Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weekend Preview: Fatal Bullet and Hollywood Hit Battle For Title of Fastest Horse at Woodbine

What an exciting weekend ahead for trainer Scott Fairlie as he travels to Delaware Park with Milwaukee Appeal to take a shot at the G2 Delaware Handicap. The winner not only grabs a share of the $750 purse but also qualifies, via the Win and You're In Breeders' Cup Challenge, for the Ladies' Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

Milwaukee Appeal is hoping to make the most of her third start of the season

The four year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew finished third in her first start of 2010 when trying the Shuvee at Belmont Park. That race was won by Funny Moon who is also entered in the DelCap. Last out, Milwaukee Appeal rated along the Woodbine rail, which can be a handful, and angled out late to finish second to old foe Tasty Temptation in the 1 1/16M Hill N Dale Stakes at Woodbine on June 20.

So the pattern through two 2010 starts is 3rd, 2nd and this time....?

To get the win, Milwaukee Appeal and jock Stewart Elliot must overcome Funny Moon and the Todd Pletcher trained Life At Ten. Woodbine fans know that Milwaukee Appeal can handle the ten furlong distance based on her excellent showing in the 2010 Queen's Plate when third to Eye of the Leopard beaten less than a length.

Milwaukee Appeal is chasing a $750K purse in the 1 1/4M G2 Delaware Handicap
11Funny Moon (KY)4/FLA Garcia121C Clement7/2
22Miss Singhsix (IRE)5/MLJ Valdivia, Jr.118M D Wolfson5/1
33Milwaukee Appeal (ON)4/FLA*S Elliott119S H Fairlie2/1
44Million Seller (KY)4/FLA*J Rose114H G Motion15/1
55Miss Match (ARG)5/MLAB J Hernandez, Jr.115M R Matz12/1
66Life At Ten (KY)5/MLA*J R Velazquez122T A Pletcher8/5

Meanwhile at Woodbine, the polytrack is going to be on fire as Saturday's card features a pair of sprint stakes featuring three current track record holders.

The under card features a field of five racing six furlongs in the Colin Stakes. Madman Diaries, who was a nine length winner of the Victoria Stakes, is listed as the 1/2 morning line favourite. The Wesley Ward trained son on Bring The Heat holds the four and a half furlong record at Woodbine (51.13 set May 9, 2010) and will have to hold off Glory Game who was an impressive six length winner first out ripping through five furlongs in 58.13. Patrick Husbands gets the call on Glory Game for trainer Nick Gonzalez who is likely still smiling from his Queen's Plate victory with Big Red Mike.

Colin Stakes - Where are the Ontario-breds in this six furlong synthetic sprint?
11Brock N Rock (FL)2/GLD Clark115S Di Pasquale10/1
22Devilish Stunt (KY)2/GLC Sutherland117S H Fairlie9/2
33Glory Game (NY)2/GLP Husbands117N Gonzalez3/1
44Standup Comic (KY)2/CL*J McAleney115S M Asmussen15/1
55Madman Diaries (FL)2/GLJ Sanchez119W A Ward1/2
A pair of heavyweight contenders will flex their muscles in the Bold Venture Stakes. Hollywood Hit owns the six furlong (1:07.38) and seven furlong (1:20.07) track records at Woodbine. Sovereign Award winning horse of the year Fatal Bullet owns the six and a half furlong track record of 1:14.54. In the Bold Venture the galloping geldings will gun six and a half panels as they hurtle full throttle from gate to finish line in an attempt to earn bragging rights as the fastest horse at Woodbine.

The fast Fatal Bullet stood still long enough for me to snap a photo

It's worth noting that Hollywood Hit zipped an awesome workout on July 7th of five furlongs in 58 flat. To see the workout, click this link.

Is Hollywood Hit the fastest horse at Woodbine?

Bold Venture Stakes - Speed to burn as the Hitman tries to avoid a Fatal Bullet for 6.5 furlongs
11Fatal Bullet (FL)5/GLE R Da Silva121R Baker8/5
22Hollywood Hit (OK)4/GLJ McAleney121T Jordan3/5
33Major Marvel (KY)4/GLE Ramsammy117L Silvera15/1
44Smokey Fire (ON)5/GLE Wilson119S C Attard9/2

Sunday's Woodbine card is a battle for turf supremacy as four of Woodbine's best turf conditioners, Roger Attfield (Turf 56.2 ITM% ), Mark Frostad (Turf 54.5 ITM% ), Malcom Pierce (Turf 30.8 ITM% ) and Mike Keogh (Turf 50 ITM% ) do battle with H. G Motion in the Dance Smartly Stakes. I won't give you stats on Motion but his work with Better Talk Now speaks for itself!

Points Of Grace hopes to be looking back at her competition on Sunday

Another intriguing factor in the six horse field is that we'll be treated to horses bred in five different countries with Keogh's First Circle flying the flag for Canada. First Circle will have to get the better of returning Dance Smartly champion Points of Grace (KY). The 5-year-old daughter of Point Given was a five time winner in 2009 for Pierce and showed great affinity to the E.P Taylor turf course and won't mind if it rains.In her only 2010 start, Points of Grace faded to finish fourth in the Nassau Stakes and has trained well into this event.

Attfield sends out the forboding pair of Ave (GB) and Mekong Melody (IRE). Ave (GB) would appear to be the better of the pair with two third place finishes in graded events this season. The 4-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer is a G2 winner in Ireland.

Will Magic Broomstick fly home first?

Mark Frostad sends out Magic Broomstick (KY) who won her last outing on June 18th going a mile on the turf course to beat the excellent Sugar Bay. That horse was a second place finisher on Wednesday night here at Woodbine.

Rounding out the field is Gypsy's Warning (SAF) who will have Jose Valdivia Jr in the irons. This consistent mare has six wins and five thirds from twelve lifetime starts. Last out Gypsy's Warning made her 2010 debut a winning one by capturing the G3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park by a nose.

G2 Dance Smartly Stakes - An Internationally Bred Affair 1 1/8M on the turf

1Magic Broomstick (KY)4/FLE Wilson116M R Frostad
2Points of Grace (KY)5/MLL Contreras122M Pierce
3Ave (GB)4/FLJ R Velazquez120R L Attfield
4First Circle (ON)4/FLJ McAleney116M Keogh
5Gypsy's Warning (SAF)5/MLJ Valdivia, Jr.125H G Motion
6Mekong Melody (IRE)5/M
P Husbands118R L Attfield
To round out an excellent Sunday card at Woodbine, conditioner Carolyn Costigan sends two home breds to battle in the Shady Well Stakes. Lassair is a full sister to Oaks winner Roan Inish. This is a bettor's race as twelve Ontario-breds take to the poly. The possible favourite, Roxy Gap, could come out of the widest starting position for the popular Melnyk/Casse/Fraser combo.

Shady Well Stakes - Twelve Ontario-Bred fillies travel five and a half furlongs on the poly

1Seaman Harbor (ON)2/FLL Contreras116H K Gensler
2Miss Layla (ON)2/FL1*G Olguin116M W Wright
3Best Camper (ON)2/FLO Moreno116D Cotey
4I'm No Toy (ON)2/FLE Wilson116N Gonzalez
5Lassair (ON)2/FL1D Clark116C M Costigan
6Lucky Be Me (ON)2/FLR A Dos Ramos118W Tharrenos
7Quinnderella (ON)2/FL1C Sutherland116D England
8Lisvernane (ON)2/FL1R C Landry116C M Costigan
9Flo's Henny (ON)2/F
E Ramsammy116I Black
10Pass Partout (ON)2/FLJ McAleney116M J Doyle
11Tree Pose (ON)2/FLJ C Jones118W Tharrenos
12Roxy Gap (ON)2/FLC Fraser118M E Casse

* * *
There was an interesting moment on Wednesday's Bet Night Live card at Woodbine following the fourth race as Sandy Hawley interviewed Chantal Sutherland. The jock had just completed a second place finish on the turf aboard Sugar Bay to the victorious Impossible Time...and Sutherland was visibly upset with herself.

Chantal Sutherland and Sugar Bay forced to go wide on Wednesday night

Sutherland is an excellent jockey with 60 wins in 308 starts (tied with Patrick Husbands with ten turf wins!) thus far and clearly holds herself to a high standard. When Hawley asked Sutherland to take the viewers through the trip, Sutherland advised that she felt she had taken a good line with Sugar Bay but when they turned into the stretch there was nowhere for her horse to go. With a deep breath, Sutherland went on to explain that she had to move to the outside to avoid clipping heels and felt the move cost her horse the race.

I wouldn't be betting against Chantal next time out aboard Sugar Bay...

I think Sutherland was being very hard on herself as the hole she was preparing to charge through closed in a heartbeat as two fillies in front of her came crashing together. As a result, Sutherland took Sugar Bay to the middle of the track and re-rallied to make up a lot of ground to finish second. It was an exhilharating finish to be sure.

That said, it was a very honest bit of question and answer and Hawley commiserated by saying he'd been in that same position many times himself. Unfortunately, I do not have video of the interview, but you can watch the race yourself and see if you think Sugar Bay would have been a winner. I'm adding Sugar Bay to my watch list and we'll see if Sutherland and her filly can exact a bit of race riding revenge and get to the winners circle next time out.

* * *

As always, you can keep track of the latest goings on in the world of horse racing by clicking into my Woodbine News page. Check now for the latest news regarding Gus Schickendanz' homebred Marlang and his trip to Hollywood Park to contest the Sunset Handicap or to catch the latest scoop on the jockey drama at Fort Erie!


Laura said...

Rooting for Fatal B and Ave (GB) this weekend!

Ernie Munick said...

Can't wait for that sprint. HH is a LOOKER

railrunner said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing Fatal Bullet and Hollywood Hit on the track together!