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By DRF Staff
By Mary Rampellini
Sway Away was entered in the Kentucky Derby but excluded on graded earnings, and as a result is a fresh horse coming into the Preakness. He last raced in the Arkansas Derby, and showed improved speed in what was his first start in blinkers. He also owns one of the year’s better Beyer Speed Figures for a 3-year-old, a 101, earned back in February for a runner-up finish to The Factor in the Grade 2 San Vicente. Sway Away shows some strong recent works and will go Saturday for a hot barn, as Jeff Bonde has compiled a 5-for-13 record in graded stakes since Jan. 1.
Sway Away’s biggest question mark might be distance, as he has never won beyond five furlongs. In the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby, he took the lead into the stretch after advancing four wide on the final turn, but was overtaken by three rivals in the late stages. Sway Away also lacks racing experience, with just five starts.
The public likes Sway Away. The 6-1 price at which he was sent off in the Arkansas Derby represented the highest odds of his career. He could be in the 10-1 range Saturday, with his price possibly driven down some by the fact that he will be reuniting with jockey Garrett Gomez. Sway Away is also a consistent horse, and as one who last month finished just three lengths behind the eventual Kentucky Derby runner-up, Nehro, he merits a saver win bet and must also be used in the exotics.
Afleet Alex was an excellent racehorse, winning the Grade 1 Hopeful at two before taking both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes the following season.
At stud, he has given us Afleet Express, the winner of the prestigious Travers Stakes at 1 1/4 miles. Another son, Dublin, won the 2009 renewal of the Hopeful at seven furlongs.
Blessed with speed and staying power, Afleet Alex is a good candidate to produce classic-type performers.
Seattle Shimmer, a daughter of 1977 Triple Crown champion Seattle Slew, is an unraced half-sister to Knights Cross, the third-place finisher of the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes at six furlongs. Knights Cross was a stone-cold sprinter, never racing at distances greater than 6 1/2 furlongs. Another half-sister, Bailzee, is stakes-placed sprinting. Like Knights Cross, Bailzee never attempted a route of ground.
The second dam, Golden Gale, won the Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at About 7 furlongs on dirt at Keeneland. This is the female family of Grade 3 winner Irish Joy.
The sire and broodmare sire combined for five American classic victories, and the top of the pedigree may help see Sway Away through nine furlongs. There is a good amount of speed on the female side of this family, however. The final half-furlong of the Preakness could prove testing.
- 1.Posted 12/04/2013 11:20AM
- 2.Posted 12/03/2013 03:13PM
- 3.Posted 12/03/2013 07:02PM
- 4.Posted 12/04/2013 07:01PM
- 5.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM