Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Weekend Racing Action

Posted by Brian Appleton on July 16, 2010

This weekend is filled with a diverse mix of intriguing and exciting races that stretch across the country filled with some of todays most accomplished and promising stars. Included in the parade of equine athletes poised to compete in the races are Tuscan Evening, Paddy O’Prado, General Quarters and Sidney’s Candy.

Sidney’s Candy has been away from the races for so long that I had almost forgotten about him until I began going over the 2010 Kentucky Derby results again a few weeks back. After his 17th place finish in the Derby he was given a break from the races, out of sight and out of mind. Now he returns to reclaim his crown as the best West Coast three year old in the nation in Hollywood Park’s Swaps Stakes (gr.2) this Saturday. Considering the caliber of racehorse he was before the Derby there is no reason to think that he won’t rebound in the Swaps and continue improving this year. His biggest competition will probably come from Sham Stakes (gr.3) winner Alphie’s Bet who last finished third to Golden Itiz in the Affirmed Handicap (gr.3) after closing well from last place to miss the winner by a length. Second place Affirmed Handicap finisher Skipshot also looks to have a legitimate shot at taking the big cheese. An interesting entry is the undefeated Twirling Candy who last out took an allowance field by more than 7 lengths. Completing the field is Summer Movie who most recently finished fourth in the Affirmed Handicap.

General Quarters is no longer the “has-been feel good story” for the 2009 Kentucky Derby, he is a genuine Grade 1 winner. Since taking the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Derby weekend General Quarters has stepped out of his supporting role and now commands the respect and even favoritism deserving of a grade 1 winning older horse. I happened to be at Churchill Downs when he won the Turf Classic and ended up hitting the exacta for a really nice payout. He immediately became a favorite of mine, not only because he paid for more than half my trip to Kentucky and I don’t even really bet, but also because of the charming and general sweetness behind his story, plus I used to work with Owner/Trainer McCarthy’s great-niece. I will definitely be rooting for General Quarters to win his second grade 1 in the Arlington Handicap this Saturday.

In the Modesty Handicap (gr.3) Tuscan Evening will look to extend her “anything-but-modest” 2010 undefeated string

of races to 6 while facing five accomplished competitors. Not only has Tuscan Evening won 5 straight race this year, all her victories have come in graded stakes races. Rainbow View, Hot Cha Cha, Éclair de Lune and Ask but I Won’ttell complete the field and the obvious second and third choices are Rainbow View and Hot Cha Cha. Rainbow View enters off a disappointing third place finish in Woodbine’s Nassua Stakes as the even money favorite. Prior to that she won the Gallorette Stakes (gr.3) on May 15th at Pimlico. Hot Cha Cha was last seen winning the Mint Julep Handicap (gr.3) at Churchill Downs, a victory which snapped a three race losing streak. Tuscan Evening is the clear standout in this field and the Modesty distance of 1 1/16th miles will be no problem for the versatile throw-back mare who has won races ranging in distance from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles this year.

Tuscan Evening will not be the only mare this weekend looking to extend her winning streak to 6 races. Life At Ten has become a scintillating example of a late-bloomer. The red-hot grade 1 winning 5 year old mare is looking to remain undefeated in 2010 as she makes her fourth start of the year in the Delaware Handicap (gr.2) . With a win in the Delaware Life At Ten would earn an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic while also enhancing her status as one of the better older females in the nation.

Also don’t miss Paddy O’Prado, Stately Victor, Interactif and Krypton this weekend. The stallar group of colts head a field of 8 three year olds in the Virginia Derby (gr.2) going 1 ¼ miles on the turf.

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4 Responses to “Weekend Racing Action”

  1. Steve M. said

    Brian,
    There were some great races on Saturday. Two of the most memorable performances for me were Paddy O’ Prado in the Va Derby and Tuscan Evening in the Modesty. Tuscan proved she’s the best female turf horse and Paddy looks to be Gio Ponti’s biggest rival in the States. Looking forward to a Paddy vs. Gio matchup.

    • Hi Steve,

      I agree, Tuscan Evening and Paddy O’Prado were definite standouts over the weekend! I think Life At Ten gave a great performance as well.
      It will be great when Gio Ponti and Paddy O’Prado meet up, can’t wait for that!

  2. Great preview!

    What did you make of SIDNEY’S CANDY getting run down despite having his way on the lead? SKIPSHOT ran a decent race, but for me it was more SID running a sub-par race and not SKIPSHOT improving.

    TUSCAN EVENING wasn’t as dominant as I thought she’d be in the Modesty H. win considering the dawdling pace she set. I’d take a swing against her in the Beverly D., especially if the track comes up anything but “firm”. She’s one of more than a few turf distaffers (TREAT GENTLY, PROVISO, WASTED TEARS) with speed that could finally set up FOREVER TOGETHER’s massive late run. Here’s Watchmaker’s comment on her in his Watchmaker Watch: ”
    If she ever got an honest pace to run at…” If they all line up in the Beverly D., that may be the case.

    As for PADDY, he did what he was supposed to do. As Steve said, it’ll be great fun to see PADDY and GIO throw down in the months to come. Before taking on older turf males, PADDY will probably take on American Derby winner WORKIN FOR HOPS again, this time in the G.1 Secretariat @ AP.

    • Hey Rob,

      I though the same thing in regard to Sidney’s Candy. He looked like he tired pretty fast in the stretch, but I also think this race will sharpen him for whatever they have planned next.

      I actually thought Tuscan Evening delivered one of the most dominant wins of the weekend, perhaps not margin-wise but she certainly looked pretty at ease after leading the whole way. Six graded stakes in a row is pretty impressive, now maybe she will come east and try our turf courses out. Forever Together would love to run into her (Tuscan Evening’s) kind of pace, could set up for a nice in the Breeders’ Cup.

      Loved Paddy O’Prado’s win, he just keeps looking better and better to me.

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