Monday, March 8, 2010

AWESOME Act, SterWINS and a new Queen's Plate contender

This post will cover the winners of the Gotham and Sham Stakes as well as a new contender for the 2010 Queen's Plate by the name of Captain Canuck.

I was well pleased with my handicapping of the Gotham Stakes. After correctly tossing out the horses coming out of the oddly run Whirlaway Stakes (Peppi Knows, Three Day Rush and Afleet Alex), I predicted the following order of finish.

1. Awesome Act
2. Turf Melody
3. Wow Wow Wow
4. Nacho Friend

As it turns out, Awesome Act was a dominant winner not at all bothered by the layoff or new racing surface. Nacho Friend raced well enough off a long layoff to finish third and Turf Melody closed to finish fourth.

The wrench in the works was New York-bred Yawanna Twist who moved into Stakes competition off a pair of sprint wins to route for the first time. Rather than struggling to find his depth, Yawanna Twist finished gamely to claim the place position though the winner was never threatened.

I collected on a win bet but narrowly missed the exotics. You win some, you lose some.

Awesome Act wins the Gotham Stakes

NYRA showed their love for Awesome Act by calling in the morning to provide a little follow-up regarding the latest horse to enter Triple Crown contention.

Awesome Act steps onto the Triple Crown trail

The re-scheduled Sham Stakes went off without a hitch as Alphie's Bet covered the 1M1/8 test in 1:48.72 at Santa Anita. It was a nifty Stakes double for trainer Alexis Barba and owners Ellen and Peer Johnson who also won Saturday's Pasadena Stakes with Make Music for Me.

While Make Music for Me will make his next start in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, the owners will look for another race for Alphie's Bet.

Alphie's Bet wins the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita


Euegene Melnyk's Sterwins captured the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup in thrilling fashion as Patrick Husbands just got the horse up in time at the wire to nip Bribon for the victory.

The 7-year-old gelding trailed the field throughout as the leaders Apostle, Pure Temptation and Areutalkintome set a hot pace. Nearing the far turn Bribon got off the rail and moved to the lead looking like a winner only for Husbands to angle Sterwins wide and blaze to the wire for a dramatic win.

Husbands, who dropped his whip turning into the stretch, was gesturing wildly to the crowd as he crossed the finish line.

It's a race well worth watching. Look closely at the turn for the falling whip. For more on this race, readers should also check out Jen's Thoroughblog.

Patrick Husbands guides Sterwins to victory in the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup

(Provided by Vidimages


2010 Queen's Plate Contenders

Good news for Centennial Farms (Niagara) over the weekend when Captain Canuck rallied to finish second in an MSW turf tilt at Gulsftream. The stable was represented in the 2008 Queen's Plate by Sebastian's Song and now look to have another very good horse on their hands.

Captain Canuck, a gelded son of Pulpit, was second in his first lifetime start but showed excellent closing power at odds of 26-1. Checked at the start of the 1M 1/16 turf event at Gulfstream, jockey Eibar Coa showed remarkable patience racing from tenth position early before circling horse five-wide turning into the stretch failing only to pass the winner Beau Choix. The Ontario-bred was flying down the lane beaten only half a length and will be off to Keeneland for his next start.

Captain Canuck is the nickname of Vancouver Canuck legend Trevor Linden.

Captain Canuck skates home second at Gulfstream

Sam-Son Farms sent out track announcer's dream Forest Run at Fair Grounds on Sunday finishing fourth in a 5 1/2F turf sprint. The Forest Wildcat colt started well and raced in contention along the backstretch but appeared to be out of gas in the far turn moving to the rail. During the stretch run, Forest Run angled out and showed second wind chasing down several to finish fourth narrowly missing show money. Perhaps Woodbine punters will have a chance to hear Dan Loiselle boom out "Run Forest Run" when the meet starts up again in April.

Forest Run finishes fourth at Fair Grounds

Forever Awesome was sent off at 19-1 in Sunday's tenth race at Gulfstream and was bumped from contention right out of the gate. Early traffic trouble followed by a hard check in the first turn all but ended his chances finishing ninth in a race won by Bill Mott's Show the Way.

Plenty of workouts to report over the weekend:

Grittani breezed 4F in 51.80 over the Payson Park dirt on March 6th.

Cognashene breezed 5F in 1:02.20 on the Fair Grounds dirt on March 6th.

Hotep breezed 5F in 1:01.40 on the Fair Grounds dirt on March 6th. This workout ranked 8th out of 48.

General Staff breezed 5F in 1:02.40 over the Ocala All-Weather track on March 6th.

Where's the Fire breezed 3F in 37.60 on the Woodbine dirt training track on March 7th.

Kid Canuck breezed 3F in 36. 80 on the Woodbine dirt training track on March 7th.

Race For Gold breezed 3F in 38.60 on the Woodbine dirt training track on March 8th

Please click on the link for current rankings and information regarding 2010 Queen's Plate contenders.


For more up-to-date information on Woodbine racing please visit the tabs at the top of the page featuring Woodbine news, entries and Queen's Plate contenders.

Tuesday's post will feature a brand new photo essay.

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