Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Weekend Recap: Blind Luck, Gio Ponti & Awesome Gem

Posted by Brian Appleton on July 11, 2010

Blind Luck is every racing fans dream horse. Not only is she consistent enough to be near perfect she always insists on giving her fans a heart-pounding finish that inevitably ends with the crowds on their feet, fists pumping the air and cheering for all they are worth. She did it once again on Saturday when she took the Delaware Oaks (gr.2) from a tough-luck Havre de Grace after closing furiously from dead last to catch the wire in a head bob. As the heavy favorite in the Delaware Oaks Blind Luck ran behind the pack from the break of the field and remained content to trail down the backstretch. Entering the turn Blind Luck began moving up from the back while Jeremy Rose on Havre de Grace got to work rousing his mount to contest the lead. Into the turn it was Havre de Grace who had the jump on Blind Luck, seizing the lead and looking strong while driving for all she was worth for the wire. Blink Luck proved once again though that she can be one of the most determined and brilliant runners in the nation as she furiously rallied to get within contention and just catch Havre de Grave at the wire.

The Delaware Oaks was Blind Lucks first start on a sloppy track and aside from passing that test with flying colors the versatile filly remained undefeated in four starts on the dirt. Next up for Blind Luck is the Alabama Stakes (gr.1) at Saratoga on August 21st.

Entering the 2010 edition of the Man ‘O’ War Stakes (gr.1) the picture may have looked different than it did a year ago, but the end result was the same. In his 5th start of 2010 dual 2009 Champion Gio Ponti finally put it all together and

returned to his winning ways, taking his second consecutive Man ‘O’ War Stakes. Showing the same spark he demonstrated last year when winning four straight Grade 1 races, Gio Ponti closed into a very slow pace in the Man ‘O’ War to run down 53-1 long shot Mission Approved to win by a neck. After trailing the field, led by a super slow Mission Approved, Gio Ponti gradually moved up nearing the final turn and waited behind a wall of horses as the field entered the stretch. Mission Approved opened up on the field entering the homestretch while Gio Ponti was blocked behind the field with no way through. Jockey Ramon Dominguez, showing complete confidence in his steed, waited patiently for the right opening to appear. When he was finally let loose Gio Ponti exploded through the hole and bounded home with incredible ease to defeat Mission Approved by a neck. The Champ is back and it was great to see his return to the winners circle.

Awesome Gem has apparently had enough of playing second fiddle every time he runs against grade 1 caliber horses.

In Saturday’s Hollywood Gold Cup (gr.1) the 7-year-old gelding finally claimed his moment in the spotlight with a brilliant victory over favored Rail Trip. Breaking from the gate in the field of 6, Awesome Gem was content to run behind the leaders all through the backstretch. Entering the far turn Rail Trip moved about four wide, while Awesome Gem actually fell back to last before rallying to the inside and charging hard on the rail. Into the stretch it was Rail Trip who seized the lead and looked home free, but Awesome Gem darted through an opening on the rail and exploded to the lead within a matter of moments. The final margin of victory was a half length for the well traveled veteran.

Recently I haven’t been keeping my blog as up to date as I would like and I’ve missed posting about the weekend races until after the weekend is already through. Mostly this was due to a mild case of writers


8 Responses to “Weekend Recap: Blind Luck, Gio Ponti & Awesome Gem”

  1. MH said

    I love what you wrote about Blind Luck. I think you’d enjoy her Facebook fan page:


  2. B,

    Isn’t BLIND LUCK turning into a mini-ZENYATTA? Same stretch-running style, just not undefeated. I was really impressed at how well she handled the off track. Right now, I’d pick her as my BC Ladies Classic favorite. Already won at CD, handled a big field, can run over a potential “off” track…not many worries. Plus, she appears to be as sound as any horse in recent memory.

    What do you think would be fair odds on her in a future wager?

    • Hey Rob,

      Blind Luck is absolutely becoming a young version Zenyatta, I’ve thought the same exact thing, and she’s already proved herself willing and able to overcome situations. She may not be undefeated in career starts but right now she’s undefeated on the dirt, that counts for something. 🙂

      I’m not very good at picking future odds but I’d say right now (assuming Rachel Alexandra goes for the classic and not the ladies) that her odds would be around 5-1 maybe, what do you think?

  3. Great Job! I spend so much of my time handicapping the local circuit and I must thank you for keeping me up to date around the county on racing.

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