In the Money

Horse racing insight that's loose on the lead

Analysis: 2-year-olds to Watch

July 30th, 2013

ITM analysis of the top 2-year-olds to watch from: July 25 – July 31

(* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


*Long on Value (colt, Value Plus – Long Message by Orientate) – This Virginia-bred is 3 for 3 and has won two stakes races on two different surfaces. After capturing the Jamestown Stakes on turf at Colonial Downs, the Randy Allen trainee followed up with a speedy win in the Strike Your Colors Stakes on dirt at Delaware. He covered the five and a half furlongs in a swift 1:03.29 and won by a healthy six lengths. Super sprinter’s pedigree.

*Hop the Six (filly, Artie Schiller – Pulpit Fiction by Pulpit) – We deemed her as a “multi-surface threat” in our report ( and she proved the projection true with a win on dirt in the White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware. She covered the five and a half furlongs in 1:04.71 for trainer Ron Potts. The fast front-runner has won two straight in style. Is she a need-the-lead type? Too early to tell, but she is definitely above the class she’s been keeping.

Illumination Road (gelding, Cahill Road – Persiflage by Alphabet Soup) – This Washington-bred faced a tall task debuting against experienced foes in the six-furlong Emerald Express Stakes. He had some traffic trouble early and came from off the pace to finish a strong second at 8-1 for trainer Terry Gilihan.

Solid Sender (filly, Early Flyer – Miss Ritz by Spend a Buck) – This Louisiana-bred is 2 for 2 and boasts win in the slop and on a fast track after a victory in the D. S. Shine Young Memorial Futurity at Evangeline. She’s a late closer who prefers to come from far off the pace.

True Thought (gelding, Yes It’s True – Speed of Thought by Broad Brush) – This Louisiana-bred has found a home at Northlands Park, where he stepped up from a big maiden win to romp in the Edmonton Juvenile Stakes.


Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher


Our Amazing Rose (filly, Yes It’s True – Just For You by Silver Deputy) – Word was out on this Mike Repole runner, who’s been training alongside Stopchargingmaria, another impressive juvenile winner in the Todd Pletcher barn. She exceeded expectations when she dominated in one of the most eye-catching wins by a juvenile filly this season at Saratoga. She grabbed the lead and strolled home unchallenged, winning by more than seven lengths and stopping the clock in a notable :57.68 for the five furlongs. Stakes quality and a definite for the virtual stable, she is the highlight of a monumental week for sire Yes It’s True. Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News provided the story of how Our Amazing Rose got her name:

Cadron (filly, Broken Vow – Golden Lips by Silver Ghost) – One of those ‘wow’ moments provided by a Bob Baffert 2-year-old was delivered by this debut starter at Del Mar. She got off to a quick start and never stalled, crossing the finish line of the five furlong test in :58.88. She’s a half-sister to Brown Eyes Blue and boasts a versatile pedigree.

Sam Herzberg of Sterling Racing

Sam Herzberg of Sterling Racing

Jimmy Connors (colt, Yes It’s True – Bertranslew by Bertrando) – He served an ace in his first jaunt out of the gate and is one of three progeny of sire Yes It’s True to make the list this week. The colt named after the legendary tennis star rallied from behind to catch pace setter Union Label and passed him with ease in the stretch, winning the five and a half furlong test by more than four lengths. The final time was on the slow side (1:07.07), but is in form with other times at Monmouth Park over the weekend. He’s trained by Kelly Breen and owned by Sam Herzberg’s Sterling Racing, the connections of Black Onyx.

Be Proud (filly, Proud Citizen – Wild and Proud by Wild Again) – She finished second behind her more experienced stablemate, Secret Compass, in her debut for Bob Baffert going six furlongs at Del Mar. She showed the ability to rate off the pace and closed well on the inside with an outstanding gallop out after the wire.

Pray a Novena (filly, Belong to Me – Adhrhythm by Adhocracy) – Eddie Plesa’s Florida-bred didn’t back down from a challenge in her debut at Monmouth Park. She caught Tex Appeal in the stretch, who wasn’t quick to concede the lead, and dispatched that foe to win by more than four lengths.

