09/22/2009 11:00PM

Swiftest in the land not one of the usual suspects


The fastest 2-year-old in America is not Hopeful winner Dublin (Beyer Speed Figure of 89) or Futurity winner D' Funnybone (93) or Del Mar Futurity winner Lookin at Lucky (82). The fastest 2-year-old in America is Arizona homebred Uh Oh Bango, owned by Triple AAA Ranch and trained by Kory Owens. Glenn Corbett has ridden the horse in all three starts.

If a horse trained in New Mexico could win the 2009 Kentucky Derby, would it really be a shock if a horse bred in Arizona and got a triple-digit Beyer in Iowa in September of his 2-year-old season, won the 2010 Derby? Actually, it probably would.

Uh Oh Bango looked like a nice prospect when he crushed maidens at Prairie Meadows on Aug. 11. He got a 69 Beyer. Taken to Remington for the Clever Trevor Stakes, Uh Oh Bango got a 79 when finishing second, three lengths behind the Steve Asmussen-trained Grand Slam Andre.

Back at Prairie Meadows last Friday night in the Prairie Meadows Freshman, Uh Oh Bango, a son of Arizona sire Top Hat (standing for $2,000, but sure to skyrocket in the days ahead), ran six furlongs in 1:09.26 and won by 10 1/2 lengths. The Asmussen-trained Always Wildcatin' was a far away second.

The track was fast that night, but it wasn't that fast. The Beyer figure was unambiguous. Uh Oh Bango got a 102.

Even before the race on Friday, it had become very clear that the race at Remington was strong. The winner, Grand Slam Andre, shipped to Saratoga to run in the Hopeful. He finished sixth, beaten by 6 1/2 lengths at 18-1. That race was Sept. 7.

On the same day, Man Chester Man, seventh at Remington, six lengths behind Uh Oh Bango, won the $75,000 Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline. He got a 76 Beyer and, if you knew then what you know now, you would have gotten 7-1.

On Sept. 13, Lone Star Cowboy, a head behind Man Chester Man at Remington, went to Hoosier Park and won the $73,000 Hillsdale Stakes by five lengths. The horse got an 80 Beyer. Word clearly was leaking out as Lone Star Cowboy went off at 6-5.

Which brings us to Sept. 18 at Prairie. You won't get a better 6-5 shot the rest of this century. Running against six horses, only three of whom had hit 70 on the Beyer scale, Uh Oh Bango really could not lose.

If a Formulator Web player had spent some time with that Remington race, it would have been impossible not to unload on the soon-to-be-legendary Uh Oh Bango.

Always Wildcatin' certainly deserved some respect. After all, the colt had been third in the $155,000 Colin at Woodbine to Fearless Cowboy, who then ran third to D' Funnybone in the Saratoga Special. Always Wildcatin' was 9-5, but had no chance against Uh Oh Bango.

Just in case you were wondering, Uh Oh Bango is no one-dimensional front-runner. The ridgling (has a ridgling ever won the Derby or even run in the Derby?) has come from off the pace in all three starts. Last Friday, he actually tracked the pace of Arapahoe speedball Maddox Who, a horse who went 43.97 seconds for the half-mile when dominating the Gold Rush Futurity at 14-1. Uh Oh Bango was by when they hit the stretch and long gone in the stretch.

"His motion is so smooth," trainer Owens said in last Saturday's Des Moines Register. "Early, when we worked him with horses, his action was like he wasn't doing anything while the others were trying hard to keep up. He's getting a lot better with every race."

That would be 69, 79, 102. What's next? 120?

The only complaint about the handling of the horse so far might be from the owner. The purses for the two stakes won by the Remington also-rans were bigger than the $53,000 Freshman. No matter. It is just a question of when Uh Oh Bango hits the big time. Can Jess Jackson and Asmussen be far away?

There were only five Thoroughbred races at Prairie the night of Uh Oh Bango's win. But the figure was quite apparent.

In reviewing the card, the only question I had was by how much Uh Oh Bango would have dominated a few of the Quarter Horses who ran in races 6 through 10.

The race I really wanted to see was Uh Oh Bango against the great Louisiana-bred Chicks Jess Call Me (Jess?) at 300 yards. Chicks Jess Call Me got home in 15.49 seconds. My review of the films strongly suggests Uh Oh Bango would have gotten there in 15 flat.

The amazing Missouri-bred Strutting High won in 21.63 for 400 yards. Again, a review strongly suggests Uh Oh Bango would have gotten there in 21 flat. By the way, Strutting High is a 4-year-old.

Do you need any more evidence?