Tag Archives: Lieutenant Colonel

Frosted Rallies For Wood Memorial Win

Frosted was all alone at the finish line in the Wood Memorial (Chelsea Durand/NYRA)
Frosted was all alone at the finish line in the Wood Memorial (Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Frosted Rallies For Wood Memorial Win

A wide trip by Frosted was not a problem as he drew away in deep stretch to win the Grade 1 Wood Memorial by 2 lengths.

Toasting Master broke best and went to the lead with Daredevil right there a length behind. Tencendur had a good spot in third, Tiz Shea D was fourth, and El Kabeir was near the back in fifth. Frosted was sixth, but three wide on the first turn with Lieutenant Colonel in last, but only 5 lengths off the lead.

Toasting Master continued to lead on the backstretch while Daredevil crept closer and Tencendur still in third. Tiz Shea D was fourth, Lieutenant Colonel made an inside move to move into fifth, Frosted was still in sixth, and El Kabeir was back in last.

Frosted started to make his move on the far turn when he went four wide, but he still had to catch Tencendur who got the first jump on the leader. It took until mid-stretch for Frosted to get the upper hand, but he pulled away to a 2 length win in the end.

Tencendur finished second while El Kabeir came from last to finish third by 5 3/4 lengths. Daredevil finished fourth, Tiz Shea D was fifth, Toasting Master was sixth, and Lieutenant Colonel was seventh.

Frosted is by Tapit out of the Deputy Minister mare Fast Cookie. He was ridden by Joel Rosario and is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. He paid $6.40 to win, $4.50 to place, and $3.00 to show. He completed the one mile and one eighth in 1:50.31.

Frosted earned 100 points to bring his total up to 113 points. Tencendur earned 40 points for a total of 41 points, El Kabeir earned 20 points for a total of 95, and Daredevil earned 10 points to bring his total to 20. The top two are virtual locks for the Kentucky Derby at this point via the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby ends next weekend with two races. The Grade 1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park and the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes from Keeneland.

2015 Wood Memorial Stakes Preview

2015 Wood Memorial Stakes Preview

As the Road to the Kentucky Derby enters its final two weekends, there is still plenty up for grabs including potential spots in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday, the first of three prep races (the other two being the Grade 1 Blue Grass and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby) will be run starting with the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes from Aqueduct. A field of 7 horses entered the race and will be going one mile and eighth for a purse of $1,000,000.

Outside of the whopping purse offered, there are 100 points that will be given to the winner of this race towards the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard to help determine the 20 starters in the Kentucky Derby. Second place will receive 40 points, third place will receive 20 points, and fourth place will receive 10 points.

Post time for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes is scheduled for 5:30 PM Eastern Time as the tenth of 12 races at Aqueduct. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Tiz Shea D (8-1 Morning Line) – He has only two races in his career. He won his debut at Parx by 4 lengths going 5.5 furlongs. He was then turned over to the care of trainer Bill Mott where he was entered in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He ran a very good race in his second career start and first going a route of ground by finishing second by 2 3/4 lengths behind El Kabeir. His rail draw should have him in a great spot here if he is good enough.

2. Toasting Master (20-1 ML) – He has started six times in his career and began by winning two of his first three races. He was then entered in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park where he was sixth. He then tried a route for the first time in the OBS Championship, but finished fourth that day. He too was entered in the Gotham Stakes, but could only muster another fourth place finish after setting the pace. He he weakened going 8.5 last time and this is half of a furlong farther.

3. Lieutenant Colonel (15-1 ML) – Like his counterpart on the rail, he too has had only two career starts. He won by a head at Gulfstream in his debut going one mile and was then shipped to New York for the Gotham Stakes. He did not have a good break and was never in contention while finishing last of 10 horses that day. He is probably better than he showed in the Gotham, but we may not see it here in the Wood Memorial either.

4. Frosted (5-2 ML) – He broke his maiden in his third start after starting his career with back-to-back second place finishes. He then ran in the Grade 2 Remsen where he missed by half a length and then took some time off and headed south. He was second in the Grade 2 Holy Bull behind a dominant Upstart and then ran in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He had the lead in the stretch, but ultimately finished fourth in a rough stretch run. He should have a good spot behind the front runners in this race.

5. El Kabeir (3-1 ML) – El Kabeir has seen his name all over the Kentucky Derby prep races in New York. He began the year with an easy win in the Grade 3 Jerome by nearly five lengths before being run down by Far From Over in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes and finishing second. He bounced back in an odd way in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He had to come from way behind, which is opposite of his normal stalking and pressing style. It did not matter as he won by 2 3/4 lengths over Tiz Shea D. He certainly makes sense in this spot.

