First and foremost, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the folks on the East coast, and particularly North Carolina, as the imposing Hurricane Florence will have reached land by the time I publish this. I hope you are all prepared and please be safe!
Our highlighted race this week is the $400,000 Sands Point Stakes for three year old fillies on the turf at Belmont Park.
We will also be going west to Churchill Downs and will be breaking down the Pocahontas Stakes for two year old fillies, and the Iroquois Stakes for two year old males. While the Pocahontas carries a purse of $150,000, the Iroquois carries a purse of $200,000 with both races being run at 8 ½ furlongs and both being at Grade: 3 levels.
Lastly, and although Canadian racing is not very popular in the States, we will be taking a look at the Ricoh Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada on Saturday.
The $800,000, Grade: 1 on the turf is one of the more prestigious races run in Canada all year long.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Woodbine Race Course
Race: 8 (4:48 PM EST Post)
Delta Prince– is a half brother to the late, three time champion Royal Delta who has clearly turned the corner in his career since being switched over to the turf in February 2017. “He was hitting his pasterns real bad (on the dirt), trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. “So I thought I’d try him on turf, and he wouldn’t hit his pasterns. The first time he ran on turf, he ran off the screen. I’ve kept him on turf ever since”. This now five year old by Street Cry has run the two best races of his life in his two 2018 starts including winning a Grade: 2 race over this very turf course, zooming a mile (the distance in this race) in 1:32.1, then charging hard, late to just miss catching the streaking Voodoo Song in the Grade: 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga in his last. Big work two weeks ago (5F- :59 flat) followed up by a nice half mile breeze should have him ready for this……narrow margin in a very competitive horse race…………………..In the 21 times this race has been run, only two females have won it (Tepin-2016 and Ventura-2009) but La Sardane has a shot to be the third. I found it very interesting that this filly, tackling the boys in this spot, is 1 for 6 over turf courses with any give in them, yet 3 for 3 when the turf is firm. I found it even more interesting that it is supposed to be sunny all day at Woodbine on Saturday. I love her tactical speed and her consistency (12-5-3-1)….figures prominent throughout in this spot………………….Mr Havercamp, with his 6 for 9 career record, is a win machine. Four year old gelding by Court Vision is 4 for 6 on the turf as well. Want more impressive stats? How about this horse is 4 for 4 over the Woodbine turf and his trainer hits at an astounding 36% when moving horses from sprints to routes, which is exactly the situation for this guy in this spot……………………………Honorable Mentions: I’m not quite sure what happened to multiple Grade: 1 winner Oscar Performance, who has won at a plethora of distances, in the Arlington Million in his last. Jockey Jose Ortiz pulled him up on the far turn because he thought the colt had “taken a bad step.” After a thorough examination, and three recorded workouts since then, he seems to be ok. If that’s the case, then they will all have this winner of 7 of 13 career starts to deal with down the lane…..Needless to say, he could easily better this rating………………..Lord Glitters gets the “dark horse” tag in this race. This gray gelding has hit the board in 15 of 17 career starts in Europe and hasn’t exactly been running against dogs over there. I implore you to watch the board 3 to 5 minutes before post to get a better read on him…………………….Although Divisidero is 0 for 4 in his career at this distance, he must always be considered. This stretch runner finished just two lengths behind Delta Prince last time out…………………………While chasing the likes of Backyard Haven, Bee Jersey and Diversify of late (in Grade: 1 and 2 races), Good Samaritan gets a class drop in this spot. That, and a return to the turf (6-2-2-1 on the grass), might (keyword: might) wake him up a bit here. That’s said, his form is abysmal right now.
Race: 10 (5:26 PM EST Post)
Even though Tight Ten shied from the whip and hit the rail coming down the lane in his debut on this oval, he still looked good in winning it by 4+ lengths. Good looking colt by Tapit then missed the break and bore in at the three sixteenths pole yet still managed to finish second in the Grade: 2 Saratoga Special in just his second career start. Obviously talented, this colt should have learned a whole lot from his first two races ….looks best…………………..Tobacco Road unleashed back to back strong late rallies in his last two at Ellis Park while breaking his maiden and taking down a Stakes field. If this colt by Quality Road continues to improve, and I suspect he might, he should be coming late once again in this spot…………………….The oddly named Hog Creek Hustle was visually impressive rallying from seventh position early to blow past the field in breaking his maiden at first asking. Colt by Overanalyze steps up and stretches out 2 ½ furlongs but could go well anyway…………………………..Honorable Mentions: Albeit Mr. Wrench It will also be stepping up in class, this son of Lookin’ at Lucky has a couple of things to like. For instance, after three straight sprint races, he blew the doors off a Stakes field in his route debut in his last at Prairie Meadows, making it obvious the longer he goes the better off he’ll be. You also get the old “first time Lasix” angle as well…….bottom line here is he could be a menace in this spot……………………………Just a few other things I noticed in this race: Manny Wah finished right behind Tobacco Road last time out…………………..Synthesis chased rising superstar Instagrand in his last race; he’ll meet no such rival here………………….Pole Setter might improve with the surface switch and he’s the only horse in this race with “two” route tries, so he might have a fitness edge…………….Although Everfast won a slowly run seven furlong debut race, note how he came home the last furlong in a very good :11.4 seconds.
