Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

An American Lion, a Warrior and a Blind Filly

Posted by Brian Appleton on April 4, 2010

Blind Luck

If Blind Luck is looking to win an Eclipse Award for outstanding 3 year old filly, she is doing a fine job of making a very strong case. In yet another powerful come-from-behind performance, Blind Luck ran past her foes in the Fantasy Stakes on Friday enroot to a commanding 2 ¼ length victory. Jockey Calvin Borel on Tidal Pool took the lead right from the get-go, posting reasonable fractions of :24.19 for the opening quarter mile and :47.88 for the half. She began to pick up the tempo as the field approached the far turn with Blind Luck beginning to move up from last. Into the homestretch Tidal Pool had improved her advantage and was beginning to open up on the field. Blind Luck appeared to be in trouble coming off the turn, but she gradually extended her lead down the lane and easily drew even with Tidal Pool. Looking the part of a champion, she flew to the wire in the fine time of 1:42.56. She will be the undisputed favorite come post time in the Kentucky Oaks now.

American Lion is back and about time too. I thought this guy had been hung out to dry for good but he proved me very wrong in a classy front-running victory Saturday. Front start to finish, the Illinois Derby was all about American Lion.

American Lion

Breaking sharply from the gate American Lion coasted through easy fractions down the backstretch and into the final turn. Ywanna Twist moved up rounding the turn to make his bid for the lead a neck behind American Lion and pulling strongly. Off the turn those two hooked up neck and neck and it appeared the victor might very well be decided in a photo finish. American Lion however found another reserve of energy and slowly inched away from Ywanna Twist, crossing the wire a comfortable 2 ¾ lengths in front. Backtalk finished more than 11 lengths behind Ywanna Twist in third. This was American Lion’s first start on dirt and a drastic improvement on his two prior performances this year in which he finished 3rd and 4th. This win most certainly punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.

Warrior’s Reward and Musket Man put on a fantastic show in the Carter Handicap (gr.1) Saturday, making sure nobody

Warrior's Reward

forgot about the older horse division with all the excitement centered around the 3-year-old Kentucky Derby preps. From last place down the backstretch, Warrior’s Reward came off the turn behind a hard-charging Musket Man. Down the stretch they flew with Warrior’s Reward creeping up to be on even terms with Musket Man. Both jockeys set their horses down for the run to the wire and they gave their all. Musket Man on the inside looked to hold a slight advantage midway down the stretch, but Warrior’s Reward continued to inch forward and seized the first graded stakes win of his career by the bob of a head. Munnings was sent off as the favorite but failed once again to win his elusive grade 1 race, finishing 4 ½ lengths behind Musket Man in third.

Eightyfiveinafifty looks like he’s going to make a superb sprinter or miler, whichever way his connections decide to go with him. In his return to the races on Saturday, Eightfiveinafifty led almost the entire way in the seven furlong Bay

Eightyfiveinafifty

Shore Stakes (gr.3) to win by 2 ½ lengths in his first graded stakes win. He burst away from the gate to take the lead and then it appeared his curiosity got the better of him as he turned his head completely sideways to gaze at the infield. Jockey Ramon Dominguez managed to get him focused back on the task at hand and he quickly re-seized the lead. It appeared to be an easy win for the speedy young colt and promises good things to come. He finished the race in the splendid time of 1:21.89.

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7 Responses to “An American Lion, a Warrior and a Blind Filly”

  1. As always, great article. I love Blind Luck. I hope she romps down the stretch on Oaks day. 🙂

    • Thanks Jennifer-I’m with you, I’d love to see her blow that race wide open and I think she will too. how do you think she’d fare against the boys in the Derby of Preakness? I’d love to see her try that.

  2. The best is yet to come for 85 in a 50.

    Earlier this year it looked like he was headed down the Derby road
    but funny how things work out. I don’t think we saw his best on Saturday.

    It helped that Richard Migliore was not in the next stall. 😉

    • Absolutely, I was very excited about this colt when he was coming into the Whirlaway Stakes and even had him in my Derby Dozen. I still remember his trainer Gary Contessa said this about him before the Whirlaway: “No doubt he’s the most talented horse I’ve ever trained.” He does still have a 105 Beyer this year and I liked the way he won the Bay Shore, he looked like he was enjoying it.

  3. Steve M. said

    I wonder how fast 85ina50 could run if he was looking straight ahead? I can’t remember a horse running that fast with his head completely cocked sideways; an unusual sight to behold. He may be a head case, but having Ramon riding probably helped. One of the reasons he’s a good jockey is because he can get his horses to relax.

    • Hey Steve,

      Eightyfiveinafifty looks like he’s going to make a big impact this year I think. Whether or not he’ll be a classic distance horse I’m not sure, but I agree he is very fast. When he turned his head sideways during the race I started to laugh, he just looked so comfortable, curious and completely unconcerned. Ramon did a great job riding him, I hope he retains the mount.

  4. They named a horse after me? Wonderful! I hope the fellow does well.

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