6. Daredevil (9-5 ML) – The morning line favorite began his career at Belmont with a smashing debut win by 6 1/4 lengths. He parlayed that into a 2 1/2 length win in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, also at Belmont. He had a poor trip in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on his way to finishing 11th, beaten nearly 26 lengths. He came back in March and ran second by 2 3/4 lengths in the seven furlong Grade 2 Swale Stakes. If he is ready (or if there is a sloppy track), he will be tough to beat. It is worth noting he needs to finish first or second to make the Derby.

7. Tencendur (12-1 ML) – He has yet to leave the state of New York to race, but that has worked out just fine for him. He was third in his debut and then broke his maiden second time out while going into New York bred competition. He then finished fourth in the Grade 3 Withers by 4 lengths in an even race and then could not rally to finish better than fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. He will need a hot pace to make a big impact here.

Selections

There is a reason #4 Frosted, #5 El Kabeir, and #6 Daredevil are the favorites. #5 El Kabeir has done little wrong in New York this prep season and his last race was excellent. He can rate, press, or close if need be and he is the top choice here. #1 Tiz Shea D is probably a step below the top trio, but if he can get a good trip, he could round out the exacta. #6 Daredevil has three really good races and if the track comes up sloppy, he will be hard to beat. #4 Frosted may find it a bit easier against this group, but he needs to run better than his Fountain of Youth last out.

1. El Kabeir

2. Tiz Shea D

3. Daredevil

4. Frosted

Check back on Saturday evening for the recap of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial as well as the Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.

El Kabeir Shows New Dimension In Gotham Stakes

El Kabeir closed in the slop to win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes (NYRA)
El Kabeir closed in the slop to win the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes (NYRA)

El Kabeir Shows New Dimension In Gotham Stakes

Despite never trailing by more than six and a half lengths at any call in his previous 7 races, El Kabeir showed he can close well off the pace in winning the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes. El Kabeir rallied from 12 lengths off the lead to win by 2 3/4 lengths in the end.

The race began with Toasting Master and Blame Jim tangling for the lead with Tiz Shea D and Uninfluenced behind the top duo. Further back in fifth was Dontbetwithbruno followed by Classy Class, Tencendur, Lieutenant Colonel, El Kabeir, and Combat Diver. The trailing group of six were at least eight and a half lengths off the lead at the first call.

The top four remained unchanged until the far turn when El Kabeir began to make headway and closed within 4 lengths. He switched out on the turn and found more room entering the stretch when he took over by 2 lengths with an eight of a mile to go.

While no one was getting to El Kabeir, there was a race to get the second, third, and fourth spots. Tiz Shea D had a good stakes debut and got up by a head for second over Classy Class. Fourth place was even closer with Toasting Master barely hanging to fourth place by a nose over Tencendur. One length covered second through fifth place.

The remaining order of finish was started by the Todd Pletcher trio of Dontbetwithbruno, Uninfluenced, and Blame Jim in sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively. Combat Diver was ninth and Lieutenant Colonel finished last by 21 3/4 lengths. The results can be found here via Equibase.

El Kabeir earned 50 points for his victory, bringing his Kentucky Derby Points to a total of 75 and is the top-ranked horse on the Kentucky Derby Points Leaderboard. Tiz Shea D earned his first 20 points while Classy Class earned 10 points to bring him t0 13. Toasting Master earned his first 5 points.

El Kabeir is by Scat Daddy out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Great Venue. He was ridden by Charles Lopez and is trained by John Terranova II. He paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite. The final running time for the Gotham Stakes was 1:45.56 over a muddy track.

It is safe to assume that El Kabeir will be back at Aqueduct for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes on Saturday, April 4. That race is worth 100, 40, 20, and 10 points to the first, second, third, and fourth place finishers of that race respectively.

The next Road to the Kentucky Derby race is on Saturday, March 14 with the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

2015 Gotham Stakes Preview

2015 Gotham Stakes Preview

Saturday, March 7 features a total of three races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The first race of the three is the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

A total of 10 three-year olds will go a mile and a sixteenth on the inner dirt track. The purse is $400,000 with the top four finishers receiving 50, 20, 10, and 5 points respectively. The points for the winner will practically solidify a spot in the Kentucky Derby via the Points Leaderboard.

Post time for the Gotham Stakes is at 4:50 PM Eastern Time and is carded as the ninth race of the day. Free past performances can be found here.

