's time to do something. I'm going to have to keep working on that. He's a lot bigger and stronger than us. My guys did a great jobm and it can be hard to deal with him when they're like that. We schooled him here Monday, and he was great. He knows the difference. We'll keep working with it."
 
Jose Ortiz: "He had a lot of energy here in the paddock, but last time he was like that too on the race track. Today, as soon as I got to the pony, he was very nice and relaxed. He broke a bit slow today because he wasn't standing the right way. It was a small field, and I was able to put him in the clear. I didn't want to get stuck in behind horses today and try to be a hero. I got the opportunity to ride him like he was the best horse, and I did. From the quarter pole to the wire he did very well. He didn't look like he did last time, but these are a little better horses, and I think the track is very tiring today. (Two turns is) a question mark. We hope he can do it. He's a big, strong horse. He looks like he can do it, we just have to wait and see."

Feb. 2 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said, "He's continuing to train well and we're looking forward to Saturday and on schedule for the Sam F. Davis. He kicked on nice (in a Tampa workout today). I’m very happy with the breeze. The way he started off (an opening eighth of a mile in about 13 seconds), you wouldn’t have thought he’d breeze in 48 and change. The ask was somewhere in the 48-49 range and out in 1:01 range, and he galloped out in 1:00 4/5. So if you’re choosier than that, you’ll never be happy. Knock wood, he’s been good. He beat the hell out of all of us (before the Jerome). He gets a little excited, but I think he wants to get out there and do something.  The (difference in points) was part of the decision process, but the owners feel the points will come if the horse is right. This race is here at the track he’s training on, and the other one is 600 miles away at a track he’s never seen. You weight all these things, then everybody has to be happy with whatever decision is made and you just roll with it.”

Feb. 5 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said, “In horse racing, there are a lot of circumstances that can come into play. You have a lot of horses testing the waters to see how good they are, and all of us have the same goal: to see how far they can take us. We’d love to show up and run big and win the race, but the big picture is a little further down the line.”

Sole Volante pulled off a minor upset in the Sam F. Davis Stakes on Feb. 8, timed in 1:42.60, only .16 second off the stakes record, after closing from far back. Chapalu and Premier Star dueled through a half-mile in 46.52, followed two or three lengths back by 3-5 favorite Independence Hall and 15 1/2 lengths by Sole Volante. In the far turn, the latter one seized control, and the stragglers started closing the gap. By the time they'f reached the furlong marker, Sole Volante was within a half-length of Independence Hall, going on to reel him in and win by 2 1/2 lengths. Ajaweed, who was about 20 lengths back after the race was half over, finished third, beaten 13 3/4 lengths and a neck in front of Tiz Rye Time. Seven ran.

Michael Trombetta: “Jose said his tongue tie came loose in the post parade, but I’m not saying that as an excuse. It’s an inconvenience, and I’m going to have to watch the replay and take it all in. He was a little excitable (in the paddock) but he wasn’t terrible, so we’ll see.”

Feb. 22: Jose Ortiz sustained a broken wrist today and is sidelined, estimated duration not stated.

Feb. 23, NOTE: Jose Ortiz's agent Jimmy Riccio told DRF, "I've already talked to Aron Wellman, and he said Independence won't be running in the next two or three weeks anyway, so hopefully Jose should be back in time for him." This would rule out the Tampa Bay Derby for Independence Hall.

Feb. 25 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta spoke to Blood-Horse's Bob Ehalt after Independence Hall's first workout since the Sam F. Davis Stakes and said, "He went well. It was his first breeze after his race two weeks ago. It was just a little maintenance work, and he did well. We've talked a little bit, but we haven't finalized anything. We'll have more conversations about that this week. We're not leaning in any direction. We're just chewing on different things, but we have to pull things together soon, obviously."

Feb. 29 NOTE: Trainer Trombetta said today Independence Hall will be pointed to the Florida Derby. Coincidentally, he said, he hopes Jose Ortiz will be healthy and in the saddle.

March 1 NOTE: Co-owner Aron Wellman said the Florida Derby is “our current line of thinking right now. We like the timing of the race. We think it’s a race that should accentuate his strengths, and of course being a Grade 1 is also an important consideration. His sire won it and his damsire won it, so that is something that we’re hoping to emulate, as well. He’s doing great. He’s already had two breezes since the Sam Davis, and it’s going to be a challenge to keep him contained until March 28, but Mike (Trombetta) and (assistant trainer) Sarah Shaffer are doing a superb job with him, and we have every confidence that if all goes well, he’ll show up with a big effort on Florida Derby day.” Wellman said there'd be two more works at Tampa Bay Downs and one at Gulfstream Park.

Wellman said that in the Sam F. Davis, Independence Hall lost his right front shoe coming out of the starting gate. A loss of his tongue tie was previously reported as well. “That likely had more of an impact on his performance than the tongue tie did. All credit to Sole Volente on the day; he beat us on the square. But, those are a couple things that certainly didn’t act in our horse’s favor. He did all the dirty work, he chased a very fast pace and he was the only one that was up there left standing at the wire. By all accounts, we were very pleased with his performance. Obviously, you never want to get beat, but it was a very good performance, and I think we take a lot away from it, as well. We never had an intention of having him peaking on Feb. 8. Our goal is to be peaking as the year progresses, and we’re hoping that the Florida Derby is one event along the way that sees him find his best form.”

March 9 NOTE: Jose Ortiz has been cleared to ride again following his recent injury.

March 18 NOTE: Ortiz has decided he needs more time to recuperate from his broken wrist and thus will not ride Independence Hall in the Florida Derby.

March 22 NOTE: Co-owner Aron Wellman said, “We’re certainly pleased with the horse in all respects. I spoke to (Mike Trombetta and his assistant  Sarah Shaffer); both of them were extremely pleased with the breeze. He had had his serious workout the week before last when we really put some air into him going seven and out a strong mile. All he needed this morning was a little maintenance move to sharpen him up. Mike was very happy and Sarah executed the plan to precision. Sarah thought that Independence Hall really appreciated the surface at Gulfstream this morning. It’s a mixture of dirt and sand compared to what he’s been on all winter at Tampa, which is pure sand. Sarah was of the opinion that he got a hold of this surface better than how he’s been handling Tampa. That’s no knock on Tampa’s surface – it’s a great surface and he had a really good winter there. With the big goal being the Florida Derby right now ahead of us, we’re pleased to hear that Sarah believes that he really bounced over this surface nicely today. I thought that the body of the work itself was very, very sharp and just what we wanted to see, especially for a young horse like him going by himsef. I thought from the wire to the mile-pole and then from the mile-pole to the seven-eighths I thought it was probably the best part of his work. He really started to find his stride and it seemed like he had a lot of energy galloping out, and that’s exactly what Mike was looking for this morning six days out from the Florida Derby.”

In the March 31 Florida Derby, Independence Hall finished fifth, beaten 10 1/2 lengths by Tiz the Law and a time of 1:50.00.

May 20 NOTE: Independence Hall hasn't put in a published workout since the Florida Derby.

June 4 NOTE: Still missing from the worktab.

June 29 NOTE: Crossed off the Derby Trail points list by Churchill Downs.


 


INVADER (KY)
Trainer: Wesley Ward
Owner: Cheyenne Stables, LLC, Grandview Equine & LNJ Foxwoods
Breeder: Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): War Front (Danzig, Starry Dreamer)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Say (IRE) (Galileo (IRE), Riskaverse)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-5-18-6-0 (32) 1.13
Foal Date: May 8, 2017

$500,000 Keeneland September 2018a


Invader got a 12 3/4 length maiden special weight win at Turfway on Dec. 4. It was his fifth start, and he got the 1 1/16 mile in 1:45.38. His previous four starts came at various other tracks and were all on turf.

On Feb. 14 at Turfway Park, Invader won the John Battaglia Memorial, the final local prep for the Spiral Stakes. Final time for the 1 1/16-mile was 1:45.92. He was the fourth betting choice at 5-1. Albin Jimenez contained Invader as long as he could, but once let loose the colt bore down on the leader to win by 6 1/4 lengths. High Holy, the pacesetting 9-5 favorite, was second, four lengths ahead of Toma Toda in third. Bumped leaving the gate, High Holy was eager to go, but Alan Garcia dialed him back to a sensible :24.45 for the first quarter, :48.71 for the half and 1:12.52 for six furlongs. Jimenez, meanwhile, kept Invader out of traffic a length or so behind to the outside. Turned loose with three furlongs to run, Invader headed High Holy at the quarter-pole and drew off in the final furlong.

Albin Jimenez: “He’s a good horse from the gate, really quick, but there were a couple of speed horses in there and I didn’t want to go to the lead too early. I wanted to wait as long as I could, but he’s such a strong horse. By the three-eighths pole. he was taking it by himself so I just him go.”

Field Pass, who is not nominated to the Triple Crown, ran down a stalking Invader in deep stretch to win by neck while pacesetter Fancy Liquor hung on stubbornly for third two more lengths back in the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park on March 14.  Field Pass was never worse than fourthl, three lengths back of Fancy Liquor, who carved out early splits of 23.76, 47.78 and 1:11.73. Invader was the first to make a serious challenge, and he narrowly led with a fulong remaining. Field Pass prevailed in the shadow of the wire. The winning time was 1:499.34.

June 4 NOTE: Missing from the worktab since April 5.

June 29 NOTE: Still no word on him.





MAJOR FED (KY)
Trainer: Greg Foley
Owner: Lloyd Madison Farms, IV LLC
Breeder: Lloyd Madison IV, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Ghostzapper (Awesome Again (CAN), Baby Zip)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Bobby's Babe (Smart Strike (CAN), Sabeline (IRE))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-8-14-1-1 (30) 2.33
Foal Date: April 16, 2017


NEXT RACE:

Debuting on Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs, Major Fed finished a late closing third behind Gold Street, who would later to take the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds and the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The track was sloppy.

On Jan. 1 at Fair Grounds, in his second career start, Major Fed won going away to give trainer Foley Kentucky Derby hope. Three-wide on the first turn, he stalked a moderate pace from fifth of seven early on under Brian Hernandez, Jr. Five wide on the bend for home, he took full command late and won going away by 4 1/4 lengths. Major Fed earned an 87 Bris speed figure and a strong late pace number of 106.

Assistant trainer Travis Foley three days later: “We’re in the game. He’s a big, good looking horse and he’s always been sound. We knew he had some talent right from the start. We sprinted him first time out, and he was just kind of green and ran into some really nice horses but still put in a good third. Even his win here the other day, I thought he got a good schooling and was a little unexperienced and figuring things out. He’s getting better and better and just hope to keep him happy and going the right direction. We were lucky to have raced the mare. Lloyd Madison has been with us for years. They had Champali in the early 2000’s and have just built up their home-bred program.

"There are all nice horses in this family. They’ve all been stakes caliber and have just been knocking on the door waiting for a breakthrough. Most of this mare’s good runners have been turf, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s nice to have Major Fed showing so much talent over the main track. It pumps you up and puts you in the game/ The way that he did it was visually impressive and it makes it exciting. That’s why you get in this game, to have chances at the big ones, and obviously we have a long way to go to get where we want to be but he gives us a chance and that’s all you can ask for.

“Time wise, it’s not the best. It’s a little too quick back for the LeComte. We’re still trying to map it all out. He came out of the race really good and is sound. I think he’s bred to go all day. Some of his relatives could get a mile and a half, and just seeing him kick home the other day you get excited to see how he finished. It looked like he had a ton left in the tank, and I think the further the better with him. We’ll see how good he is but distance should not be an issue with this horse.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Foley said, “He’s a big, good looking horse. We knew he had some talent from the start. We sprinted him first time out and he was just kind of green and ran into some really nice horses. He got some good schooling in his maiden win and he’s just figuring things out.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries.  In the second division of the Risen Star, on the rail under Junior Alvarado Modernist pressed early fractions set by Ny Traffic, who broke from the outside post 12, of 24.38, 48.57 and 1:12.62. Modernist took over at the top of the stretch, and held off a late charge by Major Fed to win by one length in a final time of 1:51.28. Ny Traffic was a neck behind Major Fed in third, Mailman Money, who was third by a length after six furlongs, kept running to get fourth. Following a poor break and a bump with Mailman Money into the first turn, even-money favorite Anneau d’Or finished ninth.

Julien Leparoux: “He ran a great race. We had a great trip, and I thought I was going to win for a second, but he got a little tired at the end. He still showed a ton of heart, and I’m proud of him.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Major Fed will have a new jockey for the Louisiana Derby. Joel Rosario has the call. Juien Leparoux rode Major Fed to a second-place finish in Div. II of the Risen Star, beaten a length by Modernist. Rosario rode Anneau d'Or in Division II and Scabbard in Division I. Leparoux rode Enforceable in Division I.

Wells Bayou and Ny Traffic ran one-two throughout to make up the exacta in the March 21 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Under Florent Geroux, Wells Bayou, the 3-1 favorite off an 8-1 morning line, set fractions of 23.56, 48.00, 1:12.42 and 1:37.61 en route to a final time of 1:56.47 for 1 3/16 mile.  Joe Bravo, who subbed for Luis Saez, had Ny Traffic always prominent and finished well, although beaten 1 1/2 length by the winner. Modernist finished third, another 2 3/4 lengths back, from post 14 after Junior Alvarado had to keep him wide but within striking distance on both turns  Major Fed got up in the stretch for fourth after being last early. Enforceable, the 7-2 morning line favorite, finished fiffth after being sent off as the 7-2 second choice.

Assistant trainer Travis Foley: “He ran awesome. I thought we would be fifth or sixth. He got left, and I don’t know how he ended up where he did. It is kind of unexplainable as far as the trip we had. He was rolling and ran awesome. I think we have a really nice horse.”

Joel Rosario: "He ran fine. We didn't have much trouble. We lost a little momentum at the 3-1/2 (pole), but he finished up real well."

May 11 NOTE: Major Fed arrived at Churchill Downs from Fair Grounds today.

May 16 NOTE: Trainer Foley said after Major Fed breezed in 51.40 on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs, “It gives us a lot of excitement to have a horse like him in our barn. He’s fit so this morning’s work was just a little maintenance. He’s getting better every day and that’s what makes us so excited about him and his future. He ran hard in both the Louisiana Derby and in the Risen Star when he finished second/ We just need to catch a good trip and our time will come.”

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Foley said, “I’ve been doing this my whole life and always dreamt I would one day have a starter in the Derby. I grew up in the sport under my father (Dravo) and now my boys (Travis and Alex) are getting involved in the game. It’s special to have a horse like this who gives us every sign he will get better with age. He has shown us he has just as much, if not more, talent than his siblings. They were all solid horses in their own right on the racetrack and we hope Major Fed is just a step above. We drew the inside in the Louisiana Derby and we were what seemed like 20 lengths behind the second to last horse in the race. Through no fault of his own, he was the first horse to be loaded and completely missed the break. Now we drew the 12 hole.”

In the May 23 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, Major Fed finished last of 10, beaten 15 3/4 lengths by Maxfield and a time of 1:43.05 for the 1 1/16 mile. He broke from the far outside post 10 and went into the first turn widest of all. He was fifth, only 1 1/4 length off the lead after the first quarter-mile, but he regressed steadily from there.

June 29 NOTE: He breezed on June 15 and June 25 at Churchill Downs.

 

 

MAN IN THE CAN (AR)
Trainer: Ron Moquett
Owner: JRita Young Thoroughbreds LLC
Breeder: JRita Young Thoroughbreds, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Can the Man (Into Mischief, Smolensk)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam):  Smeauxkininthelane (Smoke Glacken, Race to Glory)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-2-5-0-0 (10) 3.00
Foal Date: March 11, 2017


NOT NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

NEXT RACE: Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Going into an allowance optional claimer on June 12, Man in the Can had won three of four starts, including his debut in open company at Remington Park; the restricted, six-furlong Rainbow Stakes at Oaklawn Park; and the restricted, 1 1/16-mile Arkansas Breeders' Championship Stakes at Oaklawn.

In a 1 1/8-mile allowance optional claiming race among open company on June 12 at Churchill Downs, Worth Watching horse Earner (5-1) finished third, beaten beaten two lengths by 5-2 favorite and Arkansas-bred Man in the Can and a time of 1:49.74. Earner set the pace under Ricardo Santana, Jr. with initial splits of 23.27, 47.77 and1:12.48. Dean Martini (10-1) finished second by 1 1/2 length after stalking the pace and hitting the lead around the furlong marker. Man in the Can was sixth in the field of 12 after a half-mile, but he was never more than 3 1/2 lengths off the pace. Neither Man in the Can nor Dean Martini was nominated to the Triple Crown.

TWO DAYS LATER: Trainer Moquett said, “That sure was an impressive turn of foot. I wasn’t expecting him to go off as that big of a favorite but he ran against some stiff Arky-bred competition in his last couple of starts at Oaklawn. I think the bettors saw that before the race, and that’s why he ended up going off favorite. He definitely deserves a shot in the Blue Grass. There have been so many top Kentucky Derby contenders that have gone off the trail this week that it’s really anyone’s game.”

July 1 NOTE: Possible for the Blue Grass Stakes.

 

 

MAXFIELD (KY)
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Owner: Godolphin, LLC
Breeder: Godolphin
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Street Sense (Street Cry (IRE), Bedazzle)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Velvety (Bernardini, Caress)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 
3-2-7-0-0 (12) 2.43
Foal Date: Feb. 17, 2017

NEXT RACE: Off the Derby Trail

He debuted with a win at Churchill Downs on Sept. 14 after training at Ellis Park during the summer.

In the Oct. 5 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, Maxfield was last in the field of 10 in the early going but was much the best when he matched up with favored Gouverneur Morris at the top of the stretch. He cruised to a 51/2-length victory. American Butterfly led the field through fractions of 24.01 and 47.78 as Maxfield bided his time. Meanwhile, Gouverneur Morris had broken from the outside post and was wide. On the far turn, Gouverneur Morris mounted a strong rally and blew past American Butterfly,  but Maxfield was getting wound up and quickly erased any doubt about the outcome. Enforceable finished another half-length back in third under Florent Geroux. It was another five lengths back to Ajaaweed, with By Your Side, American Butterfly, January Won, King Theo, Life On the Road and Tap It to Win following. The winner was timed in 1:44.21.

Brendan Walsh: “When he started rolling I was looking to see if he was going to get through – is there anything going to stop us – because I knew he was going to run right to the wire. He’s a very special horse. I’ve been around a lot of good horses, and good horses breathe different air. I think this horse is right there. I thought he might take a run or two to break his maiden, but we knew he was a super-talented horse. He overcame a lot the first day we ran him, and he came out of that race doing so good. To come back in three weeks for a horse that’s only run once is a big ask, but he answers every question. Obviously, we’ll see how he comes out of this, but if you don’t bring him (to Breeders' Cup), who do you bring?"

Jose Ortiz: “He’s a very nice horse and he’s very smart. He broke slow first time, took dirtand came running at Churchill. Today, he did the same thing. Broke a bit slow, relaxed and when I asked him to go, he was there for me the whole time.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Walsh said,  “I think he galloped out a lot better than I did. I’m paying for it this morning. He will probably stay here at Keeneland and then go out three or four days ahead of time. Anybody who ever looks at him, they all say how impressive he is physically, and he’s got a fantastic mind. Everybody could see that yesterday in the paddock before. And even in the race, to run into kickback like that, like he did in his maiden as well. He does it all. He makes us look good, because you point him in the right direction and he does it. He’s just a pleasure to train. To come back in three weeks was the question I had in my mind. I was kind of worried if it was too quick to come back with a 2-year-old. But he proved me wrong. I thought h e might even need a run or two to break his maiden, and I was totally wrong there as well. Good horses do that. He’s done everything right so far.”

After being shipped to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Maxfield came up lame, maybe due to a front foot bruise per trainer Walsh. He was given the rest of the year off.

Nov. 10 NOTE: Trainer Walsh said Maxfield will likely return to his Florida base this winter, and he added, “If he even had a hair turn we were going to scratch him. He just wasn’t right so obviously we weren’t going to take any chances. Our goal with him has always been a 3-year-old campaign. I was surprised he broke his maiden like he did first out. I thought he would be the type of horse that would take some time to break his maiden. He’ll get a break at the farm for a little while and I’ll bring him back next year. I haven’t completely mapped out a campaign next year for the Derby. This horse can really be anything. He’s extremely special.”

Nov. 27 NOTE: Maxfield recently underwent surgery to remove an ankle chip. Expected to return to racing in 2020.

Jan. 23 NOTE: Arrived at Palm Meadows, reportedly ready to train.

Feb. 16 NOTE: Nothing on the worktab yet.

Feb. 17 NOTE: Maxfield breezed three furlongs today at Palm Meadows, his first recorded workout of the year.

Feb. 22: Jose Ortiz sustained a broken wrist today and is sidelined, estimated duration not stated.

Feb. 29 NOTE: Brendan Walsh was on HRRN this morning and had this to say. Maxfield is doing great. He's had a couple of works, will work tomorrow. We haven't pushed any buttons yet. His ankle chip issue was very straightforward, we took it out, and he hasn't shown any negatives. I wouldn't rule out the Kentucky Derby. We will run him in one of the trials. I'd hate to tell you no, then a couple of weeks later say he's doing great, we're going to the Derby. But to go to the Derby off one prep, he'd have to really exceed. We'll know more after two, three works' time.

March 1 NOTE: Trainer Walsh said, “He worked really well. He worked a half in 49 and went out five-eighths and three-quarters and went out good, so he’s starting to step up a little bit now. The next work or two we’ll have a good idea of where we’re going to go with him, but he’s doing good. We have to see with him, because it’ll be a question of, do we take a shot at one of the Derby trials if he’s doing real good or just try to find something a little softer for him off the layoff? That’s just the way it is. We’re still not quite decided on it and it’s going to be him that makes the decision for us, really. But, I wouldn’t rule anything in or out. I don’t know if we’d throw him to the wolves off the layoff in something like the Florida Derby. That’s probably unlikely, but I’m saying that like there’s any really softer spots. When you get that close to the (Kentucky) Derby, everybody’s trying to go at it so no matter where you go you’re going to come up against some good ones. We’re kind of watching what’s going on with everybody else, too. The other thing would be to come back maybe somewhere around Keeneland and run him in the Preakness. That might be the other option. It doesn’t matter where he comes back, he’s going to be a good horse this year. It’s just a question about what the timing allows us to do. We’d all love to win the Derby, but on the same point I’m not going to sacrifice a horse like him just for it.”

March 9 NOTE: Trainer Walsh told TDN's Christina Bossinakis, "Since we gave him the break,he's put on good weight. Last year, he was a big frame of a horse. He put on the weight and the muscle that we thought he might, and really filled out. He's the horse that we anticipated he'd turn into last year. He's back to his old self again. He's doing great. He's moving great. He looks fantastic. He loves to train,he's always loved to train. We're seeing everything you'd want to see from him since he got back. I couldn't be happier. I'veseen nothing negative from the horse whatsoever. Since he came back to us, we'd done a bunch of galloping. We picked up the end of his gallops, three eighths, halves, five eighths the last couple of weeks just to build them into the (first) work. If everything went perfectly and we thought he was doing as well as he possibly could do, then we'd probably take in one of the Derby trials, maybe a month out. Roughly a monthout, but things would have to really go well because it would be off of a layoff to [try and] take in any of the Derby trials againsthorses that have had two, three runs this year. To take them on off the bench would be a huge ask for any horse. It's all verywell, but the last thing we want to do is do anything wrong bythe horse just to make the Derby. If he tells us that he can do it and he can make it, then well and good. If he can't, then as much as we'd love to go to the Derby, then we're not going to."

