Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Talented 3-year-olds look to end season on high note in G3 Discovery

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Contact: Sean Morris


Talented 3-year-olds look to end season on high note in G3 Discovery


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A field of promising 3-year-old colts has assembled for the Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack, headed by the exciting Godolphin prospect Bay of Plenty, the Tom Albertrani-trained Three Alarm Fire, and Grade 2 Jerome winner Noble Moon.


The 1 1/8-mile Discovery, the last graded stakes for straight 3-year-olds on the NYRA schedule, will be part of a 9-race card at Aqueduct on Breeders' Cup Saturday.


Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the 8-5 morning-line favorite Bay of Plenty has won his last three races by a combined 19 ¼ lengths. The Medaglia d'Oro colt burst onto the 3-year-old landscape last spring, when he broke his maiden by 7 ¼ lengths going 1 1/16 miles on the inner track at Aqueduct. A month and a half later, he delivered a rousing encore in a first-level allowance race at Belmont Park, but was forced to hit the sidelines after the race. Bay of Plenty returned on October 8 at Belmont, and picked up right where he left off. The dark bay or brown colt shot to the front and took the field gate to wire, earning a 96 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.


"He won very nicely in his first race off a four-month layoff," said Artie Magnuson, assistant to McLaughlin. "We're running him back in three weeks, but he's doing so well. We're excited about it."


Bay of Plenty has been in front at every point of call during his three-race win streak, but that may not be the case on Saturday.


"In his first couple starts, he was a little flat-footed away from the gate," said Magnuson. "In his last three [races], he's been forward, but he's not really speedy. He's been breaking better, and just happens to be on the lead; he doesn't have to be there. He's pretty tractable."


Bay of Plenty drew post 4 and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.


Three Alarm Fire, 2-1 on the morning line, may lack the seasoning of others, but has displayed immense talent in his burgeoning career for West Point Thoroughbreds and Michael Basone. The son of Pyro debuted on July 11 at Belmont, and has shown marked improvement in each start. After breaking his maiden in his second start over next-out winner Liam's Map, the chestnut gelding exploded in his latest outing, taking  a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer by 3 ½ lengths and earned a Beyer of 103.


With only three races under his belt, Three Alarm Fire has yet to go two turns in his young career.


"He's a nice horse. The biggest question is two turns," said Albertrani. "I think he'll handle it fine if he can relax a little. He was up on the muscle going shorter in his last race, but he acts like he can settle. He's training really well coming into the race."


Manny Franco has the mount on Three Alarm Fire, and the pair will depart from post 3.


The Leah Gyarmati-trained Noble Moon appeared destined to make an impact on the 3-year-old landscape in 2014 after taking the Grade 2 Jerome on January 4 at Aqueduct, but has had trouble staying on the racetrack. The Malibu Moon colt appears headed in the right direction following a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 20 at Parx, in which he dead-heated with Derby-Preakness winner California Chrome. His Pennsylvania Derby run was his second race since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. In between the two starts, he finished fourth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop on August 23 at Saratoga Race Course.


Noble Moon, 5-1 on the morning line, will be ridden by Angel Arroyo from the rail.


The field is completed by Away Game, who contested the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby in his latest start; Just Call Kenny, third in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on October 4; Our Caravan, who has been off since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan on May 10 at Belmont; and Protonico, winner of the Grade 3 Smarty Jones two starts ago on September 1 at Parx.




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