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Aug 10, 2007

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


            It has been a long time at least since I can remember that I saw a two year old that really got me excited about his/her future. On Wednesday August 8th, 2007 at Saratoga I saw that two year old. The horse’s name was MAIMONIDES and he has what most say in the game a very bright future.

            All of his workouts except for one workout at Saratoga four days prior all came on the West Coast. He started back in May at Santa Anita firing a few bullets, moved on to Hollywood Park for a bullet gate drill and then to Del Mar where he showed a 1:11:2 gate workout over the Polytrack. He was then shipped to Saratoga and worked 35:2 breezing at Saratoga just to get a feel for the track. Purchased last year at the Keeneland September sale for $4.6 million dollars by the Zayat Stables, this two year old has the pedigree to be a good one. By the sire VINDICATION who never lost on the racetrack before he was retired out of the dam SILVERY SWAN who has previously dropped EL CORREDOR, successful racehorse and sire himself and Haskell winner ROMAN RULER. However, you still have to run to your pedigree and he did just that, after breaking well from the gate and going right to the lead, he set a solid pace with not much pressure and drew away into the lane without ever being asked for his best scoring by more than 11 lengths in a final time of 1:04:2. A big fine looking colt may have had some thinking about the Kentucky Derby for next year; but I was thinking about his next start. I want to see how great this horse can be—can he be racing’s next start? Let’s hope so because we all know that racing could use it.

            Interestingly enough his owner, Zayat Stables who was the topic of discussion in last week’s lead for taking a stand and moving his horses from Del Mar to Saratoga because of the inconsistency of the Polytrack also won the other two year old race on August 8th’s card. Four races later in race six, Zayat’s Z HUMOR scored by more than five lengths in a time of 1:05:2, a second slower than that of MAIMONIDES. However, this was not the story from this race as we may have seen another potential star in READY’S ECHO. This two year old by MORE THAN READY out of a KINGMAMBO mare was sent off at 9-2 for his career debut. After breaking slow from the gate he was very sluggish early on racing well behind the last horse according to the chart more than 25 lengths behind the leaders as they headed into the turn in this 5 ½ furlong event. As the field approached the top of the stretch Z HUMOR had taken over the lead and was drawing away from the leader while READY’S ECHO was still way back at least 20 lengths behind the leader. The entire field was in the stretch and READY’S ECHO was still so far back that he was still on the turn, however something changed in the stretch as READY’S ECHO decided to run. With not much urging from his jockey, John Velazquez this two year old really kicked in rolling by everyone and somehow miraculously got up for second place money, galloping out past the winner just a few yards after the wire. I spoke to a few friends who have been in the racing game for a while and they said in all their years of racing they have never seen a horse make up that type of ground from where he had to come from in a 5 and ½ furlong race no less.

            In one day at the Spa we have seen two potential superstars that one day may race against each other. You can always count on seeing a top two year old or two or three debut at the Spa but in recent years it just doesn’t seem to be the same. Looks like we had two yesterday and let’s hope they can live up to their potential and become stars of the game.



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