In this weekend’s Horse Racing Race of the Week, we will be taking a closer look at the 2013 Bold Ruler Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY. A field of six has been entered for the now seven furlong event (It used to be a six furlong race) with Strapping Groom installed as the early 9/5 morning line favorite.
With the 2013 Breeders Cup now just six days away, it is, once again, a fairly quiet week in the sport.
While on the subject of the Breeders Cup just a quick programming note about it. I will have full previews of both Friday Nov 1 card up by Thursday morning (Oct 31) and Saturday’s Nov 2 card up by Friday morning (Nov 1).
Belmont Park – Saturday, October 26, 2013
Race 8 – 4:34 PM
Bold Ruler Handicap (Grade: 3)
For Three-Year-Olds and Upward
|1||1||Forty Tales||3/C||L||J Rosario||119||T A Pletcher||
|2||2||Big Screen||4/C||L||I Ortiz, Jr.||117||T Albertrani||
|3||3||Saturday’s Charm||4/C||L||J R Velazquez||116||S M Asmussen||
|4||4||Politicallycorrect||4/G||L||J Castellano||116||W A Ward||
|5||5||Clearly Now||3/C||L||J Lezcano||117||B A Lynch||
|6||6||Strapping Groom||6/H||L||J Alvarado||122||D Jacobson||
1) Forty Tales- seems to have tailed off in form a bit since reeling off 3 straight wins in the Derby Trial, the Woody Stephens and the Amsterdam but I was just as impressed with the race that followed the Woody Stephens (The Kings Bishop) than the three prior wins.
In that Kings Bishop race, he was 13th (of 14) and some 19 lengths behind after the first half mile but came with an enormous late run to finish fourth beaten 5 ½ lengths. That, in turn, means this colt by the gorgeous and wickedly fast Tale of the Cat, made up 13 ½ lengths over the last three furlongs (which he ran in about :34 seconds), while being fanned six wide on the turn for home…that, readers, is some serious (late) running.
I didn’t find any excuses for his last (The Vosburgh) however when he, albeit made up a little ground in the stretch, was beaten 5 ¼ lengths.
The advantage I see is that the Vosburgh was at six furlongs and this race is seven, so he’ll have an extra furlong to work with come Saturday afternoon, which of course (provided he gets an honest pace in front of him), should help his big late running style.
Lastly, please note this Todd Pletcher trainee is 4 for 8 in 2013 and 5 of 9 in his career.
2) Strapping Groom– you have to respect this now six year old speedster from the DAS/ David Jacobson connection as Jacobson is winning at a 22% clip in 2013.
I’ll be willing to bet his connections will be doing a rain dance come Saturday morning…I mean, take a look at that Forego Handicap win two starts ago in the slop at Saratoga.
He busted out of the gate, cut sizzling fractions and, although clearly tiring at the end, finished the seven furlongs in 1:22.1 while scoring a 104 speed figure.
I expect something similar on Saturday….I expect this horse to be out there winging it early and play “catch me if you can” and if he is unchallenged early?….they will not…. Big time threat to take them wire to wire.
3) Clearly Now– is as consistent as the day is long with his 9 start, 3 wins, 3 seconds and 3 thirds record indicates.
A closer look at this horse shows a couple of things that grab my attention aside from never having finished off the board. One, out of those nine starts, he really only ran one semi-bad race at that was at 1 1/16ths miles. Two, he finished less than a length behind the top choice in the Woody Stephens Stakes. Three, if he duplicates those mid to upper 90’s speed figures he’s been running, that should be suffice to make him competitive vs. these.
Record: 18-50 = 36%
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Little Bets N’ Pieces
**** Three time grade I stakes winner Dullahan was euthanized last Sunday after undergoing emergency surgery for colic the night before.
The announcement, made by Jerry Crawford Donegal’s managing partner, comes less than a week after the grand looking chestnut colt was retired (Oct. 14) due to a tendon injury he sustained in the Aug. 25 Pacific Classic.
Dullahan was at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., and was awaiting stud plans, when late Saturday night he started showing signs of distress.
“At about 1 a.m. this morning the night watchman (at WinStar Farm) noticed that (Dullahan) was sweating profusely and he called in the manager,” said Jerry Crawford, Donegal’s managing partner. “The manager immediately arranged to get him to the clinic.”
