Eclipse Kicks Off Saratoga & Del Mar Summer Action This Weekend; Super Sky Seeks Stakes Win At MonmouthPosted on July 18, 2014
This is an exciting time in the horse racing world as the much anticipated race meets at Del Mar in California and Saratoga in New York have begun. While the baby blue and black silks of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners will be represented at both tracks this weekend, the action will begin Saturday, July 19, at Monmouth Park in New Jersey when Super Sky runs in the $60,000 The Desert Vixen Stakes.
Super Sky, a three-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa, strives to attain black-type status thus enhancing her value as a broodmare prospect when she competes against ten others in the eleventh race on the Jersey Shore. We would love to see Super Sky duplicate her winning performance over the Monmouth turf back in May. She covered one mile and one-sixteenth that day and the distance is the same Saturday. Super Sky, trained by future Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, is coming out of the $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont Park where she was beaten only 2 ¼ lengths. She will be ridden by Abel Castellano at 5:59 ET.
Sandler, a two-year-old New York-bred son of Into Mischief, will make his racing debut in the first race at Saratoga on Sunday at 1:00 ET. Sandler will cover five and one-half furlongs against seven others – all but two making their initial starts. He will be ridden by John Velazquez, perennially in the thick of the leading jockeys list at Saratoga. Todd Pletcher, the reigning leading trainer, has prepared this colt for this spot. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners has several two-year-olds who will make their racing debuts at Saratoga and we look forward to having Sandler get us off on the right foot.
On Sunday, Press Baron (GB), a five-year gelded son of King’s Best, will attempt to have history repeat itself “Where the Turf Meets the Surf”. A winner over the Del Mar grass course in 2012, Press Baron returns from the east coast with his sights set on a “Ship & Win” bonus when he competes in an Allowance/Optional Claimer covering one mile and one-sixteenth over the turf. He will be chasing a purse in excess of $102,000. Press Baron won two in a row in Florida in March and April. Now trained by Paddy Gallagher, he will be ridden by the hotshot apprentice Drayden Van Dyke in the seventh race at 5:00 PT.
Eclipse Sends Out 3 Major Runners At Belmont Saturday; Part Of Greatest Race Card Ever AssembledPosted on June 5, 2014
Matterhorn, a recent purchase by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, will represent the baby blue and black silks in the 140th running of the $2,000,000 The Belmont Stakes – G1 on Saturday, June 7 , at “the Big Sandy”. Matterhorn will , of course, face the winner of the Kentucky Derby – G1 and Preakness S. – G1, California Chrome, as that colt attempts to be the twelfth Triple Crown winner. Matterhorn is a three-year-old colt by Tapit and is trained by Todd Pletcher. He won first time out in November defeating Tonalist, the third choice in Saturday’s race by four lengths. In his last start, his stakes debut, Matterhorn finished fourth in the $200,000 Peter Pan S. – G2 at Belmont Park. He trains and acts like a colt that will run all day long and his trainer and we believe Matterhorn will thrive over the mile and one-half distance of the Belmont. Joe Bravo will ride. This stakes will run as the 11th race and post time is 6:52 EST. Coverage begins on NBC at 4:30 EST.
Capo Bastone runs Saturday in The Metropolitan – G1. This is a handicap stakes with a $1,250,000 purse. Capo Bastone was the winner of the King’s Bishop – G1 at Saratoga last August. He came from the back in a thrilling stretch run to win that seven furlong stakes indicating he’ll have no problem with the one turn mile. Along with his victory in the King’s Bishop, Capo Bastone finished second in the Derby Trial – G3 and third in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – G1 and the FrontRunner – G1. This son of Street Boss has had twelve starts in his career and competed in ten graded stakes races.
Capo Bastone, trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who later in the day will ride California Chrome as he tries to complete the Triple Crown.
The Metropolitan Handicap will run as the ninth race at 4:48 EST.
The day For ETP will actually begin with No Surrender running in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes. This will be the second race on Belmont Day at 12:07 EST going a distance of one mile and one-sixteenth. This three-year-old son of Into Mischief was purchased by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners soon after he broke his maiden at Hawthorne Park in Chicago in late March. He came right back jumping up in class in a strong Allowance race at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. No Surrender showed great courage battling with another colt from the start to the wire while pinned down on the inside winning by a half-length. Jockey Joe Bravo will again be the rider Saturday. While this is another jump up in class, this colt showed the ability, class and courage at Churchill needed to take on this stakes opportunity. There is no surrender in No Surrender.
Eclipse President Aron Wellman Q & A for American Turf MonthlyPosted on May 17, 2014
Eclipse President Aron Wellman Q & A for American Turf Monthly:
Conditions right for Amira’s Prince in Man o’ War StakesPosted on May 10, 2014
The Man o’ War, run at 1 3/8 miles over the inner turf course, anchors a 10-race card that includes the Grade 2 Ruffian Stakes, the Grade 3 Westchester Stakes, and the listed License Fee Stakes. It will be the focus of the 90-minute Jockey Club Tour telecast on Fox Sports 1 that begins at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
Seven horses are entered in the Man o’ War, including the Newmarket-based Grandeur and the French-bred Lucayan, the last two winners of the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup, and Real Solution, who was elevated to first by the stewards in last summer’s Grade 1 Arlington Million.
Amira’s Prince, a 5-year-old Irish-bred son of Teofilo, won his first four starts in the United States for trainer Bill Mott, including both starts he made at 1 3/8 miles. Arguably his best race came in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Handicap in 2013, a race he won by 3 3/4 lengths at 1 3/8 miles over “good” ground at Gulfstream.
In two starts this year, Amira’s Prince finished third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and second, beaten a neck, in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds, both at 1 1/8 miles.
“His first race back was a Grade 1, and he ran creditable, and then he ran very well in New Orleans,” Mott said. “He’s proven at the distance, and I don’t think it’ll hurt him [that] there’ll be a little cut in the ground.”
Midweek rain forced races off the turf Thursday and only permitted two of five scheduled grass races to be run Friday. More rain was possible Saturday.
Amira’s Prince, owned by a partnership that includes Wachtel Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbreds, will be ridden by John Velazquez, who is 3 for 4 on the horse.
Grandeur, based at Newmarket with trainer Jeremy Noseda, is making his fifth start in the United States and his 21st career start. In 2012, he won the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita and the Hollywood Turf Cup and finished second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. Last year, he finished seventh in the Arlington Million over very firm ground.
Grandeur shipped in off a head victory in a stakes over the all-weather surface at Lingfield. He has been here a week and galloped Thursday over the Belmont turf.
“If we bring our ‘A’ game, we’ve got a chance,” said Wayne Tanner, assistant to Noseda.
Asked about the potential for soft ground, Tanner said, “We’ll probably handle it better than the Americans. He’s trained good, so I think we’re in good shape.”
Julien Leparoux rides Grandeur from the rail.
Real Solution handled yielding Belmont turf last spring when third to Point of Entry in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap. He did not, however, handle the soft ground in New Orleans when fourth in the Muniz, his first start of the year.
“The race down in New Orleans was yielding and very deep, a different turf course altogether than he’d ever been on,” said trainer Chad Brown. “Rosie [Napravnik] felt a quarter-mile into the race she had nothing under her. The horse wasn’t trying at all, so she didn’t abuse him, just got him around there. We’ll draw a line through it and try something else. He’s trained very well since, had a terrific breeze this past week at Belmont.”
Javier Castellano rides Real Solution from post 6.
Trainer Shug McGaughey and the Phipps Stable have won the last two runnings of this race with Boisterous (2013) and Point of Entry (2012). On Sunday, they team to send out Imagining, who was second in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, three-quarters of a length ahead of Amira’s Prince. Last November, he won the Grade 3 Red Smith going 1 3/8 miles.
Lucayan ships in for Neil Drysdale, but the turf might be softer than he prefers. Frac Daddy, trained by Ken McPeek, won the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes over Keeneland’s Polytrack last out. Vertiformer, trained by Christophe Clement, completes the field.