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 ( http://inthemoneypost.com/analysis-2-year-olds-to-watch/) 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.
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: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/theraces/2013/07/saratoga-blog-for-thursday-july-25-2013
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.
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.