This weekend’s Horse Racing feature race is Saturday’s 2012 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. The 56th running of the Grade: I, 1 1/16ths miles race for three year old fillies has brought together a field of just five, spearheaded by impressive Acorn Stakes winner Contested.
Before we look at that race however, I just wanted to point out the first major two year old stakes race of 2012, the Debutante Stakes for two year old fillies, at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The Debutante is wide open as eight of the 10 contestants broke their maidens in their last start. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who holds the record with seven Debutante winners, will send out Neith, who was a fourth place finisher in her only start.
Other contenders include Blueeyesintherein, Floral Sky, My Daughter’s Song, and Quiet Success, who are all coming off wins in their last races’ respectively.
Blueeyesintherein, who won by 3 3/4 lengths in her only start, has been listed as the 5/2 morning line favorite in a race I wouldn’t bet with your money.
Belmont Park – June 23, 2012
Race 10 – 5:47 PM
Mother Goose Stakes. (Grade I)
Purse $300,000. For Fillies Three Years Old
One And One Sixteenth Miles.
|1||1||Believe You Can||3/F||L||R Napravnik||121||J L Jones||
|2||2||Contested||3/F||L||J Castellano||121||B Baffert||
|3||3||Disposablepleasure||3/F||L||R A Dominguez||121||T A Pletcher||
|4||4||Wildcat’s Smile||3/F||L||J Lezcano||121||D G Galluscio||
|5||5||Zo Impressive||3/F||L||R Maragh||121||T Albertrani||
1) Contested: is a half length shy of being undefeated in her five race career. She was beaten a half length in her debut race back in September but has been thoroughly dominant since. (She won her last four in a row by a combined 22 lengths).
This daughter of the wickedly fast Ghostzapper is coming off a powerful five length win over this very racetrack in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes last month while running the mile distance in solid 1:34.2 and earned a strong 107 speed figures in the process.
On Saturday, this filly is being asked to run just one-sixteenth of a mile farther than she’s ever been before but I don’t see that being a problem as she is not a “need the lead in order to win” type filly as she demonstrated with a big 4 3/4 length win in the Eight Belles Stakes prior to the Acorn.
2) Can You Believe – appears to be the top choice’s main rival coming off huge wins in top company in her last two races, first in the Fair Grounds Oaks and then in the Kentucky Oaks.
This filly by Proud Citizen won at Belmont last fall in the Tempted Stakes, so she has “oh so important” race over the track.
3) Disposablepleasure- rallied from sixth (of nine) to get up for second in her most recent race, the Black Eyed Susan Stakes (earning a career best 104 speed figure) at Pimlico.
By 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, this filly did encounter traffic trouble down the stretch in that race and might have been able to pull off the upset with a cleaner tip as she was beaten less than two lengths for all the money in that one.
Zo Impressive has yet to run a bad race in four lifetime starts (4-2-2-0) and was clearly second best (albeit by five lengths) to Contested in the Acorn, earning a 99 figure in the process. I think she has an outside shot in this spot.
Record 8-28 = 29%
Little Bets N” Pieces:
**** Jockey John Velazquez will not require surgery on a broken right collarbone sustained in an accident at Churchill Downs last Saturday, according to by his wife, Leona Velazquez.
“After conferring with two different doctors inNew York, we’ve learned that Johnny will not have to undergo surgery on his broken collarbone,” Leona Velazquez said. “Physicians say his collarbone should heal in 4-6 weeks.”
“He will go back to the doctor in two weeks for X-rays so doctors can check the progress of his healing,” Leona Velazquez reported. “Assuming satisfactory progress, Johnny will begin physical therapy at that time”.
Velaquez, who won the 2012 Belmont Stakes aboard Union Rags two weeks ago, was injured when the horse he was riding, Mr. Producer, broke a left front cannon bone and fell, throwing Velazquez into the path of a following horse.
**** Horse of the World Frankel remained undefeated with a blow out win in the $542,500 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last week
The gorgeous colt by Galileo drew off in the stretch to win by 11 lengths.
“He settled and travelled, he’s amazing. That was his best performance, he ticked all the boxes and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.” Jockey Tom Queally said after the race.
Trainer Sir Henry Cecil said that this was Frankel’s best performance.
“I’m not surprised but relieved, no horse is a certainty. He’s a great horse, he did exactly what I thought he would but he’s still improving.” Cecil said.
“It looks like he’ll stay a mile and a quarter, he’s in the Eclipse, Sussex Stakes, and Juddmonte, we’ll feel our way and he’ll tell me what to do, but it’s very unlikely he’ll go for the Breeders’ Cup,” Cecil added….that’s too bad, I’d love to see this horse on American soil, that’s for sure.
**** 2011 2-year-old champion Hansen will target the $1 million Travers Stakes August 25 atSaratoga, with prep races scheduled in either the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows or Red Legend Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town and then the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort. But owner Dr. Kendall Hansen said the Iowa Derby is the more likely of the two races
“We will enter June 30 for both the Iowa Derby and Red Legend and see how each looks, but it’s 95% it will be Iowa and my sibs and I already have reservations” said Dr. Hansen.
The Travers is, of course, 1 ¼ miles and if you ask me? That’s beyond this horse’s distance scope.
**** 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom has resumed galloping at FairHill Training Center in Maryland as he attempts yet another comeback from injury.
“What happened to him was really just a blip on the radar, not a serious injury at all; the timing was just horrible,” said Barry Irwin, chief executive officer of the colt’s owner and breeder, Team Valor International. “We’re excited to get him back. We have a goal in mind for him at the end of the year, but we don’t want to say what it is just yet.”
The good looking chestnut missed 60 days of training to recover from a hairline fracture of the ilium, a part of the pelvis.
While on the subject of Team Valor horses, Went the Day Well, who was a disappointing 10th in the Preakness Stakes, is also being cranked up again after a little time off.
“He just didn’t bring his game,” Irwin said of his Preakness performance. “It’s certainly not like him to throw in the towel—look what he did in the Derby when he faced all kinds of trouble—so he must have just been knocked out more from that race than anyone could have known.
“We’ve given him some time to recover and will get him ready now forSaratoga.”
Went the Day Well’s first step is likely the Jim Dandy Stakes July 28, with the long term goal being the Travers Stakes August 25.