At the clinic of Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, a team of veterinarians “determined he needed surgery,” Crawford said. “The surgery revealed that his colon had burst and as a result of that there had been a significant contamination internally and there was really nothing they could do to save him.”
Dullahan was attended to through the night by Drs. Robert Hunt and Nathan Slovis. Conor Foley, Donegal’s chief operating officer but, with no other choice other than to let the animal suffer, he was euthanized at about 4:45 a.m.
“We are all just stunned,” Foley said. “The staffs at WinStar and Hagyard-Davidson-McGee were both outstanding. They did everything they could for him and we are very, very grateful for all of their efforts.”
“He was in the very best care from start to finish,” added Crawford. “They did everything they could but it just wasn’t enough.”
**** 2013 Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze has been retired from racing and will stand the 2014 breeding season at WinStar Farm
Overanalyze’s 2014 fee will be $10,000.
“Overanalyze is currently the last grade I winner by Dixie Union, who was proving to be a great sire from a very important line before his early passing,” Elliott Walden, WinStar president and chief executive officer, said in a release. “Overanalyze has a very similar profile as Union Rags, so we believe he presents tremendous value”
**** Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel was hospitalized with a concussion this past Wednesday after falling from his mount in the sixth race of the day at Keeneland.
The accident occurred right before the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile turf race, as Borel’s mount, Sonic Dancer, who suffered a catastrophic injury while racing among the early leaders. Borel was thrown and then struck by a trailing horse.
Borel was taken to first aid with pain in his left leg, but his vitals were stable and he was conscious as he was being transported to University of Kentucky Medical Center.
“He was stable, somewhat alert and suffering the effects of a sports concussion,” said Keeneland medical director Dr. Barry Schumer in a statement released by the track. “He was complaining of pain in his left leg but he was able to move it. He was transported to the University Of Kentucky Medical Center for further evaluation.”
Breeders Cup Notes:
**** 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned ripped five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 in company last Tuesday at Churchill Downs in preparation for a title defense Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
Along with workmate Neck ‘n Neck, Fort Larned went in splits of :12 3/5, :25, :48 4/5, and out in 1:13 1/5, 1:26 3/5, and 1:41 1/5.
“We weren’t looking for any kind of race, just a nice work together, a nice, solid work,” trainer Ian Wilkes said. “Everything is good, he worked good and galloped out good, and that was the important thing.”
Fort Larned will be coming into the BC Classic of a 1 1/2-length victory in the Sept. 28. Homecoming Classic Stakes going 1 1/8 miles at Churchill.
“It was very important,” Wilkes said of the Homecoming Classic. “I had to get that race. If I didn’t get that race, I couldn’t go (to the Breeders’ Cup). It was a nice race for him, he came out of it good. (His record this year) is a legitimate question, but all you can control is your own horse, and at this point he’s moving forward, and I’m pleased with him.”
Fort Larned will ship to Santa Anita on Tuesday.
**** Game On Dude went six furlongs in brisk 1:11 2/5 at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert also on Tuesday. The 6-year-old Awesome Again gelding will heading into the Classic off a monster 8 1/2-length win in the Aug. 25 Pacific Classic.
**** Breeders’ Cup Distaff hopeful and 2012 Champion Beholder went seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 for trainer Richard Mandella earlier this week.
**** Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, top older horse Graydar, and two year old speedster Havana for their final workouts last Sunday on the training track at BelmontPark
Clockers caught Palace Malice going five furlongs in 1:00, Graydar at five furlongs in 1:01 3/5, and Havana at four furlongs in :49..
“Havana was very straightforward with an excellent gallop-out,” Pletcher said. “I was pleased with what we saw. Palace Malice was his standard, very-good self. He seems to be maintaining his form. Graydar also was good and galloped out well, so he has had two of the three breezes we were looking for to go to the Classic.”
Other notable horses on Sunday’s worktab at Belmont were
Honor Code (four furlongs in :52 3/5), Orb (four furlongs in :50 3/5), Point of Entry (five furlongs in 1:02, turf), Big Blue Kitten (five furlongs in 1:02 2/5, turf).
**** Originally scheduled to be shut down for the year, probable 2013 three year old champion filly Princess of Sylmar will make one more start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita after breezing four furlongs in :48.2 Saturday morning at Belmont Park..
In what has been nothing short of a phenomenal year, Princess of Sylmar has won her last four starts in a row (all Grade I’s, the Kentucky Oaks, the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Alabama and the Beldame.)
Thanks for reading…