Greenpointcrusader Overcomes Trouble To Win Champagne

Greenpointcrusader Overcomes Trouble To Win Champagne

The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes looked like an easy win for the eventual winner Greenpointcrusader, however, it was anything but that.

It was a good start for Tale of S’avall and Ralis with Sunny Ridge up close in third. Magna Light was fourth early, Portfolio Manager broke best, but was reigned back in fifth. Greenpointcrusader had a terrible start as he stumbled, but was rushed up into sixth, Ready Dancer was seventh, and Sail Ahoy was last by 6 1/2 lengths.

Tale of S’avall continued to lead the field with Ralis edging closer in second and Sunny Ridge in third. Magna Light was fourth after steadying a bit on the backstretch, Portfolio Manager was fifth, Greenpointcrusader was still in sixth, Sail Ahoy seventh, and Ready Dancer was already relegated to last and quickly losing touch with the field.

On the turn, the trio of Tale of S’avall, Sunny Ridge, and Ralis began their battle for the lead while Portfolio Manager was ranging up on the outside and Greenpointcrusader was put under stringent pressure to continue his move while fifth. The remainder of the field was not a threat with Ralis, Magna Light, and Ready Dancer already backing out of the race.

As the field straightened for home, Sunny Ridge took the lead, but was quickly tackled by Greenpointcrusader, who found his stride. He went on to pull away and win by 4 1/2 lengths over Sunny Ridge with Portfolio Manager another two lengths behind in third. Sail Ahoy rallied to finish fourth.

The remaining order of finish was Tale of S’avall, Ralis, Magna Light, and Ready Dancer. Rafting was scratched earlier in the day and did not participate. The entire chart can be found here courtesy of Equibase.

Greenpointcrusader is by Bernardini out of the Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode. He paid $15.00 to win, $7.30 to place, and $4.80 to show. He was ridden by Joe Bravo and trained by Dominick Schettino. He ran the one mile in 1:36.25 over a sealed and sloppy track.

In addition to the $300,000 winner’s share, Greenpointcrusader also earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland later this month. He also earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Sunny Ridge earned four points, Portfolio Manager received two points, and Sail Ahoy earned one point.

The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Derby continues on Sunday with the Grey Stakes from Woodbine.

Nickname Crushes Frizette Stakes Foes

Nickname Crushes Frizette Stakes Foes

The Grade 1 Frizette Stakes was practically over at the top of the stretch as Nickname took over and won by 3 1/2 lengths.

She’s All Ready was off a step slow, but rushed up to the lead with Nickname in second and Width in third. Where’s The D was fourth, Nemoralia was fifth, Desert Tune was sixth, and Anna Rae was last in seventh by 5 1/2 lengths.

She’s All Ready continued to set fractions of 22.78 for the opening quarter, 46.10 for the opening half mile, and 1:10.90 for the opening six furlongs. Nickname was more than content to run in second on the outside of Width while Nemoralia and Desert Tune moved closer to fourth and fifth, respectively. Where’s The D was back in sixth and Anna Rae continued to trail in seventh.

On the far turn, Nickname ranged up on the outside of She’s All Ready and went by her in the stretch with no other horse being a serious threat. She won by 3 1/2 lengths over Nemoralia, who could not quite match the winner’s strides. In third was She’s All Ready after setting the pace and Width was well beaten in fourth.

The remaining order of finish was Desert Tune in fifth, Anna Rae in sixth, and Where’s The D, who was done on the turn. The entire chart can be found here via Equibase.

For the victory, Nickname earned 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard. Nemoralia earned 4 points, She’s All Ready earned 2 points, and Width earned one point.

Nickname is by Scat Daddy out of the Borrego filly Nina Fever. She ran the one mile in 1:37.76 over a sealed sloppy track. She paid $12.80 to win, $5.70 to place, and $3.90 to show. She was ridden by Javier Castellano and is trained by Steve Asmussen.

The next race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks is the Mazarine Stakes from Woodbine on Sunday, October 4.

2015 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes Preview

2015 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes Preview

The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Derby will continue on Saturday, October 3 with the second of two races on the day. The Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes will take place at Keeneland with a full field of 12 horses.

The Grade 1 event will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track and will be around two turns. The race has a purse of $500,00 and also awards points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.

The winner will receive 10 points for the victory, second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive one point.

The Breeders’ Futurity is scheduled for 5:10 PM Eastern time and is carded as the eighth of 10 races. Free Past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, October 3 and going to Keeneland – Race 8. Entries have also been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Rated R SuperstarCalvin BorelKen McPeek6-1
2Uncle JerryJames GrahamEoin Harty30-1
3HawkbillMike SmithCharles ApplebySCRATCHED
4GametownJulien LeparouxMark Casse12-1
5Brody's CauseCorey LanerieDale Romans6-1
6SticksstatelydudeBrian Hernandez Jr.Greg Burchell10-1
7ExaggeratorKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux7-2
8Sheikh of SheikhsEdgar PradoWesley Ward5-1
9Wild ManRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen15-1
10ThreefivendiaChris LanderosStephen Lyster30-1
11Pinnacle PeakVictor EspinozaMichael Stidham15-1
12Uncle VinnyLuis SaezTodd Pletcher9-2

1. Rated R Superstar – His debut came on July 25 at Ellis Park. He pressed the pace throughout, but could not fend off the eventual winner losing by only a half-length. He came back last out to press the pace again, but this time he drew off to win by 5 lengths again at Ellis Park. In the latest race, he had a slow break in the Grade 3 Iroquois. He sat about 10 lengths off the lead early on, but went up on the backstretch and far turn to move all the way from seventh to second. He continued to run evenly in the stretch and finished second by 2 lengths. He will probably be closer to the pace today and has a good look from the rail to make some noise underneath at a price.

2. Uncle Jerry – His debut came at Presque Isle going 6 furlongs in early August. He was close to the pace and tried to run them down in the stretch, but could not get there. He finished third by 2 in a pretty solid debut. He came back about 6 weeks later going a mile. He had an unfortunate start where he was left near the rear of the field and had to come from off the pace. He made up his ground on the far turn and in the stretch he pulled away to win by 3 lengths. The waters get much deeper here and he will need to improve drastically to have a chance.

3. Hawkbill – Scratched.

4. Gametown – He is a still a maiden, but he has two solid efforts on his resume. His debut came at Saratoga on the lawn going 5.5 furlongs. He had a slow start and was forced to close in the stretch, but he did stoutly despite some weaving in and out in the stretch. He finished second by three lengths and was then sent to Churchill to try the main track. He went a mile on September 11 where he had a much better start and close to the pace. He took the lead in the stretch, but was caught late and finished second again, this time by 3/4 of a length. He has some talent, despite not winning  yet and could hit the board.

5. Brody’s Cause – His debut was horrendous on August 1 at Ellis Park. He went a mile on the turf, but did not lift a hoof finishing eighth by 25 lengths. His latest race was at Churchill Downs on the main track going a mile as well. He broke near the back of the field, but was within five lengths. He made a move on turn and continued his run in the stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths. He has a decent chance in this spot.

6. Sticksstatelydude – He debuted here at Churchill where he tracked the pace in second. He was unable to pass the leader and had to settle for second by a length and a half. He then went up to Saratoga where he sat off the pace and had to go wide in the stretch. He closed well enough to win by 2 lengths. He should get another good trip, but is making his first start around two turns in this spot. Intriguing longshot in this race…

7. Exaggerator – His debut at Santa Anita in early June was not very good. He was fifth by 9 1/2 lengths and was always well behind, but lost a talented horse in Nyquist. His second race was far better with him coming off the pace and was just able to get up for the win by a nose. He was then shipped to Saratoga for the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. He had a similar off the pace style and was able to close and win again by 3/4 of a length. He is a big threat in this race.

8. Sheikh of Sheikhs – He has only one start and it was a good one. He went straight to the lead and never looked back winning by 1 3/4 lengths at six furlongs at Saratoga. He will probably be on the lead again in this race and will be making his first start at a route. Interestingly, his latest workout was on the turf, which may be a signal if things do not go well here. Tough call on him.

9. Wild Man – Another horse who has yet to break his maiden, he made his debut on August 29 at Saratoga. Going six furlongs, he sat in a good spot behind the leaders, but could not make up much ground in the stretch, as he finished third by four lengths. His second start was at Belmont going a mile. Once again, he sat off the pace and he closed well in stretch. He was bumped and finished third by a neck in another solid effort. He does appear to be a touch below the top horses in here, but he has gone a route distance.

10. Threefiveindia – He debuted at Ellis Park in late August going 5.5 furlongs. He had an awkward start and was able to get a spot behind the leaders. He made his move on the turn and in stretch to win by 2 lengths. His workouts have been solid and he should like the extra ground. However, he will need to step way up to contend in this spot.

