• Feathered takes on tigers in Frizette

    Posted on October 3, 2014

    By David Grening

    ELMONT, N.Y. – Feathered was an odds-on favorite in her first two starts, winning a maiden race by 9 3/4 lengths at 4-5 after getting beat a head in her debut at 3-5.

    Her backers figure to get a bigger price on Feathered in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette Stakes, where she will take on graded stakes winners Cavorting and Condo Commando. Seven 2-year-old fillies were entered for the Frizette, a one-turn, one-mile race that awards the winner a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

    “She ran well both times, seemed to improve a bit in her second start,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “She’s bred to go longer. We’re optimistic she’ll handle the added distance.”

    Cavorting won her debut here by 11 lengths in July before coming from off the pace to win the Grade 2 Adirondack on Aug. 10.

    Condo Commando has won both of her starts by double-digit lengths, including the Grade 1 Spinaway by 13 1/4 lengths. Her victory in the Spinaway came over a sloppy track, and rain is in the forecast for Saturday.

    Others entered in the Spinaway are By the Moon, Cayman Croc, Ring Knocker, and Wonder Gal.

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  • Feathered Runs Like the Wind To Score Impressively At The Spa

    Posted on September 3, 2014

    Courtesy TDN


    Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Feathered (f, 2, Indian Charlie–Receipt, by Dynaformer) turned Sunday’s seventh race maiden into a one-horse show, streaking home to score by 9 3/4 lengths as the prohibitive 4-5 chalk. The May foal was sent off the 3-4 favorite for her Aug. 3 debut over six furlongs of this main track and took the lead in the three path late, but was tagged on the wire by a resurgent Winter Dawn (Sky Mesa) from between runners and settled for a runner-up effort. Drawn eight for this second go, Feathered broke sharply and established an easy lead, setting route-like fractions of :24.12 for the quarter and a dawdling :48.35 to the half. Still comfortably in front turning for home, the bay had plenty in the tank and finished full of run, covering the seven furlongs while dodging raindrops in a moderate 1:24.42. First-time starter Etiquette (Tapit) sat a perfect trip behind the winner, but couldn’t quicken with her more-experienced rival and came home second. Fair Point (Smart Strike) rallied for third. Produced by a stakes-placed daughter of dual Grade I winner Finder’s Fee (Storm Cat), Feathered breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 flat and was purchased for $300,000 out of this year’s OBS March Sale. Lifetime Record: 2-1-1-0, $66,400. O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. B-Teresa Viola Racing Stable (KY). T-Todd A Pletcher.

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  • Desert Steel seeks to build on Polytrack performance in stakes debut

    Posted on August 26, 2014

    DEL MAR, Calif. – Desert Steel trained so well coming into her debut in May that she was favored. She lost. She was favored in her second start. She lost again.

    But those races were on dirt at Santa Anita. When she got to Del Mar, Desert Steel got on Polytrack. And she finally ran to her notices.

    Desert Steel cruised to a 5 1/4-length victory against maidens on July 27, and will try to parlay that victory into a stakes win on Wednesday in the $150,000 Generous Portion for California-bred 2-year-old fillies.

    Her trainer, Simon Callaghan, said he “suspects it’s the surface” that accounted for Desert Steel’s improvement.

    “She’s bred for turf,” he said of the daughter of Desert Code and a Cozzene mare. “I could definitely see turf in her future. She gets over this track much better.”

    Callaghan initially was reluctant to step out of statebred ranks and entertain running in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante this Saturday, owing to his respect for Luminance and Tara’s Tango. But even though those fillies have now dropped from the prospective Debutante lineup, Callaghan said the decision was made to stick with the original plan.

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    “It made us consider the other race more,” Callaghan said. “But we figured we’d stay with this plan.”

    The Generous Portion, at six furlongs, is the eighth race on a nine-race card. Ten are entered, including My Fiona and Lost Bus, who ran one-two in the CTBA Stakes July 18.


    Desert Steel (Last 3 Beyers: 73-43-40)

    ◗ She displayed keen early speed to flee the rail in her maiden win, and benefits this time by being drawn in post 4.

    ◗ The Beyer Speed Figure she earned last out equals the best among anyone in the field. The strength of that race was validated when runner-up Princess Bertrando – one of the Generous Portion entrants – came back to win.

    DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 Desert Steel. Trainer Simon Callaghan is 1 for 9 with a $0.48 ROI over the past five years in sprints following a maiden victory. Click for more details. – Mike Hogan

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    My Fiona (Last 3 Beyers: 73-56-57)

    ◗ As with Desert Steel, she ran the best race of her career when moving to Polytrack when scoring a mild upset in the CTBA the first week of the meet.

    ◗ Her trainer, Walther Solis, believes she will do even better with more distance. After winning going 5 1/2 furlongs last time, she gets an extra 110 yards for this race.

    DRF FORMULATOR FACT:No. 10 My Fiona. Trainer Walther Solis is winless in 27 starts over the past five years with 2-year-olds that won their previous start. Click for more details.– Mike Hogan

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    Lost Bus (Last 2 Beyers: 72-68)

    ◗ She was upset by My Fiona as the odds-on favorite in the CTBA but ran well in her own right, losing by a neck while finishing nearly nine lengths clear of the rest of the field.

    ◗ If you’re at the track Wednesday, head down to the paddock and take a look at her. She’ll tower over her rivals. That’s one reason trainer Blake Heap has spaced her races. He wants to give her plenty of time between starts and let her grow into her frame.

    DRF FORMULATOR FACT:No. 2 Princess Bertrando. Trainer Jeff Bonde and jockey Edwin Maldonado are 6 for 14 with a $3.62 ROI over the past two years with 2-year-olds in synthetic sprints on the Southern California circuit. Click for more details. – Mike Hogan

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  • Craftsman’s new style could benefit him in Better Talk Now Stakes

    Posted on August 18, 2014

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Of course Graham Motion was going to run a horse in Wednesday’s $100,000 Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga. But Craftsman isn’t just a token entry; he is among the bevy of contenders in a fairly wide-open running of this one-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds.

    Motion trained Better Talk Now through a marvelous career that included nine graded stakes victories from 14 wins and earnings of $4.3 million. That included a victory in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer, a race Motion won again Sunday with Main Sequence.

    Craftsman will not be confused with either Better Talk Now or Main Sequence, but he was a Group 3 winner in Ireland last year and is coming off a victory in the Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park in his first start for Motion. Craftsman showed a different dimension that day under Alex Cintron, coming from off the pace. That style might suit him well again Wednesday in a race with plenty of speed.

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    “He ran a big race last time, obviously against lesser horses than this,” Motion said. “I give Alex a lot of the credit. Alex changed up the way he rode him that day. He worked him a couple of times, and he said, ‘I’m going to take him back,’ and really, it made a big difference.”

    Cintron, the second-leading rider at Delaware Park this meet, will make his Saratoga debut Wednesday.

    Storming Inti, trained by Chad Brown, is the horse to beat. He reeled off four consecutive victories from last September through January, including three stakes similar to this. He has lost his last five starts but against superior competition than what he faces here. Most recently, Storming Inti was third behind Tourist in the Sir Cat Stakes here on opening day, a race, like this one, run at a mile and restricted to 3-year-olds. Tourist finished second in Saturday’s Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington.

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