March 18 NOTE: Trainer Walsch said to DRF's Jay Privman about the Kentucky Derby postponement, “Obviously, this gives us more time to help prepare him properly. We’ll just have to see what happens now with the points system and everything. We’ll be waiting on that, like everyone else. I guess for the short term, I might kind of reschedule his breezes and his first race back, but we have to see what Churchill is going to do. We could be making guesses about it all day and we’d probably still be wrong.”

March 28 NOTE: Maxfield on revised schedule, has not breezed since March 14.

April 13 NOTE: Meant to mention this earlier, but Maxfield returned to the worktab last Friday, April 10. He breezed four furlongs in 49.20 (12/47) at Keeneland.

May 6 NOTE: Trainer Walsh yesterday texted BloodHorse's Byron King that the May 23 Matt Winn Stakes at 1 1/16 mile "seems like the most likely spot. The timing is good and home court." Jose Ortiz was named to ride. Maxfield has 10 Kentucky Derby points for winning the Breeders' Futurity last fall at Keeneland. Maxfield worked on March 8 and 14 at Palm Meadows, took a break when the pandemic hit, and returned to the worktab with breezes at Keeneland on April 10, 17 and 25, and May 2.

May 16 NOTE: Trainer Walsh said after Maxfield breezed in 47.20 on a  fast track at Keeneland, “We were able to beat the rain this morning. We’ll ship to Churchill in a few days and get ready for Saturday.”

May 21 NOTE: “I feel like all of us have been anticipating his next start since his scratch before the Breeders’ Cup. We always thought that his best races were ahead of him. When he debuted last year I really wasn’t even thinking about the Breeders’ Futurity if he won that race. I had thought that his best races were going to be when he turned three years old or even into next year. It would’ve been a little bit unorthodox if we were still prepping for the Derby (in May). We were still going to target the Derby, but we would’ve only had one race to get him qualified. Now, we have a couple of races that we can get him ready for the race in September.”

The 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn Stakes, the first Kentucky Derby points race ever run in May, was won by a surging Maxfield. He was bumped at the start and otherwise got off to a characteristic start behind other horses; he was eighth during the early going -- but only 2 3/4 lengths off the pace. Meanwhile, Celtic Striker, Pneumatic and Ny Traffic ding-donged through moderate fractions of 23.98, 48.21 and 1:12.44 during the first six furlongs.  Celtic Striker gave it up leaving the turn while Ny Traffic and Pneumatic went at it down the lane. They were joined by Maxfield at the furlong marker. That one and Ny Traffic bumped as the wire neared before Maxfield ran on to get the best of the other two. Ny Traffic was beaten one length in second place, just 3/4 length ahead of Pneumatic. Attachment Rate was fourth at every call and finished fourth, beaten five lengths.The winner was timed in 1:43.05.

Brendan Walsh: “We were really anxious to see this one. It wasn’t an easy spot either. I think the top four horses are all really nice horses. It’s nice to get this one out of the way. It’s good to see him come back and see he’s as good if not better than when he was a two-year-old. Jose gave him a great ride. He had a different kind of style than he did in the past. He broke really good. He won and we can’t ask for more than that.”

Jose Ortiz: "The start is a key part of the race, and like I told Brendan the last time I worked him from the gate at Keeneland, he broke better. That let me know he'd matured a lot." Is a mile and a quarter too much for him? "I don't think a mile and a quarter will be a problem for him."

May 24 NOTE: Trainer Walsh was asked about Maxfield's next race and said, “I have just been thinking all along to go one race at a time with this colt. We’ll talk it over with the Godolphin team and plan for our next target, whatever that may be. The most impressive thing about this horse is how he handles everything so well mentally. He’s such a cool horse and nothing really bothers him. Along with his athletic ability, his mental state is a really strong one-two punch.”

June 2 NOTE: Trainer Walsh said, “He did come back perfect, thank goodness. I think we’ll have an idea about his next start fairly soon.”

June 8 NOTE: Maxfield will bypass the Belmont Stakes and wait for the Toyota Blue Grass on July 11, with the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 the ultimate target, per Brendan Walsh as told by a tweet from DRF's Marty McGee. Godolphin's primary goal is to win the Kentucky Derby, and they want to keep Maxfield at two turns. Not to mention the fact that Maxfield has already won at Keeneland, although this wasn't stated as a reason.

June 10 NOTE: Maxfield is off the Kentucky Derby Trail after a condylar fracture was discovered following a workout at Keeneland this morning. It's not a life-threatening injury, and he'll have surgery. No decision has been announced about whether he'll be retired from racing. Godolphin has been trying to win the Derby for over 20 years without success.

 

 

MISCHEVIOUS ALEX (KY)
Trainer: John Servis
Owner: Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): White Pants Night (Speightstown, More d'Amour)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-2-3-0-0 (6) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 28, 2017

$75,000 Keeneland September 2018
$140,000 OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden at first asking back in June at Parx. After a second in an allowance race, he was third in the Sapling.

LATER: Trainer Servis said, "He should have won his second start, but he got himself in a bit of a jackpot and ended up checking pretty hard. He fell back and came running but it was definitely a winning race. In the Sapling, Trevor thought he moved a little too soon with him. He got to the lead and then pulled himself up and got caught late."

He was well off the board in the Laurel Futurity, a turf race. On Nov. 5, he registered a 9 1/2-length victory in the Parx Juvenile at seven furlongs after having blinkers added.

LATER: Trainer Servis said, "The grass try was just a lack of anywhere to run and we figured we'd try it and see if he liked it. Obviously, he didn't care for it. I breezed him again after that and he breezed good but he wasn't focused. So, I went ahead and put the blinkers on him and he's been great ever since. If it's not broke, don't fix it. As good as he's running with the blinkers on, I'm not going to take them off.

In the seven-furlong Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 1, Mischevious Alex distanced his opponents at 9-2 odds, besting second finisher Shivaree by seven lengths. A neck back in third was Green Light Go, who disappointed 8-5 odds, as did Untitled, who was a head behind that one in fourth at 7-5 and was never a factor after he broke a step slowly and encountered bumping shortly after the start. Mischevious Alex broke alertly from the starting gate to contest the early pace inside Shivaree and Flash Pass during a 22.41-second first quarter-mile before asserting himself heading into the far turn. He covered the half-mile in 45.02 and continued to show the way before drawing away to a comfortable victory. His time 1:22.83 to win his third race in six career starts.

John Servis: “If you throw out this horse’s turf race, he should be undefeated. In his second race at Laurel, he got in a little tight and almost dropped himself and dropped back and came running and just got beat. In the Sapling, Trevor came back and said, ‘John, this horse should have galloped. I’m just sitting. When I pulled the trigger I didn’t expect him to move like he did.’ He looped around everybody, opened up three and just pulled himself up. So we knew the talent was there. He’s always been a push-button horse but very green. When we did decided to put the blinkers on him, that’s when he started to mind his business. I really think, me personally, a one-turn mile is going to really hit him on the head. Is he a mile and a quarter horse? I don’t think so.”

Irad Ortiz Jr.: “I got a perfect trip. He broke so sharp and just sat there and relaxed a little bit. He was on the pace and he waited for me to call on him and he was great. He broke so sharp I just went with the flow. I didn’t want to rush him and I didn’t want to take him back, so I just left him where he was happy. He felt so good. He did everything right. He’s got more left in the tank, I think.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Servis said a serious run on the Derby Trail is not planned, explaining, “Irad was raving about him. He’s push button. He pricks his ears and waits for you to call on him. That’s the kind of horse you need. He’s got such a good mind on him, he’ll just sit wherever you want, so that will carry him some/ But I don’t know if that’s (Kentucky Derby) in our plans. If he’s doing good, he’s going to have to show me he wants that, but I don’t think he does. I don’t want to put him on the trail and next thing, you end up with no horse at the end of the year.” Servis said the one-turn Gotham could be next.

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Servis said, "Other than turf, he seems to run on anything. He should handle the one-turn no problem and hopefully we can try him two turns after that. If he runs in the Gotham like he ran in his last two races, we'd try one of the Derby preps going two turns and see how he handles it."

March 5 NOTE: Trainer Servis said, “If you look at his Sapling, he looks like a horse that maybe doesn’t want to go that far but Trevor McCarthy was adamant after the race that he should have won but the horse got to the front and started waiting on horses. I think blinkers have solved that. … If he runs good in the Gotham we’ll have to try him at two turns again to see how he handles it. I think the Wood Memorial would be the most logical spot but nothing is etched in stone. We have to get by Saturday first."

In the March 7 Gotham Stakes, after breaking on top and fighting for the front with War Stopper, Celtic Striker and Untitled the first quarter-mile of the race, Mischevious Alex finally had the lead all to himself going into the turn and took the field home from there to prevail by two lengths.Untitled held off a bid by Attachment Rate to best that one by a head, and it was another 2 3/4 lengths to fourth finisher Montauk Traffic. The winner was timed in 1:38.80 for the one-turn mile.

John Servis: "It was a great day for us. He handled the next step up really well and gave us a solid effort today. We'll see how he comes out of this and Chuck [Zacney, Cash is King] and the other partners and I will discuss what's next. Ever since we put the blinkers on him, everything that we've handed him, he has handled very well. We'll discuss (the Wood Memorial), but as long as he comes out of it well, I think it's worth taking a shot."

Kendrick Carmouche: "John pretty much told me this horse can do anything. He sits pretty good or can go to the lead. He told me the horse is a rocket out the gate, so the best thing that I can do is to take advantage. He left out of there running and I didn't want to panic. I wasn't in a rush. I thought I had the best horse in the race, so I wasn't in a hurry. I knew Mark Casse's horse was right there [No. 10, Untitled] shipping in from Tampa. He just ran a tough race out there, so that had to take a little bit of something out of him. I was pretty confident in my horse and John. He just told me to ride the way I feel and win the race."

March 14 NOTE: Confirmed for the Wood Memorial.

March 18 NOTE:  Mischevious Alex could remain at one turn, depending on the points races that are added to the schedule. Trainer Servis told DRF's Jay Privman, “It’s certainly going to make us look at things differently for sure. We had discussed maybe the Bay Shore, Pat Day Mile, and Woody Stephens.” The Pat Day Mile is ordinarily run on Derby day.

April 8 NOTE: Mischevious Alex will remain in Florida for now, with no race plan in mind.

May 21 NOTE: He remains at Palm Meadows and breezed there yesterday for the first time since April 1.

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Servis told DRF's David Grening the Woody Stephens will be next. After that, the Haskell. “We’re pointing for it. He will not have a two-turn test until probably the race before (the Kentucky Derby), and that’ll tell everything."

June 16 NOTE: Trainer John Servis said after a workout today, "He two-minute licked and then we let him pick it up the last half. I wanted to let him stretch his legs a little bit. I think this race sets him up for the other races. The Belmont is a one-turn mile and an eighth and the big question for my horse is two turns, so we'll save that for next time. If he runs really good on Saturday, we'll probably try the Haskell."

In the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes on June 20, Mischevious Alex finished fourth of five horses, beaten 5 3/4 lengths. No Parole broke sharply from the inside post and led at every call before surging home to a 3 3/4-length victory after an opening quarter-mile in 22.31 seconds, the half in 45.01 and three-quarters in 1:08.62. He completed the race in 1:21.42. Echo Town passed horses in the lane and was 1 3/4-lengths better of stablemate Shoplifted for second. Mischevious Alex and Meru completed the order of finish. The chart says Mischevious Alex was "out at the start, bumped with the second place finisher, departed the backstretch from the three path, was rated along prompting the winner on the turn, got called upon for the drive home, had no rally and backed away."

June 29 NOTE: I demoted Mischevious Alex from Looking Good. Let's wait and see how he's doing.

 

 

MONEY MOVES (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Robert V. LaPenta & Bortolazzo Stable LLC
Breeder: Whitehall Lane Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Candy Ride (ARG) (Ride the Rails, Candy Girl (ARG))
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Citizen Advocate (Proud Citizen, Twilight Service)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-3-6-1-0 (12) 2.00
Foal Date: March 30, 2017

$975,000 OBS April 2018


He was a a debut winner sprinting on a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 15.

On March 27, he won for the second time in two starts while getting a one-turn mile in 1:35.30 at Gulfstream. He attended the pace on the rail through fractions of :23.04 and :45.66, opened a narrow advantage at the top of the lane, and drew off to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Edge of Fire was second best.

April 24 NOTE: Per a report from DRF's David Grening, Money Moves' last workout was deemed a bit dull by trainer Pletcher, even though the move was a bullet. “Coming off a big win, he was indicating he needed a little more time to round back into top form. He came out of the breeze well, and we plan on working him again this weekend. Not being on a tight schedule, we decided to wait and see how that goes.”

June 4 NOTE: Absent from the worktab since April 18.

June 15 NOTE: Money Moves is now stabled at Saratoga and got back on the worktab today for the first time about two months, breezing three furlongs in 36:09 over the Oklahoma training track.




MONTAUK TRAFFIC (KY)
Trainer: Linda Rice
Owner: Chris Fountoukis
Breeder: Mike G. Rutherford
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Cross Traffic (Unbridled's Song, Stop Traffic)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Tattinger Rose (Menifee, La Rosa)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-13-3-0-0 (20) 12.33
Foal Date: Feb. 26, 2017


NEXT RACE:

He was a 4 1/2-length winner at second asking at the Big A on Dec. 28.

In the Feb. 8 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes going seven furlongs at Aqueduct, 
he was piloted by leading rider Jose Lezcano. Montauk Traffic was well off the pace in the early stages while 8-5 favorite Secret Rules and 35-1 longshot Johnny Ritt raced in tandem, recording an opening quarter-mile in 23.07 seconds, 3 1/2 lengths in front of dual stakes winner Newstome. With the half-mile in 46.77 seconds, the seven-horse field became tightly packed in the turn with Montauk Traffic dropping back on the rail in last place. Leaving the turn, Montauk Traffic came again while the two pacesetters maintained command with Johnny Ritt in front by a head. Montauk Traffic lacked racing room approaching the eighth-pole, so Lezcano angled him out three-wide and Montauk Traffic responded with a winning move. He drew away by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:25.64. Secret Rules hung on to complete the exacta, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Johnny Ritt.

Linda Rice: "I was very pleased with his performance today. I could see he wasn't very comfortable being hustled aggressively to keep up with the fast fractions. Jose let him drop back and went inside before circling outside. I was thrilled he was able to get up. He's continuing to mature and shown a lot of ability in his three starts so far. This horse I'd like to point towards the Gotham."
 
Jose Lezcano: "I knew (Johnny Ritt and Secret Rules) would be going, but I knew this is a type of horse where you can do whatever you want with him. I had so much horse and with him, he responds very quick. I think he can go any distance."

THE NEXT DAY: "He came out of it very well and looks great today, so we will see if we can move on to the Gotham from here. He's pretty inexperienced, but that's two races in a row now where he's come from off the (speed)and come through on the rail. He's going to gain more experience each time. I was really thrilled that he could go from a maiden win to winning the Winkfield. It's very exciting to consider that we could move on to the Gotham. I'm sure it'll be a much tougher race and a bigger field, but hopefully he can continue to improve and graduate on to the next one."

Feb. 23 NOTE: Trainer Rice said Montauk Traffic remains on target for the Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer Rice said, "Right now, he's a lightly raced horse. He's run two seven-furlong races at Aqueduct. I think that the added distance should be no problem at all. It should be very helpful. We're just gaining racing experience as we go along so it's a nice progression for him."

March 5 NOTE: Trainer Rice said, “We like to think the added distance will only help him. I was a little concerned around the turn (in the seven-furlong Jimmy Winkfield). Jose opted to quit chasing faster fractions and just let the horse settle. Around the turn it looked like he was getting some kickback and trying to work his way through that as well. He made a nice move at the end of it and we believe that the further the better for him.”

In the March 7 Gotham Stakes, after breaking on top and fighting for the front with War Stopper, Celtic Striker and Untitled the first quarter-mile of the race, Mischevious Alex finally had the lead all to himself going into the turn and took the field home from there to prevail by two lengths.Untitled held off a bid by Attachment Rate to best that one by a head, and it was another 2 3/4 lengths to fourth finisher Montauk Traffic. The winner was timed in 1:38.80 for the one-turn mile.

March 22 NOTE: Trainer Rice said, "The plan was to put blinkers on him and point him towards the Bay Shore, which at this point I'm not sure where that puts us. We'll take it one day at a time, but he's doing very well."

May 22 NOTE: Since the Gotham Stakes, Montauk Traffic worked on March 25, April 16, and May 8. Trainer Rice said, "He had a little inflammation in an ankle so we decided to stop on him and give him a break."
 

 

MR. BIG NEWS (KY)
Trainer: Bret Calhoun
Owner: Allied Racing Stable, LLC
Breeder: Don Alberto Corporation
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Giant's Causeway (Storm Cat, Mariah's Storm)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Unappeased (IRE) (Galileo (IRE), Angelic Song)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-1-33-7-0 (46) 0.96
Foal Date: Jan. 29, 2017

$95,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October 2018


NEXT RACE: Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Mr. Big News broke his maiden in his fourth start, a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on Jan. 20. After trailing the field three or four lengths while seventh of seven in the first half-mile, he got up to win by a nose, timed in 1:45.12. Robby Albarado was up. Wild Union was second; Cernan was third, beaten three lengths. The chart says "Mr. Big News settled into stride early entering the first turn four wide then coming in a path late on that bend content to track off the leaders toward the rear, began to pick it up three wide moving between foes early on the far turn then tipping out a further path on that bend, took aim in upper stretch, drifted a bit in the lane but got up just in time."

The win led to a start in Division II of the Risen Star, when Mr. Big News finished fifth after being eighth, six lengths back, after the first half-mile. He galloped out huge. The chart says he "raced inside to the  two path to  the first turn, settled off the pace,  was urged along while inside to the two path on the far  turn, came under the  whip  inside the five-sixteenths and lacked the needed kick."

March 6 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun said, “We really want him to run in the Louisiana Derby. He’s trained really well and has continued to move forward. That last race was a really good learning experience for him, and we expect a lot of him going forward.” (NOTE: Mr. Big News was also-eligible and didn't make it into the Louisiana Derby.)

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Mr. Big News raced 11th in the 13-horse field under Gabriel Saez while Gold Street grabbed the early lead from post 13 and ran through fractions of 22.07 for the quarter-mile, 45.47 for the half, and 1:10.92 for six furlongs. Gold Street was stalked by Sir Rick, Flap Jack, Basin and Taishan. The winner came wide into stretch and easily collared Taishan, who had a short lead at the furlong marker. Mr. Big News held off the late charging Farmington Road, who was dead last by over 11 lengths after the first half-mile, by one-half length. Taishan, who was close to the pace throughout, held on for third, 3 3/4 lengths back from the winner. Basin ran evenly, fourth to sixth at each call, and finished fourth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths. The winning time was 1:49.89 over a sloppy track.

Bret Calhoun: He said Mr. Big News will return Sunday to Fair Grounds to see how he came out of the race before deciding about the Arkansas Derby. “He ran a great race. We’ve had a lot of confidence in this horse for a while. Kind of sick we didn’t get the opportunity to run in the Louisiana Derby. He loved the track, trained well there and I thought that suited him well. We didn’t know how it was going to work out today, with this different surface and everything, but he performed like we thought he would the last couple of months. I know he was a big long shot, but we’ve had quite a bit of confidence in him over the last couple of months. It was a great setup. It was very hot fractions and beneficial for us. Gabe worked out a good trip for that horse. It was a trip that’s maybe not the best trip for a lot of horses, but it was the best trip for him.”

Gabriel Saez: “He warmed up good and was on the muscle. He didn’t break as sharp as I wanted, so I just let him be, let him get into his own rhythm. When he hit the backstretch, he started moving and I said ‘OK Buddy. Go on with it.’ I kept track of the leaders. When we got to the top of the stretch, I swung him out into the clear and he found a different gear. He got the job done. I’m really pleased with that.”

April 13 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun told DRF's Mary Rampellini, “The Kentucky Derby is almost five months away. There’s plenty of time between now and then to try and find some races to acquire some points. I’d rather be a little more conservative and space his races out right now. It’s a long road to September.”

April 14 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun yesterday told Christine Oser of BloodHorse, "I thought the Risen Star was a sneaky good race. If you just look at it, glance at it, you don't think much but he was beaten about four lengths, he was down inside the whole way and never did get to be a free-running horse like I think he wants to be. He doesn't really care for being jammed up on the inside and all the kickback. I thought that was a little bit better of a race than it appeared, and I think he came back and proved that."

April 16 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun said in a text message to an Oaklawn official Thursday morning that Mr. Big News is doing well, and said he’s “not sure about the Arkansas Derby yet.”

April 22 NOTE: Mr. Big News will bypass the Arkansas Derby.

May 11 NOTE: Mr. Big News arrived at Churchill Downs from Fair Grounds today.

May 15 NOTE: Yesterday he was not listed as probable for the Matt Winn by Churchill Downs.

May 20 NOTE: Not entered in the Matt Winn Stakes. Away from the worktab since the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes.

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Calhoun told DRF's Marty McGee, Mr. Big News “backed off his feed a little after we sent him up from New Orleans."

June 29 NOTE: Mr. Big News has been working every 10 or 13 days or so at Churchill Downs since May 9, most recently on June 24.

 

 

MR. MONOMOY (KY)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Owner: Chris Fountoukis
Breeder: Mike G. Rutherford
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Palace Malice (Curlin, Palace Rumor)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Drumette (Henny Hughes, Endless Parade)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-2-4-0-0 (8) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 26, 2017

$60,000 Keeneland November 2017
$202,230 Arqana May 2019

A half-brother to Monomoy Girl


NEXT RACE: Still months away.

In his debut at Keeneland on Oct. 19, Mr. Monomoy started slowly, was last early, and rallied to finish fourth going six furlongs.

On Nov. 16 at Churchill Downs at 4-5 favoritism while ridden by Florent Geroux, he stepped up and won. Geroux has been regular rider for Monomoy Girl. This time, Mr. Monomoy broke well, got the lead, was pressed by two others through splits of 22.91 and 46.68, still led into the lane, and ran clear from there under a hand ride.

Lynn’s Map capped his 2-year-old season winning a mile and 70 yards entry-level two-turn allowance race on Dec. 21 at Fair Grounds. Runner-up in that event was Mr. Monomoy. The track was sloppy. The winning time was 1:45.09. Forced out at the break, Lynn’s Map found a good spot stalking the leaders mid-pack through the early stages of the race. Turning for home, Mr.Monomy, who was in a perfect, pressing positon throughout, gave Florent Geroux another gear, opening up a clear one length lead. Just when it looked like he was beaten, Lynn’s Map made up ground late in the stretch and powered home for a head victory over Mr. Monomoy.

Brad Cox: “He had a perfect trip, just a little disappointed we couldn’t get it done today. We’ll see how he comes out of this race. I think there is a little bit of a question mark on how far the horse wants to go. No excuses, just hoping he moves forward off of this and see if he can take us where we are hoping to go.”