11. Pinnacle Peak – He debuted at Prairie Meadows in Iowa with a solid second place finish by 3 1/2 lengths. He broke inward and then came on in the stretch. His second start was a stretch out to a mile and he responded with a crushing victory. He went gate-to-wire and won by 10 lengths in an easy performance. He next start was in the Sapling Stakes at Monmouth and he had to go wide for much of the race. That took its toll on him as he weakened to finish third by 8 3/4 lengths. He will probably have another wide trip in here again if he wants the lead and that makes it tough to endorse him.

12. Uncle Vinny – He ran his debut at Belmont going 5 furlongs and he took over after a bit of a tough start. He won by 4 1/2 lengths and then had a quick turnaround to run in the Tremont Stakes two weeks later. It may have been too quick as he was never close to threatening and finish sixth by 7 1/2 lengths. After a slight break, he returned in the Grade 3 Sanford where he tracked and pounced in the stretch, but could not get to the winner. He was second by 3/4 of a length, but was put up to first after a disqualification. His next race was the Grade 1 Hopeful and he had a bit of a wide trip. He ended up third by 8 3/4 lengths, but was never seriously threatening to win. He will have a wide trip out here, but could find the distance more to his liking.

Selections

This race was tough to figure out due to post positions and a lot horses trying this distance for the first time. #5 Brody’s Cause went this distance in his last race (around one turn), but he improved drastically from his turf try. #1 Rated R Superstar ran a solid second in the Grade 3 Iroquois and should have a good trip from the rail. #7 Exaggerator is talented and should appreciate the stretch out around two turns. #6 Sticksstatelydude is worth a shot underneath in the exotics.

Top selection – #5 Brody’s Cause

2nd selection – #1 Rated R Superstar

3rd selection – #7 Exaggerator

4th selection – #6 Sticksstatelydude

Check back for a recap of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity Stakes.

2015 Champagne Stakes Preview

2015 Champagne Stakes Preview

The Grade 1 Champagne Stakes will be at Belmont Park on Saturday, October 3, 2015. The race is for 2 year olds and is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The Champagne will be run at one mile on Belmont’s main track, just like the sister race of the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes a race earlier. The purse is $500,000 and there are points awarded to the top four finishers towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.

The winner will receive 10 points, second place will receive four points, third place will receive two points, and the fourth place finisher will receive one point.

Post time for the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes is scheduled for 4:18 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the eighth of 11 races on Saturday. Free past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, October 3 and Belmont Park race 8. Entries have been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1Magna LightJose OrtizRudy Rodriguez6-1
2GreenpointcrusaderJoe BravoDominick Schettino5-1
3Ready DancerJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher5-1
4Sail AhoyJoel RosarioShug McGaughey12-1
5RalisJavier CastellanoDoug O'Neill3-1
6RaftingIrad Ortiz JrGraham Motion8-1
7Tale of S'avallCornelio VelasquezBarclay Tagg7-2
8Sunny RidgeJunior AlvaradoJason Servis20-1
9Portfolio ManagerManuel FrancoChad Brown12-1

1. Magna Light – His debut came here at Belmont on June 28. He battled for the lead and drew off to by 4 1/2 lengths in the five furlong dash over a sloppy track. He then raced in the Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga where he once again battle for the lead and held on for 3/4 length win. However, he was disqualified from first to third for bothering another horse in the stretch. His latest race was the Grade 1 Hopeful also at Saratoga. He got a clear lead, but was no match for the winner in Ralis. He finished second by 5 3/4 lengths and will be trying to go all the way again in this race. There is other speed in the race, but he has the rial, which will help him to save ground. He can hang around for a piece of the exotics underneath.

2. Greenpointcrusader – He debuted at Saratoga going 5.5 furlongs where he sat in the middle of the field. He came out in the stretch and made a big run to the wire, but just missed by a neck. His second race was very similar in that the stalked the pace and closed ground in the stretch. This time, he was able to win by a neck going 7 furlongs. He will probably have a similar type of trip and is a big threat in this race with the extra furlong.

3. Ready Dancer – His first start was at Belmont going five furlongs in early July. He dueled for the lead, but weakened to finish third by 4 1/4 lengths in a field of five. He then ran at Saratoga where, again, he dueled for the lead, but could not hang on in the stretch. He was second by two lengths in a field of 10 going 6 furlongs. His latest race was also at Saratoga going 6 furlongs. This time he was just off the speed by a length and had to go wide for most of the race. That did not matter as he was able to finally pull away and break his maiden by 2 1/2 lengths. He is likely to track the speed again and will like the extra two furlongs. Interesting 5-1 shot for Todd Pletcher.

