A quick reaction to the big races this past weekend:
Indygo Mountain had to have everything his way in order to show how good he was in the LeCompte Stakes, but instead he slammed the gait, was left behind, and was defeated by another son of A.P. Indy. That colt, Friesan Fire, ran a superb race, thanks to a handy ride by Gabriel Saez. The runner up, Patena, ran a really great race, as well. He is one to watch, as he was gaining late on the winner, and is by Seeking the Gold out of an A.P. Indy mare whose dam was a full sister to Touch Gold. This all screams late-running grinder, as well as a huge amount of stamina. I really liked Indygo Mountain's mid-race move, where he was stuck in last and decided to go between horses and move toward the leaders before the final turn. He was a short horse for the race (not quite as fit as his connections wanted), so such a move after a traumatic start was destined to fail. Yet, the move, itself, makes me really like the colt. I will keep him in my top contenders until he throws a bad race. Friesan Fire moves up, especially after showing push-button ability with the new blinkers. Obviously, in his game first-time dirt performance, so too does Canadian stakes winner Patena.
At Gulfstream, one of the highest regarded sophomores in the land, Quality Road, failed in his first attempt in open company. This was a bit of a surprise, but the horse who beat him ran a huge race, and must be talked about. His name is Theregoesjojo, and he ran a really professional seven panel race. He sat mid-pack, approached the leaders (two highly regarded horses: the aforementioned along with Obligingly, a Pletcher/WinStar colt). Af the eighth pole, these three talented colts lined up, and it was a sprint to the wire. Quality Road and Obligingly were both visually being asked by their jockeys, but Kent Desormeaux merely shook the reigns of Theregoesjojo, and he went by them with ease and trotted under the wire 2 lengths ahead. This horse catapults to the top, as he is well-bred, comes from an able barn, and ran like a talented horse. His winning Beyer speed figure, along with the way in which he earned it, make me think that he can reproduce this performance around two turns.
I get excited once in a while, but I will point out pretty quickly, that this colt is special. I have seen all three of his races, and the only time he lost is when he had a hole shut off at the 1/8 pole in the Bashford Manor. His maiden win before that, where he ran down a fast horse (Mine All Mine) in a five furlong race, as well as his push-button win in the allowance this weekend, show me that he is something worth watching. More interestingly, is the fact that he finishes his races with a very high, easy, and quick action. This to me means that he's simply running down what is in front of him, and is not even close to reaching his potential. His action reminds me of Street Sense.
His sire, Brahms, was meant to be a dirt horse, but only got the chance once and ran a huge race (and speed figure) when placing in the Stephen Foster. He, himself, is out of a champion mare (Queena), who won big races on both turf and dirt. Theregoesjojo's dam, Slewie Blues, and bred for two-turn speed. By Seattle Slew, who needs no introduction, and out of a Cure the Blues mare, one can expect her to produce very fast animals. If you look farther back in his pedigree, you'll see that his great grand-dam is be Le Fabuleux out of the Phipps Stable black-type mare, Her Prerogative (a daughter of Buckpasser and Queen of the Stage, a champion juvenile filly). One interesting thing to note is the cross of Blushing Groom (through Queena's dam Too Chic), Northern Dancer (through Danzig, Brahms' sire), and Le Fabuleux. There are not many horses with that combination, and the last one I can think of is Arazi, whom I consider to be the greatest horse never to show us his full potential. He, too, had an explosive finish. Exciting!
In other news, Bob Baffert proved he is a thumbs-up waving weapon, no matter his odds at Santa Anita with Century Park in the Santa Ysabel. Also, Todd Pletcher's Cowboy Cal ran the race we thought he could on a synthetic course, in the San Pasqual. The more intriguing story, to me, is the bang-up closing race that the runner up to Cowboy Cal, Informed (owned by the Bob & Beverly Lewis Trust), as well as classy comebacker Magnum running a huge race to be third. I expect another good race from both, but I especially warn bettors to really consider Magnum in any upcoming race, especially from 9-10 furlongs. He, when healthy, can run up to 109-112 on the Beyer scale, and that is faster than any horse currently stabled in California has shown.