01/15/2013 2:51PM

Gulfstream Park: Sky Blazer victim of tough trip

Tom Keyser
Sky Blazer, here winning a Gulfstream optional claimer last year, was beaten four lengths after a troubled trip in the Fort Lauderdale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Barclay Tagg was still shaking his head earlier this week when thinking about the trip his unlucky Sky Blazer endured in Saturday’s Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes. Sky Blazer finished eighth behind longshot winner Mucho Mas Mucho after having to check numerous times when blocked in traffic near the inside through the stretch.

“The horse has a ton of talent, he just gets himself into trouble and things go wrong for him, which is a shame because he’s such a nice horse and the owners are such nice people,” said Tagg, who trains Sky Blazer for owners Joyce Young and Gerald McManis. “He also ran well in the Bernard Baruch this summer at Saratoga after breaking poorly. He does have a tendency to get a little too far back in his races, but he actually was in a pretty good spot the other day. They were all in really tight coming down the stretch. Everybody was just bunched and stacked right in front of him on the rail, and he had nowhere to go. It just didn’t look like he had any chance to get out at all.”

Tagg also has a promising 3-year-old filly for Young named Caroline Thomas. The homebred daughter of Giant’s Causeway closed out her 2-year-old campaign with a pair of turf wins after finishing second in her debut. She defeated first-level allowance competition here by a length Dec. 16.

“I was thinking about taking her over to Tampa for the Oaks because it’s a little longer, but I can get Ramon [Dominguez] on her here in the Sweetest Chant, and if you can get Ramon, why go elsewhere,” Tagg said with a laugh.

The $100,000 Sweetest Chant will be decided at a mile over the turf Jan. 27.

DavidM9999 More than 1 year ago
Sky Blazer was picked by DRF and many other talking heads. He looked very live in this spot but carrying the weight of the "wise guys" was too much. I play mainly turf races and have grown to expect tough trips. Seems so many take inside routes with closers getting bottled up. I loved the study done at WO showing saving ground does not necessarily equate to winning. That report showed winners often gave ground but benefited from running unimpeeded. I am too old and heavy to be a jockey so I have to live with their decision making. Hopefully it all evens out in the long run. Good luck and cleaner trip next time fbwinners.
Albert More than 1 year ago
Agree completely. It's only anecdotal insight, but I've watched far more grass winners come wide to win than those who sneak up the rail. The only jockey in the Gulfstream colony with the guts to push through a rail hole is Lezcano...who seems to be many trainers' turf call of choice these days.
fbwinners More than 1 year ago
I still think Joel put Sky Blazer in a bad spot on Sunday, that horse was ton the best and it as sicking watching the race if you had a wager on him like I did. Playback in a big way but the price will be bad now. Single in verticals.
Steve More than 1 year ago
Considering he hasn't won in a while, you'll get a better price than last race unless they enter him in an allowance or optional claimed. Kind of overbet from the morning line
mikemc1177 More than 1 year ago
It was kind of a European ride where you save ground and wait...wait...wait...explode but it never opened.Sometimes it works to perfection though(See Cristophe Soumillion on Sarah Lynx in last year's Canadian International at Woodbine).
Jim Prignano More than 1 year ago
Barclay, Have to agree not two better owners and people than Bonner and Tom Young in racing, best of luck to them. Jim, Hilton Head