Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Weekly Random Racing Bits: WRRB

Posted by Brian Appleton on January 27, 2011

Today marks the first day of a new weekly post I have decided to write entitled Weekly Random Racing Bits, or WRRB for short. Each Thursday I will publish my WRRB covering, in no particular order, some of the past week’s racing and industry news. I hope it will be an enjoyable and informative post that will generate lots of feedback and conversation from readers. So without further ado, here is your Thursday “Weekly – double R – B”!

On Friday January 21st at Gulfstream Park promising three-year-old colt Soldat won not only his allowance race by 10 ¾ lengths, he also won himself a spot on almost everyone’s Kentucky Derby watch lists. His next goal is the Fountain Of Youth Stakes where his mettle will be tested against much tougher competition.

Mucho Macho Man strutted his best stuff on the track at Gulfstream Park Sunday, blazing five furlongs in :59 flat while Black N Beauty breezed a half mile in :49. Both colts are pointing towards the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr.3) January 30th.

Hopeful Stakes (gr.1) winner Boys At Tosconova will bypass the Holy Bull Stakes this Sunday after missing some training. Trainer Rick Dutrow made the announcement on Wednesday stating that there was nothing wrong with the colt but that it would be “Stupid to rush him.” Even without Boys At Tosconova the Holy Bull Stakes is shaping up to be the strongest Derby prep of the year so far.

On Sunday It Tiz made quick work of her first outing on the Santa Anita turf in the Megahertz Stakes, winning by half a length at odds of 8-1. Race favorite Éclair de Lune, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington, failed to mount a serious rally in the race, finishing 4th.

Stradivinsky confirmed his favored status in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint on Sunday when the 8-year-old gelding with jockey Julien Leparoux up registered the 14th win of his career. The 1 ¼ length win was the 5th win in Stradivinsky’s last 7 starts.


Kathmanblu validated the confidence of her legions of fans on Saturday when she won her 3-year-old debut in striking fashion, taking the Sweetest Chant Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths with disdainful ease.  With the win Kathmanblu is off to a great start in her sophomore year and continues to be one of the favorites for her early May goal, Kentucky Oaks.

7-year-old Euroears capped off another fantastic week for trainer Bob Baffert when he captured the Palos Verdes Stakes (gr.2) over Smiling Tiger on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Wilkinson is the newest face on the Kentucky Derby trail after a gritty win in the Lecomte Stakes (gr.3) at Fair Grounds. In a year with several strong and consistent candidates stomping the trail it remains to be seen exactly where this young colt rates on the list but so far I really like this horse. He doesn’t stack up to Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve, Tapizar or Boy At Tosconova yet by a long shot, but he shares the same last name as my piano teacher and best friend. That must count for something right?

Gran Estreno is like a fine wine, the longer he runs the better he seems to get. With his Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap (gr.3) triumph on Saturday he improved his record to three wins in his last four starts.

The least talked about stakes victory of the week was surely Bouquet Booth’s Silverbulletday Stakes win. Turning in a very game effort, 3-year-old filly Bouquet Booth fought off Daisy Divine at the wire after having opened up 1 ¼ lengths on the field in the stretch, to win by a neck for her second consecutive stakes victory and third consecutive victory overall.

Calibrachoa is the newest weapon in owner Mike Repole’s arsenal. After beind claimed last year, the 4-year-old Calibrachoa has already become a two-time stakes winner for Repole going undefeated in both starts for his new owner. On Saturday Calibrachoa determinedly held off Independence War to win the Toboggan Stakes (gr.3) by half a length.

Martin Garcia is back to racing in the United States after clearing up some trouble with an expired visa. First-call rider for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert before leaving the country 2 ½ months ago, Martin Garcia returns to riding today at Santa Anita.

Uncle Mo

Undefeated 2-year-old Eclipse Champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victor Uncle Mo has been assigned high weight of 128 pounds for the 2010 Experimental Free Handicap, the highest assignment of any juvenile since Favorite Trick received 128 in 1997.

And last, but certainly not least, the celebrated 3-time Champion Older Mare and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta is booked for her first mating with young sire Bernardini. An unexpected and somewhat skeptically received announcement.

Enjoy the week ahead and may all your horses win!


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