BYRAMA OVERCOMES WORLD OF TROUBLE TO BE 3RD IN BLUE NORTHER STAKES
EUROPEAN IMPORT STAMPS HERSELF A BONA FIDE GRADED CALIBER TURF FILLY
EFFORT CAPS OFF TERRIFIC INITIAL SEASON FOR ECLIPSE FROM LIMITED CHANCES
STABLE COLLECTS A WIN AND 4 MAJOR STAKES PLACINGS FROM JUST 6 STARTS
Aside from being less than 100% fit going into the Blue Norther, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Byrama in the race. To say that the experience provided her with a meaningful education would be a vast understatement. While she was pure class in the pre-race festivities, Byrama acted a fool in the gate and actually attempted to lay down inside the stall. Corey Nakatani had to dismount in order to allow the assistant starters to pick the filly back up on all fours.
When the starter sprang the latch, Byrama went backwards, losing at least 2-3 lengths, then bobbled 2 steps out of the gate. Although the leaders were scorching up front, Byrama was at least 15 lengths last by the time the field hit the first turn. Nakatani did the right thing by reeling her in and not rushing her to gain touch with the field. The leader carved out a half-mile in a brisk :45 and then 6 furlongs in a suicidal 1:09 3/5. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, Byrama ranged into contention with the pack at the quarter-pole and Nakatani opted to save ground by cutting the corner and attempting to weave his way through the field. Byrama was flying.
At the eighth pole, while the eventual winner, who was 3-4 lengths in front of Byrama for the entire race, got an absolute dream trip through the pack, Byrama was exploding, but got stopped to a halt when the tiring frontrunners backed up right in her face. Nakatani had to stop her on a dime, which cost her all of her momentum. Lady Of Shamrock was home free. But, Byrama wasn’t fazed by the roadblock and reaccelerated at the sixteenth-pole and rocketed home in eye-popping fashion to gain a clear third, nearly getting up for second while coming up just a neck shy.
“She’s something else,” Nakatani said. “If we had gotten through, we win for sure. There’s no doubt I was on the best filly. I can’t wait for an opportunity to turn the tables on the winner. Byrama has a bright future.” To see an interview with Nakatani after the race, click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wff7pBGtmE&feature=player_embedded
While frustrating for the Eclipse faithful to know that Byrama may have won with a little better luck, there is no doubt that she is a bona-fide Graded caliber filly. She also proved that distance is no question. She will run all day.
“She’s run a cracker (a great race),” Simon Callaghan sighed. “For her to do what she did was simply amazing. She was blowing very hard after the race for about 40 minutes, which tells me she was maybe even less fit going into the race than we projected. She should improve loads from this run. She showed us from Day 1 that she was immensely talented and it’s gratifying to see her go out and prove it with such obstacles in her way. It’s a shame she wasn’t rewarded better, but hopefully she’ll have a chance to fry bigger fish in her career. This only adds to the excitement she’d already created around the barn.”
Byrama was the first horse to be offered by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners last August. Shares were sold on a 100% valuation of $137,500. The speculation at the time was that Byrama would develop into a top 3 year-old turf filly and now that she has proven what she can do against top competition on the stateside greensward, races such as the $250,000 American Oaks, $300,000 Del Mark Oaks and the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II are realistic 2012 campaign goals.
The third-place effort by Byrama capped off a tremendous initial season for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which was launched in August and only saw its’ colors carried to post for the first time on October 13th. With 4 runners combining for 6 starts, Eclipse tallied a win and 4 Stakes placings, including a third-place finish in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The Eclipse stable saw its’ horses compete for major prizes in Kentucky, California and Toronto. The stable will be active in Florida and California through the winter before branching out into major racing jurisdictions throughout the country for the remainder of the season.