09/15/2013 11:00PM

Trip Notes: Woodbine Mile, Northern Dancer, Garden City and more...

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Woodbine Mile

Comment: Wise Dan could not have had it any easier, sitting right behind dueling leaders Dimension and Excaper until Velazquez pushed the button entering the stretch, when the reigning Horse of the Year galloped away under a light hand ride while breaking the existing course record and becoming the first two-time winner of the race. He may go next in the Shadwell Mile or simply train up to a defense of his Breeders’ Cup Mile victory. Za Approval broke sharply then took back, tracking a few lengths behind the winner but couldn’t keep pace in the stretch while outfinishing the others. Trade Storm lagged at the back of the pack until the stretch when he knifed between horses to get the minor award while finishing with some run. Dimension and Excaper both tired after setting lively early fractions.

Northern Dancer

Comment: Forte Dei Marmi showed class and guts in winning the Northern Dancer under a clever ride by Eurico Da Silva. Saving ground early, Da Silva edged his mount to outside entering the backstretch, asked for acceleration while sensing a slow pace, attacked on the outside on the far turn and into the stretch, and fended off late challenges while under intermittent right-handed pressure and finishing on the wrong lead. Perfect Timber put in a nice effort from the back while disadvantaged behind pokey fractions. He ranged up five wide into the stretch but couldn’t get there late. Stormy Len brushed to the lead down the backside, took the field into the stretch, couldn’t stay with the winner but managed to stay fresh and hold well late. Irish Mission tried to rally outside the winner down the backside, gave some ground into the stretch, but re-rallied late in a fine effort against the boys.

Garden City

Comment: Though she would have to win the BC Filly and Mare Turf to do it, Alterite showed in the Garden City she might have the talent to give the owner-trainer team of Martin Schwartz and Chad Brown its third straight female turf Eclipse. After showing Group 1 ability in France, Alterite toyed with a quality field of 3-year-old fillies. Sitting not far off a leisurely pace set by Discreet Marq, Velazquez swung Alterite to the outside while under restraint turning for home and glided by the fresh front-runner with ease for the victory. Discreet Marq, the Del Mar Oaks winner, nearly pulled off a bi-coastal Grade 1 double by putting the field to sleep on the front end. She was no match for the winner late, but hung tough for the place. Concise sat a perfect pocket trip but lacked the necessary late punch. Watsdachances made an admirable late run in the middle of the course to get up for fourth. Summer of Fun had no excuse while tracking the pace in the clear.

 

Kentucky Cup Turf

Comment: Temeraine looked like a lost cause turning for home in the Kentucky Cup, buried deep on the inside behind a wall of horses. Even in midstretch, he looked beaten with Olympic Thunder and Suntracer appearing to have him locked on the fence, but Stevens stepped on the gas and Temeraine accelerated through a narrow opening and got up late for the victory. Olympic Thunder stalked a longshot pacesetter to the far turn, struck to the front, and appeared to have the race won when he drifted out ever so slightly to allow the winner through. Suntracer made a nice four-wide bid and looked like a winner in midstretch but hung a bit in the late stages.

 

Noble Damsel

Comment: Other than a victory over the course and distance last fall in the Pebbles, Peace Preserver had little to show why she would be able to hang with this solid group of female turf milers. Still she benefited from a heady ride by Irad Ortiz, slipping between horses around the eighth pole and outfooting multiple graded stakes winner Hungry Island late to earn graded black type for the first time. Hungry Island looked like she would beat the winner to the hole at the crucial part of the running but simply was outrun in the final eighth. Better Lucky, coming off a top-notch second to Stephanie’s Kitten in the Grade 1 Just a Game, launched a bid while five wide on the turn, loomed a winner in midstretch with a menacing wide rally in the middle of the course but fell short. She probably was beaten by less ground than she lost on the turn.