Jan. 14 NOTE: Trainer Cox said, “His two works since the race have been very, very good, great gallop outs. I’m hoping he needed the two-turn experience. He got beat by a horse who had a one-turn mile race under his belt. I think the draw (post two) is okay. There is some speed outside of him. We can kind of sit from the inside, save some ground around the first turn and see what happens. I think he can step up and he’s going to have to. We’re going to find out a lot, most importantly, should we keep pointing for the first Saturday in May?”

In the Jan. 19 LeComte Stakes, Enforceable was the winner, with Silver State second, Mr. Monomoy third and Finnick the Fierce fourth. The lukewarm 3/1 post time favorite, Scabbard, finished fifth. Thirteen ran. The final time was 1:43.72 for 1 1/16 mile. Off a step slow, Enforceable was forced to go four wide around the first turn under Julien Leparoux.  Eleventh of 13 early on behind honest fractions of 23.46 and 47.41, Enforceable settled into a comfortable position down the backstretch and was three wide on the far turn. He rallied six wide turning for home and galloped down the lane to score a 1 1/2-length victory as the 6/1 fourth choice.  Silver State bobbled at the start and bumped with a foe; he was two wide on the far turn and also closed well to be second after being positioned ninth after a half-mile. Mr. Monomoy finished another neck back in third, and was the only horse to be part of the early fray that was close to the winner at the end. He saved ground throughout but had to wait on horses into the stretch. Finnick the Fierce finished fourth, beaten seven lengths, after being in 12th position for the first half-mile and flattening out in the stretch. Scabbard was nosed out for fourth after being sixth, only 3 1/2 lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile and having to be steadied behind horses in upper stretch.

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Cox said, “I thought he ran a good race in the Lecomte and was able to pass horses like we saw in his debut. He was able to gallop out well with Enforceable.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries. Mr. Monomoy won Division I. After breaking from post 9, led through fractions of 24.22, 48.57 and 1:12.85, disposed of challenger Blackberry Wine at the top of the stretch, and then held off the late advances of both Enforceable and Silver State to win by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:50.43, nearly a second faster than division two winner Modernist, who was timed in 1:51.28. Off a step slow and wide on both turns, Enforceable closed well to be second. He was last after a quarter-mile and eighth, 7 1/2 lengths off the pace, after a half-mile. Silver State ran mid-pack into the stretch and finished willingly to get third, beaten three lengths. Farmington Road was fourth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths after a trip similar to that of Enforceable, but he galloped out best of all.

Brad Cox: “He galloped out well the last time., which helped me to think he could get this distance. I thought the draw today gave him the opportunity to break and clear if he wanted, and obviously he was willing to do it. Florent put him in a great spot and he stepped up to the plate today and proved that he belongs. It will probably be one more race before the Derby. What race that will be, we don’t know yet. We just have to see how he comes out of it, see what other horses run in the next few weeks, and see how everything unfolds. We’re really happy with him.”

Florent Geroux: “We had a really good start out of the gate. I was thinking about stalking, but when I saw no one was really going for the lead, I took advantage and went for it. It worked really nicely for me. He’s still learning, but he showed me a lot today, I’m really happy with him.”

March 1 NOTE: Mr. Monomoy was declared off the Derby Trail with an ankle injury found last week after a routine gallop at Fair Grounds. Liz Crow, who, through BSW-Crow Bloodstock, serves as Mr. Monomoy’s racing manager, made the disclosure as reported by DRF and said x-rays were sent to Kentucky, resulting in a recommendation for 60 days' rest.

March 29 NOTE: Yesterday, Mr. Monomoy was back on Churchill Downs' active Derby points list, so he is added back here today.

May 21 NOTE: Co-owner Michael Dubb told the Barry Abrams podcast "In the Gate" yesterday that Mr. Monomoy is out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby. "After the horse's last race, we knew this horse was not himself (and we took him) to Rood and Riddle. He is currently at WinStar. We took some chips out, and we are hopeful to have him back in training sometime this summer. I think making the Kentucky Derby in September would be pushing it. None of us involved In the horse will do that. I would say however based on the schedule with the Preakness, that is a strong possibility."

June 29 NOTE: Hasn't returned to the worktab yet.

 

 

MYSTIC GUIDE (KY)
Trainer: Michael Stidham
Owner: Godolphin LLC
Breeder: Godolphin
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Ghostzapper (Awesome Again, Baby Zip)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Music Note (A.P. Indy, Note Musicale (GB))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-9-17-2-0 (34) 2.24
Foal Date: Feb. 26, 2017

 
Mystic Guide made his first two starts at Fair Grounds, debuting with a third-place finish in a six-furlong sprint in February, then winning by five lengths at 1 1/16 mile on March 21.

He had been away from competition for 2 1/2 months when he finished a decent second by five lengths in a Belmont Park allowance race to a scintillating run by Tap It to Win, who got the 1 1/16-mile distance in a front-running 1:39.76. Mystic Guide laid fourth between horses in the early running. The chart says Mystic Guide "underwent a two wide pursuit, between rivals for much ofthe opening three-quarters, finished with willingness down the lane to garner second."

 

 

NADAL (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman & Mark Mathiesen
Breeder: Breeder: Sierra Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Blame (Arch, Liable)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Ascending Angel (Pulpit, Solar Colony)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-11-15-2-1 (32) 2.05
Foal Date: April 27, 2017

$65,000 Keeneland September 2018
$700,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2019


NEXT RACE: Belmont Stakes on June 20

Debuting on Jan. 19 at Santa Anita, Nadal broke slowly as the 6-5 favorite, but, as reported by TDN, "he had no trouble giving his foes a head start, and ultimately proved too much for them to handle en route to being named a TDN Rising Star.... He had been buzzed about for some time despite a setback over the summer, and finally showed what all the fuss was about. Away last as is often the case for rail-drawn firsters, the bay zoomed up to seize a narrow advantage through a :21.88 opening quarter. He shook loose through a :44.91 half, and waved goodbye to his competition from there as he kicked home by 3 3/4 lengths. Exaulted...got up for second by a half-length over Lane Way." The next finisher was beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Nadal got the 6 1/2 furlongs in a sizzling 1:15.82, so Exaulted's time was also very good.

Feb. 8 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “Nadal was a last-minute call (for the San Vicente) this week. I liked the way he worked, although I would have preferred to go in an allowance race, but this race came up, and the second start is so important for these young horses, so I’d rather just run him here. After this, I’ll feel more confident running him two turns.”

In the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 9, Nadal made almost all the running at 1-5 odds, with help from Ginobili. Initial splits were 21.89, 44.09 and 1:09.05 before Nadal stayed on to finish a short length in front of Ginobili in 1:22.59. Ginobili was more used than the winner. Fast Enough was not quite fast enough, beaten a couple of lengths. Storm the Court was fourth, also not too far back, and I find it hard to knock their performances.

Bob Baffert: “Today, I told Joel, don’t get cute, just go.  We can rate him some other day.  They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat. I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work. I thought he was gonna get beat.  He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now.  This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel.”

Joel Rosario: “He broke sharp and he handled the pressure from the outside. I was never worried about it.  My horse was moving very well, and I was confident because I could feel I had a lot of horse under me. He was very impressive. He ran very fast today, and he runs like he’ll like two turns, but you never know until they do it.”  

Co-owner George Bolton: “I actually found out about Nadal through Kerri Radcliffe, who bought the colt for us at the Fasig Tipton March sale a year ago. I think she bought a great horse for us, and we hope Nadal is as proud of us as we are extremely proud of him today. It is a huge step up, and when you go to the paddock, and you’re one to nine, you are thinking of all the downside in the world. There were some nice looking horses in the paddock, (Ginobili) looked fast and was fast. He really had to go the whole way and never got a breather. Going further should be fun for Nadal. This horse looks like it could be a special horse. You just want him to be happy and hold together. He will be on the road now. He’ll be on different surfaces, and he’s going to go a different distance yet again, so he will go maybe go to the Rebel. I’m proud we got that chance. I’m extremely happy about everything that has happened here.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “He’ll never have to run that fast again. I like the way he gutted it out. It’s very rare you see a horse run a race like that, especially in their second start. Only the good ones can do stuff like that. He’s tough. He shouldn’t have any trouble stretching out.”

Feb. 29 NOTE: California clocker Gary Young said yesterday, “Aron Wellman and I were the under-bidders on Nadal at the sales. He’s a very good horse, and this sounds kind of ridiculous, but I’m not sure how far he wants to run. Just to look at him and not know his pedigree (sired by Blame), you’d think he’s a one-turn horse, and ironically, Blame has been a very hit-or-miss stallion throughout his stud career, but some of his better progeny, including his biggest money earner, Marley’s Freedom, have been one-turn horses, and there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason for that. But that’s a perfect example of why breeding is one of the world’s most imperfect sciences."

Feb. 29 NOTE: Today at Oaklawn, Three Technique breezed four furlongs in 46.00 with stablemate Wendell Fong, a stakes-winning older horse. He covered his first three furlongs in :34.00, the last furlong in 12.00 and galloped out another furlong in :13.20. Wendell Fong, who was on the inside during the work, was also credited with a half-mile in :46.00. Trainer Englehart said, “I wanted him to be a little bit sharper. It kind of surprised me how well they looked and how sharp they worked. I was really happy with that. I want to come back next week with something a little lighter. I worked him five-eighths last week and he did it real easy, so I wanted him to get something out of this work this week. Then I can have a nice, normal work next week.”

Feb.29 NOTE: Irad Ortiz, Jr. is reported to have committed to ride a Baffert horse in the Rebel, leaving Jeremiah Englehart looking for another jockey on Three Technique. Presumably that Baffert horse would be Nadal.

March 1 NOTE: With Irad Ortiz, Jr. getting days from Saudi Cup officials yesterday, we're waiting to see how that plays out in the United States. Since the suspension was made on foreign soil, is there a court in the U. S. that could issue a stay pending an appeal? We would think not. The court wouldn't have any authority to order a stay of a suspension issued in a foreign country, and besides that, appeal rights probably are not available in Saudi Arabia in the first place. Joel Rosario has been aboard Nadal and Three Technique, but Rosario will ride Storm the Court in the San Felipe this Saturday.

March 8 NOTE: Drayden Van Dyke handled today's workouts for both Charlatan and Nadal. Presumbably, Nadal will be shipped to Oaklawn Park on Wednesday. Jockey arrangements have not been formally announced, to my knowledge.

In the March 14 Rebel Stakes, Nadal shook off challenges early, middle and and late while doing all the heavy lifting to win in 1:44.97. After being pressured all the way to the stretch, he held at bay a late charge by 82-1 Excession. Basin and Three Technique finished a non-threatening third and fourth. It was Nadal's first race away from his base at Santa Anita, his first at two turns, and his first over a wet track. After breaking from post 1 cleanly, Nadal briefly vied with No Parole in the first turn and headed into the backstretch with a slight lead. In the blink of an eye, American Theorem was all over Nadal, and the two ran together through a quarter-mile in 22.84, a half in 46.00 and six furlongs in 1:11.38. Nadal had a mere head advantage at each of those calls into the far turn.

No sooner had Nadal shaken off American Theorem in the the turn, there was a cavalry charge of challengers in the form of Three Technique, Silver Prospector and Basin, but Nadal dispatched them running for the final furlong. He led at the furlong marker by 1 1/2 length, but out in the middle of the track, Excession was produced by Tyler Baze, and for a few moments, it looked like the longshot might cruise by Nadal. But it was not to be. Nadal dug in doggedly and held off that challenger by three parts of a length. It was seven more lengths back to Basin, who finished a head in front of Three Technique.

Bob Baffert: “We were hoping for that outcome. We knew he was a good horse, but until they go two turns … and then the way it set up, the speed duel and all. Pretty impressive when they can just keep going like that. Only the really good ones can do that. I was just fortunate that you guys even ran the race, right now with the way things are. Crazy. It's a little early, but we'll get him back here and we'll look at all of them. One of them will be there (Arkansas Derby).”

Winning co-owner George Bolton: “It was an amazing effort because he was in the 1 hole and he was told to go to the lead. And when you are told to go to the lead in a mile and a sixteenth race, and he'd never gone around two turns, you are sending the horse into a potential oxygen debt and potential stress. When he liked turned for home and was a length or two ahead, I thought, 'You know what? He may be special. This may be a special horse and he may have the ability to go fast and then go faster.' And that's rare in a horse, to go in a Grade 2, which I considered today a Grade 1 because it's a million dollar race in front of the Kentucky Derby. He didn't waver. When the pressure hit, he stood and he took it and he accelerated.”

March 18 NOTE: Nadal was flown back to southern California on Tuesday, three days after winning the Rebel.

April 15 NOTE: Trainer Baffert spoke about Nadal, Charlatan and the Arkansas Derby. Charlatan has no stakes earnings, which might leave him out of the field, which might or might not be split into two divisions. Baffert said as reported by HRN's Jonathan Lintner, “Right now, everything is speculation. It’s day by day, hour by hour. All I know is they’re both being prepared for it.”

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. When the gate opened, Wells Bayou crossed over from the far outside post to grab the early lead, which he took into the far turn with splits of 23.08, 46.21 and 1:09.85. Nadal, who took heavy pressure on the lead in his previous two race, turned the tables by sitting outside the flank of Wells Bayou, with King Guillermo closest to those two.  Leaving the far turn, Nadal pounced, led into the stretch, hit the furlong marker in 1:35.63 with a length-and-a-half lead, briefly facing a challenge from King Guillermo before shaking that one off. He crossed the finish line in 1:48.34, best by three lengths over King Guillermo. Finnick The Fierce ran third, another 1 1/2 lengths back at odds of 62-1, followed an additional 2 1/2 lengths by the late-running Farmington Road in fourth.

Bob Baffert: “Very exciting day, to say the least. I thought both horses were going to run really well. And Nadal, he came out of that race (Rebel) … he's a tough horse. There's a lot to him and he's a cool customer and I could see he's getting better and better. I just told Rosario to just get him running away from there and if somebody just gets ridiculous, like I thought maybe Florent, he would probably try to get the lead, but don't be worried about this horse sitting off a horse and he handled it well. Down the backside, I just loved the way he was. I figured if he was good enough, he can win from there. We just didn't want to go 22 and empty out. It worked out perfectly. I just want to thank the Cella family and Oaklawn Park for the fantastic job. Just fortunate and happy that they were able to split it and give everybody a chance to get some Derby points."

Joel Rosario: “He looked good. Very good race. He sat off that horse and then took care of the rest. He’s a champ. It was the perfect trip. He broke well and took a little bit of time to get him going and he was fine, no problem. The horse on my outside (Wells Bayou) broke right away like he wanted the lead. My horse just sat off the pace perfectly. He looked happy with that position. I’m so blessed to be here especially with what’s going on right now. I appreciate the opportunity all the people here at Oaklawn. Every time they welcome me, and I can’t be anymore happy about it. Thanks to them for everything.

Co-owner George Bolton: “I just have to thank the timing. He had six weeks between starts. He went back to California and Bob (Baffert) worked him behind horses three times. I thought if there was speed today, he could sit off it. He had a much more comfortable trip than in the Rebel when he was attacked by three different challengers. I was very proud. He finished well. I have a secret. Bob called me two days ago and said he wanted me to come. He said he thought he’d run big and wanted me there.”

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Baffert said Nadal exited the race in good order and on his way back to California.

May 19 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes on June 20.

May 21 NOTE: Breezed four furlongs yesterday at Santa Anita, his first work since the Arkansas Derby.

May 25 NOTE: Listed probable for the Belmont by NYRA press office.

May 28 NOTE: Sadly, Nadal has been injured as is off the Derby Trail. He sustained a condylar fracture this morning during a workout at Santa Anita. It's not a life-threatening injury, and he's had surgery and is retired. Will enter stud in 2021.

May 30 NOTE: Yesterday trainer Baffert discussed the possibility of Nadal, who's owned by a four-man partnership, returning to racing with Horse Racing Nation's Jonathan Lintner: “This is just happening so quickly that I don’t know what they’re going to do. One guy wanted to run. One guy didn’t. It’s a partnership, and they’re working things out. I think if he’s bought as a stallion, they wouldn’t bring him back. But he could come come back if, down the line, they decide to run him. That window is open if they want to bring him. If they wanted to, he could come back 100 percent. I know there were some farms, Spendthrift had been working on a deal. I’m not part of that dialogue with them. They have an option if they don’t sell him, they can bring him back.” Baffert said the Kentucky Derby won’t be possible. “But I’ve had them come back and do really well."

May 31 NOTE: Co-owner George Bolton told Mike Penna on HRRN, "He’s gonna have 30 days of stall rest. Then he will become a stallion in Kentucky. We are talking to farms right now.... Baffert told me yesterday, ‘He would have won the Derby. You just won the other one,’ and I think the saddest part was this was going to be a great race between him and Tiz the Law in the Belmont."

 

 

PALM SPRINGS (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: China Horse Club International Ltd. & WinStar Farm LLC
Breeder: Wygod Equine, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam):
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam):
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-0-5-0-0 (6) 1.40
Foal Date: Feb. 24, 2017

$1,000,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

He finished second in his debut on Jan. 11 at Gulfstream Park.

In a one-turn, one-mile maiden race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 1, Palm Springs was the 1-2 favorite, and he won, but it was a "held-on" nose that gave him victory. First-time starter Mister Candy Ride finished strongly to get second without changing leads until late. The winning time was 1:37.16. The chart says, "Palm Springs vied widest of a foursome up the backstretch, took over outside King Khozan and cleared inside soon after completing after six furlongs,was under an all-out drive through the lane and just held on. Mister Candy Ride broke slowly and had Alfatei cross over in front of him, lagged far back early, advanced to contention with a big move two then three wide around the turn, rallied through most of the stretch on the wrong lead, then switched over several strides before the wire and just missed."

March 4 NOTE: Not entered in the Tampa Bay Derby.

June 4 NOTE: Has not put in a workout since April 11.

June 29 NOTE: Still nothing to indicate if and when he'll return to competition.

 

 

PNEUMATIC (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Breeder: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie, Playa Maya)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Teardrop (Tapit, Wild Vision)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-4-4-0-0 (10) 4.00
Foal Date: Feb. 4, 2017

NEXT RACE:

He won at first asking at Oaklawn on Feb. 15 while running six furlongs in a swift 1:09.83 after coming from off the pace under Tyler Baze. The chart says he was "outrun early outside after bobbling just after the start, raced three out to four wide exiting the turn, roused, long drive, outside bid, proved bestunder firm handling."

In a one-mile allowance at Oaklawn on Apri 11, Pneumatic was rated in fifth by jockey Santana before taking off in the lane to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:36.70. Captain Bombastic went out for the early lead, setting splits of 23.40,    47.38  and 1:11.59 and repelled several challengers to finish second. Pneumatic was sent off at 6-5 off a 7-2 morning line after one rival's post-time scratch.

The 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn Stakes, the first Kentucky Derby points race ever run in May, was won by a surging Maxfield. He got off to a characteristic start behind other horses; he was eighth during the early going -- but only 2 3/4 lengths off the pace. Meanwhile, Celtic Striker, Pneumatic and Ny Traffic ding-donged through moderate fractions of 23.98, 48.21 and 1:12.44 during the first six furlongs.  Celtic Striker gave it up leaving the turn while Ny Traffic and Pneumatic went at it down the lane. They were joined by Maxfield at the furlong marker. That one and Ny Traffic bumped as the wire neared before Maxfield ran on to get the best of the other two. Ny Traffic was beaten one length in second place, just 3/4 length ahead of Pneumatic. Attachment Rate was fourth at every call and finished fourth, beaten five lengths.The winner was timed in 1:43.05.

Ricardo Santana, Jr. (Pneumatic): "He’s a really nice horse. We had a pretty tough trip from the inside, but he’s a very nice colt.”

June 3 NOTE: Racing manager David Fiske said the Belmont Stakes isn't being considered, but other races are. "They seem to be popping up all over the place, Ohio, Indiana, Keeneland, Monmouth. There seems to be no shortage of places to run this summer. (He's) a big horse, and he kind likes to throw his weight around a little bit. The day after a work, typically, he just wants to go do some more work. He’s not hard to handle, but he is a big horse. It’s like trying to stop a freight train with a shoelace. But he’s always been a good guy. He doesn’t have any personality issues – unlike his mother. Teardrop was a head full of bad wiring. She tore the whole front of her face off on one of the rafters at Churchill one morning – and that was the day after she worked. The day that you would think that she would be a little tired and subdued, she decided that she would start rearing up in her stall and hit one of those rafters just right. They stapled her face back together – she looked like Frankenstein for a while. He’s much easier to be around than she is. We’ll find a place to run him, that’s for sure."

June 3 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown.

June 14 NOTE: He is now firm for the Belmont Stakes, while Basin will wait for the Blue Grass. Trainer Asmussen told DRF's David Grening, “(The Matt Winn) was a big step up in company, he’s run some solid numbers, this will obviously be another step up for him, but he is going to deliver all that he has on the 20th."

June 16 NOTE: Assistant trainer Toby Sheets said, "He has good form, and I think he has a good shot in there."

Tiz the Law got an easy win of the 152d Belmont Stakes on June 20, and Pneumatic finished fourth. After sitting close to fractions of 23.11 and 46.16, he rolled home in 1:46.53 with a winning margin of 3 3/4 lengths. Dr Post came on in the far turn to finish well in second. Max Player got up late in the stretch to finish third, beaten 5 1/4 lengths and 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Pneumatic. Tap It to Win took the early lead, attended by Fore Left. The ultimate winner, Tiz the Law, was only two lengths back with Jungle Runner in fourth through an opening quarter-mile in 23.11. The first four ran in that order, and in those positions, for the first half-mile, timed in 46.16. In the far turn, Tiz the Law bided his time behind Tap It to Win and Fore Left with with six furlongs gone in a sprightly 1:09.94. Manny Franco had remained motionless on Tiz the Law as they straightened for home. Simultaneously with taking the lead in upper stretch, Franco asked his mount, and they made short work of the competition as they led by 4 1/2 lengths with one furlong left in the race.

 

 

RAGTIME BLUES (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich III, John D. Fielding & Golconda Stables
Breeder: Mike Pietrangelo
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Union Rags (Dixie Union, Tempo)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Home of the Blues (Street Cry (IRE), Palangala)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-2-12-1-1 (20) 1.50
Foal Date: March 24, 2017

$500,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE: 

Back on Sept. 21, Ragtime Blues debuted sprinting at Los Alamitos and finished second to Howbeit by three lengths after 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.45. Ragtime Blues sat two or three lengths off the pace before making a bid in the stretch, less than a length off the lead at the furlong marker while still fourth, and then flattening out best of the rest. He was away from the races the rest of the year.

On April 24, just eight days before the first Saturday in May, Ragtime Blues broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park. He bltized up front through opening splits in 21.83 and 44.99, led by 3 1/2 lengths after five furlongs in 57.36, and hung on to prevail by a head over a surging Backshot, who was never far back, in a final time of 1:09.96. At 2-1, Ragtime Blues was the second betting choice in the field of 10 under Martin Garcia. Favored Golden Notion got off to a rough start and never contended.

He easily won a six-furlong allowance optional claimer on May 25 at Santa Anita, timed in 1:09.89 after laying down unchallenged splits of 21.99 and 45.10 under Irad Ortiz, Jr.  He was sent off at 4-5 in a five-horse field. The chart says he "sped to the early lead, set the pace along the inside, drifted out a bit from the whip in midstretch and held clear."

In the Laz Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita on June 20, Ragtime Blues looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, but 2-5 favorite Collusion Illusion wasn't done yet and kicked into high gear before drawing off to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Ridden by Flavien Prat, he got the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.03. Breaking alertly from the rail in a field of five, Collusion Illusion was unhurried early as Phantom Boss and Ragtime Blues disputed the early running heading to the turn.  With Mike Smith encouraging Ragtime Blues, he assumed command a half mile out and opened up a three length advantage a quarter mile from home. Ragtime Blues offered little resistance late while finishing 3 1/4 lengths in front of longshot Howbeit.

 

 

RELENTLESS DANCER (LA)
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Owner: Paradise Farms Corp., Terry Raymond & Jana Wagner
Breeder: Paul Pruett
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Midshipman (Unbridled's Song, Fleet Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Passion for Words (Benchmark, Gentle Words)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-13-11-1-0 (30) 3.62
Foal Date: Feb. 12, 2017

$80,000 Equine Sales of Louisiana
$85,000 OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE: One-mile Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes on July 4 at Evangeline Downs. Race  2, 7:17 ET

He debuted sprinting on turf at Saratoga didn't impact the race.

Switched to dirt sprinting at Churchill Downs, he dead-heated with Silver State, defeating the rest of the field by almost 10 lengths.

He was sent down to his home state of Louisiana and easily dispatched that field by 10 lengths whille stretching out a bit to seven lengths.

In the Holy Bull Stakes, he finished fourth by 18 lengths to Tiz the Law at 6-1 odds.

At odds of 49-1, King Guillermo easily won the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby in a huge upset. After pressing the moderate early pace set by Relentless Dancer of 23.89, 48.16 and 1:12.00, King Guillermo took command and coasted home to win by 4 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:42.63. It was the third-fastest Tampa Bay Derby in the race’s 40 runnings. Sole Volante, the morning line and post-time favorite at 3-2 odds, closed belatedly from far back to finish second. Texas Swing was third at the first three calls and finished third at 19-1 odds, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Relentless Dancer, another longshot at 21-1, was a half-length back of that one in fourth.

In the April 25 Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Dr Post endured a brutal trip while being squeezed at multiple points while never more than two lengths back in a closely-bunched race. He split horses in the stretch and had a narrow lead at the furlong marker before winning by 1 1/2 length as the even money favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and galloping out alone. Attachment Rate broke last and closed in the lane, only 3/4 length off the lead at the furlong marker, to get an unimpeded second while ridden by Luis Saez. Americanus, who led at the first three calls, gave way to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths, followed by Necker Island, Relentless Dancer and Soros. Seven lengths separated the field at the finish. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled Stakes was 1:43.07.

In a six-furlong allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs on May 25, at 9-1 odds Digital was held off by 4-5 favorite Echo Town by a half-length. Echo Town led through blazing fractions of 21.61 and 44.99 before winning in 1:09.05. Digital was sixth of seven, 4 1/2 lengths off the pace, after the first quarter-mile.  Menu was third, just a neck behind Diginal. Relentless Dancer checked in fourth by 3 1/4 lengths after trailing the field early.

 

 

ROYAL ACT (KY)
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Owner: C R K Stable LLC
Breeder: Stonehaven Steadings
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile, Littleprincessemma)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): True Feelings (Latent Heat, Grand Charmer)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-1-0-0-0 (2) Infinite
Foal Date: April 8, 2017

$500,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

In his debut, which came on firm turf going two turns at Del Mar on Nov. 10, Royal Act was the 5-2 favorite in a field of nine won in eye-catching fashion. He tracked a moderate early pace in third position until Rafael Bejarano asked him in the turn approaching the stretch. He was easily in front midstretch and won by a half-length over Much More Halo. Special Day was third. Royal Act was timed in 1:37.32. Goalie, the 7-2 second choice, finished eighth, beaten four lengths.

In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1 at Santa Anita, Thousand Words sat back in fourth of six runners for three-quarters of a mile while High Velocity and Tizamagician dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.65, 47.20 and 1:11.44. Royal Act wasn't far back in third, two lengths in arrears after six furlongs. In the stretch, High Velocity and Tizamagician began to regress, yielding the late lead to Thousand Words, who came on between horses, as Royal Act was wide to get up for second. The winning margin was 3/4 length, and the top four finishers were separated at the wire by only 1 3/4 length. The winning time was 1:43.64 for 1 1/16 mile.

Peter Eurton: “Couldn’t be more happy. He’s just kind of a grinder, he’s just that cool kind of horse that keeps giving it to you. I’ll get with Mr. Searing and see what he wants to do. Anywhere we can get a mile and an eighth wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

Abel Cedillo: “He tried really hard, and I put him in the position I wanted him to go. I was sitting perfect and when I made him move he started moving. He ran a big race.”

Feb. 15 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “This was his first work since the Lewis, so he’ll let us know We’ll have him nominated everywhere so we have several options. The more distance the better for him."

In the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby on March 21, Royal Act finished ninth, beaten 14 lengths by the front-running Wells Bayou and a time of 1:56.47. The chart says he "went four wide on the first turn, settled on the outside, was urged along passing the half-mile pole, came under  stronger encouragement in the four path on the far turn  then was driven five wide into the stretch and also failed to respond."

June 4 NOTE: Royal Act has been off the worktab since the Louisiana Derby.

June 29 NOTE: Royal Act returned to the worktab yesterday at Santa Anita.

 

 

RUSHIE (FL)
Trainer: Michael McCarthy
Owner: Jim and Donna Daniell
Breeder: Ocala Stud
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Liam's Map (Unbridled's Song, Miss Macy Sue)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Conquest Angel (Colonel John, More Oats Please)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-14-5-0-0 (22) 7.80
Foal Date: March 3, 2017

$70,000 OBS March 2019


NOT NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

NEXT RACE:

Rushie broke his maiden in his second start. It was a big effort at a mile on a slow track in 1:38.06. He bested Divine Armor by a length after leading through moderate initial fractions of 23.46, 47.59  and 1:12.58.

His third start came on March 14, when the faced Charlatan, who won by 10 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:36.24. Rushie finished second, Great Power was third, another 2 1/4 lengths back.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park on May 2, Rushine was timed in 1:42.89. He was second in the early going, took command in the stretch and beat Candy Tycoon by 1 1/4 length. Background finished third, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

THE NEXT DAY: Santa Anita Derby could be his next target. Trainer McCarthy told horseracingnation.com's Victor Ryan, "“You would have to think about it,” McCarthy said. “We’ll give him a few days to get his feet underneath him and come up with a plan of action. I thought the way things looked on paper we would go ahead and lay close. Joel did a good job of getting over to get him in a great spot. It looked like he had the opportunity to take the lead or lay right off of it -- hold him a little bit for a stalking position. I thought all in all, it was pretty tactical the way things got done. I thought that race against Charlatan was better than it looked,’ Mike (Smith) decided not to get too aggressive with him when he knew he wouldn’t get better than second. I appreciated that he left a little in the tank. He had trained forwardly since that race. I can’t say that performance was a surprise.”

June 2 NOTE: Trainer McCarthy described his reasons for running Rushie in the Santa Anita Derby. “He won an allowance race at Oaklawn Park, the spacing is nice for the Derby with a potentially small field, the horse seems like he's going the right way and there's nowhere else to run."

In the June 6 Santa Anita Derby, Rushie finished third, beaten four lengths by Honor A. P. and a time of 1:48.97. He was a close fourth or fifth in the early going but faded in the turn and the stretch. Seven ran.

July 1 NOTE: Possible for the Blue Grass Stakes.




SHAKE SOME ACTION (KY)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Owner: Rupp Racing
Breeder: Edgar Scott Jr. & Jane MacElree
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Tiz A Chick (Tiznow, Never A No Hitter)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 0-1-3-0-0 (4) 1.67
Foal Date: Jan. 31, 2017

$235,000 Keeneland September 2018
$340,000 OBS March 2019
$300,000 Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic May 2019


A gelding

NOT EARLY-NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

NEXT RACE:

He opened his career running fifth in a six-furlong maiden race at Fair Grounds, beaten 15 3/4 lengths. Officially, he was fourth after the winner was disqualified for a medication infraction.

In his second start, Shake Some Action was extended to nine furlongs at Fair Grounds, and he won in a time of 1:50.23 under Colby Hernandez. Reluctant to load, he was fourth early and won by 1 1/2 length after going three or four wide both turns.. It was a large field - 13 ran. The chart says he "...broke outwardly but well enough to gain forward position stalking three wide just off the leading group into the first turn, was encouraged along a little bit going four wide on the far turn, left that bend five deep and within striking distance, moved to the front a furlong from home and edged clear."

At 6-1 odds, Shake Some Action won a nine-furlong allowance on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds, holding off late-running Chestertown by a neck after Winning Impression grudgingly gave up the lead in the stretch. Chestertown was stuck down inside early in last place, appeared to not like the kickback, and ran much better when pulled clear outside in mid-stretch. Shake Some Action sat behind four, then five runners before taking command before the furlong marker. Winning Impression, who pressed the early pace of 25.40 and 50.24 and led through the second turn, finished third, beaten a length. The early fractions were soft with six furlongs run in 1:14 and change. Final time was 1:51.80, so his finishing fractions weren't bad.

In the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby on March 21, Shake Some Action finished sixth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths by the front-running Wells Bayou and a time of 1:56.47. The chart says he "bumped lightly with a rival early then angled to the rail, steadied while taking an awkward stride near the wire for the first time, went around the first turn in the two path, settled off the pace, moved out late on the backstretch, was urged along while four then five wide on the far turn, came seven wide into the stretch and failed to threaten."

In the May 23 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, Shake Some Action finished seventh, beaten 9 1/4 lengths by Maxfield and a time of 1:43.05 for the 1 1/16 mile. He bumped with Maxfield at the start, and was ninth by four or five lengths the first six furlongs, losing ground from there.

June 29 NOTE: No workouts since the Matt Winn.
 

 


SHOOTERS SHOOT (KY)
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Owner: ERJ Racing, LLC, Exline-Border Racing LLC & Dan Hudock
Breeder: Nancy C. Shuford
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Competitive Edge (Super Saver, Magdalena's Chase)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Repeat (Bernardini, Letgomyecho)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-3-4-0-0 (8) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 18, 2017

$90,000 Keeneland November 2017
$70,000 Keeneland September 2018
$300,000 OBS April 2019

NEXT RACE:

While he was always around at the end of his first five races, Shooters Shoot didn't break his maiden until the fifth one, which occurred on March 15 at Santa Anita.

His first two-turn race came in his second start, when he was fourth at Del Mar back in August. That was his last race of 2019.

Cut back to one turn, he was fourth again at Santa Anita in January; and in his fourth start he finished second to Charlatan by 5 3/4 lengths, once again sprinting.

Start number five was again at Santa Anita, and he won going a mile in 1:38.87. He led at each call and cleared by 3 1/4 lengths under Abel Cedillo. Early fractions were 22.89, 46.67 and 1:11.69. The chart says he "grabbed lead into first turn, controlled pace from the inside, edged away in upper stretch and padded final margin in the lane under few taps of whip and steady handling."

Shipped to Oaklawn Park for his sixth start on April 11, Shooters Shoot won his second straight start, edging Blackberry Wine by a head -- the chart says a neck -- after those two dueled for the lead just about the entirety of the 1 1/16-mile race through fast half-mile and six-furlong splits -- 23.10, 45.87 and 1:09.94. Shooters Shoot hit the wire in 1:36.66. The third finisher was another 5 1/2 lengths back. The chart says of those two: "Shooters Shoot broke with the leaders, dueled into the turn closest to the inside, continued to alternate up the backstretch and through the far turn,regained a narrow advantage a furlong out, dug in to the wire to narrowly prevail in game fashion. Blackberry Wine broke well, set or forced the pace inthe two path, set down for the drive, headed in midstretch and was then outgamed in the final strides, well clear of the others."

April 22: Trainer Eurton said, “Very pleased with Shooters Shoot. I know it’s going to be tough on both ends with Bob’s two horses, but we’re willing and game.”

April 24 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “Blackberry’s just a tough guy. He’s a fighter. He kept the pressure on us all the way. So proud of Shooter. He just fought back and wasn’t about to give up, especially with those early fractions the way they were. He’s just got to keep getting better, obviously. Every race he’s run has been better than the last. Coming back long with him was such a nice pleasure, a pleasant thing to see after his dismal race at Del Mar going long. He just wasn’t as good as he is now. He’s healthy. He had a little bit of a nagging shin, as you know 2-year-olds will get, and he’s healthy. We’ll just have to see if he can continue to improve.”

April 28 NOTE: Will be scratched from the Arkansas Derby. Trainer Eurton said today that Shooters Shoot spiked a fever and wasn't shipped to Arkansas.

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “He’s training well so we’re considering the (Santa Anita Derby). He’s scheduled to work tomorrow.”

June 4 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown.

In the June 6 Santa Anita Derby, Shooters Shoot finished fifth, beaten 11 1/4 lengths by Honor A. P. and a time of 1:48.97. He found himself on the early lead while hounded by Anneau d'Or and Authentic before retreating in the far turn and stretch. Seven ran.
 

 

SHOPLIFTED (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Cheyenne Stables, LLC, Grandview Equine & LNJ Foxwoods
Breeder: Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden & Craig Brogden
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday, Leslie's Lady)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Shopit (Yes It's True, Shop Here)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 0-0-0-0-0 (0) 0.00
Foal Date: April 11, 2017

$525,000 Keeneland September 2018
$800,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida 2019

NEXT RACE:

He won at first asking sprinting at Saratoga on July 27.

He finished second, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Basin going seven furlongs on a sloppy track at Saratoga on Sept. 2.

Shipped out west, he finished a dull fifth, beaten 9 3/4 lengths after a wide trip in the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.

Shoplifted finished next-to-last in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. At 45-1 odds, Storm the Court and Flavien Prat led at each call and won by a neck after fighting off a stretch-long bid from Anneau d’Or. He covered 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.93. Odds-on favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving post 1 and trailed the field of eight as Storm the Court took the lead with Eight Rings and Anneau d’Or in closest pursuit. Storm the Court maintained a narrow advantage through splits of 23.49, 47.07 and 1:11.60. At the head of the lane Anneau d’Or, who was never worse than two lengths behind while ridden by Juan Hernandez, ranged up alongside the leader and the battle was on. Storm the Court refused to let Anneau d’Or by. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Wrecking Crew and Paco Lopez, who were always close by Anneau d'Or until the stretch run commenced, but who went wide on the far turn. Scabbard ridden by Mike Smith, ran evenly throughout and came in fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Full Flat, Eight Rings, Shoplifted and Dennis’ Moment completed the order of finish.

In the Springboard Mile at Remington on Dec. 15, Shoplifted beat Answer In by a head while timed in 1:37.95.  Those two were a tandem, swapping fifth and sixth place, about two or three lengths off the early pace of 23.49, 47.75 and 1:13.34 set by Rowdy Yates, then Maximiliano, both of whom faded badly. Embolden was third, beaten a half-length. The rest of the field of 11 was far back at the finish.

In the one-mile, short-stretch Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 24, Gold Street again got a muddy track in his two-turn debut, and he posted a wire-to-wire win at 10-1 best by 2 3/4 lengths. Per James Scully, seven of the nine races on the opening-day Oaklawn program were won in front-running fashion. Gold Street was the highest priced of four runners trained by Steve Asmussen. He broke on top and proceeded to set fractions of :24.08 and :48.96 for the first half mile while being tracked early by Lynn’s Map. The favorite Three Technique, a close fourth after the first half-mile, moved into second rounding the turn for home, but was no match for the winner, who easily won by 2 3/4 lengths under Martin Garcia. Shoplifted ran evenly to finish third, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Silver Prospector made a belated bid from ninth of nine to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:39.63 for the mile.

In the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, Silver Prospector rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes with a one-length victory as the 9-2 third betting choice. He broke near the back of the field and was sixth but only 1 3/4 length off the pace after the first quarter-mile. He moved up into third through the first turn as Wells Bayou led through fractions of :22.89 and :46.60 for the first half mile. Silver Prospector was right off Wells Bayou's butt in the far turn, then was swung out perfectly entering the home stretch. He wore the down the pacesetter to win by a length in 1:43.01 for 1 1/16 mile. Favored Answer In was third, second or fouth at each call, never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace for six furlongs, but he began losing ground and was three lengths off the pace at the furlong marker before losing by 6 1/2 in third. Fourth finisher Shoplifted was eighth of nine the first half-mile but was within five lengths of the leader through six furlongs before fading, beaten 8 3/4 lengths. Chase Tracker and Gold Street, second and fourth in the betting, finished eighth and ninth.

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Shoplifted was seventh, seven lengths off the pace after the first half-mile during which pacesetter Gold Street was timed in 45.47. He finished fifth, beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Mr. Big News and a time of 1:49.89. The chart says he "lacked early speed off the rail, saved some ground when moving closer in some traffic second turn, split foes into the lane, briefly lodged an inside bid nearing midstretch then faltered."

June 4 NOTE: After April 11, Shoplifted continued to work at Oaklawn Park before being shipped to New York, where he breezed on May 30.

June 12 NOTE: Jose Ortiz is named to ride Shoplifted in the Woody Stephens Stakes on June 20. Trainer Asmussen calls him a one-turn closer.

In the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes on June 20, Mischevious Alex finished fourth of five horses, beaten 5 3/4 lengths. No Parole broke sharply from the inside post and led at every call before surging home to a 3 3/4-length victory after an opening quarter-mile in 22.31 seconds, the half in 45.01 and three-quarters in 1:08.62. He completed the race in 1:21.42. Echo Town passed horses in the lane and was 1 3/4-lengths better of stablemate Shoplifted for second. Mischevious Alex and Meru completed the order of finish. The chart says Mischevious Alex was "out at the start, bumped with the second place finisher, departed the backstretch from the three path, was rated along prompting the winner on the turn, got called upon for the drive home, had no rally and backed away."

 

 

SHOTSKI (KY)
Trainer: Jeremiah O'Dwyer
Owner: Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable & Howling Pigeon Farms, LLC
Breeder: Springland Farm & Prime Bloodstock LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Blame (Arch, Liable)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): She Cat (Bluegrass Cat, Fortune Pending)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 1-2-6-1-0 (10) 1.50
Foal Date:  Jan. 28, 2017

$25,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October 2018

Shotski graduated at second asking when sprinting six furlongs on the Laurel Park main track on Oct. 3 and followed up with a good fourth in the Street Sense at one mile on October 27 at Churchill Downs.

After a dream trip saving ground while never more than 2 3/4 lengths off the pace, 7-5 favorite South Bend surged from third position at the furlong marker to win the one-turn, one-mile Street Sense Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 27 under Julian Leparoux. He bested by one length 11-1 Fighting Seabee, who was also always close albeit midpack for the first six furlongs and five wide in the turn. Silver Prospector at 5-1 set the pace in fractions of 22.87 and 46.24, fought back a challenge by fifth finisher American Butterfly at the top of the stretch, led that one by a half-length at the furlong marker, and yielded to finish third by 1 1/2 length. Shotski, a 21-1 longshot, ran evenly to finish fourth while four wide in the turn, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

Dec. 1 NOTES: Trainer O'Dywer said of scratching from the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs in favor of the Remsen Stakes, "The race yesterday came up tough and with the track going to be as awful as it was because of the forecasted weather, it made sense for us to skip that and take a shot at the Remsen a week later. He breezed good on the weekend and seems to have come out of it in good shape this morning. As long as the next few days are good, we plan on coming up there.

"I bought him privately off the farm, and I'm very happy with him. I saw down in Florida for the March sale in Ocala and I saw him training on the farm and I made an offer before he went into the April sale/. We were able to bring him along and train him the way we wanted. After he broke his maiden here, we got some offers for him and I'm glad that Mr. Barber, Mr. Wachtel and the other partners left him in training with me.

"He had a presence about him and I just loved the horse from day one. He's a nice, solid horse and looks a lot like Blame. I never got to sit on Blame, but I used to ride his work partner and I'd see him in the barn and he had a nice demeanor and presence about him. This horse has a lot of those qualities as well. I'm not saying he's as good as Blame, but he's improving with every run and is lightly raced and I'm hoping he'll give a good account of himself and get bigger and stronger as a 3-year-old.

"I was pleased with that effort (in the Street Sense). He's a laid back horse, and if you watch the replay, he was off the bridle a long way out but he was still going. A lot of that is down to greenness and being a baby, but I think he'll travel a lot better in the Remsen. He seems to have taken a step forward mentally. He travels better when in behind horses with horses carrying him along. He's grown up a lot, and I think you'll see a different horse this time."

In the Dec. 7 Remsen Stakes, Shotski broke on top and never looked back to get the win. This followed two other stakes races that day at Aqueduct won gate to wire. After breaking sharply from the gate under Luis Saez, Shotski went to the front and set honest splits of 24.26, 50.08 and a slow, slow 1:15.19 over a tiring track, with Chase Tracker shadowing him to the inside and longshot Prince James to the outside. Leaving the far turn Saez let Shotski out a notch and Shotski responded well, opening up a three-length lead by upper stretch. Ajaaweed a threat to his chances down the lane, but the advantage proved insurmountable, and Shotski was able to to prevail by a half-length. Behind Ajaaweed, it was 3 3/4 lengths back to Chase Tracker in third and another 6 1/4 lengths to Informative in fourth. The winning time was 1:54.24.
 
Jeremiah O'Dwyer: "We discussed beforehand and Adam (Wachtel) is great with analysis and we found that we might be on the front end, which we didn't mind. He's a very laid back horse, so I knew he would relax with no problem. Luis said that he did everything right. He doesn't do any more than he's asked, but when you ask him he's there for you. He broke his maiden at six furlongs, so we know he has speed as well. He has the right demeanor for racing. He just does what you ask him to do and he has some talent on top of that as well. He'll go back to Laurel to train. We'll keep him and train there. We'll discuss with the owners and make a plan going forward."
 
Luis Saez: "I knew it was important to get position coming into today. I knew he had speed and he broke well. We were able to break on top and he just did it so easy. He really came into this race in good shape and was fit."

Adam Wachtel: "I was just talking to Aron Wellman, and we would like to avoid their monster (Independence Hall) and I know they're going to the Jerome. I'd rather not run against him. Off this big effort, I'm not in a rush to find a next spot for him. We'll see how he comes out of it. We'll keep all options open."

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer O'Dwyer said, "He jogged up sound and ate up last night. He's full of himself here this morning. I'd like to give him five to six to six weeks after that race if we could. We'll let the horse do the talking. I don't like to train them off the paper; I like to train them off what I see in the morning. I'll let him tell me how he's feeling. There's plenty of these 3-year-old races around the country and I'm not afraid to ship. The horse is a good shipper and traveler. We're happy to take him to whatever may be the most suitable spot for him. I think there's more to come from him and hopefully he'll continue to develop and be a lovely 3-year-old."

