Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blofeld, Jacaranda take 2-year-old stakes at the Big A

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blofeld, Jacaranda take 2-year-old stakes at the Big A

By Sean Morris

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A day removed from the Breeders' Cup, Blofeld and Jacaranda served notice that they may be 2-year-olds to watch by taking the Grade 3, $250,000 Nashua and Grade 3, $250,000 Tempted, respectively, on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Blofeld, trained by Todd Pletcher for Glencrest Farm and JSM Equine, entered the one-mile Nashua off a 100 Beyer Speed Figure, which he earned for his victory in the Grade 2 Futurity on October 5 at Belmont Park. The son of Quality Road had never been beyond six furlongs prior to the Nashua, but proved that he may have a future at longer distances, overcoming a tiring track and windy conditions to prevail by five lengths under Hall of Famer John Velazquez.

"We've always felt like he would continue to stretch out," said Pletcher. "With the way everything unfolded - starting out in a five furlong race - we felt the [six-furlong] Futurity made sense, and then [the one-mile Nashua] made sense. The bottom side of his pedigree, and being by Quality Road, everything suggests he should stretch out."

Blofeld may continue to stretch out before year's end, possibly in the Grade 2, $400,000 Remsen at 1 1/8 miles on November 29, according to Pletcher.

"We talked about running here, then giving him a little bit of break; we've also talked about coming back in the Remsen [at Aqueduct]," said the trainer. "I didn't see anything today - at least from a distance standpoint - that would discourage me from looking at the Remsen."

Blofeld returned $3.90 on a $2 win wager, and completed the distance in 1:38.89 over the muddy track. His career earnings now stand at $319,800.

El Kabeir finished second, 5 ½ lengths clear of The Truth or Else. First Down, Savoy Stomp, and Hebbronville completed the order of finish.

The Mike Hushion-trained Jacaranda had an easier time of things in the one-mile Tempted than she did in her debut, in which she overcame trouble to take a 6 ½-furlong maiden race by five lengths. The Congrats filly broke on top and never looked back on Sunday, leading every step of the way en route to a 3 ½-length score beneath jockey Jose Ortiz.

Jacaranda's time for the distance, a testament to the tiring conditions, was 1:40.24.

"I loved the way the race set up, the way she managed to stay up in there, and that he didn't have to send her hard in the first part," said Hushion. "I guess it [bodes well for her going farther]. You look at the time and scratch your head, but we know there were some very, very talented fillies behind her."

Among the fillies behind Jacaranda were Grade 2 Matron winner Paulassilverlining, who finished second, and the 1-2 favorite Enchantress, who finished fifth. Those two were split by Save Rock and Roll and Sunday Sonnet, while Miss Always Ready and Harlan's Honor completed the order of finish.

Jacaranda is now unbeaten in two career starts, with $195,000 in earnings. She paid $11.40 to win as the third choice in the betting.



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