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Belmont Park: Midnight Lucky, Kauai Katie meet in Acorn
ELMONT, N.Y. – As impressive as Midnight Lucky had trained leading up to the Kentucky Oaks, it simply might have been too much to ask for her to win a race like that in her third career start.
Having seemingly emerged from her fifth-place finish in the Oaks in good order, Midnight Lucky will get another Grade 1 opportunity in Monday’s $300,000 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park.
Midnight Lucky, one of six 3-year-old fillies entered in the one-turn, one-mile Acorn, will seek to give trainer Bob Baffert his third victory in this race in the last five years.
In evaluating Midnight Lucky’s Kentucky Oaks, Baffert said it was simply a function of having to go too fast after breaking from post 2. On Monday, in a race seemingly loaded with early-speed types, Midnight Lucky is drawn in post 5 and will have Rosie Napravnik to ride.
“I like the post,” Baffert said. “Her post was bad for the Oaks. We had to use her leaving there. If she was on the outside, she could have tracked horses. She has a good post, but there are some nice fillies in there.”
Chief among them is Kauai Katie, who is 6 for 7, with five stakes victories. She is undefeated in six starts at seven furlongs and shorter, including a 7 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2 Matron going six furlongs at Belmont last September.
Her rail draw likely will force John Velazquez to send Kauai Katie away from the gate, meaning she’ll have to carry her speed a mile.
“It’s a little bit of unchartered waters,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of the distance. “She’s obviously a very gifted sprinter, but she handled seven-eighths pretty well, so we’re optimistic that a one-turn mile will suit her.”
Close Hatches, who won the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct in April, finished seventh in the Kentucky Oaks after a wide trip. She is drawn in post 6 in the Acorn. She rallied from well off the pace in winning a seven-furlong maiden race in her lone start around one turn.
“I thought she had a little bit of a peculiar trip,” trainer Bill Mott said of the Oaks. “With that being said, by the time she left the half-mile pole, she was kind of out of run. The best I can do is cross a line through it.”
Cue the Moon ran two solid one-turn races at 2 and made her 3-year-old debut in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, a two-turn, 1 1/8-mile race in which she was beaten 25 lengths by Dreaming of Julia. The James Bond trainee could work out a stalking trip under Javier Castellano from post 4.
Momentary Magic, an uncoupled entrymate of Cue the Moon, looks to be a pace factor from post 2.
Let Me Entertain U, fifth in the Gazelle, completes the field.
Told you this was the lock of the year..... Lucky in a romp...
People are so funny. They saying Lucky is a lock just like she was supposed to be in the Oaks. This horse is not accomplished enough for Katie. Will get left trying to keep up with her. Katie by far the best on turn female horse out these next to Groupie Doll.
wow that's 2 trainers in a row that didn' like the ride rosario gave on their horses last out (hollendorfer on sahara sky and mott with close hatches)..rosario is just another rider in new york..top 5 nothing more...talented kid , but he won't dominate new york like he did in cali or even his recent meet at keeneland..there is too much jockey and horse depth in new york...
What is Baffert talking about when he laments not having an outside post in the Ky Oaks. If Baffert recalls the race, she would then have been part of the "accordion squeeze" at the start caused by No. 9 Rose to Gold crossing inside and No. 3 Beholder crossing outside. Midnight Lucky would have been 7-8 lengths behind at the start with no experience telling her what to do. Bob, you can't have it both ways.
So KK is unbeaten around one turn , unbeaten with Lasix ,easily handled My Happy Face who was beaten a nose by DOJulia. and winner of 4 graded stakes........Midnight Lucky COLLAPSED in her only graded stakes and beat a decent field of non graded stake winners in the Sunland Oaks..............They were beaten equally by Beholder......I'll take KK
Midnight Lucky is too CLASSY for K.K., don't get me wrong K.K. is good but not as good as Midnight Lucky. Just look at the P.P.'s and that tells the story as to the weak company K.K. has been beating up on, Midnight Lucky will school K.K. in the Acorn.......
Lucky, is best suited to a one turn race. She will lay off Katie in the 3rd pocket and blow her away on the turn.... 1:10 bullet work she is too fast for these at the end....
Im betting 15K to win on Midnight Lucky, lets talk in 18 hours people. Rosie, knows how to beat Katie.... She has not beaten a single soul, when she went a distance in the BC, she faded to 4th. Lucky, at least battled Beholder last time......
Gotta love Bafferts foresight and hindsight. He ordered the jock to gun from the gate last time when he could have easily sat a rail postion behind the speed. As it was she was done before the racing even started. Now he says he had to use her early from that post. No you didn't Bob, it was a dumb mistake.
KK looks like rags to riches romping down the lane.
- 1.Posted 12/12/2013 10:03AM
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