Horse Racing Sunday: The Hooptie Handicapper picks 2yo stakes at Saratoga & Del Mar, the Spinaway & Debutante
Maiden America 09.05.21
What a glorious day today for two-year-old racing. 😊
We will start with the 11th race at Saratoga, the $300,000 G1 Spinaway Stakes, for 2yo fillies, who will be racing on dirt over seven furlongs. Ruffian holds the record for this race when in 1974 she blistered the field by almost thirteen lengths in 1:08.3. Trainers Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas each hold the record for wins with six. Angel Cordero Jr. has the most wins by a jockey with five. This race has not been a positive indicator for Kentucky Oaks winners, as there have been none that have won both, since 1980. For this day, we will see if 5-Pretty Birdie (3/) can continue her winning ways, getting her third race in her young career and winning ‘em all, including the $150,000 G3 Schuylerville Stakes last time, besting 6-Saucy Lady T (20/1) and Mainstay, who ran third and fourth respectively, in the Adirondack on August 8. Instead of entering Pretty Birdie, Norm Cassie has allowed her to relax and do such things as turn in two :58.6 workouts. Gun Runner’s filly foal 3-Echo Zulu (8/5) returns after she won her bow on July 15 and has been having a steady diet of workouts. Steve Asmussen trains, and she has two half-brothers, Costa Terra, who won in his bow and next out, just missed the $125K Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes by half a length to Roger McQueen and Lucky Boss. Her other half-brother, Red Run, broke his maiden at first ask at Churchill in the slop then returned to the $150,000 G3 Bashford Manor and ran poorly, with a worse performance next in the $200,000 G2 Saratoga Special two months later. Her half-sister, who is trained by Steve, Wicked Halo, broke her maiden at first ask and then was beaten by one of the best two year old fillies in the country, Behave Virginia, who smoked a 1:09.8 in the $150,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill. Then, Wicked Halo returned to win the Adirondack. So, look for a big race out of Echo Zulu today. Cherie DeVaux has 1-Tarabi (8/1) by First Samurai, whose two year old daughters are 20% winners in their second race, and 1/5 when their second race is a stakes race, still 20%. I am curious who tagged 4-Benbang (20/1) with such big odds because she's done nothing but outrun her number in her first, and only race. Her dad, Shanghai Bobby, returns 17% winners with second time starting girls off to a stakes race. This young lady just kicked up a nice 1:00.6 work, and Manny Franco/Jonathan Thomas combo is 25%. Did I mention she won her bow in the slop from gate to wire, which is a rarity as front end horses usually give way in the nasty about mid-stretch. Oh, one of the gals she beat, The Club, won her next out with a 14% increase in Equibase score. I am not a fan of 6-Saucy Lady T (20/1) as she has had two pokes at stakes wins and just burns money. 8-Sequist (12/1) has an interesting story as her half-sister Vequist, took this race last year, and both Vequist and Sequist’s broodmare sires, Flanders Fields and Nyquist, follow the line to Bold Ruler. Practical Joke’s daughter 2-Girl With A Dream (6/1) is in today with Florent Geroux aboard and Brad Cox training. After watching her half-brother Joker Boy take down the $120,000 I’m Smokin’ Stakes at Del Mar in 1:10 late yesterday afternoon, I’m leery of this filly because Practical Joke’s three daughters, whom have run in a stakes race, have resulted is a big ol’ goose egg. 6-Dream Lith (6/1) is by Medaglia d’Oro, whose two year old fillies return to their second race at an 8% win rate, and are 0/3 when the race is a stakes. Adding further to this is her grandpa, Street Cry, whose progeny this year are struggling past six and a half furlongs. The horse I am interested in is 9-Sue Ellen Mishkin (12/1) a Mohaymen filly who gets the outside draw. Mohaymen has only one daughter who went from msw to a stakes run and that was Elm Drive, who held off Eda in an exciting finish in the $200,000 G2 Sorrento Stakes where those two will repeat today and we will cover that next. Mohaymen himself, left a win in msw company and summarily smoked the next four, all graded stakes, the Remsen, Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby. He petered out after that. Sue Ellen Miskin’s grandpa, Uncle Mo, was also an early victor, winning the Champagne, Breeders Cup Juvenile and after wintering, came out of hibernation and took his first race, the $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream in March of 2011. So, we are catching both dad and grandpa’s blended progeny racing early, where they both were stars. Today, Sue Ellen Mishkin will stalk all that speed while they burn up while stretching out to these seven furlongs, then she will set the stretch afire.