Race: 11 (5:57 PM EST Post)
Serengeti Empress set rapid fractions and ran her rivals off their feet in her debut (won by 5), was overmatched in the Schuylerville (vs. Catherinethegreat) in a race where “everything went wrong”, then won the Ellis Park Debutante by a colossal margin in her last…. “I’m really excited about her,” trainer Tom Amoss said. “We came back quickly to run in the Schuylerville after breaking her maiden in her first start. It was one of those races that everything went wrong. She’s a really, really good horse. It’s an opportunity for us, as a ‘Win and You’re In,’ to get a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and just as importantly that race is right here at Churchill”. Filly by the very handsome Alternation has tactical speed and draws the rail, where the rail post is winning at a 19% clip thus far in this meet……………looks marginally best over Taylor’s Spirit, who by the time you read this, I’ll still be trying to figure out exactly how good she is. No one has been close to her through three career starts (won all three by a combined 20 lengths), has won sprinting and going a mile and has won on dirt and turf. Needless to say, this filly by Algorithms has my attention…for right now……………………….Love My Honey hit the gate and lugged in at the sixteenth pole yet still won at first asking at Saratoga (never an easy thing to do). Monster work Sept 2, followed up by a solid five eighths work last week should have her “revved up” for this……………………………Honorable Mentions: Although Include Edition was 13 lengths behind the top choice last time out, note how she rallied from last to pass everyone (nine horses) but the winner at seven furlongs and “swept past” the early leaders down the lane in winning her debut……stretch runner by Include logically merits consideration with the stretch out in distance……………………..Local favorite Saved at Dawn has shown marked improvement through her first three starts….. Threat if she continues improving…………It Justhitthe Wire “mugged” Two Dozen Roses in deep stretch in her maiden race at Saratoga in their last. It Justhitthe Wire won but was DQ-ed and Two Dozen Roses was declared the winner. Either could be a menace here….
Race: 9 (5:53 PM EST Post)
Sands Point Stakes
Californiagoldrush won her first two starts in fast finals times, then was making up ground late in the Grade: 1 Del Mar Oaks in her last to finish a close up third. Any horse who runs a good third in a Grade: 1 in just their third career start always signals talent to me. The only problem I’m seeing is, will there be enough early pace to set up her late run?…………………………….Oh look, yet ANOTHER European import for trainer Chad Brown in Shadan except this one has won her last two. Don’t worry that this will be her first start since April as Brown can get them ready to fire fresh………………………….Capla Tempress appears to finally be rounding into 2017 form where she won three of five races, including a good effort in none other than the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf race………………..Honorable Mentions: Victorine has yet to run a bad race, or on a turf course labeled firm, through six career starts…….could surprise a few people in this spot……………………..Reversethedecision will be stepping up in class big time here but she possesses a potent late run and she too has never run a bad race (4-2-1-1) through four career starts…………………………Colonia won her U.S debut two back and finished within shouting distance of the top pick in her last…..still another who could “rolling” through the stretch.
By: Gerard Apadula
Director of Equine Operations and Development
Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team
2018- Record: 68-177= 38%
2017- Record: 92-235 = 39%
2016- Record: 91-229 = 40%
2015- Record: 67-180 = 37%
2014- Record: 29-73 = 40%
2013- Record: 20-59= 34%
2012 -Record: 24-73= 33%
2011 –Record: N/A
Little Bets N’ Pieces
****2017 Haskell Invitational Stakes winner Girvin has been retired to Ocala Stud in Florida it was announced this past week.
The son of Tale of Ekati will stand as property of Brad and Misty Grady’s Grand Oaks Farm in partnership with Kentucky’s Airdrie Stud.
