Belmont Stakes Day is the perfect day to remember TOM’S READY’s come from behind win in the 2016 Woody Stephens G1. TOM’S READY was purchased and prepared by Kirkwood for owner GMB Racing and trainer Dallas Stewart
Stakes winner of the Alydar S and also a multiple Graded Stakes Placed, REALM (Haynesfield) added another G2 stakes placing n the G2 Brooklyn Invitational at 12 furlongs on the Belmont Stakes card. He ran close to the pace and in a blanket finish only missed by a 1/2 and a neck.
Bred in Virginia by Morgan’s Ford Farm, Realm was selected by Tagg from the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale (Consigner by Kirkwood), paying $75,000. He’s earned just over $421,000.
“Harry and I have had a couple of horses together,” Dattner said, “but this is the first with Barclay. He said he’d like to own a horse but couldn’t afford one, so I paid for the horse and he paid for the upkeep until he caught up.”
Courtesy of the Paulick Report
It is a tribute to the strength of the field for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap that a horse who hasn’t lost since last winter and whose most recent effort toppled an international gathering of standouts is no better than fifth choice on the morning line for the historic eight-furlong test.
Earning accolades the hard way is something the Todd Pletcher-trained Coal Front is well versed in, however. The son of Stay Thirsty has had his career interrupted due to various ailments, but has returned in recent months with his best form yet – something that will be needed in an especially salty edition of the Met Mile featuring six Grade 1 winners in the field of nine.
After winning the Grade 3 Gallant Bob in September of 2017, Coal Front went to the sidelines and didn’t resurface until the following November when he was fifth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap. He has failed to put a foot wrong since, ending his 2018 season with a victory in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector last December and then successfully stretching out to 1 1/16-miles in taking the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap in his 2019 seasonal bow on February 18.
That outing earned the 5-year-old ridgling the chance to dive into some ambitious waters overseas in the Grade 2 Godolphin Mile at Meydan Racecourse March 30. With 200 meters to go, he appeared set to settle for runner-up honors behind defending race winner Heavy Metal. When the finish line was ultimately breached, though, it was Coal Front’s dark bay frame getting up just in time to give his seven-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer his first-ever win on Dubai World Cup night.“The win in Dubai was a lot of fun for our whole team. To have our first win in Dubai was great but also rewarding because of the horse,” Pletcher said of Coal Front. “He’s had some layoffs along the way and he’s always come back and been remarkably consistent. It was fun to see him get the credit he deserves.”
When he’s right, Coal Front’s talent has rarely failed to garner him the best kind of attention. Owned by Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front has won 7-of-9 career starts including an allowance victory over future Grade 1 winner Patternrecognition in an allowance race at Belmont Park in June 2017.
“In Coal Front’s case, I think one thing that has allowed him to get even better this year is he’s learned to relax early on in his races,” said Pletcher, who has won the Met Mile twice previously, saddling Quality Road to victory in 2010 and Palace Malice in 2014. “I wish we wouldn’t have drawn the 1 hole but hopefully he’s seasoned enough to overcome that.”
Sprinting 5 furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream in the CRYSTAL RIVER S, MR FRENCH(GB) by Mr. Sidney added his first black-type placing second by 1/2 a length. He was bred Earl Haras Du Quesnay and trained by Marcial Navarro for owner NME 56 LLC . Consigned and sold for $45,000 by Kirkwood in the OBS March 2016 sale with Gary Young the buyer.
Courtesy of the TDN
Trainer Bob Baffert was out of luck Saturday in Maryland, but “TDN Rising Star” Mucho Gusto provided at least some measure of consolation when proving too strong for five other rivals in the G3 Laz Barrera S. The prohibitive favorite hit the ground running from the inside gate and raced inside in a line of three vying for the early lead, but Joe Talamo took a quick look to his right and asked Mucho Gusto for a bit of acceleration to give themselves a bit of breathing room for the run up the backstretch. Settled nicely in the middle stages and held together into the final quarter-mile, Mucho Gusto repelled a challenge from Vantastic at the threesixteenths pole, responded to a couple of left-handed whips to pinch a break into the ultimate furlong and strode home a daylight winner.
Accorded “Rising Star” status after besting Vantastic by four lengths on Los Alamitos debut last September, he led throughout to take Del Mar’s G3 Bob Hope S. Nov. 17 before finishing runner-up to fellow “Rising Star” Improbable (City Zip) in the GI Los Alamitos Futurity. The chestnut looked to be among Baffert’s top Classic hopes when running out a decisive winner of the G3 Robert B. Lewis S. in February, but he was beaten six lengths into third in the G3 Sunland Derby Mar. 24 and was forced to regroup.
Pedigree Notes: A $14,000 short yearling at Keeneland January in 2017, Mucho Gusto improved to be a $95,000 Keeneland September buy, but was bought back on a bid of just $55,000 at OBS March last spring. But the chestnut blossomed–to put it mildly–and was purchased by Michael Lund Petersen for $625,000 (consigned by Kirkwood) at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale after spectacularly breezing a quarter over a rain-affected strip in :21 1/5.