In the 10th race at Del Mar today, the $300,000 G1 Del Mar Debutante, will be raced by 2yo fillies going seven furlongs on the dirt. Like The Spinaway, The Debutante is not known for sending its winners to Oaks victories, yet certain horses have etched races in our memories, like Bast, who went on to win the G1 Chandelier Stakes and was leading in the BC Juvenile Fillies before tiring and getting beat by British Idiom and Donna Veloce. Or there’s Executiveprivilege, who took this in 2012, then won The Chandelier, and battled gamely trying to catch speedy Beholder in the BC Juvenile Filly race at Santa Anita but came up short. Gary Stevens and Bill Shoemaker tie the record with five wins in the Del Mar Debutante and Bob Baffert has two entered, attempting to break his tie with D. Wayne Lukas, which currently stands at nine wins. Today we get a treat. We get to see Eda race against Elm Drive again after an epic battle in the $200,000 G2 Sorrento Stakes where the two battled the stretch and Elm Drive dug in to win by a head. There are a few fillies entered who do not give a tinker’s dam about those two and one is 1-At The Spa (8/1) where I'm totally mystified by these morning line odds. This filly is by Outwork and has done nothing but win; three in a row, as a matter of fact. At The Spa has two, two-year-old half-sisters whom have left their maiden wins and faced stakes company, Manasota Sunset and Samborella. Manasota Sunset never raced big time, yet her grandpa, Smoke Glacken, was a blacktype who took the Hopeful at Saratoga in 1996. The other half-sister, Samborella, lost her debut, then raced next in Seeking The Ante Stakes for NY breds and won. We have yet to see her return in a year. Cool enough, At The Spa’s trainer, Jorge Periban, has been methodical, putting this filly’s three race trajectory on a 4.5 furlongs, 5 furlongs, 5.5 furlongs campaign, where in that last race, she held on to win by a head over Drizella . Jorge has done something interesting and smart with her workout pattern, knowing she has seven furlongs coming up. She went 1:00.8 on August 15, 1:00.8 on August 22, then a slow 1:03 on August 29 to acclimate her to rating for the distance. The next filly to show a challenge to Eda and Elm Drive, is 4-Dance To The Music (3/1) who is by Maclean’s Music and his daughters turn out a nice 25% win rate in their second shot. Then, when you pare that down to stakes racers, he has had only one in this instance – She Likes To Party, who took the $40,000 Princess Margaret Stakes at Century Mile. Her mom, Beautified, has one son who broke maiden and didn’t do much thereafter. Her grandpa, Congrats, nailed seven wins in his career, including the G2 San Pasqual and battled with Rock Hard Ten in The Big Cap, coming up short for the place. Dance to the Music just clicked two exceptional :12er’s - a 1:00 for five and a stellar 1:12.6 for six. Wow. She is amped. In addition to having Eda, Bob Baffert is slyly slipping in a Curlin filly 7-Grace Adler (5/1) who can bust this open. Curlin two year old fillies are 25% in their second race when it’s a stakes and he has trained her in Baffert fashion, 4f, 5f, 6f and 6f with the exception of her 1:12.6 from the gate. Whoa. Yes, Eda and Elm Drive are going to go at it, however, I am going to take Bob with Flavien Prat on the back of Grace Adler.
Happy Hunting 😊