Friday, February 25, 2011

Running Like A Madman in the Hutcheson Stakes

Not every three year old male is looking to make a name for himself in the Kentucky Derby. Sprinters take the spotlight in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes on Saturday, February 26.

ManiceroPasco Stakes victor MANICERO (Mass Media - Ritzy Blitz, by Kris S.) enters with a four race win streak under his girth. One would think a horse with the bloodlines of Belmont Stakes winners Touch Gold and Travers hero Forty Niner, Manicero’s sire Mass Media would have traveled two turns, however, it was not to be. Mass Media raced at shorter distances and is passing his speed to his offspring. Manicero’s unraced dam has produced two other listed stakes winners, and is the grand-dam of a stakes winner. Her half-brother Thunder Blitz won the Flamingo Stakes (G-3) and was fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Manicero has been breezing well.

Joining his trainer’s Florida stable for beCrossbow - Photo: Coglianesetter opportunities, CROSSBOW (Bernardini – Forest Heiress, by Forest Wildcat) proved he could handle the competition in a seven furlong allowance event over the Gulfstream surface in his last start. Crossbow is by last year’s impressive first-crop sire and his stakes winning dam is a half-sister to 2009 first crop sire sensation Wildcat Heir. Crossbow breezed nicely for this spot, but will have to go from the one post.

Madman Diaries  -  Photo: Michael BurnsMaking his seasonal debut in the Hutcheson is MADMAN DIARIES (Bring the Heat – Harper N Abby, by Outflanker). He has blazing speed top and bottom in his pedigree and has run some wicked fractions in all of his races. His sire is a descendant of the brilliant but fragile In Excess sire line and his second dam Meafara was second two years running in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Madman Diaries has been breezing like a madman, recording back-to-back blazing bullets. He takes off the hood and the Wesley Ward barn is 32% with that angle.

Also entering off of a long layoff is Big Drama’sLittle Drama -  Photo: Jim Lisa half-brother LITTLE DRAMA (Burning Roma – Riveting Drama, by Notebook). His works haven’t been as impressive as Madman Diaries’, but he’s been breezing strongly at Calder and he can keep the pressure on.

ROYAL CURRIER (Red Bullet – Top Of The League, by Lite the Fuse) invades from colder climes after chasing Fort Hughes home in the Jimmy Winkfield stakes at Aqueduct. The Patricia Farro trainee has been first or second in all seven starts. Royal Currier’s sire stole the Preakness spoiling Fusaichi Pegasus’s Triple Crown bid, but at stud, he gets sprinters. Royal Currier’s dam won one of two starts and she’s a half-sister to a stakes placed runner. Royal Currier had a strong lung opener to prepare for the Hutcheson, but the barn is successful with only 9% of shippers.

BLACK N BEAUTY (Devil His Due – Harbor Girl, by Boston Harbor) goes back to the drawing board after tiring badly in the one mile Holy Bull Stakes (G-3). His sire’s best known offspring is the multiple Grade 1 winner Roses in May. As a broodmare sire, Boston Harbor gets mainly sprinters. Black N Beauty’s dam was 1 for 8 on the track and she’s a half-sister to the multiple stakes winning turf mare Dynamite Lass. Second dam Lismore Lass was a stakes winner and a half-sister to the aforementioned Roses in May. Black N Beauty recorded two average breezes and the Dale Romans barn gets 16% winners with horses cutting back to sprints.

Leave Of Absence - Photo: CoglianeseLEAVE OF ABSENCE (Harlan’s Holiday – Danseur Chaud, by Joyeux Danseur) didn’t feel like running and followed Black N Beauty home in the Holy Bull. He zapped a bullet four furlongs in his most previous work and adds blinkers. The Violette barn earns 12% wins with horses trying blinkers for the first time. Leave of Absence’s dam went 0 for 6 on the track, but finished second once routing over the turf. She’s a half-sister to the Grade 2 winner Belle of Perintown. Leave of Absence has plenty of turf influences in his pedigree and may find a future on the lawn if he shows nothing here.

Finding the Gulfstream racing strip to his liking in his three year old debut, RAZMATAZ (Forest Wildcat - Miss Cheektowaga, by Crafty Friend) enters with the typical live work pattern shown by many Pletcher charges.

Razmataz’s dam was unplaced in four attempts and she is a half-sister to the Grade 3 stakes sprinter More Smoke. This offshoot of the family has produced few stakes winners, but, other branches have produced the Champion mare Hidden Lake and Kentucky Derby hero Big Brown.

Two colts are jumping into the fray after registering gaudy maiden victories. Razmataz’s stable mate TRAVELIN MAN (Trippi - West Side Dancer, by Gone West) flew six furlongs in 1:09 flat while conquering first timers by over seven lengths. His last work compares to that of Razmataz. Travelin Man’s damsire was second in the Hutcheson in 1987. Travelin Man’s dam won once in eight tries and she’s a half-sister to a stakes placed runner. This is the distaff family of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, European Champion Duke of Marmalade, and Lemon Drop Kid.

Like Royal Currier, FLASHPOINT (Pomeroy - TwoFlashpoint Punch Lil, by Two Punch) headed to sunny South Florida after scoring against maidens at Aqueduct. Flashpoint’s dam won half of her eight starts, including a stakes race. She is inbred to the blue hen Raise You through her third sire Raise A Native and his full sister, Toast Of The Town, who is Two Punch’s third dam. The pretty gray Flashpoint posted two strong stamina works over the Gulfstream surface and the Rick Dutrow barn gets 28% winners with the maiden to stakes angle.