Jan. 29 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said going into the Withers, "What I liked most about his Remsen win was that he put four lengths on the field at the top of the stretch. He ended up only winning by a half-length, but it was his first time going two turns. We know he likes the track, and we know he can get the distance. We're very happy with his training and he's had a good series of works. Physically, he looks very strong. He's very adaptable. He showed us that he can be up close to the pace. He's good from the gate. I would have to think that he would probably be in the first three early on. It's really nice when you sit down and think about the fact that you could possibly have a nice horse for the Kentucky Derby, but it's a long road ahead. If he can step up it'll be another feather in his cap."

In the Feb. 1 Withers Stakes going 1 1/8 mile at Aqueduct, Max Player overtook Monday Morning Qb and 9-5 favorite Shotski in the final furlong with a strong run from the outside to win. Max Player stayed in sixth position under Dylan Davis, as Shotski led the eight-horse field through splits of 23.96, 49.16, 1:13.99 and 1:40.24. Urged up near the final turn, Max Player had plenty in reserve for the final push, making a strong bid under Davis' left-handed encouragement in the five-path, passing Monday Morning Qb to his inside before gaining the edge on Shotski and hitting the wire in 1:53.87. Shotski held on to edge a late-charging Protos by a half-length for second. The track was considered to be playing slow, but the resulting speed figures were not all that. Portos, stepping up to stakes company for the first time in his fifth start, rallied from last.

Jeremiah O'Dwyer: "He's a fighter for sure. Monday Morning Qb came to him but he fought back and wasn't going to let him go by. Linda's horse (Max Player) is obviously a nice horse and was a good bit away from him and didn't get a chance to see him coming to him. He doesn't know when to quit or lie down. I'm very proud of him. Were going to think about it. We'll see how he comes out of the race. I think that in other races, where he has something to aim at and he's not on the lead, that might suit him a little bit better. Luis was happy with him. He said that he broke a little slower than normal today. Once he got to the front, he relaxed, pricked his ears and Luis said every time a horse came to him he just kept picking up and pulling out."
 
Luis Saez: "He's a fighting horse. He's game. I don't think he saw the other horse (Max Player) outside because when somebody comes, he would take off again. He was right there fighting. He's brave. I didn't want to be on the lead. I wanted to sit second or third. When he broke and saw it clear, he took off. I wanted to cover up, but everyone started grabbing. He was doing it by himself and he was pretty comfortable."

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer O'Dwyer said, "He came out of the race good. I'm very happy with him and we'll give him a couple of easy days before heading back to the track. I spoke with Mr. Wachtel, and he mentioned the Gotham and maybe the Fountain of Youth. There's a couple options in the pipeline. We'll let the dust settle and make a plan over the next couple of days. I think he'll be fine over a mile. He ran well going a one-turn mile at Churchill. He has the speed to be up there with them tactically. We'll nominate him to a few things and try to pick a spot where he has the best chance of winning."

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said, “For now we’re still on the trail, trying to get points and see where we go. I’ll have to discuss it with the owners, but the next step we might go down for the Fountain of Youth. He’s bright-eyed here in his stall. I gave him two days off after the race and brought him back to the track. He’s been a handful just walking around the shedrow, just feeling good. I was very happy (after the last race). Obviously in the moment you’re disappointed you didn’t win, but looking back at it I wasn’t disappointed in him at all. He went out there on the front end and hadn’t run in like seven weeks, and they pressured him the whole way. He never really got a breather or an easy time like the last time when he won the Remsen. I thought we were going to be able to sit in behind this time, which I would have liked to have seen, but when he got out there he was off a little bit tardy and Luis just wanted to push him forward into a prominent position. He kind of just locked on for a few strides going into that first bend. Luis said he opted to just let him go on up there instead of trying to choke him down and take him back. Every time a horse came to him, he fought on and put every one of them away. I’m very proud of him. We have not lost any faith in the horse at all. We have him going two turns now. The Fountain of Youth is two turns, so that’s kind of swaying us to go down and keep him going two turns instead of dropping back to a one-turn mile in the Gotham. I do think I’d like to get him off the Aqueduct surface right now, because it’s very testing and tiring, and I don’t want to bottom him. It’s going to be a long year ahead.”

Feb. 22 NOTE: Following Shotski's workout today, trainer O'Dwyer said, “He’s a pretty laid-back horse. We just wanted to make sure that he did a proper piece of work in his final preparation before his next race. He came out of the gate, broke good. He did it very good. We just let him run away from there and kept them both in hand in company. I’m very happy with my horse. It’s hard to be super confident. I never like to get bullish about my horses. I’m just really happy with my horse, the way he breezed this morning, the way he moved, the way he pulled up/ I can’t do any more. The ball isn’t in my court anymore. It’s up to the horse and Johnny Velazquez. Hopefully, he’s good enough to compete with those nice horses down there.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said, “It’ll be nice to get him away from the Aqueduct course – it’s pretty deep – and see if he can compete with the big boys on a faster surface, which I think he will.”

Feb. 27 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said of drawing post 10 in the Fountain of Youth, “Obviously, it’s not ideal. I was shocked by the big field we got in there. The way we look at it, we’d prefer to be in post 10 than post 2. You never know, we might be lucky enough to get a scratch or two on the inside. In an ideal world, anybody would love to have drawn five, six or seven. He’s got very good gate speed. I say that, and people look back and see his last run and he was off a tad slow. It really wasn’t his fault. If you look at the race properly, his head was just turned to the left when the gates opened and it took him by surprise. But he breezed out of the gate last week and he’s just so fluid and quick away from there, which is nice. It’ll be a big asset, and can you have anybody better than Johnny V on his back?”

In the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 29, it was all Ete Indien as led at each call and won by 8 1/2 lengths. Ete Indien set inital fractions of 23.14, 46.72 and 1:11.30 before hitting the finish line in 1:43.02. A half-half length separated the next four runners at the finish line. Of the three horses that were in closest touch with the winner going into the far turn, only As Seen on Tv was around at the finish, but Candy Tycoon edged him for second by a neck in the shadow of the wire after being in eighth place, lengths off the pace after the first half-mile.  Shotski, who was third leaving the far turn and at the furlong marker, came in a head back in fourth. Country Grammer, broke very poorly and was ninth of 11 runners, nine lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile. He finished another neck back in fifth, beaten nine lengths. Dennis' Moment, the 6-5 favorite, finished last by 25 1/4 lengths.

March 5 NOTE: Shotski will ship to Dubai later this month for the March 28 UAE Derby. Laurel Park-based trainer Jerry O’Dwyer said he plans to work Shotski once at Gulfstream Park before his departure. O'Dwyer added, "We’ve been talking about it. We’re going to fly out of here on the 17th of March, so we’ll keep him here, give him one breeze and then head over there all things being well. We’re very happy with his performance getting the trip that he got. He was stuck wide the whole way. They talked about how much further he had to run than the winner, and all the other horses. I do feel we were the second-best horse in the race on the day. In racing, things don’t always go your way. He ended up being fourth and, all things being equal, he probably should have been second. We’re a little disappointed in that, but we’re proud of the horse’s big effort. He had to fight for it the whole way. Johnny had to work pretty hard on him and he got pushed out a little bit on the turn for home and couldn’t get going and battled those other two horses. It’s tough, tough racing with these 3-year-olds.”

March 15 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said "I think we'll be very competitive in the UAE Derby with a lot of prize money on the line and a lot of Derby points as well. If we go out there and win or run big and take a step forward, then we're on the right track. I'm a big believer in finding good spots for my horses to gain confidence and win races. I'm not against taking on Ete Indien and a few of the others further on down the line, but right now it looks like we can't beat him without a bit of luck on our side. (Shotski will) breeze here tomorrow morning and then head to Dubai on Tuesday all being well."

April 20 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said yesterday, "I've given him a bit of down time after coming back from Dubai. He's done a fair bit of traveling. He's had some turnout, and he's been galloping. We might breeze him here later this week and see how he is."

May 29 NOTE: Trainer O'Dwyer said Shotski is done racing for the year. “When he came back from Dubai we gave him a rest, and then we had him back going and I was half-thinking of running him at Oaklawn, and then he just came up a little bit sore after a couple of weeks off. Obviously he’s a good horse, so we decided to take a step back and see what’s going on. He got a little bit better the following day but not enough, so we sent him for a bone scan and he had some bruising all around. He looks fantastic. I don’t know that there’s ever a good time, but he would have never made the Derby now, anyway. The owners have been wonderful. He’ll get turned out, he just can’t have any hard training. He’s up in a great place. Once the time comes, we’ll be able to start him back on the water treadmill and things like that and get him back going. It’s disappointing, but I’m happy we’re doing the right thing by him. Hopefully we’ll get a start into him before the end of the year but if not, we’ll have a nice 4-year-old."
 

 

SILVER PROSPECTOR (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: ED Orr & Susie Orr
Breeder: Hargus Sexton, Sandra Sexton & Silver Fern Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Declaration of War (War Front, Tempo West)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Tap Softly (Tapit, Silentlea)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-7-8-0-0 (18) 3.50
Foal Date: March 9, 2017

$50,000 Keeneland September 2018
$190,000 OBS April 2019

Silver Prospector broke his maiden in his fourth start, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Churchill Downs.

After a dream trip saving ground while never more than 2 3/4 lengths off the pace, 7-5 favorite South Bend surged from third position at the furlong marker to win the one-turn, one-mile Street Sense Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 27 under Julian Leparoux. He bested by one length 11-1 Fighting Seabee, who was also always close albeit midpack for the first six furlongs and five wide in the turn. Silver Prospector at 5-1 set the pace in fractions of 22.87 and 46.24, fought back a challenge by fifth finisher American Butterfly at the top of the stretch, led that one by a half-length at the furlong marker, and yielded to finish third by 1 1/2 length. Shotski, a 21-1 longshot, ran evenly to finish fourth while four wide in the turn, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

Silver Prospector won the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30 on a sloppy track. It was a race that something had to win, with 7-1 Silver Prospector edging 87-1 Finnick the Fierce by 3/4 length and 3-5 favorite Tiz the Law a head back in third, Enforcebable fourth, beaten only two lengths and longshot pacesetter New Eagle (who set splits of 24.39, 49.92 and 1:14.83) beaten 2 1/2 lengths in fifth. Eight ran. Silver Prospector out-kicked Tiz the Law in deep stretch and held off hard-charging 87-1 Finnick the Fierce to win. Tiz the Law bided his time in the pocket on the rail while arguably not having running room until his stretch bid. The time was a modest 1:45.94. Silver Prospector was well positioned in fifth and in the clear a couple lengths back of the leader in the backstretch. Midway around the far turn, South Bend made the first run on leader New Eagle with Silver Prospector poised to pounce from the outside. Tiz the Law appeared set to strike but was bottled up down on the rail behind New Eagle and South Bend. Silver Prospector raced three-wide down the lane and took the lead with an eighth of a mile to the finish. Simultaneously, a seam finally opened for Tiz the Law and he drew even with the eventual winner, but Silver Prospector had more left after the long drive and edged clear. It appeared that Tiz the Law switched to his wrong lead leg at the sixteenth pole. Finnick the Fierce, who had one horse beaten early on, closed from the five path down the stretch to edge Tiz the Law at the wire for the place.

Steve Asmussen: “It’s very special to have horses compete at the highest level on days like today. This horse has learned how to relax and was able to do that very well today.”

Ricardo Santana Jr.: “It’s so special winning races for Steve. He was able to relax behind horses today and was really comfortable the entire trip. He showed a lot of strength being able to kick that hard in the stretch.”

In the one-mile, short-stretch Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 24, Gold Street again got a muddy track in his two-turn debut, and he posted a wire-to-wire win at 10-1 best by 2 3/4 lengths. Per James Scully, seven of the nine races on the opening-day Oaklawn program were won in front-running fashion. Gold Street was the highest priced of four runners trained by Steve Asmussen. He broke on top and proceeded to set fractions of :24.08 and :48.96 for the first half mile while being tracked early by Lynn’s Map. The favorite Three Technique, a close fourth after the first half-mile, moved into second rounding the turn for home, but was no match for the winner, who easily won by 2 3/4 lengths under Martin Garcia. Shoplifted ran evenly to finish third, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Silver Prospector made a belated bid from ninth of nine to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:39.63 for the mile.

In the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, Silver Prospector rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes with a one-length victory as the 9-2 third betting choice. He broke near the back of the field and was sixth but only 1 3/4 length off the pace after the first quarter-mile. He moved up into third through the first turn as Wells Bayou led through fractions of :22.89 and :46.60 for the first half mile. Silver Prospector was right off Wells Bayou's butt in the far turn, then was swung out perfectly entering the home stretch. He wore the down the pacesetter to win by a length in 1:43.01 for 1 1/16 mile. Favored Answer In was third, second or fouth at each call, never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace for six furlongs, but he began losing ground and was three lengths off the pace at the furlong marker before losing by 6 1/2. Fourth finisher Shoplifted was eighth of nine the first half-mile but was within five lengths of the leader through six furlongs before fading, beaten 8 3/4 lengths. Chase Tracker and Gold Street, second and fourth in the bettin, finished eighth and ninth.

Steve Asmussen,: “His position was by design. I thought he got a little too far behind in the Smarty Jones. He was in good position all the way. Absolutely, we’ll look at the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. This series is quite lucrative, and the points are very important.”

Ricardo Santana Jr.: “The last two weeks the horse was training unbelievable! We didn't get any rain, so the track was just how he liked it. He pulled me in a great spot the first quarter, and i just became his passenger.”

Winning owner Ed Orr: “I think we were pretty reserved today. We had a lot of information that he was doing good. We were disappointed in the fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones and thought that we could have done better there. We've learned a long time ago in this business to not get your hopes too high because they can be shot down pretty fast.”

Feb. 19 NOTE: Jockey Santana said, “I knew I had a ton of horse, He was working unbelievable the last two weeks. We had a lot of confidence in him."

In the March 14 Rebel Stakes, Silver Prospector finished sixth, beaten 12 lengths by Nadal on a sloppy-sealed track. Nadal, meanwhile, shook off challenges early, middle and and late while doing all the heavy lifting to win in 1:44.97. After being pressured all the way to the stretch, he held at bay a late charge by 82-1 Excession. Basin and Three Technique finished a non-threatening third and fourth. It was Nadal's first race away from his base at Santa Anita, his first at two turns, and his first over a wet track. After breaking from post 1 cleanly, Nadal briefly vied with No Parole in the first turn and headed into the backstretch with a slight lead. In the blink of an eye, American Theorem was all over Nadal, and the two ran together through a quarter-mile in 22.84, a half in 46.00 and six furlongs in 1:11.38. Nadal had a mere head advantage at each of those calls into the far turn.

No sooner had Nadal shaken off American Theorem in the the turn, there was a cavalry charge of challengers in the form of Three Technique, Silver Prospector and Basin, but Nadal dispatched them running for the final furlong. He led at the furlong marker by 1 1/2 length, but out in the middle of the track, Excession was produced by Tyler Baze, and for a few moments, it looked like the longshot might cruise by Nadal. But it was not to be. Nadal dug in doggedly and held off that challenger by three parts of a length. It was seven more lengths back to Basin, who finished a head in front of Three Technique.

April 24 NOTE: Trainer Asmussen told DRF's Mary Rampellini, “I think the extra time, with as much racing as he has, is a positive. We know how strong the race is going to be. We like our chances. He’s training great." The trainer added that the mount will go to Ricardo Santana Jr.

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine.Silver Prospector finished a very disappointing seventh at 7-1, beaten 14 1/2 lengths. He didn't show much early speed and then dropped back in the stretch.

June 29 NOTE: Churchill Downs' Derby points leaderboard has stricken Silver Prospector as a Derby candidate.

 

 

SILVER STATE (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC & Willis Horton Racing LLC
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Hard Spun (Danzig, Turkish Tryst)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Supreme (Empire Maker, Mon Belle)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-7-11-0-0 (22) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 15, 2017

$450,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden at first asking, dead-heating with Relentless Dancer and besting the others by almost 10 lengths in a 6 1/2-furlong contest timed in 1:16.44.  

He sustained a nose loss to Necker Island in a one-turn, one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs in November in his second career outing. He came up just short after being bumped at the start in a field of 11.

In the Jan. 19 LeComte Stakes, Enforceable was the winner, with Silver State second, Mr. Monomoy third and Finnick the Fierce fourth. The lukewarm 3/1 post time favorite, Scabbard, finished fifth. Thirteen ran. The final time was 1:43.72 for 1 1/16 mile. Off a step slow, Enforceable was forced to go four wide around the first turn under Julien Leparoux.  Eleventh of 13 early on behind honest fractions of 23.46 and 47.41, Enforceable settled into a comfortable position down the backstretch and was three wide on the far turn. He rallied six wide turning for home and galloped down the lane to score a 1 1/2-length victory as the 6/1 fourth choice.  Silver State bobbled at the start and bumped with a foe; he was two wide on the far turn and also closed well to be second after being positioned ninth after a half-mile. Mr. Monomoy finished another neck back in third, and was the only horse to be part of the early fray that was close to the winner at the end. He saved ground throughout but had to wait on horses into the stretch. Finnick the Fierce finished fourth, beaten seven lengths, after being in 12th position for the first half-mile and flattening out in the stretch. Scabbard was nosed out for fourth after being sixth, only 3 1/2 lengths off the pace, after the first half-mile and having to be steadied behind horses in upper stretch.

Ricardo Santana, Jr.: “I think he ran pretty good. It was his first time going two turns, and he handled it well. We expect a lot from that horse in the future.”

The 2020 Risen Star was run at 1 1/8 mile for the first time, and there were two divisions with 23 entries. Mr. Monomoy won Division I. After breaking from post 9, led through fractions of 24.22, 48.57 and 1:12.85, disposed of challenger Blackberry Wine at the top of the stretch, and then held off the late advances of both Enforceable and Silver State to win by 2 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:50.43, nearly a second faster than division two winner Modernist, who was timed in 1:51.28. Off a step slow and wide on both turns, Enforceable closed well to be second. He was last after a quarter-mile and eighth, 7 1/2 lengths off the pace, after a half-mile. Silver State ran mid-pack into the stretch and finished willingly to get third, beaten three lengths. Farmington Road was fourth, beaten 4 1/2 lengths after a trip similar to that of Enforceable, but he galloped out best of all.

In the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby on March 21, Silver State finished seventh, beaten 10 1/2 lengths by the front-running Wells Bayou and a time of 1:56.47. The chart says he "raced under a tight hold in the two path on the first turn, dropped back early on the backstretch, was roused in the two path on the far turn and also failed to threaten."

June 4 NOTE: He hasn't put in a published workout since the Louisiana Derby.

June 29 NOTE: Churchill Downs' Derby points leaderboard has stricken Silver State as a Derby candidate.

 

 

SOLE VOLANTE (KY)
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
Owner: Owner: Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone & Limelight Stables Corp.
Breeder: Flaxman Holdings Ltd.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Karakontie (JPN) (Bernstein, Sun Is Up (JPN))
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Light Blow (Kingmambo, Lingerie (GB))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 
6-0-13-5-2 (26) 0.93
Foal Date: April 2, 2017

$6,000 Keeneland September 2018
$20,000 OBS April 2019

A gelding. Sole Volante is Italian for flying sun.

Purchased by trainer Biancone off a $22,000 budget for the trainer's daughter. Sixty percent interest later bought by Dan Reeves, et al. A gelding. By a Breeders' Cup Mile winner.

NEXT RACE:

He broke his maiden on debut with a late-running move on Oct. 12 at Gulfstream Park West.

On Nov. 30 at Gulfstream Park, Sole Volante closed from last in a field of 11 to win the Pulpit Stakes going a mile on firm turf. Sent off at 13-1, he was timed in a quck 1:33.02 while winning by two lengths over 7-1 Irish Mias. King Guillermo, the 3-2 favorite, was third. Last entering the first turn, Jairo Rendon bided his time in the back of the pack while longshot Factorino went an opening quarter in :22.74 and a half in :45.62. Entering the final turn, Rendon rapidly made up ground with Sole Volente along the rail while Factorino faded and King Guillermo took a two-length lead into the stretch. After getting off the rail and driving between Factorino and Fame to Famous entering the stretch, Sole Volante drove at King Guillermo and then past him.

Patrick Biancone: “He showed us his talent at home first, then when he ran first time out to win. He’s a very good horse. We love him a lot and, hopefully, we can keep going with him. His father won the French Guinness and stands at Gainesway Farm. This is his first year of progenies, and he’s doing very well. Sole Volante’s pedigree is very good, and we were lucky to get him for not much money. He was a gift to my daughter (Andie Biancone) for her birthday. I was drawn to him for his pedigree and the way he moves. He’s very easy to train, lovely to be around, and my daughter loves to ride him as well.”

In the Jan. 4 Mucho Macho Man Stakes, Sole Volante closed late to finish third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths under Luca Panici to Chance It, who edged As Seen on Tv by a head. He was 8 1/2 lengths back after the first half-mile, but struggled toward the end of the race. The one-turn mile went in 1:35.53. South Bend was fourth, beaten 9 1/4 lengths.

LATER: Trainer Biancone said, "He did everything perfectly but ran a little bit early that day and struggled a little the last 1/16.

Sole Volante pulled off a minor upset in the Sam F. Davis Stakes on Feb. 8, timed in 1:42.60, only .16 second off the stakes record, after closing from far back. Chapalu and Premier Star dueled through a half-mile in 46.52, followed two or three lengths back by 3-5 favorite Independence Hall and 15 1/2 lengths by Sole Volante. In the far turn, the latter one seized control, and the stragglers started closing the gap. By the time they'f reached the furlong marker, Sole Volante was within a half-length of Independence Hall, going on to reel him in and win by 2 1/2 lengths. Ajaweed, who was about 20 lengths back after the race was half over, finished third, beaten 13 3/4 lengths and a neck in front of Tiz Rye Time. Seven ran.

Trainer Biancone: “Today I said to Luca, let him relax and run the last 3/8-mile, and that’s what he did. We love him a lot. He’s fantastic on the turf, and in America, the life is the dirt, so I ran him in a sprint race on the dirt at Gulfstream just to see if he could handle it and let him take some kickback.This horse has a lot of stamina, but nothing is cast in stone. So we’ll see how he comes back and how he progresses. We have plenty of races to choose from – maybe we’ll come back here in a month."

Luca Panici: "We knew from the beginning he’s a good horse. He’s very intelligent and when you ask him something he’s a quick learner. When he took off, I never had a doubt (he would catch Independence Hall).”

Feb. 22: Jockey Panici sustained a fractured collarbone today and will be sidelined for several weeks.

Feb. 23 NOTE: Florent Geroux will ride Sole Volante in the Tampa Bay Derby, per report at DRF.

Feb. 27 NOTE: Sole Volante's seven-furlong turf workout yesterday was followed by a gallop-out of one mile, according to a report filed by Blood-Horse's Christine Oser. Florent Geroux handled the work.

March 1 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said yesterday morning, “After he won, we needed to see how he recovered and then take the best route possible. So we chose to come back to Tampa because, number one, he likes the track; number two, the people in Tampa are very nice; and number three, he is in good form and he improved in his last race.”

March 5 NOTE: Jockey Geroux said, “It’s a shame what happened to Luca (Panici) breaking his collar bone and not being able to ride. I was able to get on him last week for Patrick (Biancone) and he seems like a very nice horse.”

At odds of 49-1, King Guillermo easily won the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby in a huge upset. After pressing the moderate early pace set by Relentless Dancer of 23.89, 48.16 and 1:12.00, King Guillermo took command and coasted home to win by 4 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:42.63. It was the third-fastest Tampa Bay Derby in the race’s 40 runnings. Sole Volante, the morning line and post-time favorite at 3-2 odds, closed belatedly from far back to finish second. Texas Swing was third at the first three calls and finished third at 19-1 odds, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Relentless Dancer, another longshot at 21-1, was a half-length back of that one in fourth.

Patrick Biancone: “It was really good, because he’s still a young horse that needs to learn and I was happy because I think he made a very good move to be second. He ran great, and I think he’ll keep improving. I’m delighted, today he had to go through the crowd on the turn and he reacted well about that. He traveled inside and dug in, and we’re very happy.”

March 12 NOTE: Sole Volante will race next in either the Wood Memorial or Kentucky Derby (if he has the points).

March 15 NOTE: The Wood Memorial is next on the schedule. Co-owner Reeves said, "He's a pretty neat horse and he's been very consistent. He's had three races where the Beyers were in the 90s, so that's pretty consistent. I like the fact that he's shown a good closing kick, and I think that bodes well for a race like the Wood or the Derby when you've got that long finish. One of the reasons we're looking there is because we think the surface is similar to Churchill and we have a good distance from the final turn to the wire."

March 18 NOTE: Trainer Biancone told DRF's Jay Privman he's considering running Sole Volante in the Arkansas Derby instead of the Wood Memorial due to the higher purse and the fact that the timing is no longer a matter of four weeks versus three  weeks before the Kentucky Derby.

April 8 NOTE: Sole Volante looking unlikely for the Arkansas Derby. Jay Privman reports that trainer Biancone is anxious about the colt leaving the state because Gulfstream Park has imposed rules that any horse that does so cannot come back to Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West or Palm Meadows without first being quarantined, and that no human may return with the horse. Biancone is based at Palm Meadows. No word on whether he's considering moving, or could move, to another training facility.

April 15 NOTE: Per Jay Privman of DRF, the Belmont Derby is in the cards.

May 6 NOTE: Sole Volante returned to the worktab today, breezing four furlongs in 50.60 at Palm Meadows. Stable mate Ete Indien is on the worktab with an identical time. Sole Volante last worked on March 15, eight days after he ran second in the Tampa Bay Derby.

May 10 NOTE: Trainer Biancone told Meredith Daugherty a couple of days ago, "We are waiting for racing to reopen so that I can make a plan for (Ete Indien and Sole Volante) so they can be targeted."

May 19 NOTE: Possible for the Belmont Stakes on June 20.

May 20 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said of Sole Volante and Ete Indien, "I gave them an easy time in April. They should be perfectly ready and fresh and happy for the second part of the year. (Sole Volante) is training fantastic. He’s stronger; he’s put on weight; he’s grown up. Everything is good with him. In a normal year, I would have been delighted to run a mile and a half instead of a mile and an eighth. On the other hand, coming off a layoff, I think it was a good move by NYRA. The mile and a quarter at Belmont is a bad race – you start on the turn. They had no choice but to make it a mile and an eighth. The mile and an eighth is perfect. I think the mile and a half is too challenging for everybody.”

May 30 NOTE: Trainer Biancone told DRF's David Grening yesterday that shortening the Belmont Stakes is "not a good decision for me because my horse can go to two miles.”

June 5 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said, “These two horses (Ete Indien, Sole Volante) haven’t run for a long time. I want to see where we are as far as fitness. The rain last week changed my plans for training. Hey, nothing is better than a good prep race. Before we travel a long way, we want to see where we are. I think it will be good for them. Gulfstream Park has been kind enough to provide us with a race that we can run in.” Luca Panici has the mount on Sole Volante.

June 6 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said, "He galloped nice and happy for a month in April and re-started the program in May. Unfortunately, we got a bit of bad weather this week and missed a work on Wednesday, but it looks to be better coming up and we hope to get a good race. He's grown and matured everywhere, physically and mentally, too. He's a man now and he was a boy before."

In a one-mile, one-turn allowance race on June 10 at Gulfstream Park, Ete Indien, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Florent Geroux, and Shivaree (Emisael Jaramillo) competed for the lead through fractions of 23.09, 45.10 and 1:09.20, with Ete Indien inside after breaking from post 1. In the final 150 yards, Ete Indien gave it up while Shivaree ran on, but Sole Volante, the 2-1 second choice ridden by Luca Panici, and Jesus' Team (Samy Camacho) had come from well off the pace and passed him in deep stretch. Sole Volante won in a time of 1:34.80, beating Jesus' Team by 3/4 length and Shivaree by 1 1/2 length. Ete Indien held fourth, beaten 5 3/4 lengths. Sole Volante was 8 1/4 lengths off the pace after the first half-mile. Six ran.

Trainer Biancone: “He’s a nice horse. He’s improving. He’s a lighter horse. I think he needed the race less than Ete Indien. With Ete Indien, I think I may make a mistake to put the blinkers, because the other horse shaded him the whole way. It was a training race. Concerning Sole Volante, my owner is very keen on running in the Belmont. We’ll have to wait for the horse to decide. We’ll see how he is the next few days. If he really comes up, we may go. If not, we’ll wait for the Blue Grass. One or the other.”

Luca Panici: “It was perfect. He’s a horse that’s like a human. His brain is fabulous. The first part when he had to accelerate when he saw the horse in front, he was aggressive to pass the other horse. What more can I say? I’ve known him from the beginning, and he’s just a wonderful horse to ride. I have to thank all the connections to give me this huge opportunity. He’s just a really great horse.”

June 18 NOTE: Assistant trainer and co-owner Andie Biancone said, "He just came out of that allowance race so well and we did an open gallop with him on Monday. We really waited for him to do the talking. He's behavior is great, and he came out of it so fresh and so happy and so well, we couldn't not go to this race. We wanted to run him before the Belmont. To go almost 100 days without a race, they're itching for it. They're athletes. Mentally, he wanted to do more. Once he got that race him, it was like he said, 'I'm all right, everything is OK.' They love to run. Mentally and physically, he's just perfect right now. We couldn't be happier. I think the rest did him well at the end of the day. He's put on a lot of weight and grown. For any young horse, I think some time off can do them well. This situation hasn't been done before, but he came out of it well. I think he's a closer. With a lot of speed in the race, hopefully he can sit back comfortably and pick his route from there. Also, this is the best he's ever been right now, both fitness-wise and mentally."

June 18 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said, "So far, so good. He's very talented. He's been very good for us and trains his best all the time. We'll see how good he is Saturday. No question, Tiz the Law is the horse to beat, but he totally (deserves) this opportunity."

In the Belmont Stakes on June 20, Sole Volante washed out before the race, trailed the field early behind initial fractions of 23.11, 46.16 and 1:09.94, and he failed to fire at all in the lane. He finished sixth, beaten 15 3/4 lengths by Tiz the Law and a time of 1:46.53.

June 22 NOTE: Trainer Biancone said Sole Volante could be returned to turf, telling DRF, “We’re not going to make too many plans yet."

 

 

SONNEMAN (KY)
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Courtlandt Farms (Donald and Donna Adam)
Breeder: Arnold Zetcher LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike, Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Zardana (BRZ) (Crimson Tide (IRE), Dear Filly (ARG))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-4-10-4-0 (24) 1.67
Foal Date: April 5, 2017

$375,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

On Oct. 5 at Belmont Park, Sonneman laid mid pack and made a wide move to get up for the win in third career start. It was a one-turn mile.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Hennig called it a professional effort. "Settled in, took a lot of dirt...finished up with good energy and I thought galloped out really well, no indication (of) distance limitations. We'll nominate up to the races around Breeders' Cup weekend, will be nominated to the Nashua. I really look forward to...two turns."

LATER: Sonneman didn't race again in 2019.

On April 4, he made his 3-year-old debut in a seven-furlong optional-claimer at Gulfstream Park and won under Joel Rosario. He was last early, first late, and timed in 1:23.70 under Joel Rosario. The chart says he "was reserved and raced two wide in the back, was put to a drive six to seven wide entering the lane, rallied along the far outside and finished clear."

LATER trainer Hennig said: "I didn't expect him to get away so slow and have to come from where he did, but it was nice to see him accomplish what he did. Joel didn't have much choice the way the horse broke. We'd been looking forward to running him all winter, and we're fortunate the meet continued here. He's a horse that could really benefit from the delay in all these big 3-year-old races. One race at a time, but he ran well going a mile in the fall and he looked like a horse that would benefit from more ground. The other day, he was just hitting his best stride at the wire."

April 24 NOTE: Trainer Hennig said yesterday to DRF's David Grening he hopes the New York Racing Association will be able to resume racing by the end of May or early June. “We’re in a good position to just wait on that (for Sonneman), he said.

June 3 NOTE: Sonneman remains on the worktab. He's been moved from Gulfstream Park to Keeneland to Belmont Park.

The Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park on June 25 was literally a two-horse race, and Celic Striker ran off from Sonneman to win by 19 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:42.37 for 1 1/16 mile. The winner set early fractions under Manny Franco of 23.55, 46.55 and 1:10.50.

Jose Ortiz,: "My horse comes from off the pace. Clearly, it would have benefitted me with a bigger field. I broke OK. I tried to push Manny a little bit to ensure an honest pace. My plan was to be up as close as I could and try to wear him out late, but when Manny asked his horse, he just drew away from me."
 

 

SOROS (KY)
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, OGMA Investments, LLC
Breeder: Shain Crain
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Commissioner (A.P. Indy, Flaming Heart)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Eastern Ruckus (Eastern Echo, Andrea Ruckus)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-9-12-0-0 (24) 3.00
Foal Date: Feb. 13, 2017

$40,000 Keeneland September 2018
$95,000 RNA OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE:

In his debut, Soros finished second behind Fort McHenry, a half-brother to California Chrome, at Gulfstream Park West on Nov. 2. He was 5 1/2 lengths in arrears.

Soros broke his maiden easily in the one-turn, one-mile Smooth Air Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Nov. 30 while Fort McHenry faded to last as the even-money favorite after stalking the early pace. Soros saved ground in sixth along the backstretch as Gemo set a pressured pace with fractions of 23.32 and 45.57. Edgar Prado eased Soros to the outside entering the turn, where they launched a four-wide sweep into the stretch and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Genghis finished second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Gangly. Soros was clocked in 1:38.10.

Assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. quipped, “This is pretty much what we do now! Hopefully he comes back in good shape today and we’ll take it from there. This is a horse that we own and is open for sale, so we don’t know what will happen next. He seems like a two turn horse. I love the way he just cruises.”

Edgar Prado: "He broke good and everybody went. I watched his (first) race, and it seemed like he sat behind horses and took the dirt no problem. So I didn’t hesitate to tuck right in and save some ground. The dirt hit him and he was running into it no problem. Around the turn, when everybody was going head and head and I had nowhere to go, and my horse started picking them up, I said just let me go outside and see what I got. When I got him outside, he just accelerated. I think he was only running at 70 percent. He’s still mentally learning, and he’s just going to get better.”

Feb. 8 NOTE: Has not worked since winning the Smooth Air.

Feb. 22 NOTE: He breezed on Feb. 15 and today at Gulfstream Park West, prompting us to add him to Worth Watching.

In a one mile allowance optional claimer at Gulftream Park on March 27, Soros ran fifth of 12, beaten 7 1/4 lengths by Money Moves. He was eighth or ninth at the in-race calls.

In the April 25 Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Dr Post endured a brutal trip while being squeezed at multiple points while never more than two lengths back in a closely-bunched race. He split horses in the stretch and had a narrow lead at the furlong marker before winning by 1 1/2 length as the even money favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and galloping out alone. Attachment Rate broke last and closed in the lane, only 3/4 length off the lead at the furlong marker, to get an unimpeded second while ridden by Luis Saez. Americanus, who led at the first three calls, gave way to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths, followed by Necker Island, Relentless Dancer and Soros. Seven lengths separated the field at the finish. The final time for the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled Stakes was 1:43.07.

June 10 NOTE: Scratched from a one-mile allowance optional claiming race on this date at Gulfstream Park.

June 24 NOTE: Never left Florida and was scratched from today's Ohio Derby. Worked today at Gulfstream Park West.

 

 

SOUTH BEND (KY)
Trainer: Stanley Hough
Owner: Sagamore Farm LLC
Breeder: Highclere, Inc.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Algorithms (Bernardini, Ava Knowsthecode)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Sandra's Rose (Old Trieste, St. Lucinda (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-7-7-0-0 (16) 3.57
Foal Date: Feb. 12, 2017

$47,000 Fasig-Tipton July 2018
$70,000 OBS March 2019


NEXT RACE: 

He won his debut and won again in allowance company in his second start.

After a dream trip saving ground while never more than 2 3/4 lengths off the pace, 7-5 favorite South Bend surged from third position at the furlong marker to win the one-turn, one-mile Street Sense Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs on Oct. 27 under Julian Leparoux. He bested by one length 11-1 Fighting Seabee, who was also always close albeit midpack for the first six furlongs and five wide in the turn. Silver Prospector at 5-1 set the pace in fractions of 22.87 and 46.24, fought back a challenge by fifth finisher American Butterfly at the top of the stretch, led that one by a half-length at the furlong marker, and yielded to finish third by 1 1/2 length. Shotski, a 21-1 longshot, ran evenly to finish fourth while four wide in the turn, beaten 2 1/4 lengths.

In the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30 on a sloppy track, South Bend prompted a modest pace in second and then faded to finish sixth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Silver Prospector's time of 1:45.94.

South Bend was a bit flat while finishing fourth in the one-turn, one-mile Mucho Macho Man Stakes on Jan. 4, defeated by Chance It, As Seen on Tv and Sole Volante. He was defeated by seven lengths.

He was switched to turf in the Dania Beach Stakes in which he ran a spirited third, beaten only a neck by Field Pass, with Get Smokin second. South Bend was right every every step of the way. The chart says he "stalked the pacesetter down the backstretch then launched a two wide bid around the far turn, remained in steady pursuit into stretch run, inched up closer in final stages and got edged out for the win."

In the Feb. 29 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park, South Bend missed the break and was second from last in a field of 11 going up the backstretch as a moderate pace unfolded in front. Coaxed along by Julien Leparoux, South Bend began making a serious move into the far turn as Vitalogy, who was soon in third place after breaking from post 12, made his way to the lead with first six furlongs gone in 1:12.85 and Tiesto beginning to threaten. Six wide into the stretch, South Bend continued to run hard and finished third to Vitalogy, beaten 1 1/2 length to a time of 1:41.86. Tiesto was second, beaten a length.

In the one-mile Cutler Bay Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 28, South Bend broke cleanly but not quickly under Julien Leparoux, raced eight or 10 lengths off the pace for a half-mile, then quickly closed the gap only to be overtaken late by Decorated Invader, who beat South Bend by 1 1/4 length in a time of 1:33.12 on a super firm course.

April 25 NOTE: South Bend breezed this morning at Palm Meadows, so he's a scratch from the Unbridled Stakes. Trainer Hough opted to leave Necker Island in the race, and South Bend will stauy on turf.

In the May 2 English Channel Stakes at 1 1/6 mile at Gulfstream Park, second betting choice South Bend as usual was back in the pack early. Under Miguel Vazquez he launched a bid starting in the far turn, but as he entered the stretch on the outside, his hind end was bumped out and he lost momentum. Meanwhile, favored Gofu got a better trip and got up late to win in 1:39.70 under Irad Ortiz, Jr.

In the one-mile War Chant Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 23, South Bend got off to another slow start, this time from post 1. He saved ground and made a gradual advance behind a modest pace to finish fifth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths. Smoooth Like Strait won.

June 23 NOTE: Blinkers off for Storm the Court in the Ohio Derby.

Dean Martini rolled up the inside to the lead hitting the far turn and controlled in the stretch to win the Ohio Derby, while South Bend was a late running second under Rafael Bejarano, beaten only 3/4 length. Ridden by Ricardo Mejias, Dean Martini was never far back. He, Lebda and Rowdy Yates vied for the lead during the first quarter-mile timed in 22.80, and after a half-mile in 47.22 he was fifth but only two lengths off the pacesetting Lebda, with Rowdy Yates, Establlshed and Storm the Court closest to the leader. In charge after six furlongs in 1:11.88, the winner put away Lebda in the stretch with Rowdy Yates and Storm the Court still chasing. Dean Martini led Rowdy Yates by three lengths and Storm the Court by four with an eighth of a mile left in the race. South Bend and Rafael Bejarano made a big run from there to finish second, two lengths ahead of Storm the Court. It was three more lengths back to Rowdy Yates, who nosed out post-time 3-1 second choice Sprawl for fourth.

 

 

STORM THE COURT (KY)
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Owner: David A Bernsen LLC, Exline-Border Racing LLC, Dan Hudock & Susanna Wilson
Breeder: Stepping Stone Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Court Vision (Gulch, Weekend Storm)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): My Tejana Storm (Tejano Run, Sarah's Settlement)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-2-7-0-0 (14) 3.00
Foal Date: May 5, 2017

$5,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February 2018
$60,000 OBS April 2019


NEXT RACE:

He was a first-out maiden winner going  5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 10.

He lost all chance in the seven furlong Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 2, when Flavien Prat was unseated shortly after the break. A

He was a well-beaten third at 19-1 by then-highly regarded Eight Rings in the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.

At 45-1 odds, Storm the Court and Flavien Prat led at each call and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita by a neck after fighting off a stretch-long bid from Anneau d’Or. He covered 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.93. Odds-on favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving post 1 and trailed the field of eight as Storm the Court took the lead with Eight Rings and Anneau d’Or in closest pursuit. Storm the Court maintained a narrow advantage through splits of 23.49, 47.07 and 1:11.60. At the head of the lane Anneau d’Or, who was never worse than two lengths behind while ridden by Juan Hernandez, ranged up alongside the leader and the battle was on. Storm the Court refused to let Anneau d’Or by. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Wrecking Crew and Paco Lopez, who were always close by Anneau d'Or until the stretch run commenced, but who went wide on the far turn. Scabbard ridden by Mike Smith, ran evenly throughout and came in fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Full Flat, Eight Rings, Shoplifted and Dennis’ Moment completed the order of finish.

Peter Eurton: “It’s just so special to do this for this for Exline-Border, they’ve been so supportive through the years. They had a bit of a Champagne Room minute, so they had a taste of it here. Marette Farrell just does such an awesome job buying horses. It just means a lot: my family, my daughter, my wife, my home...  In the American Pharoah, I still feel like he didn’t have a chance to run. I still felt a little uneasy about what happened in the prior race down south (losing the jockey at the start of the Del Mar Futurity), so we decided to put the blinkers on him on Flavien's recommendation. It just seemed like it got him a little more focused, and he probably would have been able to do it without them – but it did help out a lot. It's a lot of team work.”

Flavien Prat: “I got to ride him the entire race today.  I wanted to be on the lead today.  He relaxed for me nicely.  I think the blinkers helped him a lot.  He really battled all through the stretch.  I always thought he was going to win.”

Dec. 20 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said Storm the Court's first workout since Breeders' Cup would be on Dec. 22 and added, "Right now it looks like he’s going to start back in February, but if he doesn’t make it because of the weather, we’ll wait until March. We have lots of options.”

Jan. 20 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said after a workout, “A couple more works will tighten the screws up a little bit. I’ve got pictures of Flavien pulling up with a smile on his face. He’s very pleased, and that makes me happy.” Eurton named the San Vicente Stakes as his charge's next start.

Jan. 24 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said after Storm the Court won the 2-year-old Eclipse Award, “He’s a late foal (May 5), so he’s still growing.  He’s filled out some since the Breeders’ Cup, and he’s training well.”

Jan. 24 NOTE: Part owner Dan Hudock: “This is definitely a once in a lifetime deal. I told my wife this is a million to one shot, if you think we can do this twice, you’re crazy!  I’m really a nobody, but I’ve been doing this for 35 years and for 32 of those, I was dealing with claiming horses. I’ve done the math and a $20,000 claimer costs just as much to maintain as Storm the Court.  We’ve been with Pete for three years now, and with this horse, we don’t see a vet bill, he gets shoes, Lasix for workouts and a couple carrots!  We had no idea if we’d win.  We stayed home and watched the whole thing…My phone was ringing all night.”

Feb. 6 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “The biggest key for any Juvenile winner is you can’t keep them ‘on’ all the time. You’ve gotta let them come down a bit. And he’s a May foal, so it’s important to have that time off. He’s grown maybe an inch or so and filled out a bit, but this is a new thing. There’s so many new 3-year-olds around now that he has to prove himself again. If we get to the Derby, we want to be the best that day—not over-train and over-race.”

Feb. 7 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, "We're looking forward to Sunday. The horse is doing well and this looks like a good spot for his first race back. We're excited and after this, hopefully we’ll plan on the second, but it's first things first. He's quick."

Feb. 14 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “He got a lot out of that. I like how he came out of it, too. We’ll see how he goes and ponder our next race, but it could be four weeks, five weeks. It could be here in the San Felipe or possibly the Rebel. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a long way until the Kentucky Derby.”

March 1 NOTE: Joel Rosario will ride Storm the Court in the San Felipe, replacing Flavien Prat, who's opted to stay aboard Thousand Words.

In the March 7 San Felipe Stakes, Authentic led at each call and won by 2 1/4 lengths.  After vying for the lead early with Storm the Court and Thousand Words, Authentic got to the front and laid down fractions of 22.84, 46.71 and 1:11.32. He finished the 1 1/16 mile in 1:43.56. Honor A. P., who was fourth early, came after Authentic in the turn but was repelled. He stayed on for second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Storm the Court. It was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Thousand Words. Wrecking Crew, Fort McHenry and Swagsational rounded out the order of finish.

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Eurton DRF's Jay Privman, "I still think there's more there. I'm feeling like we'll probably be traveling (for his next race)."

April 5 NOTE: Trainer Eurton told DRF's Steve Andersen, “I’m still thinking the Arkansas Derby. I’ve been working him by himself. Today, someone jumped in with him, and he got into the bridle.”

April 22 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, “Very pleased with his work. We didn’t have many other choices, to be honest with you. We had so many different options that we were going to go with, but unfortunately they’re all gone the other direction. (Moving the Arkansas Derby back three weeks) kind of worked out good for me. It got the needed weight I wanted to get back on him. He’s trained by himself the whole time and that really helped because he’s so competitive. It keeps his metabolism a little bit lower. His weight looks really good. Is he good enough? Hey, we’re going to find out. He’s got the style. I think he’ll like the racetrack, I really do. Seems like a speed-favoring racetrack, so looking forward to it.”

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. Storm the Court finished sixth, beaten 12 lengths after he sat third or fourth, never more than 2 1/2 lengths off the pace during the first six furlongs.

May 22 NOTE: Trainer Eurton said, "We have no race in mind right now. We’ve given him a little freshening, and he’ll probably run at Del Mar, but we have lots of options."

May 26 NOTE: Now we are told the Los Alamitos Derby may be on connections' radar.