Girvin, who also won the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby, retires with a record of 10-4-3-0 and earnings of $1,624,392.
“We’ve been big fans of Mr. Grady’s horse for a long time and are hugely appreciative of the opportunity he’s given us to partner on his stallion career,” said Brereton Jones of Airdrie. “Girvin was a tremendously talented racehorse that was versatile enough to out-sprint his rivals at two and stretch out to win the Louisiana Derby and Haskell at three, and he’s as gorgeous as he is gifted.”
“Physically, Girvin is a handsome, grand-looking horse who was precocious and became one of the best and most accomplished 3-year-olds of his generation,” said Ocala Stud’s David O’Farrell. “We are excited about having the opportunity to stand Girvin and to work with the Gradys and Airdrie Stud.”
**** Trainer Chris Waller has mapped out a plan for superstar mare Winx, which will climax in an attempt at an unprecedented fourth consecutive Cox Plate victory, on Oct 27.
Waller said his 7-year-old, who will “most likely” be retired at the end of the year, will make her next start in the Sept.22 Group: 1 George Main Stakes at one mile at Randwick.
After the George Main, Winx will point for the Group: 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Oct. 6, then on to the Cox Plate.
“Everything is going to plan; we gave her a (five furlong) jump out last Saturday and everything was good there,” Waller said. “She had a gallop yesterday – she worked the reverse way, getting her warmed up for Melbourne. She stretched out well, she was really happy.”
**** Champion Lady Eli, a Grade: 1 winner each year from age two to five and described by trainer Chad Brown as “the best turf horse I’ve ever trained,” will be offered in foal to War Front by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at this year’s Keeneland Breeding Stock November Sale.
The gorgeous mare, who at one point was fighting for her life after stepping on a nail and contracting Laminitis, finished her career with a record of 14-10-3-0, including five Grade: 1 wins and earnings of $2,959,800.
“I can’t say enough about this horse,” said Brown. “She has the heart of a champion. She is equine perfection. She is the personification of world-class talent, courage, precocity, soundness and, above all, the will to win. Lady Eli always brought her best game. She didn’t need a race track, a condition, a position in the race or a distance, and she certainly never needed an excuse. It’s unlikely I will ever have another one like her.”
**** Kendrick Carmouche, who is one of the best gate riders in the game today, is expected to miss seven to eight weeks after fracturing his femur in an accident during the Juvenile Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs on Saturday.
Carmouche, 34, went down in the stretch when his mount, Chattel, clipped heels as Sovereign Impact drifted out in front of him. Sovereign Impact was disqualified and placed last.
Chattel, a 2-year-old by Giant Oak, wasn’t so lucky as he fractured his shoulder in the fall and was euthanized.
Carmouche was taken to Skyline Medical Center near Nashville, Tenn. He underwent surgery Sunday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They put a screw in it and I’m going to be able to put pressure on the leg,” Carmouche said. “They’re saying seven to eight weeks before I’m back riding.”
**** A couple of notes from the Keeneland Sales this past week:
* Coolmore paid $1.1 million and walked away with hip 141, a gray, half brother to Horse of the Year California Chrome by Tapit on Monday.
* Later in the day, Godolphin outbid Coolmore on hip 91, a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who brought a final bid of $2.2 million. The chestnut is out of the Indian Charlie mare stakes winning and graded-placed Kindle.
* OXO Stables, who own rising superstar Instagrand, the talented Brill and Instilled Regard, bought hip 211, a colt by Curlin out of Grade: 1 winner Molly Morgan, for $1.8 million.
* Don Alberto, who owns recently retired Champion Unique Bella, purchased hip #203, a Tapit filly out of Grade: 3 winner Miss Macy Sue, for $1.4 million. Her sire speaks for himself but she is also a half sibling to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map and Graded Stakes winner Not This Time.
* A half sister to Nyquist, by War Front, brought a final bid of $1.75 million from Godolphin to become the session topper as day two of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
****Multiple Graded Stakes winner McCraken has been retired from racing and will stand at Airdrie Stud in 2019, it was announced Tuesday.
The son of Ghostzapper retires with overall earnings of $869,728 and a record of 6-1-3 from 14 lifetime starts.
“McCraken was one of the most naturally talented horses I’ve ever been around and his turn of foot was second to none,” said trainer Ian Wilkes. “He took the (owners) Whitham family and our stable on a great ride and I look forward to training Grade I winners by him in the future.”