Bobby’s Kitten (turf) (colt, Kitten’s Joy – Celestial Woods by Forestry) – The Chad Brown trainee was last in a field of nine heading into the stretch of the maiden test at Saratoga, and appeared well-beaten in the middle stages of the 1 1/16-mile tour over the grass. He showed a strong late kick when urged by jockey Joel Rosario, weaving his way though traffic and making up substantial ground to finish third behind winner Base Case Scenario (Pioneerof the Nile). Base Case Scenario’s win gives new sire Pioneerof the Nile a record of 2 for 2 first-time turf starters in the United States.

Crescent (colt, More Than Ready – Lovely Isle by Double Honor) – It took a while for this Illinois-bred to get into stride in his debut at Saratoga, but once he got rolling, he made a steady late move that indicated he’ll be one to keep an eye on for the future. The Bill Mott runner has a versatile pedigree. Winner Corfu (Malibu Moon) is one of several of Todd Pletcher’s top 2-year-olds, but he was all out to hold on after setting surreal fractions (:21.40, :44.80) and seemed a bit unsettled early.

Twang (colt, Dixie Union – Spoken by Unbridled’s Song) – The cleverly named Al Stall runner came out of a key race at Churchill Downs that featured the mighty Ride on Curlin. He validated his favoritism with a win at Saratoga going six furlongs in 1:10.87.

Spadina Road (colt, Where’s the Ring – Scarlet’s Castle by Sea Wall) – An Ontario-bred to watch after this scintillating debut going six furlongs on synthetic at Woodbine. Despite being bumped early, he remained on track and followed the pace before he reeled in the front-runners and drew off by more than six lengths.


Wicklow Gray Lady (filly, Monarchos – True to Me by Yes It’s True) – This aptly named gray Florida-bred evoked visions of her sire the way she barreled down the stretch in a fast-closing move in her debut at Canterbury Park. She did benefit from a speedy pace scenario up front in the five furlong test, but the manner in which she bypassed the field was impressive.

Little Miss Brown (filly, Big Brown – Scammer by Pembroke) – Don’t give up on this filly after her fourth-place finish behind Chase My Tail in a claiming race at Saratoga. She endured a wide trip and should benefit from the experience. She was claimed by Michael Matz for $75,000.

The Morning Guys (colt, Birdstone – Fee Fi Fo Fum by Giant’s Causeway) – Strong, late-running second in his debut against experienced foes going a mile at Delaware; he’ll love going longer.

Street Sailing (filly, Street Boss – Sailing Free by Mizzen Mast) – She was moving well late in her runner-up debut performance, and that set her up perfectly to come back for the win at Presque Isle; pedigree also leans turf.

Romesa (filly, Sky Mesa – Broken Romance by Broken Vow)Indian Run was much the best in this Indiana Downs test, but this Tom Amoss trainee gave a good showing in her debut, rallying for third after patiently waiting at the back of the back until the stretch.


Lines of Battle possible for Secretariat Stakes at Arlington

July 25th, 2013

Lines of Battle, seventh in the Kentucky Derby and eighth in his most recent start at Chantilly, is being pointed to a possible start in

Lines of Batle

Lines of Batle

the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park, according to the Arlington Park press office.

The Secretariat Stakes is a Grade 1, $500,000 race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/4-miles on turf held on Arlington Million Day, August 17.

Lines of Battle, a son of War Front trained by Aidan O’Brien, also raced in the U.S. in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, finishing seventh.

In his most recent start , the UAE Derby winner finished four lengths behind in eighth in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly on June 30.

Also, two-time Grade 1 Canadian International winner Joshua Tree is being considered for the American St. Leger, the press office said.



Analysis: 2-year-olds to Watch

July 23rd, 2013


ITM analysis of the top 2-year-olds to watch from: July 18 – July 24

(* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


Wired Bryan (colt, Stormy Atlantic – Red Melody by Runaway Groom) – What’s most impressive about his Sanford win was that it wasn’t gate to wire. After he stormed to an early lead, he was passed by an energetic Hollywood Talent, who appeared to be on his way to putting lengths on the field. The New York-bred re-rallied and drew off to win the six-furlong test by more than five lengths. He’s 2 for 2 and provided the first stakes win for former Todd Pletcher assistant Michael Dilger. Debt Ceiling (Discreet Cat) saw his win streak come to an end with a tough trip on the inside rail, where he was shuffled back and finished last. He’ll likely rebound with a better trip. Southern Blessing (Dixie Union), who won his debut at Churchill Downs, went off at a surprising 22-1 despite being a Steve Asmussen trainee (he’s on a roll with the juveniles) and rallied for a good second.

*Bahnah (filly, Elusive Quality – Flying Glitter by Glitterman) – How fitting that trainers Bret Calhoun and Steve

Brazen Persuasion

Brazen Persuasion

Asmussen should dead-heat in a marquee juvenile race for fillies; they are dominating this division this season. Bahnah gets the nod because she re-rallied when she looked defeated against the tough Brazen Persuasion (Indian Charlie), but both are stellar fillies representative of a strong group of female 2-year-old runners across the country. Both broke their maidens at Churchill Downs.

*Sprouts (filly, Square Eddie – Ann Summers Gold by Yankee Victor) – This small but strong daughter of Square Eddie solidified her spot as the top California-bred juvenile filly with a gate-to-wire win in the CTBA Stakes. Despite facing more physically imposing foes, she continues to win and is three of four. Eddies Curl completed the exacta for a one-two punch by Square Eddie; he’s developing into a sire to watch.

*Smack Smack (gelding, Closing Argument – Smack Madam by Victory Gallop) – We tabbed him as one to watch after his eye-catching debut, and he followed up with a win in the Prairie Gold Juvenile in which he made a monstrous last-to-first rally in the five-and-a-half furlong race. Could singer Toby Keith and Dream Walkin Stables have a real runner here? He’s trained by Don Von Hemel.

Designer Legs (filly, Graeme Hall – Elegant Designer by Suave Prospect) – This Louisiana-bred topped some tough competition in her second start, the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at five and a half furlongs. The Gary Scherer trainee, shipping in from a maiden win at Canterbury, went off at 8-1 and came from off the pace in a five-wide rally.

*My Brown Eyed Guy (gelding, With Distinction – Brown Eyed Woman by De Niro) – A very professional win in the Dr. Fager Stakes for this consistent Kathleen O’Connell trainee, who is two for three with a second and currently one of the top juveniles in Florida.

Scandalous Act (filly, Act of Duty – Seductive Lady by Langfuhr) – She dazzled in her debut, then puzzled with a seventh-place finish in the J J’sdream Stakes. The Florida-bred rebounded, romping by more than seven lengths in the Florida Stallion Desert Vixen Stakes.


Bern Legacy (turf) (filly, Bernstein – Penny Marie by Sky Classic) – The replay will do it justice more than words. She forged to the lead of the five-and-a-half furlong test at Ellis Park, but conceded to Hookah Lady and, lost in a rush of runners, ended up trapped on the rail in fourth. Behind the leading pack in the stretch, she gamely split horses in a courageous move for the win. Impressive run by this first-time starter. Trainer Mike Maker has several strong 2-year-old runners on turf this season. Replay:

Spring Moon (filly, Zensational -Seattle Shimmer by Seattle Slew) – This debut winner – who cruised five-and-a-half furlongs in 1:04.31 at Del Mar – boasts an appealing pedigree for trainer Bob Baffert. She’s a half-sister to Sway Away. The one to watch out of this race is Baffert’s other runner, Fascinating (Smart Strike), a half-sister to Bodemeister who ran a sneaky-good third up the rail and was strong on the gallop out. She should improve with the experience.

Da House (gelding, Yankee Gentleman – Derby Debut by Royal Strand) – Take note of this Louisiana-bred’s statement-making debut in which he comes from next-to-last and romps by more than seven lengths in a seven-furlong race. Promising look to this Wesley Hawley runner, who was bet down to 4-5 in his first trip over the track.

Kitten Kaboodle (turf) (filly, Kitten’s Joy – Easy Slam by Grand Slam) – The Wayne Catalano filly had to work and weave through traffic in her debut at Saratoga and ran out of time in the stretch, finishing second to Sea Queen (Lemon Drop Kid).  A promising beginning and she should do well at longer distances on grass. Another to watch from the race is Ma Billet Doux (Tapit), who was squeezed at the start and finished well in her debut for Bill Mott.

Super Sky (turf) (filly, Sky Mesa – Tortuga Lady by Thunder Gulch) – A slow start hampered the chances of this half-sister to Sunland Oaks winner Princess Arabella at Saratoga. The Todd Pletcher runner continued with a very solid effort for a first-time starter, finishing a closing third behind impressive winner Ready to Act (More Than Ready), who is also one to watch after handling the five and a half furlongs with ease.

Casiguapo (colt, Sightseeing – Emerald Buddha by Buddha) – A strong run for third in his debut, the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes, indicated his potential, and this Kentucky-bred backed it up with an 11-length romp when he dropped to the maiden ranks for trainer Mario Morales.

Thug Daddy (colt, Scat Daddy – As Promised by Century City) – This New York-bred trailed the field at the start of his debut at Saratoga, but he made up substantial ground after going six wide to finish third behind winner Double Gold. Pedigree suggests the Gary Contessa runner would like turf as well.

*Brothersofthetime (colt, Bob and John – Hostility by Devil His Due) – This closer likes to make a late run, and he made up several lengths on the two leaders in the stretch, splitting them in a gutsy win at Gulfstream in his third start.

Irish Sweepstakes (filly, Any Given Saturday – Miss Blarney Stone by Dynaformer) – This New York-bred’s dominant win at Saratoga gave a nod to Wired Bryan, who won the Sanford Stakes. Was the maiden special weight at Belmont on June 19 a key race?


J. Quirk (filly, Unbridled’s Song – You’re Beautiful by Storm Cat) – No one was beating Stopchargingmaria on this day, but this Gary Contessa trainee exceeded bettor’s expectations with a runner-up finish in her debut at Saratoga at 22-1. The dam is a half-sister to champ Tiznow.

Southern Freedom (colt, Pure Prize – Dixie Crisp by Dixieland Band) – It took this Jerry Hollendorfer trainee some time to get going after the break in his debut at Del Mar. Once he got rolling, however, he was making a strong run late for third behind winner Guns Loaded (D’Wildcat).

Big Sugar Soda (colt, Ready’s Image – Squeakums by Fusaichi Pegasus) – The field was no match for this Steve Asmussen trainee, who ran off to win by more than eight lengths at Saratoga in his second start.

Global View (colt, Galileo – Egyptian Queen by Storm Cat) -With an exceptional pedigree and a good fourth in his debut at Del Mar, this is one to watch when he switches to turf.

Ria Antonia (filly, Rockport Harbor – Beer Baroness by Mr. Greeley) – She endured a tough debut in the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine, bumping with a foe at the break and finishing fifth. The Ricky Griffith trainee bounced back in her second start when dropping to the maiden ranks, beating male counterparts in a nice effort on synthetic. She tracked the pace, reeled in the frontrunners and drew off. She’s half-sister to Beverage Queen.

Glamoride (filly, Ide – Driven by Forestry) – Although a slow final time for the seven furlongs, the manner in which the Louisiana-bred romped by 11 lengths in her third start was impressive.

Lil Miss Kiss (filly, Smoke Glacken – Missmekissme by Sir Cat) – A debut winner by more than seven lengths for Kelly Von Hemel.



NYRA notes: Eblouissante suffers two broken teeth, scrapes after eventful race at Saratoga

July 21st, 2013


Trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning that Eblouissante came out of Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap with minor injuries after acting up in the starting gate.

