Jan 14, 2005
AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD
By: JOE GIRARDI
We will take a look at some of the races run at Aqueduct, Gulfstream
and Santa Anita over the weekend of January 8th and 9th. There were
a few interesting stakes races along with some allowance races that may
have a big impact on the Triple Crown trail.
On January 8th at Aqueduct they were supposed to run the Count Fleet
Stakes but they had to cancel due to the track conditions. That race
was rescheduled and will be the start of Triple Crown prep races in
New York. On Sunday the 9th, there was no stakes race but we did
see an entry level allowance race that saw an interesting prospect.
DIAMOND WILDCAT made it two in a row and stretched out nicely
to score going wire to wire. The time of 1:38:3 was reasonable and we
may see this colt in other New York preps. Runner-up BYANOSEJOE
is also an interesting prospect and should be followed this winter.
At Gulfstream on January 8th, we saw three stakes races along with an
allowance race that was won by a top prospect. In the allowance race,
DEARLY BRED made it two in a row, getting up to score by a half
length in a solid time of 1:22:4. 3YO colt by MARIA’S MON is
on the improve for trainer Rick Violette Jr. (trained READ THE FOOTNOTES)
who knows how to get them ready.
In the Aventura Stakes, a race for three year olds going a mile out
of the new chute at Gulfstream we saw a very solid prospect.
HIGH FLY, ran his record to 3 for 3 but his explosion in the
final 1/8th of a mile was visually impressive and this ATTICUS colt
is one to watch as the preps get longer. The following race was the
MR. PROSPECTOR H., a Grade III for three year old and upward
sprinters going six furlongs. The slight favorite was
SHAKE YOU DOWN who contested the pace but tired in the drive.
The race went to SARATOGA COUNTY who trailed the field early
before exploding on the turn, scoring by two and a half lengths.
This four year old is obviously on the improve and that race makes
him the one to watch on the sprint scene for right now.
The last race of the day was the Grade III Hal’s Hope stakes. This
race went to the 2-1 favorite BADGE OF SILVER. Trained by
Bobby Frankel, BADGE OF SILVER was coming off a second
place finish in the Cigar Mile and dug in gamely to score by a
neck. Stalking a quick pace of the undefeated COMMENTATOR
and 143-1 SMOOTH LOVER, he took over into the stretch and
held off the late closing DYNEVER. BADGE OF SILVER is
probably better suited to one turn races but at this point he can
take advantage of a weak handicap division this winter.
At Santa Anita on January 8th, they ran two Graded stakes
races. In the Grade III San Gorgonio Handicap, which was
run over the main track instead of the turf because of
the huge amounts of rain went to FENCELINENEIGHBOR. With
only five horses left this wasn’t a strong field, especially on the
very sloppy track. In the Grade II San Pasqual which was
run a few races later went to CONGRATS, who stalked the pace
and took over and scored easily. The even money favorite
TOTAL IMPACT ran on for second but did have some trouble handling the track.
On the following day, Santa Anita also cancelled their races
after running one race because of the track condition due to
the rain. The weather is supposed to clear up in Southern California
as we head into the start of the handicap and Triple Crown prep races.
We have seen a few interesting prospects, especially in the three
year olds which will help us get through the winter. Hey, the
Kentucky Derby is less than five months away.
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