Monday, December 29, 2014

Barn Notes: Monday, December 29



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Barn Notes:  Monday, December 29, 2014                                                                                    

·        Eagle Flies in Bullet Lecomte Work

·        Tiznow R J Works toward Possible Lecomte Start

·        Wind Chill Factor on Target for Louisiana Futurity

·        Good Deed Works Bullet toward Pan Zareta

·        Pumpkin Rumble Will Fight on to Bradley



            William S. Farish’s Eagle stretched his legs and impressed onlookers Monday morning as he worked a bullet five furlongs in :59.80 over a good surface under regular rider Brian Hernandez, Jr. for trainer Neil Howard.  The son of Candy Ride showed why he is on many Kentucky Derby ‘watch lists’ with a superb move that was 1.2 seconds faster than any of the remaining 62 workers at the distance.


            “He did it really well,” Howard reported.  “We didn’t talk about going in :59, but the track was sealed. So many works were a little snappier than they would have been.  Brian also had a busy day, so we went first thing in the morning.  Right now the (Grade III $200,000) Lecomte (Stakes on Jan. 17) is our plan and hopefully it works out.”


            Monday’s work followed two easier moves on Dec. 20 (five furlongs in 1:01.60) and Dec. 12 (four furlongs in :49.40) since arriving from Kentucky.  In his last start, the Farish homebred finished a flying third in the Grade II $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at odds of nearly 9-1.  One race prior to that, the short and muscular chestnut impressively won a two-turn  allowance at Keeneland over Casner Racing’s highly regarded My Johnny Be Good, who in turn demolished a Tampa Bay Downs allowance field on Sunday by 14½ lengths in his first race since.



            Three of Steve Asmussen’s top locally based 3-year-olds-to-be were busy on Monday morning.  The promising Tiznow R J worked a solid five panels in 1:01.20 for owner Mike McCarty, while Clark Brewster’s Bayerd and William and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Cinco Charlie also turned in moves over the New Orleans oval.  All three works were over a good surface after overnight rain.


Of the triumvirate, Tiznow R J has the most to prove and possibly the most upside.  Earning an 86 Beyer Speed Figure in his runaway 13¼-length two-turn maiden victory at Fair Grounds on Dec. 11, the long-striding son of Tiznow blossomed when given his first chance to go a distance of ground in what was his third start.  According to Asmussen, the Florida-bred is the most likely of the three to run in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 17.  The Lecomte is contested at the same one-mile and 70-yard trip as his maiden romp. 


            Bayerd, who has been training impressively at Fair Grounds over the last month, exits a victory in the Listed $250,000 Springboard Mile at Remington Park and went a leisurely four furlongs in :52.20 in his first work since said victory. 


Four-time stakes winner Cinco Charlie, who earned an impressive 97 Beyer Speed Figure (seventh-highest of any 2-year-old all year) when winning the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes locally on Dec. 20 had his first move since then, negotiating an easy half-mile in :52.60.


            All three of the Asmussen ternion are to be nominated for the Fair Grounds’ sophomore series that culminates with the meet centerpiece Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby on Mar. 28.



            The best Louisiana-bred juvenile filly in the Pelican State based on recent performances is likely to stay with her fellow state-breds, according to her connections.  Gary Scherer and Al and Bill Ulwelling’s Wind Chill Factor will run in at least two more restricted events – including Wednesday’s $100,000 Louisiana Futurity – before a possible return to open company.  The dark bay filly has won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds and $150,000 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs in her last two starts.


            “So far, so good with her,” Scherer, who also trains the filly, reported.  “She’s coming into this race well.  We will stay with the Louisiana-breds right now and go to the ($125,000) Louisiana Premier Night (Starlet) on February 7th at Delta.  After that, it all depends on her.  We’ll hope to get this one and go from there.  She’ll tell us where.”


            The last time Wind Chill Factor tried open company she ran a respectable third to stakes fillies Sarah Sis and Lovely Maria in a salty Keeneland allowance this fall.  Such is the only loss of the daughter of Successful Appeal’s four-race career. 




            Richard and Bertram Klein’s Good Deed signaled her readiness for the $60,000 Pan Zareta Stakes on Jan. 10 with a best-of-59 four-furlong move on Monday morning in :48.20 under jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. over a good surface.   The Steve Margolis-trained daughter of Broken Vow is exiting a powerhouse performance in an allowance on Dec. 14 in which she set a new course record (1:02.31) for the 5½ grassy furlong distance over which the Pan Zareta will be contested.


            “Brian worked her and she did it really well and is doing good right now,” Margolis said afterward.  “We are on track for the Pan Zareta.”


            A strong move is not news to many who have seen the speedy mare consistently work well in the mornings.  The four-time stakes-winning earner of $326,803 has been a famously solid workhorse throughout her 15-race career.


“She’s always worked well since she was a 2-year-old and 3-year-old,” Margolis said.  “Brian really liked the way she moved today.”


If the bay mare wins the Pan Zareta, it will be her third Fair Grounds stakes win and ninth victory of her career.  Last year she was second in the Pan Zareta to Seeking Ms. Shelley over a soft course she did not prefer.





            Al and Bill Ulwilling’s consistent sophomore gelding Pumpkin Rumble came out of Saturday’s sloppy renewal of the $60,000 Woodchopper Stakes in good order and is on target for another stab at graded stakes company, according to trainer Gary Scherer.  The son of English Channel made a belated bid in the Woodchopper, driving between horses to finish third under Florent Geroux – beaten 4¼ lengths.  Said strong late punch prompted Geroux to express confidence that he could have won the race had it been a little farther.


            “He came out alright,” Scherer reported.  “Right now, we’re looking at the (Grade III $100,000 Colonel E. R.) Bradley (Handicap on Jan. 17) as his next spot.” 


            In 10 starts, the Pennsylvania-bred has only finished worse than fourth once – in his February career debut when finishing fifth of 11 – and has finished in the superfecta in four consecutive stakes races, including the Grade III $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park.  His two wins include a turf maiden victory at Arlington International Racecourse and a state-bred allowance at Presque Isle Downs over its Tapeta surface. 


“We may also look at the ($100,000) Sunshine Millions (Turf on Jan. 17), now that Pennsylvania-breds can run,” Scherer said.  “But, right now the Bradley looks like the next spot.  That’s somewhat the schedule.  He ran good enough in the Woodchopper to go to the Bradley and how he runs there will tell us a lot.  He still has a condition or two left to run in if we need it.”



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