June 16 NOTE: Connections have settled on the Ohio Derby. Trainer Eurton told DRF's Steve Andersen, “I think it will be easier than the Belmont and probably easier than what Bob decides to throw in” the Los Alamitos Derby. We’ll take the shades off of him. He’s matured enough now. Flavien doesn’t have a lot to say, but he thinks the last two works were the best he’s had in ages."

June 23 NOTE: Storm the Court was among 15 entered today in the Ohio Derby. Blinkers off.

Dean Martini rolled up the inside to the lead hitting the far turn and controlled in the stretch to win the Ohio Derby, while South Bend was a late running second and Storm the Court third. Ridden by Ricardo Mejias, Dean Martini was never far back. He, Lebda and Rowdy Yates vied for the lead during the first quarter-mile timed in 22.80, and after a half-mile in 47.22 he was fifth but only two lengths off the pacesetting Lebda, with Rowdy Yates, Establlshed and Storm the Court closest to the leader. In charge after six furlongs in 1:11.88, the winner put away Lebda in the stretch with Rowdy Yates and Storm the Court still chasing. Dean Martini led Rowdy Yates by three lengths and Storm the Court by four with an eighth of a mile left in the race. South Bend and Rafael Bejarano made a big run from there to finish second, two lengths ahead of Storm the Court. It was three more lengths back to Rowdy Yates, who nosed out post-time 3-1 second choice Sprawl for fourth.

July 2 NOTE: Reportedly will not compete in the Shared Belief at Del Mar; and a turf race is something connections want to try. The Kentucky Derby hasn't been ruled out, but other things look attractive.

 

 

TAISHAN (KY)
Trainer: Richard Baltas
Owner: Calvin Nguyen & Joey Tran
Breeder: Nursery Place, Donaldson & Broadbent
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Twirling Candy (Candy Ride (ARG), House of Danzing)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Grace Phil (Philanthropist, Loupe de Grace)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-1-5-0-0 (8) 2.20
Foal Date: Feb. 23, 2017

$22,000 Keeneland September 2018
$150,000 OBS March 2019


NEXT RACE:

On Nov. 3, Taishan broke his maiden in his second start, a one-mile maiden special weight at Santa Anita in which he was timed in 1:38.12 after stalking early leader Tizamagician.

He finished fourth, beaten 10 lengths by Authentic, in the one-mile Sham Stakes on Jan. 4 on a track rated fast.

Shipped to Oaklawn for the Southwest Stakes, he checked in fifth, beaten 10 1/2 lengths on a track rated fast by Silver Prospector.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Oaklawn Park on March 14, Taishan led at each call on a sloppy-sealed track to win  by 4 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:44.55. He set fractions under Joel Rosario of 23.35, 47.66  and 1:12.72. The chart says he "got clear into the first turn through a quick opening quarter, slowed things down in the run up the backstretch, continued to set the pace throughthe final turn, plenty left in the stretch to draw out without being asked for his best late."

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Mr. Big News raced 11th in the 13-horse field under Gabriel Saez while Gold Street grabbed the early lead from post 13 and ran through fractions of 22.07 for the quarter-mile, 45.47 for the half, and 1:10.92 for six furlongs. Gold Street was stalked by Sir Rick, Flap Jack, Basin and Taishan. The winner came wide into stretch and easily collared Taishan, who had a short lead at the furlong marker. Mr. Big News held off the late charging Farmington Road, who was dead last by over 11 lengths after the first half-mile, by one-half length. Taishan, who was close to the pace throughout, held on for third, 3 3/4 lengths back from the winner. Basin ran evenly, fourth to sixth at each call, and finished fourth, beaten 5 1/4 lengths. The winning time was 1:49.89 over a sloppy track.

Joel Rosario: “He kind of got looking around for a little bit (in the stretch), but he tried. I think this is maybe only his fifth race, so he's learning. He looks like he has some talent."

April 16 NOTE: Trainer Baltas said of the Arkansas Derby, “I don’t see why we shouldn’t take a shot. I think the horse is doing well. I got his sheet number. It was actually like his best number ever. On the Thoro-Graphs, it was a 4. He has been running 5's. I thought he ran well. It was a very hot pace, he was parked wide, he made a little premature move, I think. He was actually one of the few horses that actually didn’t … the other horses came from way far back. They were flying. Obviously, we were hoping at the top of the lane that he would keep going. In hindsight, to look at the chart, it looked like he ran a pretty good race.” Taishan is stabled at Oaklawn Park.

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. Taishan finished last, beaten 30 lengths. He didn't show much early speed and was all but eased in the late going.

June 29 NOTE: Taishan remains active on the worktab at Santa Anita.

 

 

TAP IT TO WIN (FL)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Live Oak Plantation
Breeder: Live Oak Stud
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tapit (Pulpit, Tap Your Heels)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Onepointhreekarats (Medaglia d'Oro, Beaties for Real)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 7-11-12-2-0 (32) 3.00
Foal Date: April 6, 2017


NOT NOMINATED TO THE TRIPLE CROWN

NEXT RACE:

In 2019, after breaking his maiden at second asking while sprinting at Saratoga, Tap It to Win finished 10th in both the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland and the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs, after which he was done for the year.

In his 2020 debut, which came on May 9 at Gulfstream Park, Tap It to Win stalked a pace from a threesome of 22.36 and 45.09 before drawing off to win a six-furlong allowance race by 1 1/2 length by Tyler Gaffalione aboard.

In a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont Park on June 4, Tap It to Win ran away from the competition in a stunning time of 1:39.76. His winning margin was five lengths after leading by 7 1/2 at the furlong marker. Tap It to Win set initial fractions of 22.65, 45.64, 1:09.39 and 1:33.39 -- and STILL finished up the final sixteenth in 6.37 seconds. John Velazquez was aboard, and supporters caught them at 6-1. The 8-5 favorite, Mystic Guide, chased in second. He made a move in the turn to get within 2 1/2 lengths of the leader, but to no avail. Country Grammer was seventh of eight, 5 1/2 lengths off the lead, and finished third, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. The chart says Tap It to Win "quickly established control, rated kindly in the two path, facing only token pressure from the closest pursuer, inched away from others during the run around the bend, was in the vicinity of the three-sixteenths marker when switched over to stronger handling, began the final  furlong in possession of his largest advantage, squandered some of it but kept well clear."

June 6 NOTE: Trainer Casse, eyeing the Belmont Stakes, said, "I've always said, run them when they're good. We won the Breeders' Cup with Shamrock Rose, and last year we spun Got Stormy back off of a week's rest to beat colts in a Grade 1. Sixteen days will be enough time. I thought that yesterday was a really tough race, but I believed we had a good chance. Johnny told me that he galloped out really well, so that makes me feel good. I thought he was a Breeders' Cup horse last year. When we ran him in the Breeders' Futurity, he got away slow and was very rank. Tyler couldn't get him to settle. In the Street Sense, he hit the inside of his sesamoid and had a small sequestrum so we had to go in, get it fixed and have surgery. What was really amazing was that during his time off, he really grew up. He's just a super-moving horse. We breezed at our training center in Ocala, and every time we would watch, our mouths would be open when we watch him move. I told Tyler before his race at Gulfstream that he would be riding a different horse than he was on previously."

June 6 NOTE: Would have to be supplemented to run in the Belmont unless a nomination was in late mail.

June 11 NOTE: Assistant trainer Jamie Begg said, "We backed him up to the half and galloped him a mile (this morning). He did really well. I picked him up with the pony and (exercise rider Shane Tripp) was very happy with him. His energy levels are good, so hopefully we get there in one piece. There's a few Belmont horses dropping right now, and the field seems to have gotten a little easier. That bodes well for us. I don't think we plan on breezing him before the Belmont. That's something Mark and I can discuss and see how he's training up to it and see what we think. He's coming back in two weeks, and we're more just trying to get his energy levels back up. We're not worried too much about fitness. He's plenty fit. You could see on the gallop out in that allowance the other day that he can handle the distance. (Sir Winston and Tap It to Win) are both classy horses. But this horse (Tap It to Win) is a little more speed oriented, so the cutback in the Belmont definitely helped his chances of going in there. I'm not sure if it was a mile and a half this year we'd necessarily make this move. Johnny, after he rode him, said he handled the mile and a sixteenth like it was nothing. He said he had tons of horse left, and that gave us a lot of confidence going in here."

June 14: His connections only have to pay $15,000 to enter him in the Belmont Stakes. a markedly reduced rate from ordinary years for horses not nominated to the Triple Crown. It's not a bad gamble at all. The Belmont pays $20,000 to the eighth-place finisher this year.

In the Belmont Stakes on June 20, Tap It to Win set the pace in 23.11, 46.16 and 1:09.94 before backing up to a fifth-place finish, beaten 14 lengths by Tiz the Law and a time of 1:46.53.

 

 

TEXAS SWING (KY)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Harrell Ventures, LLC
Breeder: Susan Casnerr
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Curlin (Smart Strike (CAN), Sherriff's Deputy)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Derby Eve (Tiznow, Sweet Damsel)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-4-8-0-0 (16) 3.00
Foal Date: April 16, 2017

$275,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

He finished fourth sprinting six furlongs in his first start, which came at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 21.

On Sam F. Davis Day at Tampa, his second time out, Texas Swing was impressive winning in a time of 1:39.57 going a two-turn mile and 40 yards, defeating Don Bourbon by 1 1/4 length. Giocare was another 3/4 length back in third, and the fourth finisher was beaten 9 1/2 lengths. Eight ran. Texas Swing set the pace with fractions of 23.66, 47.50 and 1:11.77 and repelled a strong challenge from Don Bourbon, who was second at every call. The chart says Texas Swing "broke  sharply,  dictated  the  pace on a narrow margin racing just off the rail into the backstretch, turned back a  rival's challenge racing through the far turn to upper stretch and edged clear late under firm handling."

At odds of 49-1, King Guillermo easily won the March 7 Tampa Bay Derby in a huge upset. After pressing the moderate early pace set by Relentless Dancer of 23.89, 48.16 and 1:12.00, King Guillermo took command and coasted home to win by 4 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:42.63. It was the third-fastest Tampa Bay Derby in the race’s 40 runnings. Sole Volante, the morning line and post-time favorite at 3-2 odds, closed belatedly from far back to finish second. Texas Swing was third at the first three calls and finished third at 19-1 odds, beaten 6 1/2 lengths. Relentless Dancer, another longshot at 21-1, was a half-length back of that one in fourth.

May 27 NOTE: Trainer Pletcher said that Texas Swing is being freshened for a return at Saratoga.

June 29 NOTE: No word on the whereabouts of Texas Swing.

 

 

THOUSAND WORDS (FL)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Albaugh Family Stables LLC & Spendthrift Farm LLC
Breeder: Hardacre Farm
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Pioneerof the Nile (Empire Maker, Star of Goshen)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Pomeroy's Pistol (Pomeroy, Prettyatthetable)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 2-4-2-0-0 (8) 7.00

Foal Date: Jan. 27, 2017

$1,000,000 Keeneland September 2018

NEXT RACE: Los Alamitos Derby


He broke his maiden on debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 26.

Next out, Thousand Words narrowly edged Anneau d'Or in the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 7. Only four ran. The winning time was 1:43.19. Thousand Words dueled with High Velocity until well in the stretch while Anneu d'Or sat immediately behind those two. Thousand Words shook off High Velocity, then held sway over Anneau d'Or by a neck after coming again. The chart says, "Thousand Words stalked outside a rival then bid alongside the pacesetter to duel for the lead, took a short advantage in upper stretch, fought back between horses a furlong out, was briefly headed by the runner-up nearing the sixteenth pole and gamely prevailed under urging. Anneau d'Or savedground stalking the pace, came out on the second turn and three deep into the stretch, bid three wide in the drive, momentarily put a head in front nearingthe sixteenth pole and continued gamely to the end."

In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1 at Santa Anita, Thousand Words sat back in fourth of six runners for three-quarters of a mile while High Velocity and Tizamagician dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.65, 47.20 and 1:11.44. Royal Act wasn't far back in third, two lengths in arrears after six furlongs. In the stretch, High Velocity and Tizamagician began to regress, yielding the late lead to Thousand Words, who came on between horses, as Royal Act was wide to get up for second. The winning margin was 3/4 length, and the top four finishers were separated at the wire by only 1 3/4 length. The winning time was 1:43.64 for 1 1/16 mile.

Bob Baffert: “Being stuck down on the inside, he got the worst of it. Usually, a young horse like that, they won’t run that well and they don’t respond, but he’s got that big long stride and the further the better with him.  You could tell about the last 50 yards, he was really getting going.  He came back and he wasn’t even tired, so that is a good sign. He is progressing with every race, and to win three in a row like that is pretty impressive.”

Flavien Prat: “He ran very well. He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there.  He took the dirt well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”

Feb. 8 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “He’s a Pioneerof the Nile and a long-striding horse. He deals with everything really well, and I love the way he handled all that kickback and dirt. When he was asked to go, he took off. He’s a very workmanlike horse.”

Feb. 13 NOTE: Trainer Baffert said, “Thousand Words is getting better. Thousand Words doesn’t have tree-bending speed or knock-back acceleration, but he wins, and, even more, “He wants to win. He’s a grinder, and he’s very professional.”

Feb. 29 NOTE: California clocker Gary Young said yesterday, “Thousand Words is a tough read because he won the Lewis off very ordinary works. Baffert said you can’t pay too much attention to them because he trains like Silver Charm.”

March 1 NOTE: Flavien Prat has opted to stay aboard Thousand Words for the San Felipe. He's also been riding Storm the Court, who now will get the services of Joel Rosario.

March 5 NOTE: Albaugh Family Stables’ racing manager Jason Loutch said, “He’s been a really exciting Derby prospect for us since he was at the farm with Dennis’ Moment. We just need to hold our breath and hope to get him to the first Saturday in May.”

In the March 7 San Felipe Stakes, Authentic led at each call and won by 2 1/4 lengths.  After vying for the lead early with Storm the Court and Thousand Words, Authentic got to the front and laid down fractions of 22.84, 46.71 and 1:11.32. He finished the 1 1/16 mile in 1:43.56. Honor A. P., who was fourth early, came after Authentic in the turn but was repelled. He stayed on for second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Storm the Court. It was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Thousand Words. Wrecking Crew, Fort McHenry and Swagsational rounded out the order of finish.

Bob Baffert: "I know they were going quick and I knew Thousand Words was closer, and I probably learned a lot from him; he doesn’t want to be that close. He sort of flattened out at the end. I was disappointed with him."

THE NEXT DAY: Trainer Baffert said, “(Authentic and Thousand Words) looked fine today. I haven’t figured (Thousand Words) out yet. I’ll wait two weeks (to make a plan).”

March 13 NOTE: Albaugh Family Stables' racing manager Jason Loutsch said, "Bob has so many prospects and he needs to separate them. He said after the San Felipe that Authentic would stay there. We may need more points and it makes sense that the Wood and Bluegrass are the two options. Bob's had great success in New York, so that's definitely on our radar. He's a true horseman and he's a businessman. I've been thoroughly impressed with his operations. His communication with his owners has been fantastic. It seems like the second the horse crosses the finish line, he's calling or texting his owners."

April 7 NOTE: Jason Loutch told Horse Racing Nation's Jonathan Lintner that Thousand Words will go in the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes if a flight is arranged. No jockey was named yet.

April 8 NOTE: Thousand Words shipping to Oaklawn for the Oaklanw Stakes.

In the April 11 Oaklawn Stakes on a track rated sloppy, Thousand Words nearly went down leaving the gate, almost throwing Joe Talamo in the process. It was over for him at that point, and he finished 11th of 13, beaten 29 3/4 lengths by Mr. Big News and a time of 1:49.89. The chart says he "stumbled at the start, raced in the main body, in some traffic second turn then faded through the stretch."

June 4 NOTE: Thousand Words worked on May 23 and 30 at Santa Anita. His next race hasn't been revealed.

June 29 NOTE: He remains active on the worktab.

July 1 NOTE: Entered in the Los Alamitos Derby.

 

 

THREE TECHNIQUE (KY)
Trainer: Jeremiah Englehart
Owner: August Dawn Farm
Breeder: Omega Farm LLC & Bally Breeders
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Mr. Speaker (Pulpit, Salute)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Nite in Rome (CAN) (Harlan's Holiday, Ascot Wedding (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-10-10-0-0 (24) 3.80
Foal Date: March 13, 2017

$50,000 Keeneland November 2017
$180,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July 2018


Owned by two-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells.

NEXT RACE: Something at one turn

He started his career with a pair of runner-up finishes, including second to Took Charge going five furlongs on June 14 at Belmont and second to Basin, who went on to win the Hopeful next out, on July 21 at Saratoga

His maiden-breaking effort came in his third start on Aug. 31 going seven furlongs at the Spa at 1-5 odds. He won by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:25.65 under Irad Ortiz, Jr. He was fourth of five early but never more than three lengths back. The detailed chart call says he "was allowed to settle into stride, departed the backstretch two to three wide, quickened getting tipped into the four path approaching the five-sixteenths marker, was confidently ridden challenging at the widest of four front runners as they spun into the lane, ventured onward for a few additional strides and was turned loose, took charge, drew out to a comfortable margin before being geared down in the final seventy yards."

LATER: Trainer Engelhart said, "Obviously, the Champagne is the type of race you want to run in, because it means you have a good 2-year-old who can compete there. He ran well breaking his maiden and deserves this opportunity. Let's see if he can make this next step up. He seems like the type of horse where, with added distance, he's gotten better and better. Early on, it didn't seem like distance would matter too much with the way he was working. He could have won the first two races, it's just the way it worked out. I keep him up in Saratoga around me. We've sent horses down there who have done really well shipping in a day or so before the race, so we'll keep the same game plan as these other horses, which has worked pretty well."

He didn't run in the Champagne but instead was entered in a seven-furlong allowance optional claimer on Nov. 20 at Aqueduct. In a five-horse field, he sat fourth early, three lengths off a pace of 23.24. He won in a just-okay time of 1:25.65, but they say the track was playing slow, and his margin of victory was 4 1/2 lengths.

Jan. 13 NOTE: Trainer Englehart said, “He was always one of the 2-year-olds early on that we just thought really highly of at Saratoga. It was really disappointing after his first race. I thought he would be one of those horses that would win first time out, but it was just a little too short for him. He seems like a horse, with maybe some added distance, it will move him up a little bit.”

In the one-mile, short-stretch Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 24, Gold Street again got a muddy track in his two-turn debut, and he posted a wire-to-wire win at 10-1 best by 2 3/4 lengths. Per James Scully, seven of the nine races on the opening-day Oaklawn program were won in front-running fashion. Gold Street was the highest priced of four runners trained by Steve Asmussen. He broke on top and proceeded to set fractions of :24.08 and :48.96 for the first half mile while being tracked early by Lynn’s Map. The favorite Three Technique, a close fourth after the first half-mile, moved into second rounding the turn for home, but was no match for the winner, who easily won by 2 3/4 lengths under Martin Garcia. Shoplifted ran evenly to finish third, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. Silver Prospector made a belated bid from ninth of nine to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:39.63 for the mile.

Jeremiah Englehart: “I was happy with that. You always want to win. But for me, jumping up into stakes-caliber horses, I was actually really happy with what he showed. Being on the outside, it was a little bit of a disadvantage for us. Irad said he might not have handled the track all that great, not like he did last time. I think it was a step in the right direction for the bigger prize down the road.”

Irad Otiz Jr.: “I got a perfect trip. Can't complain. He'll learn from this one. The track, he probably wasn't really loving it today because the speed was holding. He was going comfortably. Short stretch, different wire. He did good. I think he’ll be all right for the next one.”

Jan. 30 NOTE: Trainer Englehart said, “Right now, he seems like he came back fine. He’s been back to the track. Probably the Rebel might be next for him. I was pretty happy with the way he ran, all things considered. Steve’s horse (Gold Street) ran a great race. Kind of was able to dictate his pace. We didn’t get off to the best start, but I thought for Three Technique it was the right move forward in stakes company and hopefully he’ll continue to improve.”

Feb.10 NOTE: Trainer Englehart confirmed Three Technique will skip the Southwest Stakes, saying, “I felt like it might be a little too much for him to do all four (Smarty Jones, Southwest, Rebel, Arkansas Derby). I think giving him a break between the Smarty Jones and the Rebel was the right thing to do and then go for the Rebel and, hopefully, the Arkansas Derby if he’s good enough. He worked really well (today). I was actually really happy. Came out of the work well and seems like he came out of that race really well. All things are still a go, probably, for the Rebel.”

Feb. 29 NOTE: Today at Oaklawn, Three Technique breezed four furlongs in 46.00 with stablemate Wendell Fong, a stakes-winning older horse. He covered his first three furlongs in :34.00, the last furlong in 12.00 and galloped out another furlong in :13.20. Wendell Fong, who was on the inside during the work, was also credited with a half-mile in :46.00. Trainer Englehart said, “I wanted him to be a little bit sharper. It kind of surprised me how well they looked and how sharp they worked. I was really happy with that. I want to come back next week with something a little lighter. I worked him five-eighths last week and he did it real easy, so I wanted him to get something out of this work this week. Then I can have a nice, normal work next week.”

Feb.29 NOTE: Apparently Irad Ortiz, Jr. has committed to ride "a Baffert horse" in the Rebel, leaving trainer Englehart looking for another jockey. “We’ve got a couple of different options,” Englehart said.

March 6 NOTE: Luis Saez will ride in the Rebel. Trainer Englehart said after today's workout, “We wanted to do an easier work this time and then let him kind of continue on the gallop out to just get some air in him. Seemed like it went pretty well. Luis is one of the best. You don’t mind putting your cleats on with him. He’s a guy you want to have on your team.”

In the March 14 Rebel Stakes, Nadal shook off challenges early, middle and and late while doing all the heavy lifting to win in 1:44.97. After being pressured all the way to the stretch, he held at bay a late charge by 82-1 Excession. Basin and Three Technique finished a non-threatening third and fourth. It was Nadal's first race away from his base at Santa Anita, his first at two turns, and his first over a wet track. After breaking from post 1 cleanly, Nadal briefly vied with No Parole in the first turn and headed into the backstretch with a slight lead. In the blink of an eye, American Theorem was all over Nadal, and the two ran together through a quarter-mile in 22.84, a half in 46.00 and six furlongs in 1:11.38. Nadal had a mere head advantage at each of those calls into the far turn.

No sooner had Nadal shaken off American Theorem in the the turn, there was a cavalry charge of challengers in the form of Three Technique, Silver Prospector and Basin, but Nadal dispatched them running for the final furlong. He led at the furlong marker by 1 1/2 length, but out in the middle of the track, Excession was produced by Tyler Baze, and for a few moments, it looked like the longshot might cruise by Nadal. But it was not to be. Nadal dug in doggedly and held off that challenger by three parts of a length. It was seven more lengths back to Basin, who finished a head in front of Three Technique.

April 12 NOTE: As reported yesterday by David Grening at DRF, Three Technique is off the Derby Trail. He will be pointed to one-turn races later this year after ankle surgery. In training after the Rebel Stakes, Three Technique was bothered by an ankle, and -ray revealed a “small flake” that was surgically removed. “He doesn’t wasn’t to go as far as we thought,” Englehart said.

June 13 NOTE: Three Technique was on the worktab today for the first time in weeks. He went three furlongs in 39:30 Breezing (1/2) at Blackwood Stables in Versailles (pr. ver-SALES), Kentucky.

June 29 NOTE: He next worked three furlongs on June 25 at Saratoga.

 

 

TIZAMAGICIAN (KY)
Trainer: Richard E. Mandella
Owner: MyRacehorse.com and Spendthrift Farm LLC
Breeder: Woodford Thoroughbreds
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Tiznow (Cee's Tizzy, Cee's Song)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Magic Union (Dixie Union)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-4-7-0-0 (14) 3.00
Foal Date: March 21, 2017

$150,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August 2018


NEXT RACE:

He was second in four out of his first five starts. It was a slow progression, but he was improving.

His sixth outing was his fourth consecutive one mile maiden assignment, and he made short work of seven rivals at Santa Anita on Jan. 1. He pressed the early pace and went on to an impressive 2 ½ length win under regular rider Victor Espinoza.

In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 1 at Santa Anita, Thousand Words sat back in fourth of six runners for three-quarters of a mile while High Velocity and Tizamagician dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.65, 47.20 and 1:11.44. Royal Act wasn't far back in third, two lengths in arrears after six furlongs. In the stretch, High Velocity and Tizamagician began to regress, yielding the late lead to Thousand Words, who came on between horses, as Royal Act was wide to get up for second with Tizamagician third, High Velocity fourth. The winning margin was 3/4 length, and the top four finishers were separated at the wire by only 1 3/4 length. The winning time was 1:43.64 for 1 1/16 mile.

He was also-eligible in a May 17 one-mile allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita but didn't make it into the race.

In a one-mile allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita on May 22, Tizamagician finished fourth as the 7-5 favorite. He was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by a couple of familiar names, Take the One O One and Nolo Contesto, with Boogalute third. Basically, Tizamagician and Nolo Contesto stalked Take the One O One into the far turn and then fell back while the top two kept going. Boogalute closed mildly after sitting back four to six lengths early.  The mile was timed in 1:36.18.

 

 

UNCLE CHUCK (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Mike Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman
Breeder: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie, Playa Maya)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Forest Music (Unbridled's Song, Defer West)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-15-6-0-0 (24) 7.00
Foal Date: March 22, 2017

$250,000 Keeneland September 2018

A half-brother to Maclean's Music

NEXT RACE: Los Alamitos Derby

Uncle Chuck debuted on June 12, winning a Santa Anita two-turn, one-mile maiden special weight by seven lengths in a time of 1:36.78 under Mike Smith as the even-money favorite in a field of only five. He broke tardily but was quickly in control, setting initial fractions of 23.16, 46.51 and 1:11.10. He was pressed by Perseverance, then Big Cheddar through the first half-mile, but he ran off from them and led by four lengths at the furlong marker. Stablemate Big Mel finished a belated second. The chart says Uncle Chuck "broke a bit slowly, quickly sprinted to the front, set the pace inside, responded when challenged on the backstretch, edged away on thesecond turn and drew off under a steady hand ride."

July 1 NOTE: Entered in the Los Alamitos Derby.

 



UNTITLED (FL)

Trainer: Mark Casse
Owner: Gary Barber & Michael B. Sebastian
Breeder: Brent Fernung, Crystal Fernung, Mike Sebastian Jr. & Mike Sebastian
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Khozan (Distorted Humor, Delta Princess
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Cindy Says (Elusive Quality, Every Cloud)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 4-5-11-0-0 (20) 2.64
Foal Date: Jan. 29, 2017

$45,000 RNA Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October 2018


NEXT RACE:

When Untitled streaked to an 11-length debut victory at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 14, he caught the attention of a lot of people, including trainer Casse. Untitled was saddled by Ralph Nicks, but that was about to end. Majority ownership in Untitled was sold to Gary Barber, and he was transferred to Casse’s farm in Ocala, where he breezed once before being shipped to Palm Meadows for three breezes in preparation for the Swale.

Jan, 29 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “I watched him when he broke his maiden. He got away just a touch slow. They asked him to go and he shot up there. I’m not sure of the quality that he beat. I’m sure it was OK. The water gets deeper now. I really like him. So far, everything I’ve seen of him I really like. I like his demeanor. He’s a handsome horse. He’s my kind of horse, which is that he has a little more leg and length than to him than a lot of other horses, which I like. He’s a good mover. He has a great attitude. That’s one of the reasons we bought him. His pedigree says he could possibly run long. His physique says he can possibly go long. But guess what? You never know until they run long.”

In the Feb. 1 Swale, Untitled was sent off as the 7-5 favorite and finished fourth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths by Mischevious Alex and a time of 1:22.83 for seven furlongs. Shivaree was second, beaten seven lengths. The 8-5 second choice, Green Light Go, was third, a neck behind Shivaree, and edged Untitled by a head. Untitled was never a factor after he broke a step slowly and encountered bumping shortly after the start.

In a Feb. 14 allowance race at Tampa going a mile and 40 yards, Untitled led early under Antonio Gallardo with opening splits of 23.40, 47.50 and 1:11.33, but he was run down in the stretch by 1-2 favorite Gouverneur Morris, ridden by John Velazquez. The latter one won by 1 1/4 length in a time of 1:38.88. The third finisher lost by five lengths. Gouverneur Morris was never more than 1 1/1/2 length back. The final time was only .02 second off the track record for the distance set by Jackson; however, the Equibase speed figure was two digits, so the track must've been playing fast. Only five broke from the gate, and one of them, Dudley Square, immediately lost his rider. The chart says of the top two: "Gouverneur Morris bobbled slightly while breaking on terms with the leaders, shifted out three deep racing into the first turn attending a rival's pace, came under some prompting to maintain terms with that foe racing into the far turn, then continued with a steady bid to wrest command leaving midstretch, edging forward under left handed pressure. Untitled broke sharply, angled inwards to dictate the pace on a narrow margin racing a bit off the rail, held sway through the far turn but proved no match for the winner in the final sixteenth."

Feb. 16 NOTE: Trainer Casse reported that Untitled will likely ship to Aqueduct for the Gotham on March 7. The Gotham offers 50-20-10-5 Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers. Casse added, "We were really happy with his performance. He's another horse that breaks a little bit slow, but I was proud of the effort he gave us. Todd's horse (Gouverneur Morris) is obviously a nice horse."

March 5 NOTE: Trainer Casse said, “He’s a beautiful horse. He’s a big, long, good-moving horse. The problem he has sometimes is he breaks a bit slow. After we bought him we breezed him from the gate trying to get him to be a little quicker from there. I always wanted to run him long and I figure the longer I run him the less important the start is.”

In the March 7 Gotham Stakes, after breaking on top and fighting for the front with War Stopper, Celtic Striker and Untitled the first quarter-mile of the race, Mischevious Alex finally had the lead all to himself going into the turn and took the field home from there to prevail by two lengths.Untitled held off a bid by Attachment Rate to best that one by a head, and it was another 2 3/4 lengths to fourth finisher Montauk Traffic. The winner was timed in 1:38.80 for the one-turn mile.
 
Jamie Begg, assistant to trainer Mark Casse of runner-up Untitled: "He ran all right. Turning for home, I thought he might make a bid at the winner, but the winner kicked on."
 
Junior Alvarado: "I thought he ran very well. We were a little bit wide, but we drew the 10 post, so we didn't have a lot of choices. He ran a great race. When I asked him, he gave me what he had, and he ran on to the wire. He held on pretty well for running three times in a month. If they want to run in the Wood Memorial, it will give him a chance to get strong again. The way he ran today, he should have no problem with two turns. He's a kind horse. He will do whatever you want."

March 28 NOTE: No workouts since the Gotham Stakes.

April 1 NOTE: Trainer Casse said yesterday Untitled is at his Ocala facility. Casse said Untitled will benefit from a later start to the Kentucky Derby, adding, "We were going to run him in the Wood. But now, I try to look for some of the positives in not running, and we have plenty of positives in that my family and the people that work for us are healthy. From a horse racing standpoint, if there's any horse that will appreciate a little extra time it's him. He's a big, leggy colt and when he fills out he's going to be the man."

On April 23 at Gulfstream Park, Untitled easily prevailed in a short field of Florida-bred's by 3 3/4 lengths in a one-mile optional claiming race. Untitled broke alertly and set fractions of 23.37 and 45.59 before getting six furlongs in 1:09.37 and seven furlongs in 1:21.87 on his way to a final clocking of 1:35.23. The son of Khozan never had an anxious moment under Luis Saez. Gray Beau, a 10-year-old, finished second, a nose in front of First and Three. Roman Empire, the 9-2 second choice, finished fourth and last.

Luis Saez “He broke perfect. He was right there and it was like another work for him. It was pretty easy. He came to the stretch and he took off. I had so much horse. He felt very good. He was sharp today. He felt amazing.”

He finished fifth in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on May 16, beaten 7 1/4 lengths by winner Casino Grande.

June 4 NOTE: He was on the worktab at Casse Training Center on June 2.

At 1-2 odds in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine on June 13, Untitled finished second, beaten 5 1/2 lengths by Newstome and a time of 1:09.99 -- he was second at each call. Another 3 1/4 lengths back in third was Lookinatamiracle. Six ran.

 

 

WELL CONNECTED (KY)
Trainer: Mike Maker
Owner: Michael Dubb & David Simon
Breeder: Dr. Aaron Sones
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Distorted Humor (Forty Niner, Danzig's Beauty)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Bev's Summer Song (Birdstone, Storm Song)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 6-4-7-0-1 (18) 3.00
Foal Date: March 27, 2017

$80,000 Keeneland September 2018


NEXT RACE:

Back on Nov. 30, Well Connected debuted with a third-place finish at Gulfstream Park for former trainer Jason Servis. He was away from the races for about six months.

On May 23 in his second career start, also at Gulfstream Park, he and Edgard Zayas sat behind a modest pace set by Ima Pharaoh, the 4-5 favorite. He put that one away, failed to change leads in the stretch until the final 100 yards, and finished well to win by 5 1/4 lengths. The 6 1/2 furlongs was timed in 1:10.07.

June 4 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown

In a June 14 allowance optional claiming race going 6 1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs, Well Connected wasn't well-bet initially, but he fell to 7-2 before post time. He proceeded to flatten out in the stretch and finish fourth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by a time of 1:16.64. The top three runners were Banks Island (14-1), American Butterfly (8-1) and Ancient Warrior (8-1).




WINNING IMPRESSION (KY)
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Owner: West Point Thoroughbreds & Pearl Racing
Breeder: WinStar Farm, LLC
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Paynter (Awesome Again (CAN), Tizso)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Unbridled Sonya (Unbridled Song, Barnya)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 3-19-10-0-0 (32) 5.40
Foal Date: Feb. 18, 2017

$17,000 Keeneland September 2018
$77,000 OBS April 2019

A gelding

NEXT RACE: Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

On Dec. 21, Winning Impression broke his maiden in his third start. His time was a very slow 1:47.53 at 1 1/16 mile on dirt at Fair Grounds.

He followed up with a second-place finish by 5 3/4 lengths to Mailman Money at Fair Grounds.The winner went  in 1:44.15 going a mile and 70 yards.

At 6-1 odds, Shake Some Action won a nine-furlong allowance on Feb. 15 at Fair Grounds, holding off late-running Chestertown by a neck after Winning Impression grudgingly gave up the lead in the stretch. Chestertown was stuck down inside early in last place, appeared to not like the kickback, and ran much better when pulled clear outside in mid-stretch. Shake Some Action sat behind four, then five runners before taking command before the furlong marker. Winning Impression, who pressed the early pace of 25.40 and 50.24 and led through the second turn, finished third, beaten a length. The early fractions were soft with six furlongs run in 1:14 and change. Final time was 1:51.80, so his finishing fractions weren't bad.

In a 1 1/16-mile alllowance optional claiming race on a sloppy track at Oaklawn Park on April 4, Finnick the Fierce was declared the winner after Winning Impression was disqualified and placed fifth. Finnick the Fierce always saved ground after breaking from the rail. He was bothered twice and  also made a nifty move under Martin Garcia to get around a tiring foe in the stretch and get up for second. Winning Impression, in the meantime, was four wide while making a huge move on the far turn and drew off to win by a length. Stewards ruled Winning Impression interfered with Answer In in the stretch. The charts guys wrote that Answer In "forwardly placed while three wide,remained within striking distance the middle half, moved a bit closer turning for home, was appearing to flatten out late when put in tight by a drifting Winning Impresssion." Answer In finished fifth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths,  before being moved up to fourth. In third and fourth behind Winning Impression, before being moved up, were General Trev and Adhhar. The winning time was 1:45.60.

On May 2, Division 1 of the Arkansas Derby went to Charlatan, who won by six lengths in a time of 1:48.49 after breaking cleanly from post 1 and leading all the way. Basin crossed over from the far outside post to be positioned second going into the first turn, and that's where he finished. Gouverneur Morris chased those two home to get third, a neck back of Basin, and Winning Impression was fourth, beaten 9 1/4 lengths. Charlatan broke well and cruised through inital fractions of 22.88, 46.08, 1:09.68 and 1:35.33. He was never challenged for the lead. Nine ran.

Julien Leparoux: “Good race. I had a good race. He was sitting fifth or six and then made his run.”

June 4 NOTE: Late-nominated to the Triple Crown
 

 

WRECKING CREW (KY)
Trainer: Peter Miller
Owner: Rockingham Ranch and David A Bernsen LLC
Breeder: Westrock Stables
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Sky Kingdom (Empire Maker, Sky Beam)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Truelladeville (CAN) (Yes It's True, Devil's Bride (CAN))
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-4-6-3-0 (18) 2.00
Foal Date: Jan. 30, 2017

$18,000 Keeneland November 2017
$115,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July 2018
$875,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2019


A ridgling

NEXT RACE:

He won his debut and finished second in the Best Pal Stakes and the Del Mar Futurity. All those races were at one turn.

At 45-1 odds, Storm the Court and Flavien Prat led at each call and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita by a neck after fighting off a stretch-long bid from Anneau d’Or. He covered 1 1/16 mile in 1:44.93. Odds-on favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled leaving post 1 and trailed the field of eight as Storm the Court took the lead with Eight Rings and Anneau d’Or in closest pursuit. Storm the Court maintained a narrow advantage through splits of 23.49, 47.07 and 1:11.60. At the head of the lane Anneau d’Or, who was never worse than two lengths behind while ridden by Juan Hernandez, ranged up alongside the leader and the battle was on. Storm the Court refused to let Anneau d’Or by. It was 3 1/4 lengths back to Wrecking Crew and Paco Lopez, who were always close by Anneau d'Or until the stretch run commenced, but who went wide on the far turn. Scabbard ridden by Mike Smith, ran evenly throughout and came in fourth, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Full Flat, Eight Rings, Shoplifted and Dennis’ Moment completed the order of finish.

Peter Miller: “I think if we could have stayed inside, it could have been a different story. We had to go wide and that cost us some momentum and ground, waiting. The horse ran super. That's horse racing. Great ride by Paco. And, he had two months off, so he was short. We’ll definitely look at Los Al (amitos Futurity). He showed the last sixteenth of a mile when he didn't kick that he was short, but the horse ran big.”

Paco Lopez: “At the 3/8-pole there were too many horses in front of him. I decided to go outside to go around everybody. I thought they might stop but they never stopped. My horse ran good today. He got a little tired, but he ran great.”

On Dec. 7 in the Los Alamitos Futurity, only four ran. Wrecking Crew finished last, beaten 42 1/4 lengths.

Feb. 16 NOTE: After an extended absence from the worktab, today Wrecking Crew worked three furlongs in 37.80 at San Luis Rey.

Feb. 22 NOTE: Wrecking Crew worked at SLR a second time yesterday, so we added him to Worth Watching.

In the March 7 San Felipe Stakes, Wrecking Crew didn't keep up with the early leaders, and all four of those stayed on to fill the superfecta. Wrecking Crew was fifth at each call and finished fifth, beaten 16 3/4 lengths by the front-running Authentic.

April 30 NOTE: Wrecking Crew will be scratched from the Arkansas Derby. Later information cited an obscure rule infraction in California.

In a seven-furlong allowance at Churchill Downs on May 17, 5-1 Wrecking Crew chased a fast early pace in third behind a couple of longshots, made a move for the lead and had it mid--stretch, but was run down by 6-1 Art Collector and 4-5 favorite Toledo. Art Collector won going away by 2 3/4 over Toledo, with Wrecking Crew another 3 1/4 lengths in third.

On June12, he finished 10th, beaten20 lengths in an allowance optional claimer going nine furlongs at Churchill Downs.

 

 

WELLS BAYOU (KY)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Owner: Lance Gasaway and Clint Gasaway
Breeder: Knowles Bloodstock, Inc.
Sire (Sire’s Sire, Dam): Lookin at Lucky (Smart Strike (CAN), Private Feeling)
Dam (Dam’s Sire, Dam): Whispering Angel (Hard Spun, Campy)
Dosage Profile (Points) Index: 5-7-12-0-0 (24) 3.00
Foal Date: April 12. 2017

$50,000 Keeneland January 2018
$18,000 Keeneland September 2018
$105,000 OBS March 2019


NEXT RACE: Indiana Derby on July 8 Off the Derby Trail

Wells Bayou broke his maiden running six furlongs on debut at Keeneland in October. On Nov. 30, he closed out his year with a seventh-place finish in a Churchill Downs allowance, beaten 9 3/4 lengths, after setting initial fractions of 23.05 and 46.28 for the first half-mile. Necker Island won the race in 1:37.13.

At Oaklawn on Jan. 26, Wells Bayou won against allowance company, best by four lengths, in a 10-horse field. His time for the mile was 1:40.20. He pressed the pace and took over before the first-half-mile under Fernando de la Cruz.

In the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 17, Silver Prospector rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones Stakes with a one-length victory as the 9-2 third betting choice. He broke near the back of the field and was sixth but only 1 3/4 length off the pace after the first quarter-mile. He moved up into third through the first turn as Wells Bayou led through fractions of :22.89 and :46.60 for the first half mile. Silver Prospector was right off Wells Bayou's butt in the far turn, then was swung out perfectly entering the home stretch. He wore the down the pacesetter to win by a length in 1:43.01 for 1 1/16 mile. Favored Answer In was third, second or fouth at each call, never more than 1 1/2 length off the pace for six furlongs, but he began losing ground and was three lengths off the pace at the furlong marker before losing by 6 1/2. Fourth finisher Shoplifted was eighth of nine the first half-mile but was within five lengths of the leader through six furlongs before fading, beaten 8 3/4 lengths. Chase Tracker and Gold Street, second and fourth in the bettin, finished eighth and ninth.

Brad Cox: “I was proud of both horses (Wells Bayou, Answer In). They ran extremely well. Obviously, set some nice hot fractions, or some hot fractions, and was able continue with a nice run down the lane. I was very pleased with them both. We'll regroup with them and see what's next.”

Florent Geroux: “I went a touch quicker than what I wanted to. My horses ran hard even when the other one came by me, he was trying really hard. It was a great race. It was his first time against stakes company and the winner was a Grade 2 winner.”

Wells Bayou and Ny Traffic ran one-two throughout to make up the exacta in the March 21 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. Under Florent Geroux, Wells Bayou, the 3-1 favorite off an 8-1 morning line, set fractions of 23.56, 48.00, 1:12.42 and 1:37.61 en route to a final time of 1:56.47 for 1 3/16 mile.  Joe Bravo, who subbed for Luis Saez, had Ny Traffic always prominent and finished well, although beaten 1 1/2 length by the winner. Modernist finished third, another 2 3/4 lengths back, from post 14 after Junior Alvarado had to keep him wide but within striking distance on both turns  Major Fed got up in the stretch for fourth after being last early. Enforceable, the 7-2 morning line favorite, finished fiffth after being sent off as the 7-2 second choice.

Brad Cox: “The plan was to give him another week. This spot was more ground, which we thought he would enjoy and thought he could establish the lead here. We did some homework on the race to see who was going to be running. You try to put together a game plan and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. In horse racing a lot of time it doesn’t. But this time it did. We are really happy with our assistants and everybody involved who do such an incredible job. We have a great team in place, and it showed today. We just have to figure out how to get him to the first Saturday in September and not May. It is uncharted territory, and we will do the best we can.”

Florent Geroux: “He’s was great leaving the gate. He stands there perfectly and then breaks super sharp. After that when he makes the lead, he relaxes very nicely. We took a few breathers around the turn and then when we turned down the lane, he didn’t lose his gear. Now he is prepping for the first Saturday in September so it’s a long way away and many things can happen. I am just hoping he comes back healthy and just go from there. We are going to enjoy those two very nice victories today.”

April 8 NOTE: Co-owner Lance Gasaway said on Saturday, “We’d love to win the Arkansas Derby. Everything now is all based on what they do with the Preakness. We have no idea. We just don’t know. And, we want him here. Trust me, we want to run here in Arkansas. We love it here. But, it’s like Brad always says: ‘You want to do what’s best for the horse.’ That’s what we’ve got to look at.” Their bloodstock agent, Liz Crow, said, “I think it’s on the table, for sure. Everybody’s in agreement that it’s completely Brad’s decision. If he wants to run there, then we’ll run there. If he doesn’t, then we’ll wait. We really don’t know what’s going to happen with Churchill. They haven’t made an announcement of when they’re going to open their meet. Do you sit and wait for something? What’s going to happen with the Preakness? You don’t know what’s going to happen with any of these races. It’s crazy. I think Brad had always thought this horse had some talent. I think from Day 1, he liked what he saw from him. Just saw an immature horse that needed to grow up, but kind of thought he had some talent. We weren’t surprised by his performance in the Southwest, but it was nice to see him step up to that class level and actually deliver that kind of performance.”

April 19 NOTE: Trainer Cox said after Wells Bayou breezed yesterday at Oaklawn Park, “We were looking for a good work today – if we decide to run (in the Arkansas Derby). It was one of those things where we were just kind of looking to see how he would respond, and he worked really well. Pleased with him. I would label him a candidate right now."

On May 2, in the stronger Division 2 of the Arkansas Derby, Nadal won as the 9-10 favorite in a field of nine. When the gate opened, Wells Bayou crossed over from the far outside post to grab the early lead, which he took into the far turn with splits of 23.08, 46.21 and 1:09.85. Nadal, who took heavy pressure on the lead in his previous two race, turned the tables by sitting outside the flank of Wells Bayou, with King Guillermo closest to those two.  Leaving the far turn, Nadal pounced, led into the stretch, hit the furlong marker in 1:35.63 with a length-and-a-half lead, briefly facing a challenge from King Guillermo before shaking that one off. He crossed the finish line in 1:48.34, best by three lengths over King Guillermo. Finnick The Fierce ran third, another 1 1/2 lengths back at odds of 62-1, followed an additional 2 1/2 lengths by the late-running Farmington Road in fourth.

Brad Cox, Wells Bayou: "No excuse. I think that we found out right now, he's a Derby horse. He's got enough points. We're going to have to show a little bit more between now and September to feel confident, have confidence in the Derby. But, we'll regroup."

May 27 NOTE: Wells Bayou will not compete in the Belmont Stakes, per a report by Marty McGee in DRF. He's being pointed to the Indiana Derby set on July 8.

June 10 NOTE: Wells Bayou is off the Derby Trail with a bone bruise.







 

 

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