Apr 3, 2021
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Bourbonic earns 89 Beyer Speed Figure in Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino (G2) upset

by NYRA Press Office

  • Bourbonic earns 89 Beyer Speed Figure in G2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino upset
  • Mischevious Alex and Drain the Clock top a perfect day for Joseph, Jr.
  • Search Results remains undefeated with impressive G3 Gazelle score
  • Modernist could target G2 Brooklyn following G3 Excelsior win
  • Aqueduct spring meet Week 2 probables

Calumet Farm homebred Bourbonic, trained by Todd Pletcher and piloted by Kendrick Carmouche, garnered an 89 Beyer Speed Figure and 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his dramatic head score over stablemate Dynamic One in Saturday’s Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino.

The victory capped a sensational day for the Pletcher barn, who successfully debuted promising New York-bred maiden Great Workout on the Wood Memorial undercard and also included a closing second from Haikal in the Grade 3 Excelsior.

Bourbonic, a dark bay Bernardini colt, was sent to post as the longest shot on the board at 72-1 and topped an unlikely exacta over 15-1 stablemate Dynamic One that returned $453 for a $1 wager.

Patiently handled by Carmouche, Bourbonic closed from last-of-9 to edge Dynamic One, who had made the lead at top of the lane after tracking the early foot of the prominent Grade 3 Gotham-winner Weyburn.

“It was a very patient ride,” said Byron Hughes, the New York-based assistant for Pletcher. “That track often plays to frontrunners or horses closer to the pace. Yesterday, it was playing fair and there were some closers. He waited as long as he could and made one run and it paid off.”

A late bloomer, Bourbonic graduated at third asking in a $50,000 maiden claiming mile in December at the Big A and followed with a score against winners in January traveling a one-turn mile at Aqueduct. He entered the Wood Memorial from a runner-up effort in a mile and seventy yards optional-claiming tilt at Parx in February.

While many of the Pletcher-trained Kentucky Derby hopefuls wintered at Palm Beach Downs in Florida, Bourbonic remained with Hughes in New York. He said the added distance was beneficial for the improving dark bay.

“We always thought he wanted more distance and two turns is something he needed,” said Hughes. “It was a good day for the team. He’s been a forward training horse here. He loves to train and it’s been great to have him up here this winter.”

Repole Stable, Phipps Stable, and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One earned 40 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for his runner-up effort under Jose Ortiz. The Union Rags chestnut was piloted to a nine-furlong maiden victory in March by Carmouche at Aqueduct.

“He ran a game race,” said Hughes. “I was looking at the Trakus this morning and he actually ran 43 feet more than Bourbonic did. It was a game race and we were happy with his effort.”

Hughes said he was pleased with how both horses came out of the race.

“They both look good. They both ate up last night and are walking around here this morning with a purpose,” said Hughes.

Pletcher also enjoyed a successful Saturday at Keeneland with Kentucky Oaks hopeful Malathaat remaining undefeated after taking the Grade 1 Ashland. Also victorious at the Lexington oval were 3-year-old turf filly Jouster in the Grade 2 Appalachian and well-regarded sophomore colt Ghazaaly, who graduated in the day’s opening race.

“It was a big day for us at Keeneland, too. Malathaat is undefeated and looked great doing it,” said Hughes.

Hughes said the barn is excited at their prospects for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby slated for May 1 at Churchill Downs. They currently have four contenders on the leaderboard, including Florida Derby-winner Known Agenda [102 points], Bourbonic [100], Dynamic One [40] and Sainthood [40].

“It’s exciting. We went from not having any to having four in two weekends,” said Hughes. “These last shots paid off and the barn is excited for the Derby. All the hard work getting here at 4:30 in the morning, it pays off for everybody.


Mischevious Alex and Drain the Clock top a perfect day for Joseph, Jr.

Florida-based trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. will fill as many as 12 stalls at Belmont Park at the upcoming 48-day spring/summer meet which runs from April 22 through July 11.

On Saturday, assistant trainer Sabine Langvad led three starters to the Big A paddock and had had her picture taken on each occasion thanks to wins with Mischevious Alex in the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap; Drain the Clock in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore; and Michael’s Bad Boy in a state-bred maiden claimer.

Langvad said the results made working through recently crisp Nassau County mornings worthwhile.

“It was very cold here on Friday and I was like, ‘oh, this is rough.’ But I can take a few frozen fingers for three wins,” said Langvad with a laugh.

Cash is King and LC Racing’s Mischevious Alex earned a 109 Beyer for a dominant 5 1/2-length score in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Carter.

The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, who captured the Grade 3 Gotham here last year, was much the best over multiple Grade 1-winner Mind Control. Irad Ortiz, Jr., who won six races on the card and guided all three winners Saturday for Joseph, Jr., has now piloted the colt to three successive wins, including a score in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint in February.

“Irad gave him a perfect trip. He showed his true class at the quarter pole when he gave a strong kick and went away from everybody,” said Langvad. “I thought he was super impressive and showed that he’s a Grade 1 horse.”

Mischevious Alex could target the Grade 1, $1 million Metropolitan on June 5 at Belmont Park with connections indicating Saturday that a pair of Grade 1 sprints at Saratoga – the Vanderbilt and Forego – are very much in play.

Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael Nentwig’s Drain the Clock turned back in distance and earned an 86 Beyer for his 1 3/4-length frontrunning score in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Bay Shore.

The Maclean’s Music chestnut was a little fractious in the gate but was able to dictate terms for the wrapped up win. A record of five wins from seven starts includes scores in the six-furlong Limehouse and seven-furlong Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream. He entered the Bay Shore from a pacesetting second in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream.

“He’s still maturing. It’s his first time in a new place and it wasn’t terrible. He still broke well and I think with experience he will get better,” said Langvad. “He did well in the Fountain of Youth running second behind Greatest Honour. If they wanted to, they could have pushed him to go that distance but it seems his specialty is going seven eighths and especially one turn. Their decision was to focus on what seems to be his strength. He’s shown he belongs in graded races. Hopefully, some big tasks ahead for him.”

A NYRA Grade 1 could be in order for Drain the Clock, as Joseph, Jr. said Saturday the $400,000 Woody Stephens on June 5 at Belmont Park and the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial on August 28 at Saratoga are long term goals for the talented colt.

Lawrence Goichman’s homebred Michael’s Bad Boy graduated in his eighth start, drawing clear by 3 1/2-lengths in a state-bred 1 1/16-mile turf event with Ortiz, Jr. in the irons.

Langvad said all three horses were in good order on Sunday morning.

“Everyone looks great and ate up all their food,” said Langvad. “I’m super happy with how they came back and they took to travelling really well. Shipping back and forth from Aqueduct didn’t seem to bother them at all.”

Mischevious Alex and Drain the Clock are scheduled to ship back to Joseph, Jr. in Florida on Monday, while the New York-bred Michael’s Bad Boy will remain at Belmont.

Queen Nekia, last out winner of the Grade 3 Royal Delta on February 20 at Gulfstream, is slated to arrive in New York on Wednesday for a start in Saturday’s $100,000 Top Flight Invitational.


Search Results remains undefeated with impressive G3 Gazelle score

Klaravich Stables’ Search Results remained undefeated in three starts with a facile score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle at the Big A.

The Flatter filly, who earned 100 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points in victory, entered the nine-furlong test from a half-length score in the Busher Invitational going a one-turn mile. She earned a 92 Beyer for her Gazelle triumph and now tops the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 150 points.

“She looks great this morning,” said Dan Stupp, trainer Chad Brown’s New York-based assistant. “She ran well yesterday and she still has room to move forward. She certainly handled the distance well."

The Brown-trained The Grass Is Blue, a Broken Vow chestnut owned by Louis Lazzinnaro, finished fourth in the Gazelle.

Brown saddled a pair of contenders for Klaravich Stables in the Wood Memorial with Crowded Trade rallying from eighth to finish third, while mutuel favorite Risk Taking bobbled at the start and finished seventh.

Crowded Trade entered the Wood from a nose defeat to Weyburn in the Grade 3 Gotham, while Risk Taking was made the Wood favorite on the back of a convincing score in the Grade 3 Withers.

“He tried and ran well,” said Stupp regarding Crowded Trade. “Everyone is fine this morning. We’ll see what Chad wants to do moving forward with them.”

Not to be overshadowed on the Wood Memorial undercard was an impressive North American debut by Peter Brant’s Flighty Lady in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance. The 4-year-old Sir Percy filly finished third in the 2019 Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp and placed in a pair of Group 3 events last year in France.

Flighty Lady was prepared by Brown at Payson Park in Florida and demonstrated a powerful kick under Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the final sixteenth to win by two lengths.

“She shipped in middle of the week and looked fantastic,” said Stupp. “She is a very classy acting filly and well behaved in the paddock. She gave a good impression on race day and then ran to it. It was a very patient ride from Irad and she responded well. She’s a very exciting turf prospect for us this year.”

Flighty Lady registered an 86 Beyer in victory.

Klaravich Stables’ Highly Motivated, who finished third for Brown in the Grade 3 Gotham, was a game second in Saturday’s Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland. The Into Mischief bay battled gamely on the pace en route to a narrow neck defeat to undefeated Essential Quality, the reigning Champion 2-year-old colt. Highly Motivated is in 14th position in the Derby standings with 50 points.


Modernist could target G2 Brooklyn following G3 Excelsior score

Pam and Martin Wygod’s Modernist earned a 95 Beyer for his 2 1/2-length score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Excelsior, a nine-furlong test for older horses at the Big A.

With Junior Alvarado up for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Modernist tracked in second position and shook clear at the head of the lane en route to a convincing win over the late-closing Haikal.

The 4-year-old Uncle Mo colt graduated last January at the Big A ahead of a win in the Grade 2 Risen Star and a third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, both at Fair Grounds. He was given a freshening after off-the-board efforts in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 3 Peter Pan at Saratoga.

“He’s doing good this morning,” said Mott’s New York-based assistant Leana Willaford. “The last couple races last year, he was looking like he was ready for a break and he got one. It obviously helped him. He came back to me here much more mature physically and mentally. I thought he looked great going into the race.”

Willaford said the prominent trip was a good one for the long-running colt, especially after the scratch of 4-5 morning line favorite Mr. Buff.

“He’s run well that way. He was on the lead when he broke his maiden and vying for it when he won the Risen Star,” said Willaford. “With Mr. Buff out, you figured you better be up there and they didn’t go very fast early. Distance will not be a limitation for this horse. He can go all day.”

A possible target for Modernist would be the 12-furlong Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn on June 5 at Belmont.

WinStar Stablemates Racing’s Paris Lights garnered an 85 Beyer for her half-length score over pacesetter Portal Creek in the Grade 3 Distaff on Friday at the Big A.

“She ran great,” said Willaford. “She was sitting a little closer than I imagined she would, but it was good that she did because that filly got away with some slow fractions, too.”

Paris Lights is likely to target the Grade 1, $500,000 La Troienne on April 30 at Churchill Downs.

Frank Fletcher Racing Operations’ Candy Man Rocket faded to ninth in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial after an early stalking trip under Alvarado.

“The track was a little deep for him. He sat close easily and Junior said he asked him a little at the three-eighths pole and he gave him a run to the quarter pole,” said Willaford. “He came out of it fine this morning. I think we just need to shorten him up. He looks like more of a one-turn type of horse.”

There’s A Chance Stable, Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms Corp., and David Staudacher’s Horologist is set to make her seasonal debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Top Flight Invitational at nine furlongs on the main track.

The 5-year-old New Jersey-bred daughter of Gemologist won the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park and Grade 2 Beldame at Belmont last year. She completed a lucrative campaign with an off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Keeneland.

“She’s doing good,” said Willaford. “She was here last year before the Beldame for quite a while and she looks as good or better as she did in the late summer and fall.”


Aqueduct spring meet Week 2 probables

Saturday, April 10

$100,000 Top Flight Invitational

Probable: Horologist (Bill Mott), Lucky Move (Juan Carlos Guerrero), Lucky Stride (Michael Trombetta), Mrs. Danvers (Shug McGaughey), Queen Nekia (Saffie Joseph, Jr.), Thankful (Todd Pletcher)

Possible: Bonny South (Brad Cox)

$100,000 Danger’s Hour

Probable: Analyze It (Chad Brown), Decorated Invader (Christophe Clement), Delaware (Brown), Field Pass (Mike Maker), Hieronymus (Cox), Price Talk (Jorge Abreu), Rinaldi (H. James Bond), Tiberius Mercurius (Tom Albertrani)

Possible: Therapist (Clement)

Sunday, April 11

$100,000 Plenty of Grace

Probable: Counterparty Risk (Brown), Platinum Paynter (Juan Vazquez), Sweet Turn (Donald White), Xanthique (Tom Morley)

Possible: Kilkea (Mark Hennig), Mintd (Brendan Walsh), Toffen (Brian Lynch)

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