Sold by KIRKWOOD for $625,000 at Timonium last year
In his first start since finishing third as the favorite in the Sunland Park Derby (G3), Michael Petersen’s Mucho Gusto will return to sprinting in the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes (G3) May 18 at Santa Anita Park.
A seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds, the Lazaro Barrera attracted six entries, with Mucho Gusto drawing the rail. Regular rider Joe Talamo will be aboard.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Mucho Gusto led the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Park Derby early while racing inside before fading in the stretch in the March 24 test at Sunland Park. Before that effort, the son of Mucho Macho Man drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the Feb. 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) on a sloppy track at Santa Anita.
Last year, Mucho Gusto scored his maiden win at six furlongs at Los Alamitos Race Course and followed with a clear victory in the Bob Hope Stakes (G3) going seven furlongs at Del Mar. He then earned a runner-up finish to stablemate Improbable—Saturday’s morning-line favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1)—in the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (G1).
Also returning to sprinting Saturday is Del Secco DCS Racing’s Sparky Ville, who won the seven-furlong Feb. 10 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. Trained by Jeff Bonde, the son of Candy Ride will be making his first start since an off-the-board finish in the April 27 California Derby at 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields.
ENTRIES: LAZARO BARRERA S. (G3)
Santa Anita Park, Saturday, May 18, 2019, Race 8
- Grade III
- 3 yo
- 4:30 PM (local)
|1||1Mucho Gusto (KY)||Joseph Talamo||124||Bob Baffert||4/5|
|2||2Sparky Ville (KY)||Victor Espinoza||124||Jeff Bonde||5/2|
|3||3Principe Carlo (CA)||Ruben Fuentes||120||Marcelo Polanco||12/1|
|4||4Vantastic (FL)||Flavien Prat||120||Peter Eurton||5/1|
|5||5Manhattan Up (KY)||Tiago Josue Pereira||120||Philip A. Oviedo||6/1|
|6||6Synthesis (KY)||Rafael Bejarano||120||George Papaprodromou||12/1|
Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables sent out a colt by Union Rags (hip 213) to share the :21 3/5 quarter-mile bullet time Wednesday. “He’s a pretty fast horse,” Elser said of the son of stakes placed Isabelle=s Thunder (Mineshaft). Of the track conditions, Elser added, “We’ve had good weather the last day and a half, but they have done a great job in the last two weeks keeping the track safe. It was safe yesterday and it’s fast and safe today.”
Pletcher-Trained Coal Front ‘Going According To Schedule’ For Met Mile
by NYRA Press Office | 05.10.2019 | 2:08pm
Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners’ Coal Front continued his preparations for the Grade 1, $1.2 million Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap when he breezed four furlongs in 50.55 seconds on Friday morning at Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The move was the son of Stay Thirsty’s second work since an overseas triumph in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on March 30 at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.
“I thought he worked really well, consistently with what we’ve been seeing before he went to Dubai,” Pletcher said. “It seemed like he shipped back with some good energy, good weight and all the all the signs that you would hope for coming back from a long trip like that. I was very happy with the breeze this morning and everything is going according to schedule so far.”
A five-time graded stakes winner at five different tracks, Coal Front has won three races in a row. Prior to his international endeavor, he won the Mr. Prospector on December 22 at Gulfstream Park and the Razorback on February 18 at Oaklawn Park. Both are Grade 3 events.
The colt was bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly, and LaPenta purchased Coal Front for $575,000 at Ocala Breeders Sales Company’s 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in April 2016.
Pletcher also spoke of Marconi, who won his second straight stakes race in Thursday evening’s Flat Out and said that the well-bred son of Tapit would target the Grade 2 $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational as part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on June 8.
In the 1 3/8-mile event over the main track, Marconi sat just off of pacesetter Tour de Force and took command at the top of the stretch to draw off by 2 ¾ lengths under a patient ride by Jose Lezcano.
“It was exactly the way that we thought it would unfold on paper,” Pletcher said. “We were able to get into a good comfortable gallop and I thought he ran a really big race.”
Owned by Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, Marconi is a half-brother to 2013 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. He was a $2 million purchase from the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Pletcher also noted that graded stakes winner Bellavais is possible for the Grade 1 $700,000 Longines Just a Game on Belmont Stakes Day. The daughter of Tapit breezed a half-mile in 49.90 seconds over the Belmont training track on Thursday morning. Two-time winner Last Judgment, ninth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs last Saturday as the second choice, will target the $150,000 Easy Goer.
5 year old FIRE FOR EFFECT (Smart Strike) was claimed recently by trainer Norman McKnight for Newtop Stables. He made good on the claim quickly by winning an allowance race at Woodbine going 1 1/16 on the all-weather surface. Today he added a second win to his new team racing 7 furlongs on the all weather surface making a bid at the top of the stretch and clearing the field to win by 1 3/4 lengths.
Lifetime Record: 20-4-2-3,$144,559