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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Withers: A Revolutionary Upset?

1/31/2013

By Dick Downey
@Downey Profile


I can't wait to see Revolutionary run on Saturday in the Grade III Withers Stakes, but I am even more interested in watching the colt that was the first foal out of Round Pond.

Long River finished fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Grade II Jerome. He had more trouble in that race than the running line in the form indicates, bothered behind horses around the far turn. That may have been his own doing, but sometimes the shape of a race is beyond the control of a horse and his rider.

Breaking from post 1 might mean that Long River will have even more trouble in the Withers, but he has more experience now, too. I’m looking for him to improve. If he doesn't win this race, the athletic son of A.P. Indy should get better as the distance gets longer for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Revolutionary started his career with bad luck. In his debut at Saratoga, he was wiped out leaving the starting gate and still finished third after being 14 lengths off the lead late in the going. Little Distorted simply outran him in his second start on a speed-favoring track, and Revolutionary didn't have the best trip third time out. All that changed when he ran a much higher speed figure in his fourth start, winning by 8 1/2 lengths over the inner track at Aqueduct.

The dreaded bounce could be in play here, and Revolutionary did miss a work last weekend, attributed to the condition of the track. Still, he is a $225,000 colt, has a morning line of 3-5 and is trained by Todd Pletcher, so he is ignored at your risk.

Speaking of sales figures, Valid was purchased for $500,000 by Darley at the 2011 Keeneland Yearling Sale. He should be given a second look if for no other reason than his last win, while not all that fast, was accomplished by running through horses. But if you bet Long River, you get Valid too -- they are both owned by Darley.

Escapefromreality is a buzz horse coming into the race. He has never been more than six furlongs, but Dominick Schettino is very high on him, citing his cooperative attitude and potential ability around two turns. He's been working forwardly for the race at Belmont Park. A drawback would be the fact that both of Escapefromreality’s races have been restricted to opponents bred in New York.

Amerigo Vespucci finished third in the Jerome and comes into the Withers with two bullet works at Laurel. Seeking to add more focus, he has been a equipped with blinkers. That could move him up.

Siete de Oros is a $2,000 gelding by a $6,000 stallion; yet, he almost won the Jerome, beaten a head by Vyjack. His first work after that race came 21 days later.

Champion Boy enters the Withers off a loss in his debut. He’s a $27,000 son of Big Brown. Stable expectations seem to exceed his form to this point. He’s being wheeled back in 13 days. Maybe he's one of those horses that will fill out an exotic ticket at a big price, but it’s hard to see it happening.

Smooth Bert, the other New York-bred, won the restricted Damon Runyon last time out and also faces open company for the first time.

DICK’S PICKS:

1. LONG RIVER/VALID
2. REVOLUTIONARY
3. AMERIGO VESPUCCI
4. ESCAPEFROMREALITY

 

Saturday, R9
Grade III Withers Stakes
Aqueduct
$200,000
1 1/16 Mile
Dirt
Post Time: 4:18 ET

Post   Horse ML Jockey Wt Trainer
1 Long River (KY) 7-2 I. Ortiz Jr. 116 K. McLaughlin
2 Valid (VA) 7-2 J. Alvarado 116 K. McLaughlin
3 Revolutionary (KY) 3-5 J. Castellano 116 T. Pletcher
4 Escapefromreality (NY) 6-1 J. L. Ortiz 116 D. Schettino
5 Amerigo Vespucci (KY) 15-1 E. Rodriguez 116 T. Tullock Jr.
6 Siete de Oros (PA) 8-1 M. Remedio 118 R. Precadio
7 Champion Boy (KY) 30-1 E. Castro 116 J. Guerrero
8 Smooth Bert (NY) 15-1 M. Luzzi 118 L. Gyarmati

A - Coupled Entries - Long River, Valid. Blinkers on: Amerigo Vespucci. All will run with Lasix except Valid. Long River is first Lasix.

Owners: 1 - Darley Stable ; 2 - Darley Stable ; 3 - WinStar Farm LLC ; 4 - MeB Racing Stables LLC and Brooklyn Boyz Stables ; 5 - Germania Farms, Inc. ; 6 - Preciado, Ramon ; 7 - Rontos Racing Stable Corp. ; 8 - Bona Venture Stables

Breeders: 1 - Darley; 2 - Edward P. Evans; 3 - W. S. Farish; 4 - Brooklyn Boyz Stables, Inc.; 5 - Germania Farm; 6 - Glenn E. Brok; 7 - R.A. Hill Stable & Big Brown Syndicate; 8 - Allen Hallett / Briggs & CromartieBloodstock 

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