How the track is playing: 75% of sprint races are won on the lead or pressing the pace; however, the outside is the place to be with 27% of victorious runners break from post 4 – 8. No rain is expected and the track should be lightning fast.

All contenders except LEAVE OF ABSENCE want to be on or pressing the pace. We could easily see a Calvary charge with the field bunched up, or alternatively, someone could outbreak the field and never look back. So the mission is to find the sprinter who can fire fast early fractions and run them off of their feet. MADMAN DIARIES can through opening quarters of :21 and change and keep going. He has the best works of the field, but will he be fit enough to blast this group off a three month layoff? ROYAL CURRIER can also toss out fast fractions and has the benefit of a recent race. MANICERO should certainly be fit and likes to have his picture taken. CROSSBOW fired off an excellent final time in his gulfstream debut. RAZMATAZ is the more experienced of the two Pletcher entries. TRAVELIN MAN is the morning line favorite after his huge maiden win, but maidens who score triple digit speed figures in their maidens tend to regress next time out.




# 9 MANICERO – longshot pick 5-1 or higher


Dancing Into The Davona Dale

Six of the nine contestants in the Davona Dale have stakes experience and the first four finishes of last month’s Forward Gal come back for a rematch in the Davona Dale.

Pomeroys Pistol Photo CoglianeseThe champion of the seven furlong Forward Gal Stakes (G-2), POMEROYS PISTOL (Pomeroy – Prettyatthetable, by Point Given) will attempt to stretch her speed an extra furlong. She has a miler’s pedigree and should handle the extra distance. Pomeroys Pistol fired two strong three furlongs lung openers, indicating that she’ll be on her toes here.

DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit – MayanDancinginherdreams Photo Eclipse Sportswire Milagra, by Menifee) had her two-race win streak snapped by a ½ length in the Forward Gal Stakes. The pretty gray filly worked a last out bullet and should be tough with the extra distance.

Getting up for third in the Forward Gal, EVIL QUEEN (Hear No Evil – Duchess Dor, by Tour D’Or) has faced the starter ten times in her short life. Her speed figures are improving in every start and she posted two maintenance works at Calder.

R Heat Lightning  Photo CoglianeseThe favorite for the Forward Gal off of her Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies placing, R HEAT LIGHTNING (Trippi – Yellow Heat, by Gold Fever) wound up a disappointing fourth in the Forward Gal. She should be tougher in her second attempt, especially after two blazing works at Palm Meadows.

ROXY GAP (Indian Charlie – Hart’s Gap, by SaintRoxy Gap Photo Michael Burns Ballado) had her three race win streak snapped when she was third in her first race of the season, her initial attempt over dirt, in the Old Hat Stakes. She sports a trio of average works. Roxy Gap has a durable distaff family filled with stakes winners. Her dam Hart’s Gap started 24 times and was stakes placed. Hart’s Gap is a half-sister to stakes winner Adopted Daughter and also to the dam of multiple stakes winner Yates Black Cat who raced 38 times. Roxy Gap’s second dam won multiple stakes and started 64 times.

MENDING HEARTS (Street Cry – Satin Cat, by Storm Cat) jumps into stakes completion after winning her maiden at this distance a month ago. Her dam won two of nine starts over turf and is a Half-sister to Grade 2 winner Tropicool, Grade 3 turf winner Mending Fences, and stakes placed Acclimate. Mending Hearts has been working well.

HOT SUMMER (Malibu Moon - Summer Delight, by Quiet American) demolished a group of allowance runners back in November and is making her stakes debut off of a layoff. Hot Summer is a half-sister to the stakes placed turf router Southwest. Her dam won three of 12 starts and placed in a listed stakes going 1 1/16 over the dirt. Hot Summer is Inbred to the blue hen Weekend Surprise through her sons A.P. Indy (sire of Malibu Moon) and Summer Squall (second damsire of Hot Summer).

Oh Carole Photo Taylor MadeOH CAROLE (Unbridled’s Song – Renowned Cat, by Storm Cat) won from off the pace over the speed-favoring Gulfstream surface last time out. Her unraced dam is a half-sister to the top mare, Escena, heroine of the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Oh Carole has inbreeding to the blue hen Sequence through her daughters Gold Digger (dam of Mr. Prospector) and Inviting, Oh Carole’s fourth dam. Oh Carole’s two breezes have been average.

The Sweetest Chant Stakes was not indicative of the talented BELLARIDGE (Cactus Ridge - Jorja's Prospect, by Prospect Bay). She can handle dirt or turf and her breezes are decent, but the Bradley barn is only 9% with route winners. Bellaridge has a dirt miler’s pedigree. Her dam is a hard-knocking veteran of 20 starts, wining or placing nine times sprinting over the dirt. The second dam Forza placed in a listed stakes, but that’s about it for blacktype.


How the track is playing: 67% of the front runners/pace pressers win, and last week 33% of the front runners wired the field. The day should be sunny and the track fast.

DANCINGINHERDREAMS was ½ a length shy of the win last time out. She runs from off of the pace, but the extra distance should help. ROXY GAP and POMEROYS PISTOL are the speedballs of the race. Neither have a problem with throwing down :21 quarters and both are fighters. ROXY GAP is a true front runner, but POMEROYS PISTOL can sit off the pace. R HEAT LIGHTING disappointed in her season debut, but should improve. MENDING HEARTS has a nice pedigree and appears ready to take on stakes competition.




#1 MENDING HEARTS – longshot pick at 5-1 or higher