“She got banged up, but it’s all pretty superficial,” Shirreffs said. “She broke two teeth and grabbed herself in a couple spots on her legs, but nothing really serious.

“I feel really lucky that she didn’t seriously injure herself. I think that’s a credit to the assistant starter, who kept her from flipping over and getting underneath the gate. It was a bad situation but not a tragedy.”

Owned by Maverick Racing, the 4-year-old Eblouissante, a half-sister to Horse of the Year Zenyatta, was making her stakes debut in the Shuvee, her first start in 189 days following an optional claiming victory on January 17 at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, subbing for jockey Junior Alvarado who was banged up earlier on Saturday’s card, Eblouissante bumped with Moon Philly after leaving the gate and ran at the back of the pack, finishing last of six.

“For her, it was [over at the start]. She lost all her focus and everything,” Shirreffs said. “Obviously, it’s disappointing, but it’s one of those things that happens with horses. You can’t always predict the outcome or what they’re going to do. You just accept it and try to improve.”

Shirreffs said Eblouissante had not shown any signs of gate trouble in either of her first two starts.

“Never, but she’s a big horse and the gate is somewhat tight, so she could be a little claustrophobic,” he said. “Who knows what sets a horse off at that moment? Whatever it was, it really set her off.

“We’ll give her a few days to heal up a little bit. Obviously, we’re going to have to take her to the gate and school her, spend a lot of time in the gate and get over whatever it was that set her off. Then we’ll just come back and start over again.”

Shirreffs hopes to get another start for Eblouissante at Saratoga, where the trainer is spending his first full summer this year.

“We’ll look to bring her back probably in a little lower-profile race,” he said. “It’s hard to say until we get her back on the track.”

Analysis: Notable pedigrees for July 21

July 20th, 2013

Siblings of Bodemeister, Midnight Lute and Den’s Legacy entered Sunday

By J.J. Hysell

Some contenders with top notch pedigrees are set to compete at tracks across the country Sunday. Some of these runners aren’t likely to win on debut, but are ones to follow as they gain experience.


Race 2 – MSW, fillies 3 years old and up, six furlongs

1 – SOCIALBUG (Curlin) (Baffert/Garcia) is a half-sister to two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint victor Midnight Lute making her debut.

2 – WISHCRAFT (Lion Heart) (Gallagher/Smith) is half-sister of multiple graded stakes winner Dream of Summer making her second start.

5 – WASTED AT MIDNIGHT (Midnight Lute) (Barba/Nakatani) is a half-sister of Divergent View making her third start.

7 – THE MAGIC STONE (Malibu Moon) (Bonde/Maldonado) is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Street Life making her debut.

Race 6 – MSW, fillies 2 years old, 5 1/2 furlongs

5 – SATIRICAL (Distorted Humor) (Mandella/Stevens) is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Rule making her debut.

7 – SOUTHERN SUNSHINE (High Cotton) (Miller/Talamo) is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Den’s Legacy making her debut.

8 – FASCINATING (Smart Strike) (Baffert/Bejarano) is a half-sister to Kentucky Derby runner-up and Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister making her debut.

10 – SPRING MOON (Zensational) (Baffert/Garcia) is a half-sister to Sway Away making her debut.


Race 8 – MSW, 3 years old and up, six furlongs

8 -RUN AWAY’S SIS (City Zip) (Short/Hernandez) is a full sister to Run Away and Hide making her debut.

10 – ELITISM (Macho Uno) (D.K. Von Hemel/J. Johnson) is a full sister to graded stakes winner Harlem Rocker making her debut.


Race 2 – MSW, 3 years old and up, one mile

6 – PROFOUND (Street Cry) (Plesa/Cotto) is a half-sister to War Chant making her second start.

Race 5 – MSW, 3 years old and up, 1 1/16-miles

Mr. Besilu tries to break his maiden in his second start.

Mr. Besilu tries to break his maiden in his second start.

2 – GOLDEN LAD (Medaglia d’Oro) (Pletcher/DeCarlo) is a half-brother to Broadway’s Alibi making his second start.

4 – MR. BESILU (A.P. Indy) (Mott/Serpa) is out of multiple graded stakes winner Balance and makes his second start.


Race 1, MSW – 2 year olds, six furlongs

2 – LEWIS VALE (Flower Alley) (Contreras/Casse) is out of multiple graded stakes winner Indian Vale and is making his debut.


Status of jockey Garrett Gomez remains unknown

July 19th, 2013

The status of jockey Garrett Gomez, who suddenly took off all mounts on opening day at Del Mar, remains unknown as of Friday night.

An update from the Del Mar press office stated that Gomez had not called the stewards as instructed and would “remain off his mounts until they do.”

Gomez took time off from riding in June, citing marital issues. He returned to ride at Betfair Hollywood Park and was slated to ride five Wednesday at Del Mar when his agent, Tony Matos, informed Del Mar officials he would not be riding.

Replacements on Del Mar’s Saturday card for Gomez: Edwin Maldonado on Londinium in the second race, Martin Garcia on Pure Blush in the third, Alonso Quinonez on Sizzlin Joe in the fourth and Garry Stevens on Appealing in the fifth race, the Osunitas Stakes. A replacement on Lucayan in the Eddie Read Stakes has yet to be named.

Analysis: 2-year-olds to Watch

July 16th, 2013

ITM analysis of the top 2-year-olds to watch from: July 11 – July 17

(* denotes a previous ITM Horse to Watch)


Alpine Luck (colt, Lucky J.H. – I Can Yodele by Swiss Yodeler) – He’s 2 for 2 since teaming up with jockey Gary Stevens, and Stevens expertly guided him to a front-running win in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes. This colt appeals because he shows a nice cruising speed – not a speed-and-fade style. He’s by Lucky J.H., a somewhat overlooked California-based sire who is having a lot of success with four winners from nine starters.

Mike Harrington has a promising California-bred in Alpine Luck.

Mike Harrington has a promising California-bred in Alpine Luck.

Stevens gave some interesting insight after the race: “I wasn’t concerned with being on the lead with him,” he said. “Last time (trainer) Mike (Harrington) told me to ride him like a route horse, but he got a flyer leaving there and was on the lead.  I thought Mike was going to kill me, but I told him I rode him like a route horse from the three-eighths and I won with something left. . . He actually reminded me a lot of my first (Juvenile) winner (Hilco Scamper in 1985) going down the backstretch with his ears going like that.  I said, ‘How fun is this’?  He gave me great acceleration like last time.  I was just playing with the runner-up (Ontology June 22). I could have won by six, so I had quite a bit of confidence going in.  I actually wanted a horse in front of him just to teach him.  I really do think he wants to go a route of ground.”

Mike Harrington: “I keep kidding (Stevens) because I tell him to ride him like a route horse and he keeps going to the front.  I told him, ‘You never listen.’  He said he was going (23.05 for the opening quarter mile) and had no choice.  I think the owner wants to run him in the Best Pal, so that will be his next start.”

*She’s A Tiger (filly, Tale of the Cat – Shandra Smiles by Cahill Road) – It’s no surprise this sister to top-notch sprinter Smiling Tiger went off as the heavy favorite in the Landaluce Stakes, considering she romped impressively in her debut on dirt at Pleasanton. The manner in which the Jeff Bonde runner held despite heated early fractions boosted her stock. With Frank Alvarado aboard, she went to the front and set fractions of :21.91, :45.55 and :58.47. She crossed the line in 1:12.04 for the six furlongs with E Equalsmcsquared closing fast.

Frank Alvarado: “By the three-eighths I could feel the pressure on the inside and I felt somebody coming on the outside, but I wasn’t worried.  I knew what I had.”

Jeff Bonde: “They went very fast and everybody who tried to chase her paid the price.  The horse that ran second came with a good charge late.  My filly got tired, but she still ran well.  I think she’s a really good horse, I really do.”

*E Equalsmcsquared (Einstein), a previous ITM Horse to Watch, is one to monitor as she stretches out. She could’ve been claimed in her previous start for $25,000.

Jockey Mike Smith: “I was impressed with her and she has room to grow.  That’s always a good sign.  She was a little green down the backside with the dirt hitting her in the face.  She wanted out.  If I could have gotten her to run a little straighter, it would have been a little tighter.’’

Mike Maker has two turf winners in this week's edition.

Mike Maker has two turf winners in this week’s edition.

Thank you Marylou (turf) (filly, Birdstone – Menifeeque by Menifee) – One of only two first time starters in the Tippett Stakes field, her pedigree came through in the five and a half furlong test on turf rated good. The Mike Maker runner showed an exceptional late turn of foot for a debut on a wet course. Birdstone first time starters are often ones to watch on off tracks or turf.

Lookingoodinatux (colt, Fusaichi Pegasus – Polish Nana by Polish Numbers) – This Colorado-bred has finished second in two starts but is on the verge of a maiden-breaking win. His greenness cost him in the stretch of the CTBA Futurity, but he was gaining on Fast but Furious (Grand Minstrel) and just needs more distance.

Fast Puff (filly, Grand Minstrel – Customized Cutie by Seattle Sleet) – The CTBA Lassie winner has won her first two races by a combined 18 and 1/2-lengths. Shades of Get Happy Mister?

Deviance (gelding, Bob and John – Trieste Lady by Old Trieste) – The New Westminster Stakes winner is 2 of 3 at Hastings Park.


*Ride on Curlin (colt, Curlin – Magical Ride by Storm Cat) – We tabbed him as one to watch after his eye-catching debut, in which he finished second to highly regarded Conquest Two Step at Churchill Downs. He followed up with one of the most impressive juvenile performances of the season at Ellis Park. With Calvin Borel aboard, he was tested early, took control and drew off with ample energy to a dominating win by more than seven lengths. He set a track record for five and a half furlongs (1:03) and didn’t appear taxed after the race. The William Gowan trainee posted fractions of :22.75, :45.49 and :56.94. It wasn’t a graded stakes field, but the manner in which this colt has handled himself in both starts suggests he is a serious racehorse.

Borel gives the “look back” on Ride on Curlin:

Tiger Bourbon (turf) (colt, Big Brown – Tigresa by Tejano) – This debut winner on turf for Eddie Kenneally is a physically imposing, well-built colt who towered over his competition size-wise and won with a challenging run between foes. The top three runners in this six-furlong race are ones to watch as General Jack (Giant’s Causeway), who dueled with Tiger Bourbon, finished third despite hitting the starting gate. He is out of the talented mare J’Ray an should improve with more experience. Bashart (War Front) was the most impressive of the runner-ups, as he was game on the inside and re-rallied at the wire, matching strides with Tiger Bourbon on the gallop out. Replay:

Sweetsoutherndame (filly, Colonel John – Southbound by Southern Image) – With a test run in her debut behind her, this Timothy Hamm runner made a statement in her second start on synthetic at Presque Isle, winning by more than five lengths going five and a half furlongs. Nice, long stride on this filly part-owned by WinStar. One of several Colonel John juveniles with potential; his offspring appear particularly dangerous on synthetic and turf.

Danza (colt, Street Boss – Champagne Royale by French Deputy) – How fitting a colt named for Tony Danza, actor and a former boxer, would prove to be a fighter. He was thrown a challenge in his first start and responded impressively. The Todd Pletcher runner and favorite Permanent Campaign separated themselves from the rest of the field in a stretch battle, the pair matching strides until Danza pushed ahead. Don’t be fooled – Street Boss is not just a turf/synthetic sire.

Albert’s Hope (gelding, Run Away and Hide – Accepting Fate and Saint Ballado) – Surprisingly, he went off at 33-1 at Hollywood Park despite Mike Puype’s recent success and the win-early pedigree tailored for synthetic. He rallied three-wide on the outside and drove past the field to win the five-furlong test. Bajan (Speightstown) is the one to watch out of this race with a sharp second as a filly taking on males.

