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Churchill Downs: Romans-trained longshots 1-2 in Iroquois
By Marty McGee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Little doubt that Dale Romans has “bounced” after his Eclipse Award-winning 2012 season, but an incredible finish to the Iroquois Stakes on Saturday night made up for a lot of 2013 disappointment.
A wild winner’s circle celebration was kicked off when a pair of Romans longshots, Cleburne and Smart Cover, finished 1-2 for Donegal Racing in the Grade 3, $171,750 Iroquois, one of four stakes on a Downs After Dark card at Churchill Downs.
Cleburne, a 34-1 shot, finished a neck ahead of his stablemate Smart Cover, a 26-1 shot in a field of 10 2-year-olds.
“This is fabulous,” Romans said while mobbed by well-wishers afterward. “Look at all these Donegal people.”
With about 100 yards to go, such a finish looked highly improbable. Tapiture and Ride On Curlin, both 2-1, had engaged in a sustained duel from the quarter pole to the eighth pole, with Tapiture finally getting the best of that battle. But then Cleburne suddenly surfaced with an outside surge, and then Smart Cover came flying with a belated run farthest out onto the track. The winning time for the 1 1/16-mile distance was 1:45.65 over a fast surface.
Tapiture finished third, another neck back, with Ride On Curlin fourth by another two lengths.
Corey Lanerie, who had arrived less than an hour earlier when among eight jockeys on a charter plane following a full day of riding at Kentucky Downs, was aboard Cleburne.
Cleburne earned an expenses-paid Win and You’re In berth toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, as well as the first 10 points toward the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
Donegal, managed by Iowa attorney Jerry Crawford, has been a prominent player in recent years with such standouts as Dullahan and Paddy O’Prado.
The $2 exacta (5-10) paid an even $500, surely far lower than what it would have paid if not for the obvious all-Romans/Donegal combination.
Tapiture, a maiden, clearly ran well in defeat, while the result was more a disappointment for Run On Curlin, who had been the subject of deep-pocketed suitors since starting his career here in June.
“No excuse,” said Calvin Borel, rider of Run On Curlin.
Untapable stays unbeaten in Pocahontas
Some 30 minutes earlier, Untapable ($13.60) outgamed favored Stonetastic in a torrid stretch run to remain unbeaten in two starts in the Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas Stakes, and the filly counterpart to the Iroquois.
With Rosie Napravnik fresh off the Kentucky Downs charter, Untapable overcame some early trouble when prevailing by a half-length. She finished the distance in 1:44.38.
Stonetastic, the 8-5 choice under Joe Bravo, had taken over from Elena Strikes and Milam before Untapable angled out and ran her down. Untapable, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Asmussen, was noticeably rank in the vicinity of the six-furlong pole before “she settled into a nice rhythm,” noted Asmussen.
“They kind of backed it up on us in the second quarter,” said Napravnik. “She was awesome.”
Untapable, by Tapit, also earned an expenses-paid Win and You’re In berth toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, as well as the first 10 points toward the 2014 Kentucky Oaks. The filly was a maiden winner at Churchill in the spring in her lone prior start before being scratched from the Adirondack last month at Saratoga with a minor illness. Asmussen said he would wait to see how the filly came out of the race before deciding how to proceed to the Breeders’ Cup.
Untapable is a half-sister to Paddy O’Prado, the multiple Grade 1 winner campaigned by Donegal.
I usually become a fan of a horse based on pedigree, connections, jockeys, or sometimes the looks of a horse. There's plenty of reasons to be a fan of a horse and there's nothing wrong with that. How do you become a fan of a horse?
I have never understand how a horse wins a maiden race and people say they are a fan of that horse. Off a maiden score. How can you have come into this race a fan of a maiden winner. Please. It must be the connections it cant be the horse.
Who said anything about them winning the Derby or Triple Crown??? Simmer down son!
So here we go again last week it was strong mandate now who we have cleburne and smart cover. THEY ARE GOING TO WIN THE DERBY !!! TRIPLE CROWN. !!! Just like Favorite Trick, Arazi, Uncle Mo, Unbridled's Song. A bunch of maiden winners race against each and people get so excited. It is crazy. Predicting what a horse is going to do. 8 months from now. People barely can pick a winner today at finger lakes, but they want to make derby prediction 8 months in advance. Like I said bet the field in pool A if that is your thing. Wow Smh
The fillies ran over a full second faster in their race. Doesn't say much for the field in this race
Romans stable right back at it. Congratulations. The way the points played out this year you may have just qualified for The Derby with both these colts.
As a footnote to my previous post, the question everyone should be asking is why these two horses were allowed to run as uncoupled entries when they were both owned and trained by the same connections? That is a much more important question than pondering why your $1 exacta ticket didn't come back a signer!
I had the exacta and the wind was totally taken out of my sails when I saw the payout. I still think it's BS. DRF needs to investigate that payout. 34-1 over 26-1 pays more than $500, I don't care who owns or trains them. If so many people were betting these two then why were they 34-1 and 26-1?. I smell total BS. Anyone who had that exacta got cheated out of money.
Just the kinda day Fox/Romans needed. Keep it going guys.
- 1.Posted 04/12/2013 01:51PM
- 2.Posted 12/04/2013 07:01PM
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- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/05/2013 02:15PM