Quite varied racing today—much less predictable than last weekend, that’s for sure. The torrential rain at Colonial Downs quickly produced a yielding turf for Sailor’s Cap as he ran away with the G3 Colonial Turf Cup. I had Nistle’s Crunch pegged, so when he finished second here it verified the G3 American Turf Cup form; that winner Tizdejavu won G2 Jefferson Cup last weekend. I suppose Court Vision didn’t totally embarrass himself, rallying to finish fourth—maybe a firmer turf would help him. Kentucky Bear—what can you say? Elvis Trujillo made an interesting choice to take an immediate lead, and he held it until the upper stretch…then faded to last. I’m not convinced that was the game-plan. Neither Sporting Art nor El Sultry Sun took to the wet going, and, while never wishing ill for a horse, I was rather pleased that Bill Mott couldn’t perform a miracle with Adriano (he was one of the 12 horses removed from Graham Motion’s care last week by owner Courtlandt Farms).
At Belmont, 3-5 Mauralakana won the G2 New York Stakes, but I applaud Hostess who was closing well late to get third, just a neck behind Dynaforce. Hostess is one of my favorite “underdogs.” The only time she has beaten Mauralakana was in the 12-furlong G3 Orchid Handicap at Gulfstream in March, so she needs longer than 10-furlongs to defeat her. Unfortunately, she won’t have to worry about her nemesis for much longer, as Mauralakana is destined for a Southern Hemisphere breeding season this fall Down Under. First, she is being aimed for the G1 Beverly D on Arlington Millions Day; dare we dream she sticks around for the BC Turf Distaff? Seriously, why take a 5-year-old mare out of training when she’s finally hitting her peak? It makes no sense to me. As for Hostess, I would love to see Jim Bond run her more at 12-furlongs—against males. She’s got the numbers and the grit.
Watching the Charles Town Invitational Dash, it was hard to believe that Joey P went off at 2-1, paying a sweet $6.40 for the win. Someone pounded Tony Dutrow’s Sir Silver Fox late, and the 4-5 favorite was nowhere to be found at the end. Maybe Tony’s little brother was bored sitting home with a virus?
X Rated Cat’s recent third-place finish at Charles Town was flattered when the winner So So and runner-up Tokin Essence came back to finish 1-2 in the West Virginia Sprint Derby, at 6-1 and 12-1 respectively. The 3-5 favorite Stonestreet Song last won the Daylight Sprint at Sunland for Steve Asmussen, but here he only “saved ground” (which means he finished next-to-last, a dozen lengths behind the winner).
Hidden away in the DRF are a couple of interesting tidbits. First, the hard-knocking (and well-traveled) mare Kettleoneup was retired after chipping ankle bone in Louisville Handicap (5/2) and is now in foal to Bernadini. She won the G2 Falls City Handicap with Calvin Borel up last November.
The second: Sedgefield is the latest colt called to stud duty. Not sure how much this G2-placed (Lane’s End) can garner, unless breeders are looking for turf or artificial surface animals. However, he is a full-brother to multi-G1 winner English Channel who is standing for $25,000 at Hurricane Hall, so how much would you pay for Sedgefield, who never won a graded stakes—$5,000?
Watching the final race at Monmouth on Saturday, Jose Lezcano took a horrific-looking spill against the rail in the far turn, as Dan Centeno crowded Lezcano’s mount Brainy Baxter hard; Defrerest of All went on to finish second, but a steward’s inquiry disqualified him to last place. Watching the replay on Twinspires’ video race library, the announcer says Lezcano was fine after getting a ride back in the ambulance, but take a look at it for yourself if you can—it had to hurt like hell! Hope Jose is feeling better soon!