03/26/2015 12:31PM

Twilight Eclipse gets away from nemesis

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Twilight Eclipse couldn't handle Eclipse winner Main Sequence in the Mac Diarmida last month, but doesn't face that rival Saturday in the Pan American.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Their paths likely will cross again later this year, but for at least one day, Twilight Eclipse won’t have to tussle with Main Sequence when he runs in Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Pan American Handicap.

Twilight Eclipse finished second or third to Main Sequence in four consecutive Grade 1 stakes to end 2014. In the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida here Feb. 21, Twilight Eclipse was again second to Main Sequence, who was using that race as a prep for Saturday’s $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic.

“Hopefully, with him over in Dubai, if our horse runs to his last race, he’ll be the horse to beat,” said Tom Albertrani, the trainer of Twilight Eclipse.

If Twilight Eclipse runs back to his last appearance in the Pan American, no one will beat him. In 2013, Twilight Eclipse won the Pan Am by four lengths, running the 1 1/2 miles in a world-record 2:22.63.

While trainer Graham Motion won’t have Main Sequence to run against Twilight Eclipse, he will send out Glenard, who finished second in the Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 21.

:: FLORIDA DERBY DAY: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s Gulfstream card live

The Pan American goes as race 13 on the 14-race Florida Derby card.

About four hours earlier, War Correspondent and Lochte head a field of eight entered in the Grade 3, $150,000 Appleton Stakes going a mile on turf.

PAN AMERICAN

KEY CONTENDERS

Twilight Eclipse (Last 3 Beyers: 99-103-104)

◗ His trip in the Pan American figures to be similar to his trip in the Mac Diarmida, where he stalked the pacesetting Change of Command, who is also back in this field.

“I thought he ran a super race,” Albertrani said. “The horse looks really well going into Saturday.”

◗ Twilight Eclipse prefers firm ground. There is rain forecast for Friday night into Saturday morning, but the course has been very firm and would benefit from some showers.

Glenard (Beyer: 95)

◗ With Main Sequence in Dubai, Motion has gone to his bench and tabbed this 5-year-old gelding by Arch to take on Twilight Eclipse. In his only start in the U.S., Glenard finished second to a loose-on-the-lead Chocolate Ride in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

◗ In a message from Dubai, Motion indicated that Glenard could improve for having the race and will appreciate the extra distance.

:: DRF Live: Watch live handicapping analysis of Saturday’s biggest races, starting at 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Imagining (Last 3 Beyers: 93-98-102)

◗ Found himself 11 lengths off the early pace in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap before rallying to within 2 3/4 lengths at the wire, despite checking at the eighth pole.

◗ He is winless in four starts at this distance, but he did win the Grade 1 Man o’ War at 1 3/8 miles last year in front-running fashion.

APPLETON STAKES

KEY CONTENDERS

War Correspondent (Last 3 Beyers: 97-95-90)

◗ He ran a more-than-respectable third in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, beaten just a length by Mshawish in his first start in three months.

“I thought he ran a good race,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “He came very wide at the quarter pole, but he had no choice.”

◗ He cuts back from 1 1/8 miles to a mile, the distance of his lone win in this country, which came last September at Monmouth Park.

“I don’t know what his best distance is but thought he ran very well going a mile last year,” Clement said. “I’m delighted to have John Velazquez.”

◗ Velazquez has won three Grade 3 stakes for Clement at this meet and overall is 3-2-1 from six rides for the trainer at the meet.

Lochte (Last 3 Beyers: 89-95-95)

◗ He is a four-time winner over this course, including the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in 2014.

◗ He has lost his last two over this course but won twice this year at Tampa, including the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes on Jan. 24.

◗ He is winless in five starts at a mile and, as the 123-pound highweight, is spotting 4 to 6 pounds to the rest of the field.

Aripeka (Last 3 Beyers: 95-89-81)

◗ He appeared to fight the early restraint of Julien Leparoux in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf, losing a three-way photo for second and finishing two lengths behind winner Long On Value.

◗ He has two wins, two seconds and a third in five starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally.