11/19/2012 12:21PM

Trip Notes: Delta Downs Jackpot and Princess, the Discovery Handicap, and more


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Discovery (race 8)

Called to Serve continues to show his quality and versatility. The son of Afleet Alex won on dirt and synthetic in Southern California, is Grade 2-placed on dirt at Mountaineer and was coming off a second in the Temperence Hill at Belmont Oct. 21. He got that elusive first stakes win, and did so in style. He bided his time early, moved up eagerly into the lane to reach contention, snatched the lead from favorite and pacesetter Willy Beamin and drew off to win with ease. The colt may be in line for a nice 2013 as this shows he can do damage in the right spots. Willy Beamin went right out to set the pace, tried to battle back when hooked by the winner into the lane, was no match for that rival and just held 2nd. Stephanoatsee lagged back and finished well, though he was never a threat to the winner.

Commonwealth Turf (race 7)

Lea continued his ascent and continued trainer Al Stall Jr.’s amazing meet as he beat a tough field and stamped himself horse to watch in  the turf division next year. He stalked the pace, sitting off Finale, surged past that tiring rival into the lane, opened up a big lead which provided the needed buffer as he got to the line before the hard-charging King David. King David, winner of 5 straight including the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont last month, was well back in the big field, had traffic issues, tried to advance turning for home, was blocked again, finally found clear sailing and finished full of run – but it was just too late. Lockout likewise sat back but he made a strong run into the lane to look threatening but couldn’t sustain it. Excaper sat midpack, moved up to sit just off the winner’s hip turning for home but fell away. Casual Trick pressed the early pace but gave way badly. Back to the drawing board for the horse who at one point this past winter was considered potential Derby material.

Mrs. Revere (race 9)

Centre Court ended her 2012 campaign with a bang and stamped herself a major player for the distaff turf division for next year. The daughter of Smart Strike was already a Grade 2 and Grade 3 winner and 2nd in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland last time and she showed that quality here. She showed good speed to stalk pacesetter English Class and basically blew the race open with a powerful move into the lane to grab the lead and opened up. Her rivals closed the gap a bit but the issue had already been determined. Leading Astray, a Grade 3 winner at Arlington and Grade 3-placed at Keeneland last time, stalked the pace after being in tight going into the first turn, bided her time, came with a run but it was far too late. Colonial Flag, coming off a so-so run in a Grade 3 at Keeneland, bounced back to form as she sat midpack and finished well. Miz Ida, a winner of 3 straight including the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland last month, lost her footing at the start to get away poorly, was last to the far turn and while she finished decently simply had far too much to do. Somali Lemonade, who has hinted at big ability at times, sat well back but made only modest headway.

Delta Downs Princess (race 6)

Rose to Gold got back to dirt and back to winning form as she proved a game winner. A winner of her first 2 starts at Calder, both on dirt and both stakes, she last finished 12th in the Grade 1 Alcibiades on Keeneland’s Polytrack. She dropped and moved back to dirt here, stalked the pace in 3rd, gamely went after longshot Touch Magic after that filly surged past into the lane, reeled her in and edged past. Touch Magic sat midpack, came with a smart wide run into the lane to grab lead and look like the upset winner at 25-1, but couldn’t rebuff the challenge of Rose to Gold while well clear of the others. Sittin at the Bar sat midpack, made a run into the lane but flattened out. Madame Cactus, the favorite who beat many of these in the My Trusty Cat here last month, sat back after breaking slowly, swung wide to try and make a run but made minimal headway. She may be best sprinting.

Delta Downs Jackpot (race 7)

Goldencents really flattered the form of Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby with a smart victory. The son of Into Mischief was a non-threatening 2nd to Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne (beaten 5 lengths). Here he used his speed going right out to set the pace. He was under heavy pressure from Heaven’s Runway, dispatched with that rival turning for home and actually was edging away from some rallying rivals late. Bern Identity, another who had chased Shanghai Bobby in New York, lagged back, appeared to be going nowhere when shuffled back to last on the far turn, swung wide and finished very nicely. Mylute was last early, put in a smart run to look threatening into the lane but couldn’t sustain it. Hightail, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint as a maiden Nov. 2, stalked the pace, loomed a threat into the lane but flattened out. Know More lagged back, seemed to start a run but fell away. This colt flashed lots of promise in the summer/fall but suddenly has tailed off dramatically. He’s probably due for a freshening and maybe a shorter trip.