Okay, so I don’t want this to necessarily become a regular feature, but until I get bored of it I’ll keep at it—that’s the beauty of juveniles: full of promise, the stuff of dreams...until the running starts, that is. Besides, who knows where the superstars of tomorrow will first turn up?
On Monday, at Delaware in race 3, Todd Pletcher ships in Surmount whose precocious dam Ms Louisett finished third in the G1 Oak Leaf Stakes at age 2. Solid but not spectacular works, but her sire Speightstown is high % winner with first-time starters, especially sprinting like this 5 furlong maiden special weight event. Trainer Bret Calhoun (who’s about as successful as Wesley Ward with 2-year-olds) sends out North Freeway, by Jump Start; her dam Shawnee Country won the G3 Tempted and placed third in the G2 Demoiselle as a juvenile. Coax Liberty has posted three consecutive bullet workouts (two from the gate) in anticipation of this first start; her sire Successful Appeal is extremely successful with first-timers, her dam Chelsie’s House was stakes-placed (Anna M. Fisher Debutante) at 2, and her second dam Coax Chelsie was runner-up in the G2 Schuylerville as a juvenile. The Orientate filly Table Talking has some nice (albeit short) works from the gate; her dam Dixie Talking won the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship going 8.5 furlongs. Cindy Jones saddles Summer Soiree who finished well-back in fifth in the Polly Drummond Stakes first up; the winner of that race, Final Mesa came back to crush the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine this past weekend, and the third-place finisher Mis Vizcaya ran away with an allowance race at Delaware on Saturday. Great form line.
Race 6 at Philadelphia—a 4-1/2 furlong maiden special weight for fillies—features A.P. Song who narrowly missed winning at Monmouth first up, albeit vs. claimers. Also back from that race is Ratoath Special who may do better with Lasix added; her dam Shocking Dunn won the 3-furlong juvenile Mockingbird Stakes at Gulfstream back in the day. Mark Shuman-trained Ever Adored is extremely well-bred, by Forest Wildcat out of a Seattle Slew mare that has already produced five winners and was herself a G3 runner-up (Prix de Minerve) on grass in France going 12 furlongs. Lots of turfsters in her family, including recent G3 Hill Prince victor Krypton; having worked over the Tapeta at Fair Hill, I’m thinking she might like Presque Isle’s surface better—but we’ll see. I’m not a huge fan of E Dubai, but his daughter Nashi does have one big positive going for her—her second dam Morris Code was a nice 2-year-old, finishing second in both the G2 Alcibiades and G2 Golden Rod.
An entire field of first-time starters in race 5 at Prairie Meadows for Iowa-bred 2-year-olds—which is WAY out of my area, but let’s give it a shot. Another E Dubai offspring, Father Wayne has posted a string of sharp works from the gate, and his dam has already produced four winners, including two by E Dubai. His trainer Kelly Von Hemel also sends out Thunderdo whose dam Fantango Lady won 22 of 55 starts in the mid-West, most stakes and handicaps, including the Canterbury Oaks—and her maiden effort at 2. Why Be Blue only has two modest workouts, so I doubt he’ll fire first up; however, his dam has already produced two decent winners, and his second dam Solar Halo won the 1984 G2 Firenze Handicap (now Personal Ensign) at Saratoga—and finished third behind the great Lady’s Secret in the then-G2 Ballerina. Interesting that high-percentage jockey Tanner Riggs comes in to ride Caylor J whose works are modest at best, his Street Cry dam is unraced, and I can’t even find a thing about her family in Pedigree Query. Puzzling, to be sure. Since he’s paired in the betting with another, it will be hard to tell at post-time which one the money is coming for, as Coley Joe is better bred—his half-brother Awesome Rhythm won three races at Woodbine last year, including the G3 Marine Stakes, and he finished second to Palladio in the G2 Autumn Stakes.
At Delaware, Surmount, Coax Liberty and North Freeway fleshed out the $2 trifecta that paid $178.80.
Hope someone caught the first-time Lasix angle with Ratoath Special—she went off at nearly 12-1, and paid a sweet $25.40 win! Nashi scratched. Ever Adored trailed the entire way, finishing last—TAPETA, just saying! Ship her to Presque Isle.
At Prairie Meadows, the quinella of Father Wayne ($3.60 win) and Why Be Blue ($7.80 place) paid $20.40, just a few bucks less than the $2 exacta ($24.60). Thunderdo and Coley Joe were both fractious in the gate and began greenly, finishing near the back—maybe next time.