Thursday, January 1, 2015

Barn Notes: Thursday, January 1


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Barn Notes:  Thursday, January 1, 2015                                                                                        

·        War Story an Exciting Addition to Amoss Arsenal

·        Notte d’Oro Could Step Up in Krantz




There are few more enviable positions this time of year than to be a trainer with a 3-year-old proven around two turns in good company.  Meet-leading conditioner Tom Amoss is in just that with Loooch Racing Stable and Chris Dunn’s War Story – a two-for-two gelding who defeated a decent allowance field on Dec. 28 and put himself squarely in the picture as one of the sophomores to watch as the meet ambles toward the 102nd Grade II $750,000 Louisiana Derby. 


A private purchase after his debut, the gelded son of Northern Afleet won at first asking on Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs in stylish fashion over seven furlongs while under the tutelage of Ron Moquett for Harry Rosenblum.  Since, he has been turned over to the care of Amoss and returned on the 28th to defeat the well regarded Larry Jones trainee A Day in Paradise and stakes winner Four Leaf Chief.


“I ran against him in the initial start and I was very impressed,” Amoss said.  “When I heard they purchased one of those horses and was sending him my way, I knew exactly which one they were talking about.”


Squarely on the chestnut’s radar after a two-turn Fair Grounds win is naturally the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 17 – but the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day event falls only 20 days after his allowance win and it is not Amoss’ – a patient and sagacious conditioner – style to bring a horse back so quickly. 


            “He’s doing really good,” Amoss reported.  “He came out of the race well and it’s exciting that he proved himself around two turns.  That’s the good news.  We are cognizant, though, that the first stakes race comes up quickly.”          


            A $90,000 Keeneland September 2013 yearling and $51,000 Fasig-Tipton 2014 2-year-old, War Story is out of the Pulpit mare Belle Watling – making him a half-brother to Dennis Narlinger’s Graham Motion-trained graded stakes turf horse Draw Two, who was fourth in both the Grade I Secretariat Stakes and Grade II Virginia Derby.  While herself a maiden in five starts for Motion, Belle Watling is by Polly Adler, a half-sister to Champion 2-year-old filly and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Epitome through War Story’s third dam, Fair Grounds Oaks winner Honest and True.




            One of the more impressive allowance winners of the meet, Two Creeks Racing Stables’ Notte d’Oro may have earned her way to a stakes race next out after taking a non-winners of two allowance on Dec. 18 with a sharp turn of foot for trainer Mike Stidham.  Sent off at 8-5 that day, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro whose Italian name translates to ‘golden night’ won for the third time in six starts while returning to the course over which she broke her maiden in January 2014. 


            “She came out of that race in good shape,” Stidham reported.  “We’re going to nominate her to the ($60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial) Stakes on (January) 17th.”


            A $120,000 Keeneland September RNA in 2012, the long-striding homebred daughter of turf stakes-winning Gulch mare May Night is now two-or-two at the Krantz’s 1 1/16-miles distance – a statistic Stidham believes is crucial. 


            “I think with her one of the main things is the added distance,” he said.  “That extra sixteenth really helped her the other day.  At Keeneland going a flat mile, she needed more ground to get there.  She’s developing and doing very well right now.”


            Such seems to be the case, as the bay newly-turned 4-year-old filly’s Equibase Speed Figures have increased with each of her six races – topped last time with a 96 when winning by three-quarters of a length over Team Block’s Compelling Case.  Two races back, in the aforementioned Keeneland loss, she was forced six-wide but still closed from eighth to fifth in the stretch to lose by only two lengths at 9-1 under Robby Albarado.




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