Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Derby Hopefuls Clash at Fair Grounds

by Steve Haskin

In what has to be one of the strongest and deepest 2-year-old allowance fields ever assembled at Fair Grounds, nine juveniles will go to the post in Thursday’s one-mile test, several of whom have already excited fans with their dazzling performances.

The headliners are Indygo Mountain, the Bret Calhoun-trained son of A.P. Indy who demolished his opponents in a one-mile maiden event at Churchill Downs Nov. 19; stakes-placed Friesan Fire, whom trainer Larry Jones feels is one of the most promising young colt’s he’s ever had and who has been working lights out at Fair Grounds with the addition of blinkers; Doc’s Friend, another Jones-trained colt, who was third behind eventual Remsen (gr. II) winner Old Fashioned before breaking his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths; Map of the World, a Hennessy colt who broke his maiden at first asking at Keeneland before finishing third in a seven-furlong allowance race at Churchill in a swift 1:22 2/5; Uno Mas, a Steve Asmussen-trained son of Macho Uno, who dusted a maiden field by 4 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs in his dirt debut; and the California invader Escalon, trained by Doug O’Neill, who finished third in the Cal Cup Juvenile and was beaten less than five lengths in both the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) and Real Quiet Stakes.

Indygo Mountain, owned by Clarence Scharbauer of Alysheba fame, finished second over Keeneland’s Polytrack in his career debut before breaking his maiden in magnificent style by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:35 2/5 for the mile. Scharbauer purchased the colt at the Keeneland September yearling sale for $600,000.

Friesan Fire, who is coming off a bullet breeze in :47 flat, fastest of 89 works at the distance, has responded to blinkers in the morning after finishing third in the Futurity Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont and fourth in the Nashua Stakes (gr. III). Jones will equip the son of A.P. Indy with blinkers for the first time, feeling the colt’s tendency to goof off in the stretch in his last two races greatly compromised his chances.

Jones, who also trains the exciting Old Fashioned, has entered Doc’s Friend, a son of Friends Lake, who has never been out of the money in four starts, all at Delaware Park and all at six furlongs or shorter.

Uno Mas began his career with two seconds at Arlington before breaking poorly and finishing sixth at Keeneland. Sent to Fair Grounds, he made his dirt debut and won going away after splitting rivals in the stretch.

Also entered are Code of Honour, a 4 3/4-length maiden winner at Remington Park; Devil Approved It, who will be making his eighth start, breaking his maiden by 3 3/4 lengths at Presque Isle Downs four starts back; and Southern Anthem, a three-length maiden winner at Churchill for a $30,000 claiming tag.

Copyright © 2008 The Blood-Horse, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

GOOD LUCK!! and have A GREAT DAY!!!

No comments:

Thoroughbred News | BloodHorse.com