Oscar Nominated Wins 2016 Spiral Stakes

Oscar Nominated Shocks 2016 Spiral Stakes

At 23/1, nobody was giving Oscar Nominated a chance of winning the 2016 Spiral Stakes. Turns out that a random gamble on the Ramsey Stables product would’ve churned out a huge payday. With the absolutely stunning victory, Oscar Nominated paid out $49.20, $18.00 and $11.00.

Azar came in second at 8/1 to give his backers a $9.00 and $6.40 pay out, while Surgical Strike showed at third to return $5.40 on 8/1 odds as well. There was also a bounty of 50-20-10-5 points on the derby trail for the top-four horses at the 2016 Spiral Stakes.

It was a tough day for the favorites. Kasseopia was the lead horse at 7/2 but finished 8th while Airoforce was a 2/1 lead horse at the window and barely showed up, finishing a disappointing 10th. Jensen and Don’t Be So Salty were 5/1 and couldn’t crack the top-three.

Ironically, Oscar Nominated’s surprising 2016 Spiral Stakes victory puts owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey in a tough situation. Oscar Nominated was not submitted as an entrant in to this year’s Kentucky Derby. He has missed the late entry nominations by a few weeks. If the Ramsey’s are so inclined, they can pay a supplemental entry fee at the cost of $200,000 to break in to the Kentucky Derby. Paying the supplemental entry fee would also make Oscar Nominated eligible for the other two Triple Crown races.

That rather large price tag isn’t deterring ownership. “He’s going in one way or the other,” said Ken Ramsey, who has nominated eight other horses to theKentucky Derby. The Ramsey’s missed last year’s Kentucky Derby when International Star was scratched at the last minute. It seems that the illustrious breeder and owner isn’t taking any chances this year and you can hardly blame him. It would be almost insane to think that Oscar Nominated could upset the field at the Kentucky Derby in a month, but his running at the 2016 Spiral Stakes was downright competitive and impressive.

Oscar Nominated has now won gone 2-1-0 in three races this year, having placed at the Keith Gee Memorial Stakes in January prior to winning the Black Gold at Fair Grounds in late February.

Nyquist Proves Best in Florida Derby

Nyquist Beats Moyahmen Convincingly to Win Florida Derby

 Nyquist improved to 7-for-7 lifetime with a convincing wire-to-wire win in the $1 million Xpressbet.com Florida Derby Saturday.

Nyquist became the first Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old to capture the Florida Derby since Fly So Free in 1991, and the first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero to follow up in the Florida Derby since Unbridled’s Song in 1996.

“We had this plan from after the Breeders’ Cup of what we wanted to do and it’s all unfolding perfectly,” trainer Doug O’Neill said following the race.

Nyquist has now earned $2,322,600 on the track for the Reddam Racing, LLC after collecting $589,000 in the Florida Derby plus an additional $1 million bonus for the Florida Derby win from the auction company Fasig-Tipton as a graduate of its Florida 2-year old in training sale.

The 10-horse field for the Florida Derby was hyped as the bi-coastal battle between the best from the West Nyquist and the East Coast undefeated champion Mohaymen. But after making a move towards the leader at the top of the stretch, Mohaymen had no additional gear this day while fading to fourth and beaten 8 1/4 lengths over a main track that had taken rain intermittently during the 14-race program.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had more mixed emotions Sunday after his star colt and multiple Grade II winner Mohaymen (Tapit) suffered his first career loss when finishing fourth behind Nyquist. Though disappointed in the Shadwell Stable runner’s result, McLaughlin was pleased with how the horse emerged from the race, both mentally and physically.

“He came out of the race in good shape,” McLaughlin said as he overlooked Mohaymen’s stall outside his barn office at Palm Meadows. “He’s never been beaten and we thought he was invincible going in so, yeah, we’re a little down about the result. But, we’re moving forward. We’re happy that he’s happy this morning and we can move forward to the Kentucky Derby.”

“Basically it was very wet and we were very wide. We ran 54 feet further than the winner, but congratulations to Nyquist and their team. They had to run over the same racetrack under the same conditions and they did it better than us. Congratulations to them, because it was a big showdown. We’ll regroup and point for the Kentucky Derby and hope for the best.”

Jockey Martin Garcia Rides 3 Stakes Winners Saturday

Martin Garcia Has Big Saturday Riding 3 Stakes Winners

In May of 2010, Martin Garcia rode the Bob Baffert trainee Lookin at Lucky to victory in the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. This past Saturday, Garcia rode another potential Preakness entry to victory when Cupid claimed the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.

Garcia followed the Cupid win with a pair of stakes wins at Sunland Park on Sunday. For his efforts and stakes wins, Garcia was honored with the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week award for March 14th – March 20th.

On Saturday at Oaklawn Park, Garcia helped Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert get his sixth victory since 2010 in the Rebel Stakes with Coolmore’s Cupid. Making just his fourth start, Cupid showed a lot of heart and found a late gear as he dueled with Whitmore alongside at the 1/8 pole. Cupid fought off Whitmore to win the 1 1/16 mile Derby prep in 1:43.84. As the second-choice favorite at 5/2, Cupid paid $7.80 to win in the 14-horse field.

“He (Cupid) showed a lot of ability and we know he can run. He really proved today that he is improving. The distance doesn’t matter, he can go as far as he wants.”

Sunland Park was the destination on Sunday where Garcia would once again go wire-to-wire in the $415,000 Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes aboard Collected. After breaking on top Collected won by two widening lengths as the even-money favorite and covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.90 on a fast track. Collected paid $4.20 to win.

“I used a little bit of horse at the start, but once we got the lead he was cruising,” Garcia said. “When I asked him to go, he responded nicely. I think we even saved something for his next race.”

Trainer Justin Evans and Garcia teamed up to win the $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes aboard Redneck Humor earlier on the Sunland Park Card. Redneck Humor went off at 5-1 and paid $11.60 to win.

songbird wins again!

Songbird Steering Clear of Triple Crown

Songbird remained undefeated at the Santa Ysabel Stakes this past weekend, winning by an easy stretch of 3 3/4 lengths, fuelling even more speculation that she’ll toss her name in to a run at the boys come Triple Crown season. That seems to be the only element of Songbird’s racing life that trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is pumping the brakes on. His prize filly is pointed straight to the Santa Anita Stakes and onwards to the Kentucky Oaks, just as planned.

Jockey Mike Smith barely had to do any work as Songbird dashed out of the gates and took the lead immediately. She began to open up a virtual chasm during the backstretch and then continued to keep a safe gap all the way round the final turn and across the finish line. There was never any doubt as to who was going to win the race.

“It was incredible,” Smith reflected after the win. “I got a bit star struck when I looked over at the big screen (in the infield) to see if I needed to do a little bit of work and I was just in awe of how easily she was doing things, again. I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off the big screen. I told myself, ‘I better get back to it and stay on.’ She was really on her game.”

Land Over Sea finished second to Songbird for the third time in her career. Trainer Doug O’Neill was as optimistic as one can be when routinely faced with a talent such as Songbird. “It was a super race by Songbird,” O’Neill stated, “but we’re super proud of Land Over Sea, too.” Land Over Sea is next due to run the Fair Ground Oaks (GR2) on March 26th, and she’ll likely be relieved to discover that Songbird will not be in the field for that race. The Reddamn Racing filly has yet to win a stakes race.

The boys of the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown will also be relieved that Hollendorfer is staying the course with Songbird, pointing her down the unofficial pathway of the Triple Tiara. The first leg of that journey will be the Kentucky Oaks, and Songbird will look to pad her winning margin. She has won all six of her contests by a combined 32 1/4 lengths.

You can witness the champion filly’s sheer dominance below just to get a taste of why it might be more intriguing to see her matched up against the top colts. Unfortunately for race fans, that specific challenge may have to wait until much later in the season. It could occur at the Breeders’ Cup, but Hollendorfer’s intentions have been made clear. Let’s not spin the rumour mill surrounding Songbird needlessly.

 

malibu sunset

Malibu Sunset Could Begin Late Derby Push

Malibu Sunset turned plenty of heads when he won his maiden voyage at Santa Anita over this past weekend. Now there is plenty of talk as to whether Bob Baffert will send the Bernadini colt down the Kentucky Derby trail. Could we have a late entry in to the fray as we bear down on Triple Crown season?

A late push like this doesn’t usually happen, but that’s how impressive Malibu Sunset was. He left quit an impression, and overcame some familiar obstacles to earn the win.

Even before the race began, there was plenty of anxiety as some competitors presented obvious nerves in the paddock. This had been a problem for Malibu Sunset in previous training sessions. Originally worked in Louisiana where he had trouble staying in line before races, the three-year old was moved out west to train under Baffert. “He stayed pretty calm and cool throughout,” Baffert said. “Reports were, in his first out, he got away twice and was a little rambunctious, but since he has been here, he has been really goodquiet everywhere.”

Calming Malibu Sunset’s nerve is a big part of his training. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes noted that a major focus has been dialled on modifying the colt’s morning behaviour. The cool attitude that Malibu Sunset displayed during Saturday’s allowance, despite some anxious surroundings, was a testament to Baffert’s team. “You never know until they turn for home if they can go that extra distance,” Baffert said. “It was a good race for him. He needed something like that to get some bottom into him.”

Malibu Sunset took the one mile allowance in a time of 1:37.97, taking second place finisher Xingontothebone down the stretch. French Getaway finished in third. It was such an impressive victory that Baffert was almost immediately pressed for Malibu Sunset’s chances of a Triple Crown run. “We know two turns is not going to be a problem for him. He’ll let me know.”

While Mohaymen, Nyquist and Mor Spirit remain the headlined choices for the Kentucky Derby, horses like Malibu Sunset will continue to push for attention. Even though no immediate plans have been established, there is now a small backing that is interested to see where Baffert’s newest sensation will be pointed next.

Mohaymen wins 2016 Fountain of Youth

2016 Fountain of Youth Results – Mohaymen Wins Dramatic Battle With Zulu

The 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes went off as scheduled on Saturday, February 27th and had a result that everyone expected. Mohaymen rode an inside line between his competition and dusted them down the stretch in a dominant performance. The son of Tapit now has 71 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which leads all Triple Crown hopefuls.

Run over a distance of 1 1/16th miles, with a purse of $400,000, the race itself was a thrilling display by Mohaymen, who skillfully stalked Awesome Banner, who led by a length and a half after the first turn. Previously undefeated Zulu took over after the back stretch, surging ahead in to the second turn. Breaking in to the home stretch, Zulu simply couldn’t keep pace with the favourite. Mohaymen won the 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes by a convincing 2 1/4 lengths.

Mohaymen rewarded his backers with a $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 payout. Zulu cashed in as a 4/1 outside shot with a $3.20 and $2.60 return. Fellowship, who made a mad dash down the stretch to zip past Awesome Speed, ended up showing in third for $3.40.

The 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes is the second consecutive win for Mohaymen at Gulfstream Park. He had previously thrashed the field at the Holy Bull Stakes in January. The next test for Kieran McLaughlin’s trainee will be the Florida Derby who is staying on course with his cherished horse. “We’re here and we’re pointing that way, and we’re not altering our plan,” McLaughlin stated confidently after the win.

However, Nyquist is also supposed to be enter the Florida Derby. This could be a serious showdown between the top two horses on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and it’s a meeting that McLaughlin isn’t exactly keen on. “I’m not really looking forward to facing him. He’s a very talented horse and so are we.” Whether or not one of the derby hopefuls veers of course remains to be seen but both camps have a few weeks to decide what their game plan will be.

Zulu’s second place finish at the 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes drew praise from trainer Todd Pletcher. “Hopefully it’s something to build on and improve on,” Pletcher remarked. “He gave us the impression he wanted more distance and I think he showed he can handle that. We’re still working on a few things. He got a little excited in the post parade and a little excited in the starting gate.” Zulu will also point towards the Florida Derby, as will third place finisher Fellowship.

The 2016 Fountain of Youth Stakes is already being regarded as one of the most dramatic races of the season so far. A second renewal at the Florida Derby in a month would certainly blow the roof of the grandstands, especially if Nyquist and Mohaymen end up on a collision course.