Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Striking With Passion

Posted by Brian Appleton on June 5, 2011

Might took most of the prerace support Dogwood Stakes (gr.3)  on the strength of her two consecutive wins and the fact that she is the full sister to 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr.1) winner and Horse of the Year finalist, Blame. But when it came time to put ability and reputation to the test just one filly’s potential survived the trip unscathed.

Salty Strike entered the Dogwood Stakes empty-handed in two stakes tries and only a maiden and allowance win to her credit. She broke her maiden at first asking before finishing third to Just Louise in the Debutante Stakes (gr.3) as a juvenile last year. She finished second in her 2011 debut in a Gulfstream Park allowance race before testing deeper waters in the Honeybee Stakes (gr.3) and finishing a distant fourth behind Joyful Victory. Given a month she returned on Keeneland’s all weather track and finished an uninspiring sixth against allowance company and was returned to the dirt in her next try. On May 20th at Churchill Downs Salty Strike absolutely manhandled a field of five other three-year-old fillies in a seven furlong optional allowance claiming race and cruised home by seven lengths, much the best.

In the Dogwood Stakes Salty Strike broke alertly from the gates and settled in just behind Fantasy of Flight and Gran Lioness in third while Might took up the fourth spot, just a length and a half behind. After an opening quarter in :23.14 Fantasy of Flight led Gran Lioness by just one length but was slowly widening her lead while Salty Strike sat just behind Gran Lioness, under a tight hold by jockey Manoel Cruz. The half mile went in :46.09 with Fantasy of Flight’s lead now two lengths. Might had moved her way up to be a close fourth just off the flank of Salty Strike as the field entered the far turn. [Read the complete post here on Distaff Runner at Horse Racing Nation]


One Response to “Striking With Passion”

  1. This is one crack filly sprinter. She beat an out-classed field the way a classy sprinter should. With brilliant speed on both sides of her pedigree, the only thing that will keep her from a championship is injury. Her 3 graded stakes wins and a G.I placing certainly have her at the top of this group. There is one filly nipping at her tail, perhaps is rated higher on some people’s lists, and that’s SASSY IMAGE. Her G.III Winning Colors win was work-filly-like in fast time and she may be better suited than HILDA’ to the 7f BC Filly & Mare Sprint and has home track advantage with 3 graded stakes wins @ CD.

    MIGHT was very disappointing in the G.III Dogwood and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that she suffered from some sort of malady besides breaking from the dead CD rail. SALTY STRIKE, she doesn’t get my pulse racing. That said, she should be ranked much higher than 137 after a G.III win, especially since MIGHT, who ran off the board, is #44. TURBULENT DESCENT is the best 3y.o. filly sprinter and could give both SASSY IMAGE and HILDA’S PASSION fits come Breeders’ Cup time.

    Point of fact: SALTY STRIKE shares the same sire as your boy CURLIN, but she can only be his 1/2 sister in horse racing if they shared the same dam. Otherwise, great recap as always!

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