4. Sail Ahoy – His first start came at Saratoga in late August going six furlongs. He was off slow and sat well of the pace. He closed to finish third in that race, but was not close to the top two as he finished 9 1/4 lengths behind Ready Dancer. His second start was here at Belmont going a mile over the main track. He was off the pace again that race, but this time his kick was more effective. He came wide into the stretch and began to eat up ground to win by a head. It was a solid win, but he will have to step up his game to have a chance to win here.

5. Ralis – He ran in a May 4.5 furlong dash at Santa Anita. He tried to come off the pace, but could only manage an even effort finishing fourth by 2 lengths. A drop in to Cal-bred MSW was him duel for the lead and win going away by 4.5 lengths about 3 weeks later. His third start was in a stakes race, but he was overmatched in that race finishing fifth by 9 lengths in a field of six. He ran a solid second in the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar on August 5 before traveling to the East coast for the Grade 1 Hopeful. He sat right off the pace in that race and blew by Magna Light to win by 5 3/4 lengths. A repeat of that race puts him right there in this race.

6. Rafting – He debuted at Saratoga going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. He sat well off the pace near the rear of the field and did not have much kick in the stretch. He finished seventh by 11 lengths and was then moved back to one turn on the dirt in his second start. Going 7 furlongs, he was much closer to the pace and sat right off the top leaders. On the turn, he started to move up and came out wide in the stretch to pull away and win by 2 1/4 lengths. It was a much better effort that will have to be replicated in this spot to have a chance of hitting the ticket.

7. Tale of S’avall – He has one start and one win. His lone race was August 29 at Saratoga where he sat off the pace by a few lengths, came out in the stretch, and then pulled away to win by 2 lengths. That race was at 6 furlongs, but the extra distance in this race should not bother him. He also adds lasix and his works have been solid in the morning. He has a big chance here with another off the pace move.

8. Sunny Ridge – His first race came in a $40K maiden claimer at Monmouth in June. He pressed the pace and was able to get up for the win by a neck going 4.5 furlongs. A move to Saratoga in his next start did not prove fruitful as he was hard to handle early in the Grade 3 Sanford. He came wide in the stretch as well, but was not close to contending for the top spots. He finished seventh by 3 3/4 lengths. His last race was back at Monmouth in the Sapling Stakes going a mile on the main track. He sat off the pace by a few lengths and then came wide in the stretch for his run. He closed stoutly and won by 2 1/4 lengths and will not try another New York stakes race. This is a tough spot for him and is considered an outsider here.

9. Portfolio Manager – The lone maiden in this race, he has run one race thus far. It was not a bad race by any means at Saratoga on August 22. He sat in the middle of the pack about two lengths off the leader and then started to make is move entering the stretch. He made up solid ground, but could not catch the winner, as he finished second by 1 3/4 lengths. It is a positive sign to see him entered here despite not winning his maiden race. He deserves a look at a nice price for the underneath slots.

Selections

There are plenty of choices for the win end in the Champagne Stakes. #2 Greenpointcrusader has improved both starts and should end up with a good spot behind the leaders. #3 Ready Dancer could press the pace or sit just off of it, which makes him a threat for the duo John Velazquez and Todd Pletcher. #5 Ralis really exploded in the lane last out in an impressive performance in the Grade 1 Hopeful. He must not be forgotten about here. For fourth, #9 Portfolio Manager is worth throwing in at a nice price. He may be a maiden, but has every reason to improve. Also worth including underneath are #1 Magna Light, #6 Rafting, and #7 Tale of S’avall. This is a very deep race with some good quality to it.

Top selection – #2 Greenpointcrusader

2nd selection – #3 Ready Dancer

3rd selection – #5 Ralis

4th selection – #9 Portfolio Manager

Check back on Saturday night for a recap of the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes.

2015 Frizette Stakes Preview

2015 Frizette Stakes Preview

The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Oaks continues its busy weekend with the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes from Belmont Park on Saturday, October 3.

The Frizette Stakes has dual positives for the winner. First, a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies is up for grabs. The second, is that the winner receives 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard, which will determine the entrants for the 2016 Kentucky Oaks. Second place will receive 4 points, third place will receive 2 points, and fourth place will receive one point.

The Grade 1 Frizette Stakes will be run at one mile on the main track at Belmont. It will be a one-turn mile with a purse of $400,000 and has a field of seven two-year old fillies.

Post time for the Frizette is scheduled for 3:43 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the seventh of 11 races. Free past performances can be found here by going to Saturday, October 3 and looking for race 7 at Belmont Park. Entries have been provided in the table below.

