Speaker’s Corner in search of stakes win in $150K Discovery
by Ryan Martin
Through two victories this year against elders, Speaker’s Corner has proven himself a force to be reckoned with and will seek his first stakes coup in Saturday’s 77th running of the $150,000 Discovery, a nine-furlong test for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Speaker’s Corner, a Godolphin homebred son of Street Sense, garnered a pair of triple digit Beyer Speed Figures this season by a combined dozen lengths.
In his 2021 debut, he earned a 101 Beyer off a 10-month layoff defeating winners by 5 ¼ lengths in a first-level Saratoga allowance tilt on August 14 going seven furlongs.
The effort was his first start since defeating subsequent stakes winners Caddo River and Greatest Honour in a seven-furlong maiden special weight last October over Big Sandy.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott attempted deeper waters with the talented bay colt in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby on September 25 at Parx, where he finished a distant sixth.
Last out, Speaker’s Corner earned a 109 Beyer for a gate-to- wire score in a 1 1/16 mile optional-claimer on October 29 at Belmont, defeating Chilean Group 1 winner First Constitution and stakes-winner Backsideofthemoon by 6 ¾ lengths, which registered a 109.
Mott said the Discovery will likely determine what type of campaign will be in store next year for Speaker’s Corner.
“That’s what we want to find out,” said Mott. “We’re interested to see how he does going two turns at this distance. It could direct us one way or another as far as what we do with him next year and in the future. Last year, he was one of our more promising 2-year-olds.”
The first offspring out of the Bernardini broodmare Tyburn Brook, whose dam was 2006 Breeders’ Cup Distaff victress Round Pond, Speaker’s Corner has a juvenile full-brother named Town Branch who recently started breezing at Payson Park Training Center in Florida.
Junior Alvarado, who joined forces with Mott aboard last year’s winner Forza Di Oro, will ride Speaker’s Corner from post 3.
Trainer Chad Brown will send out Peter Brant and Robert V. LaPenta’s Miles D, who also arrives off a 1 1/16-mile score at Belmont Park. The son of multiple champion-producing stallion Curlin defeated winners on October 24 last out following a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers on August 28 at Saratoga.
Miles D, who was fourth to Speaker’s Corner in his career debut, made his sophomore debut a winning one off nine months’ rest in a one-mile Belmont maiden special weight in June ahead of a runner-up effort in his sire’s namesake race on July 30 at Saratoga.
“Any time you can get a horse confidence and you get them in the winner’s circle, they always seem to build upon that,” said Brown assistant Dan Stupp. “He’s one that we liked as a 2-year-old and were always high on. He’s progressed nicely through his 3-year-old year.”
Breaking from post 6, Miles D will be ridden by Manny Franco.
Triple Crown veteran Bourbonic returns to the Big A for the first time since an upset coup in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino in April.
One of two contestants for Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Calumet Farm’s Bourbonic was a respective 13th and fifth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Belmont Stakes ahead of a third-place finish in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in August at Mountaineer. He arrives off a distant fifth in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby.
Regular rider Kendrick Carmouche will return to the irons from post 2.
Pletcher also sends out Vindictive, a half-brother to 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria. The son of Uncle Mo will attempt to make amends off a fifth as the favorite in an October 2 allowance optional claiming tilt at Belmont.
Vindictive scored at second asking, registering a 97 Beyer going nine furlongs in a Saratoga maiden special weight on July 28 ahead of a score against winners at the same distance and track five weeks later.
Vindictive, owned by Grandview Equine, LNJ Foxwoods and Cheyenne Stable, will be ridden by Luis Saez from post 5.
Completing the field are two-time winners Ridin With Biden [post 1, Nik Juarez] and Manor House [post 4, Romero Maragh].
The Discovery honors Alfred G. Vanderbilt II’s 1935 Horse of the Year, who captured both the Whitney and the Brooklyn for three straight years from 1934-36. Discovery was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1969.
The Discovery is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race program, which also features the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island, the $150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship, and the $100,000 Central Park. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
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