Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Governmentshutdown in the BASHFORD MANOR?

The Bashford Manor is carded as Churchill’s sixth race. Typical of early season juvenile stakes races, distance challenged sprinters are prevalent in the six furlong event. The last colt to win/place in the Grade 3 event and have an influence on the following year’s Classics was 1989 Bashford Manor champ Summer Squall. In previous years, the back to back winners in 2006 and 2007, Circular Quay and Kodiak Kowboy, became multiple graded sprinter/milers.

This year’s Bashford Manor field is very competitive. All except one entrant is coming off of a maiden victory. Let’s take a look at the field and try to sort them out.

The most accomplished colt is morning line favorite at 2-1 Governmentshutdown (Exchange Rate - Shy Baby, by Out of Place). The gelded of Exchange Rate, showed maturity in only his third start in the Rollicking Stakes. The John Robb trainee was checked and had to steady before sweeping by them three wide to win the five furlong race by 3 ¾ lengths. The pretty gray gelding has shown increasing speed figures in each start and recorded two bullet breezes.

The second favorite at 9-5 is Cinco Charlie (Indian Charlie - Ten Halos, by Marquetry). His juvenile stakes placed dam is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winners and sires BWANA CHARLIE and his full brother, MY PAL CHARLIE (by Indian Charlie) plus BWANA BULL (by Holy Bull). The Asmussen trainee won his debut by a widening 2 ¾ lengths. His works have been steady, but not spectacular.

The New York bred Skyway (Sky Mesa - Bedside Manner, by Dr. Blum) is 3-1. He’s a half to the multiple stakes winner AVA K. (by Dixie Union). Skyway broke from the rail in his debut at Keeneland and overpowered maidens to win a 4 ½ furlong MSW by over six lengths. He’s had plenty of time to recover and the Mark Casse trainee’s last three works have been brisk.

Sons of two freshmen sires could be worth a hard look. Silverhill (Silver City - Indian Nation, by Pleasant Tap) was off slow in his debut but cleared the field to win a five furlong MSW by 3 ¾ lengths. His sire Silver City, an unheralded son of Unbridled’s Song who is standing in Texas for a $2K stud fee, sired recent Debutant heroine Promise Me Silver. The stallion is ranked #2 on the Freshman Sire List. The pretty gray Silverhill, a stablemate of Promise Me Silver, has recorded some sharp works at Lonestar.

Two Year Old Champ Lookin at Lucky is off to a great second career as a stallion. His son Lucky Player ( Lookin At Lucky - Janetstickettocats, by Storm Cat) won his debut despite his rider losing the whip. The stablemate to Cinco Charlie gets an upgrade to Leparoux. Lucky Player’s dam is a half to multiple graded stakes winners RUNWAY MODEL, MAMBO TRAIN and stakes placed Texas Kitty and Elena Strikes.



Unlike previous years, not all of these colts appear need the lead types. Cinco Charlie may jump for the early lead and perhaps Skyway down on the rail will keep him company. Governmentshutdown is the most experienced colt in the field and the only stakes winner. He also owns the second highest late pace speed figure and it is hard to look past him. The outside posts have the advantage in this short field, so let’s take the two on the outside to hit the board.

#2 Governmentshutdown – First

#5 Silverhill - Second

#6 Lucky Player – Third