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerMorning Line Odds
1She's All ReadyJunior AlvaradoJames Ryerson3-1
2WidthJose OrtizChristophe Clement5-2
3NemoraliaJoel RosarioJeremy Noseda5-1
4Anna RaeJoe BravoJeremiah Englehart20-1
5NicknameJavier CastellanoSteven Asmussen7-2
6Desert TuneJohn VelazquezTom Albertrani8-1
7Where's the DIrad Ortiz Jr.Doug O'Neill10-1

1. She’s All Ready – She made her debut at Saratoga in a New York bred maiden special weight race and absolutely dominated that field. She went gate-to-wire and won by 8 1/4 lengths while not being pushed the final sixteenth. Her second race was also at Saratoga, but a step up into a New York bred stake race. She did not have such an easy time, as she had to fight for the lead. Despite the duel, she was able to draw off in the end and win by 3 lengths. She has not gone this far in her career, but this one mile race will be around one turn and she will probably have company on the lead. She has a big chance if she can control the race and must not be ignored.

2. Width – Like most of these fillies, she also debuted at Saratoga. She went 5.5 furlongs in her debut in the open maiden special weight ranks. She had an awkward break, but was still able to find a nice spot in the middle of the pack. She came wide on the turn and took the lead in the stretch. She won by 2 1/2 lengths in the end. The stretch out to a mile should not be an issue and she should be better from the gate the second time. If she can get another good stalking trip, which could be easy with quite a bit of speed, she is very dangerous here.

3. Nemoralia – This filly is the most experienced filly in this race with four starts, all coming in Great Britain. She ran a decent race in her debut on June 19, finishing fifth of 13 horses going 6 furlongs on the turf. Her second race saw her improve with a second place finish by 2 3/4 lengths going 7 furlongs. She finally broke her maiden in her third start, which was also at 7 furlongs, but over the synthetic surface of Kempton Park. Her latest start was a return to turf, but it resulted in her second win. She won by a length over 18 horses that day going 6.5 furlongs. There is some talent here, but the question is will she handle the dirt?

4. Anna Rae – She broke her maiden first out in a $65K Maiden Claimer at Saratoga. She was off the lead in that race, came wide on the turn and into the stretch, and then drew away to win by 11. It was impressive enough to her connections to enter her in the Grade 1 Spinaway at 7 furlongs. She sat off the lead again, but the kick was not there as she was fourth by 9 1/4 lengths. She is facing a similar quality field here, which means she may find her late kick ineffective. On the other hand, she could like the extra furlong. Mixed signals from this filly.

5. Nickname – She had an interesting debut. She broke decent and sat midpack, she made a move on the turn (while having some traffic troubles), but could not find a late kick. She finished fourth by 6 3/4 lengths behind Rachel’s Valentina (Grade 1 Spinaway winner). Her second race was much better and cleaner. She went straight for the lead where she had to duel, but she put away that foe and won by 3 1/2 lengths. If she tries to go to the lead again, she will have plenty of company from the rail horse and outside horse. Tough to back if that is the plan.

6. Desert Tune – She debuted at Saratoga as well, but that race left a lot to be desired. She broke last of ten, made up some ground on the turn, but flattened out to finish sixth by 6 1/4 lengths going 5.5 furlongs. Her second start was here at Belmont going the distance of one mile. She broke much better and sat closer to the pace until the stretch. At that point, she was asked for her run and she provided it with a 2 1/4 length win. She has quite a bit going for her: a win at the distance and over this track, a nice stalking style, and a switch to a top jockey. The one concern is the quality of her maiden win. Intriguing filly at a solid price in this race.

7. Where’s The D – She has two starts, both at Del Mar. Her debut was on August 16 where she sat near the back of the field, but not too far away. She had to go wide in the stretch and had not late kick, as she finished seventh by  1/4 lengths. Her second race saw a change in tactics. She went straight to the lead where she had to battle for it. She was able to clear in the lane and won by 1 3/4 lengths at big odds of 34.50-1. If she is going to be intent on the lead, she will have plenty of company, which will hurt her chances. This will also be her first race beyond 5.5 furlongs and one has to wonder how she will handle the trip from California to New York.

Selections

This race has both speed and off the pace type fillies. It remains to be seen which horses will be going to the lead to set the the pace. #2 Width has every reason to improve off her debut and should be able to settle behind the leaders. #1 She’s All Ready will be going to the lead, but she has proven to be able to win a battle if need be. She is stepping up in class, but has looked good in her two wins. #6 Desert Tune is probably a bit short on class in this race, but could end up with a good trip. Plus, we know she likes this track and distance.

Top selection – #2 Width

2nd selection – #1 She’s All Ready

3rd selection – #6 Desert Tune

A recap of the Grade 1 Frizette will be posted on Saturday evening.