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Trip Notes: Bowling Green, Super Derby, Presque Isle Downs Masters, and more
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012
Bowling Green (race 3)
Air Support stepped back into the graded stakes ranks and notched his first win of the year. The 4-year-old stalked a very slow pace of Bombaguia, was under a hold sitting just behind that rival, was asked to move closer down the backside, was pushed to go after the winner into the lane, didn’t appear to be making any headway at first but kept to his task, and gamely got past that foe. Trainer Shug McGaughey didn’t rule out the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, but noted how tough a spot that would be, leaving other options like the Grade 3 Sycamore at Keeneland on Oct. 18 or the Grade 2 Red Smith at Aqueduct on Nov. 3. Bombaguia, making his first start in a stakes, went right to the lead, was able to set dawdling splits, gamely kept Air Support at bay to deep stretch, but then couldn’t fend him off any longer while much the best of the rest. Brilliant Speed sat back and made only modest headway in a disappointing run.
Presque Isle Downs Masters (race 6)
Groupie Doll, a two-time Grade 1 winner this year but who missed much of the summer due to an injury, came back firing, affirming her status as the favorite for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. She bided her time toward the back after a slow start while It’s Me Mom opened up a clear early lead with fast splits, steadily advanced to top of the lane, swung wide for clear sailing, and powered home to win in a romp. She may prep for the Breeders’ Cup in the Grade 2 TCA at Keeneland on Oct. 6. Kitty in a Tizzy was well back from the start, behind Groupie Doll, remained well back into the lane, and finished with good energy well out in the track, though she was never a threat to the winner. Sally Sally likewise lagged back, actually made her run in tandem with the winner from the far turn to midstretch, but then couldn’t keep pace with that beast in the final furlong. It’s Me Mom shot out to a clear lead, was no match for the winner in the lane, but kept on gamely to miss second by just two necks.
Super Derby (race 10)
Bourbon Courage, who began his career at Fair Grounds with two huge wins (Beyer Speed Figures of 103 and 101) and coming off a game second in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby, showed he’s the real deal, notching his first graded stakes win. The son of Lion Heart broke slowly from a tough far-outside post, bided his time, came with a smart run into the lane, grabbed the lead by midstretch, and blew the race wide open with a powerful final furlong. Among the options for him are the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Sept. 30 or the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Hoosier on Oct. 6. After that, possibly a tilt at the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, both at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Fly Lexis Fly, making his second U.S. start after being a multiple Grade 1 winner in Peru, was back with the winner, didn’t accelerate as quickly, but finished with good energy to just get up for second, though he was no match for the winner. Master Rick stalked the pace, made a run at the lead with Bourbon Courage in midstretch, couldn’t keep pace with that foe, and just lost second in the final stride. Rousing Sermon was last early, remained there to the far turn, and then finished with interest, though he was never on the winner’s radar. Blueskiesnrainbows, the favorite, set the pace under constant pressure from Hero of Order and gave way once headed in the lane.
Arlington-Washington Futurity (race 7)
Pataky Kid, who rallied from far back to beat maidens here Aug. 9, showed he was up to the task, despite the big step up in class, with another smart performance. He showed a bit more speed to sit just behind the pacesetters while saving ground, came through between horses into the lane, surged to the lead, and drew clear. The Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 6 may be next. Muppet Man, the heavy favorite off two romping local wins, went right out to the lead, set a solid pace, tried to battle back in the lane when Pataky Kid came to him, but was no match for that foe in the final furlong. Stormin Monarcho dogged Muppet Man from the start and basically stayed on that rival’s heels all the way around.
Arlington-Washington Lassie (race 8)
Gold Edge made it three wins in as many starts, one on dirt and two on this Polytrack to show her versatility – but it wasn’t easy. The daughter of Eddington took the lead out of the gate, relinquished pacemaking duties to longshot La Song, stalked that foe to the top of the lane, doggedly went after her, and gamely won a three-horse photo. The Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 5 may be next. La Song grabbed the lead from Gold Edge after a quarter-mile, took a clear lead, remained clear into the lane, battled gamely, but just missed. Dancinginthecircle sat midpack, came with a resolute run, but just missed as part of the three-horse blanket finish. Flying Rapunzel, the favorite off a big maiden win here, sat fifth early, moved up to look dangerous going to the far turn, but then fell apart.
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