01/15/2013 2:51PM

Gulfstream Park: Sky Blazer victim of tough trip

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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.