Friday, November 28, 2014

Barn Notes: Friday, November 28


                        Contact: Michael Adolphson

Mobile: (202) 716-7046

Press Box: (504) 948-1255


Barn Notes:  Friday, November 28, 2014                                                                                       

·        Delaunay Exits Thanksgiving Romp in Fine Order

·        Fantasize Fantastic in Maiden Win

·        Bourbon Cowboy Sharp in Mornings, Sugar Bowl Possible





Maggi Moss’ Delaunay came out of his $60,000 Thanksgiving Handicap tour-de-force in top order, according to trainer Tom Amoss.  The son of Smoke Glacken was making his first start since Aug. 2, but the layoff showed no effect and the big bay demolished a field that included three other graded stakes winners by seven easy lengths under meet-leading jockey James Graham.  The race earned the 7-year-old a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 111 and was his fifth win in six Fair Grounds starts. 


“He looks good and he feels good,” Amoss reported.  “I knew he ran a good race, but I don’t believe in the numbers.  I just felt a lot of pride in my horse and knew he ran one of his better races.”


The win was the 17th of the Maryland-bred gelding’s career and 10th in the 17 races he has been under Moss’ ownership and Amoss’ tutelage.  During said period, Delaunay had won seven of his first eight starts, but had only managed a victory in three of the following nine – including yesterday.


“The one thing you have to say in fairness is that he hasn’t been as consistent as before,” Amoss continued.  “So, before we start praising him as finding the fountain of youth, we’ll let him come out of the race.”


Next up for the oft-rested charge may be the $60,000 Douglas F. Kenner Stakes at the same course and six-furlong distance of the Thanksgiving on Feb. 21.  “The stakes schedule has changed down here,” Amoss said.  “It’s not the same as it has been in the past for sprinters, but we’ll rest him and decide from there.  He likes his races spread out.”




Trainer Mike Stidham, who knows his way around a quality turf 2-year-old – having developed the likes of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf third-place finisher Willcox Inn and recently the talented Grade I-placed Her Emmynency – unleashed another on Thursday afternoon in the eighth race.  Fantasize, whom Stidham co-owns with Feel The Thunder Stable and Old Sangreal Racing, was a fantastic winner over 12 other juveniles in a one-mile grass maiden, showing a stellar acceleration in the lane to seize control under James Graham and hold off the well-intended Promise Me Freedom. 


“We bought him as a yearling and we had had some luck with Artie Schiller with Dorsett and (Hammers Terror) before with (owner) Terry Hamilton,” Stidham explained.  “We saw this yearling at the sale and liked him quite a bit. He’s a little bit of a late developer, as far as 2-year-olds go, but he showed a great acceleration yesterday.”


A light and leggy colt, Fantasize carries a prototypical turf build that favors the looks of his damsire – champion and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Fantastic Light.  The win Thursday was only his second start and came after running credibly first out at Keeneland over a challenging 1 1/8 miles – an ambitious trip for a juvenile debut.  Closing from 10th, he finished fifth while beaten only four lengths. 


“Running a mile and an eighth the first time wasn’t ideal, but it gave him the experience he needed,” Stidham reflected.  “We had hoped for a big run yesterday and he gave it to us.  He hadn’t shown us that turn-of-foot before.  He has matured quite a bit and has a big-reaching stride.”


Next for the promising Fantasize will possibly be a stakes race out of town.  Fair Grounds does not have a turf stakes for his division until the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes on Feb. 28 over 7½ furlongs.


“He came out of it in good shape,” Stidham said.  “We’ll look at stakes races at Tampa (Bay Downs) and Gulfstream (Park) for him possibly after this.  We think he’ll be an even better 3-year-old.”




According to conditioner Richie Scherer, Holmark Stables IV’s Bourbon Cowboy is under consideration for the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes on Dec. 20 at Fair Grounds Race Course.  The son of solid turf miler Cowboy Cal has been working very well in the mornings, including a three-furlong bullet in :38.80 on Nov. 22 at the New Orleans oval.  While Scherer believes the Kentucky-bred will eventually be a turf horse, he acknowledges that the talented charge has taken a liking to the local dirt track. 


Last out, the bay colt was an uncharacteristically dull fifth in the $125,000 Display Stakes at Woodbine.  Previous to that, he was second in the Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Stakes at Presque Isle Downs and a close-up fourth in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington International Racecourse.  Bourbon Cowboy has been on the radar of many since his professional maiden victory in August at Arlington in which he defeated next-out victors and promising Triple Crown trail prospects Nun the Less and My Johnny Be Good.


            The Sugar Bowl is contested at six furlongs and has traditionally been a solid prep for future graded stakes winners.  It has been won by the likes of Clever Trick, Gold Case, Littlexpectations, Teuflesberg, Albano and Archarcharch.  The last named used the race as a steppingstone to victory in the Grade I Arkansas Derby three efforts later.




This Churchill Downs Incorporated communication (including any attachments) is intended for the use of the intended recipient(s) only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or legally protected. Any unauthorized use or dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender by return e-mail message and delete all copies of the original communication. Thank you for your cooperation.