With all the craziness of work, I missed this mention in the Daily Racing Form that Rags to Riches’ half-brother Casino Drive is now in quarantine in Japan, and expects to arrive in New York in early May in anticipation of the May 10 Peter Pan Stakes—with the June 7 Belmont Stakes as his major goal. Doesn't he look a lot like Rags?
He toyed with a full-field of contenders in his 8.5 furlong dirt maiden race in Kyoto on February 23, leading nearly from the break before pulling away for 11-1/2 length victory—under a handride. If you haven’t viewed it yet, here’s the video (the call is in Japanese); he is #8:
Keeneland’s third race today—a 4.5 furlong $50K maiden event for two-year-olds—was won with ease by Merkel, a $150K Steve Asmussen-trained colt by Forest Wildcat. Okay, so money can buy winners…I accept that. Then again, Todd Pletcher-trained Kickapoo (a $75K son of Indian Charlie) finished well back in sixth. I was most impressed by Cowboy At Heart who is by freshman sire Ocean Terrace, a son of Saint Ballado who stands at Mighty Acres in Oklahoma for $2,000. The colt had an impressive series of workouts leading to this start, and considering he broke slowly from the gate, and closed nicely to get second, Cowboy At Heart (trained by Bobby Barnett) looks to be a good little one—a $7K purchase, he earned $10K today. I'm putting him on my watch list for his next race.
Selections for Saturday's big races forthcoming...