Sunday at Ellis Park: The Hooptie Handicapper picks two Runhappy Juvenile stakes races, for fillies, colts
Maiden America 08.15.01
Ain’t no booze left between Saratoga and Toronto after the Casse's tucked Got Stormy on her Air Horse One 727 with its BMW/Rolls Royce engines and cruised her back to Iron Works Pike. I’m sure they had a fun night before getting on their G6 to Toronto to unveil Three Chimneys' new $225K son of Gun Runner, 2-Stowaway (7/2) in the sixth at Woodbine this afternoon. Stowaway is going to have some hearty competition out of 8-Heat Merchant (3/1) who just missed by a nose after chasing down a hot pace set by Feeltheheat July 18. Barbara Minshall, a 33% first time trainer, is unveiling a Lord Nelson Colt for Minshall Farms, 1-Rum Cup (10/1) whose half-brother, Basking, just smoked an msw crowd by 10.5 in mid-July at Gulfstream. Rum Cup has been working exceptional and should be a playa today. Of course, what would a Woodbine debut be without the Attard-Stein-Blinkers connection? This time it’s with a Point Of Entry colt named 6-Be Like Clint (8/1) so, c’mon punk, make my day with the three, five furlong works hovering around a minute and a gate work of :47 flat. So, you have to ask yourself, do ya’ feel lucky? If not, try Casse’s other entrant, 3-Stylish Gent (6/1) who is on race number three after dumping to Heat Merchant and Feeltheheat in mid-July or 5-Mentoring (5/1) who finished third in the same race with an 87 Equibase for that debut. For me? I’m taking the unlikely 1-Rum Cup
Let’s go south along the banks of the Ohio river to Ellis Park for a couple of stakes races and see what’s going on.
The 3rd race at Ellis Park is the $125K Runhappy Juvenile Debutante Stakes for 2yo fillies at seven furlongs and you have to look at Joe Ramos’ filly out of Gun Runner, Joyrunner, who is half-sister to Wicked Halo. Wicked Halo debuted to an 83 Equibase at Lone Star, and she got beat in the Debutante at Churchill by Behave Virginia, then summarily smashed the G2 Adirondack. In the meantime, Joyrunner came off the pace in the slop in early July to score a win in her bow and has had two solid works since. There’s also D Wayne Lukas’s lady out of Mohaymen 1-Mohaylady (6/1) who just chased the winner of the $52K allowance here on July 24, 6-Southern Sky (5/2) out of Sky Mesa. Then you have the morning line favorite, Randy Morse's filly out of Goldencents, 2/1 Verylittlecents (2/1) due to her 69 Equibase number last out in the mud in a $51 msw race. She just clanked a 1:00.8 work on August 6. Finally, Ricardo Santana is in town to ride the Outwork filly 5 -Manasota Sunset (5-1) and she put in a :59.8 work at Churchill’s training track before shipping in after breaking her maiden at this course and distance on July 10. So, who will win today? It’s a coin flip – Southern Sky…
The 4th race at Ellis Park is the $125K Runhappy Juvenile Stakes for 2yos and Larry Rivelli, the leading trainer at the now defunct Arlington, is likely to be in town to saddle his two year old 2-Roger McQueen (9/2). Roger McQueen, a son of Unified and half brother to Behave Virginia, won his debut in his second race here and just worked a :48, gets third best jock Adam Beschizza, who is 30% with 2yo’s and 44% in stakes races. He’ll be a force today. We’ll be certain to see newly minted all time winningest trainer Steve Asmussen with his Gun Runner colt Costa Terra (2/1) who debuted to a 77 Equibase number. The three Gun Runner colts thus far that have debuted at the same Equibase number have run back to the same number and have not improved on it. Yesterday had this same air of puzzlement over numbers as Nakatomi had debuted at a big number and then bounced on grass at Ascot, returned to good works and ran third to High Oak in the Saratoga Special, posting an 80. High Oak, went 88, 95, while the second place finisher, Gunite, went 79-78-89-86. So, where does this leave Costa Terra comparatively speaking to this group after Texas Red Hot and Candy Landing each debuted to an 85? As best as I can tell, in both cases, Texas Red Hot and Candy Landings’ bothers have all bounced back to an improved effort. So, the one I am going with is Texas Red Hot based on his excellent work tab of late.