Boheme de Lavi (filly, Graeme Hall – Salty N Sassy by Salt Lake) – The late run for second at Gulfstream on a sloppy track indicated good things could be in store for this Florida-bred.

Concave boasts the Kentucky Derby-winning connections of Doug O'Neill, Paul Reddam and Mario Gutierrez.

Concave boasts the Kentucky Derby-winning connections of Doug O’Neill, Paul Reddam and Mario Gutierrez.

Concave (turf) (filly, Colonel John – Galadriel by Ascot Knight) – A sure-footed Ontario-bred for trainer Doug O’Neill, she tracked the pacesetter, reeled her in and drew off by more than three lengths in her first start, a turf sprint. Familiar connections with jockey Mario Gutierrez and Reddam Racing. Sierra Electrica (Tapit), third, is one to watch as she had some traffic issues and was quite energetic on the gallop out.

Yucca (filly, Cactus Ridge – Brittney Brat by Pikepass) – What a flashy debut by this Kenny Smith runner at Prairie Meadows – she dusted the competition by more than 10 lengths.

Sky and Sea (filly, Latent Heat – Peaceful Sky by Sky Mesa) – The Minnesota-bred half-sister to Lew and Mike, trained by Bernell Rhone, demonstrated her speedy genes with a 15 3/4-length romp at Canterbury Park in her debut.

Baroness Rose (turf) (filly, Curlin – Sandra’s Rose by Old Trieste) – Stonestreet-bred filly was slightly green when alone in the stretch, but she was much the best in her debut win on firm grass at Ellis Park. She came from off the pace, split horses and was confidently handled by jockey Victor Lebron. Another juvenile winner for Curlin, and it looks like Mike Maker has some nice 2-year-olds this season.


Pagini (turf) (filly, Saint Afleet – Joyful Gal by Etbauer) – This Louisiana-bred couldn’t reach the winner, but she navigated through traffic and displayed a notable turn of foot as she rallied for second in her debut against mostly experienced foes.

Lunarwarfare (colt, War Pass – Lunar Star by Silver Ghost) – Sharp debut by this Florida-bred, who won by more than six lengths and blazed 4 1/2 furlongs in :51.39.

Heart to Heart (colt, English Channel – Ask the Question by Silver Deputy) – A debut win on the Arlington synthetic for this Ontario-bred against four foes; commanding victory by more than eight lengths. He covered the five and a half furlongs in 1:06.93.

Who’s in Town (filly, Speightstown – Who’s Cozy by Cozzene) – This Maryland bred rated off the pace and handily outdistanced the short field in her debut at Delaware Park. She covered the five furlongs in :57.82. A rare first-time starter win for trainer Michael Matz.

Lia’s Miracle (filly, Marcavelly – Joanne Jubilation by Monarchos) – Professional debut by this Ontario-bred, by In the Money Sire to Watch Marcavelly, who started in the back of the pack and rallied six-wide on the Woodbine synthetic to win at five and a half furlongs. She’s trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by Zayat Stables.

Enjoy the Movie (colt, Old Forester – Hippicritical by Hail the Ruckus) – A front-running win at Woodbine for this Ontario-bred going five and a half furlongs in 1:04.62 on the Woodbine synthetic.





Executiveprivilege set to return Thursday at Del Mar

July 15th, 2013

By J.J. Hysell

Executiveprivilege, who opened her career with five straight wins last year, is slated to return from a long layoff in an allowance race Thursday at Del Mar. She will face older foes, including La Brea runner up Reneesgotzip, in the six-furlong test. She will have Rafael Bejarano aboard and will run without blinkers.

The daughter of First Samurai, trained by Bob Baffert, was fourth in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December in her most recent start. She was originally being pointed to the Kentucky Oaks by owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, but she was hampered by quarter crack issues.

Executiveprivilege stamped herself as a top juvenile last year when she reeled off three graded stakes wins: the Sorrento, the Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier. She finished second to eventual 2-year-old filly champion Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Executiveprivilege is set to make her 3-year-old debut off a steady work pattern that includes two six-furlong works at Santa Anita.