1. Dontbetwithbruno (5-1 Morning Line) – The first of a trio for Todd Pletcher, he broke his maiden last time out in his third start. Prior to that he was second in his second race and fourth in his debut. He will break from post two in this race and he will get perfect position to stalk from behind the leaders. He is dangerous in this race.

1A. Uninfluenced (5-1 ML) – The second horse of the Pletcher trio, he will be breaking from post 8. He is still a maiden after finishing fourth by 5 lengths in his debut. Last time out, he was second by a neck at a mile on the inner dirt here at Aqueduct. He will need to step up to be a factor in this race. You would get better odds on him if he were not coupled.

1X. Blame Jim (5-1 ML) – The final Pletcher entrant will be breaking from post 10. He debuted in July 2014 at Saratoga where he went gate-to-wire and won by 3 lengths. After nearly 7 months on the bench, he came back on February 8 at Gulfstream and finished second by a length and a half. He clearly needed that last race, but he has not raced beyond six furlongs. He will probably be near the lead in this race and with his fellow entrants he has a chance to make some noise.

2. Combat Diver (12-1 ML) – He started his career on turf at Belmont where he finished tenth by 13 lengths. He moved to dirt in his second and won by a nose. He stepped up into Graded stakes competition in the Remsen where he was tenth by 19 lengths. Last time out he missed out on the win by a nose in the listed Miracle Wood at Laurel Park. He tends to make one run in his races and with several speed horse signed on, he could make a stretch run. He will be breaking from the rail here.

3. Classy Class (7-2 ML) – He broke his maiden at Belmont in October by 4 lengths before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen in his first try around two turns. After a little break, he returned in the Grade 3 Withers and tried to take the field gate-to-wire. He finished third by 2 3/4 lengths. He should be tighter on Saturday for this race, but there are quite a few speed horses in this race.

4. El Kabeir (8-5 ML) – The most experienced runner in this field is also the classiest. He has run in 5 consecutive graded stakes finishing first or second in four of them. In his last race, the Grade 3 Withers, he tried to duel three wide, but was run down by Far From Over in the last eighth of a mile to finish second by 1 3/4 lengths. The worry here is that he may get caught in another speed duel, but he should be close at the wire.

5. Lieutenant Colonel (5-1 ML) – He has only one start to his credit and it was at one mile at Gulfstream Park. He pressed the lead and then took over while holding on for the victory by a head. Now he makes the trek up north to Aqueduct where he faces other speed horses. He has a chance if he shows the ability to rate in his second start.

6. Tiz Shea D (15-1 ML) – Another horse who broke his maiden last time out, which was also in his first start. He won by 4 lengths at Parx under the care of trainer Jason Servis going 5.5 furlongs by sitting off the pace and taking over in the stretch. He has been switched to the barn of Bill Mott since his debut and his pedigree suggests the stretch out to 8.5 furlongs should not be an issue. The waters get deeper here, but the abundance of speed in combination with his rating ability makes him an intriguing long shot.

7. Toasting Master (20-1 ML) – The longest shot in the field based on the morning line makes his way from Florida. He began his career at Churchill Downs finishing second in his debut. Nearly 2 months later he came back at Churchill to break his maiden in his second race before winning the next race as well. He went to Gulfstream to try the Spectacular Bid field, but found it too tough finishing sixth by 14 lengths. His latest race was at a mile and a sixteenth at the Ocala Training Center. He finished fourth by 3 lengths when he prompted the pace. He has shown to be a need the lead type of horse and that severely compromises his chances here.

8. Tencendur (8-1 ML) – He will be breaking from post 9 and is also exiting the Grade 3 Withers. He finished fourth that day 5 lengths behind the leader while running evenly throughout. He has trained well for this race and there should be enough pace for him to close into while stalking the leaders. A worry for him breaking from the ninth post and trying to get a good spot behind the front runners. He is putting blinkers on, but overall is a tough horse to handicap in this race.

 

Selections

#4 El Kabeir is clearly the one to beat. He struggled last time to beat a mediocre field in the Grade 3 Withers and the worry here is that he will be caught in a speed duel. The entry of Todd Pletcher’s horses will be tough, especially #1 Dontbetwithbruno from post 2. He will get great position from that spot and have first run on the leaders. #6 Tiz Shea D is an interesting long shot making his route and stakes debut, but should have a good trip. #5 Lieutenant Colonel is also an interesting horse with his backers hoping he takes back and does not end up in the speed duel. #3 Classy Class should do better than last race of the break, but may end up with a lot of company on the lead that will hurt his chances.

1. Dontbetwithbruno (Pletcher entry of 1, 1A, and 1X)

2. El Kabeir

3. Tiz Shea D

4. Lieutenant Colonel

Check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes.