Earlier this year, residents at the EWC were challenged to breed a two year old with one condition. The sire had to be from a track that is supported by the EWC. This was somewhat of a challenge as many of the top sires come from KY which is not one of the tracks supported. The residents took to the task and in February, the horses squared off against each other in a MSW race. This race was held in CA on the turf at a distance of 5.5 furlongs on a track that was labeled as “good”.
Role the calendar forward to October and the same horses are offered the opportunity to reunite again, this time at a distance of a mile at the same CA track in a stakes race. Six of the original nine have returned including the top two finishers from their maiden run. Here’s a look at the returnee’s:
1 MAKAFFERTY 9/5
This is the returning champion from the Showcase event back in February who took the honors at 6/1. This Makfi sired filly has very nice early speed and in her maiden outing she kept pressure on the early leader before stepping to the plate and moving to the lead and drawing off to win by a stride and a half. She’s out of stake winning and 8-time winner Flappage and owned by Denovo.
After securing that initial win, she moved on to WY and ran in a similar 5.5 furlong race. As the second choice at 2/1 she tried to wire the field but was run down in the stretch, settling for 2nd with a 66 speed, the same as her first outing. Jumping to July, she traveled to KY for a 6f race where the bettors didn’t care so much for her, sending her out at 7/1. Makafferty flew to the front and this time was able to wire the field, but had to be declared the winner in a photo by the judges. Her last start was in August and in WA she extended in distance to 7.5 furlongs. At 8/1, she still did not get much respect. She ran second behind the favorite throughout the entire race, finishing in the same spot. Only a long neck off the winner she popped an 85 speed. This lady has earned respect and the bettors now support her as the favorite in this race. The mile distance should not be a problem for this lady who has not finished worse than second in her four career starts.
2 EWC MILLER TWO 5/1
Racing along side the winner of the Showcase race in February is the horse that finished second in the same race. This gelding moved up a few spots from fourth to obtain the second spot at 8/1. He is sired by Sepoy and comes from game mare Some Say A Queen who won four races in her career and mothered stake winning Buscavage Package. After the initial start, owner Cuetec flew this guy to KS for a 4.5f race where he found decent mid-field position and was able to cross the line to take second once again.
The next trip was to OK for a race in May at 5 flanks but the horse just was not motivated after running in mid-field again and losing ground to the leader to finish fourth, some 3 lengths behind. Dropping back to 4.5f and motoring out to FL EWC Miller Two would run close to the lead, being within a length of the front runners but unable to make a strike. He’d end up finishing third. Up to this point, his speeds have been in the low to mid-60 range and his last race was in LA where he was tested to run a mile. Despite finishing fifth in the race, the speed improvement to 74 is encouraging and the experience may lend some benefit as about half of this field will be trying the mile for the first time.
3 PRINCESS OF DREAMS 16/1
Pride of Dubai is the sire to this filly who comes out of three time winning game mare No Dreams Here and this is her first baby. Princess has raced five times with the first start in the Showcase MSW race where she ran mid-field early on and lost ground to finish 8th. She then traveled to OR for a pair of races. In the first at 4.5f, she was a bit aggressive and pressed on the lead, within a half stride of the leader. The pressure could not be maintained and she was outdone by a stride, finishing third. The second race in OR was at 5f and she just could not press things. Running 6th in the 12 horse field she would not be competitive and eventually surrendered, finishing last.
She would be transported to NM and dropped into a $50k claiming race, hopeful for better results. She lapsed to the rear of the field at the start of the race and would pass by tiring horses late in the race and finished third. Her last start was in August and she was shipped back to CA in preparation for this race. The mile distance was too much for her as she finished a dozen strides behind the winner and was never a factor in the race. Princess of Dreams has yet to post a speed over 60 and the rest has exceeded this threshold long ago. She looks unlikely to be competitive in this field.
4 REASON TO RISE 3/1
In the Showcase MSW race, this Jack Hobbs runner finished sixth after running a few spots further back but was never a serious threat. She is out of Wire Heroine, a three time winning mare, and this is her first child. Times have been rough in the early part of the year as she stayed in CA for her next start in April and would finish 7th and was never a threat. In May she flew overseas to NEW for a 6.5f MSW race, finishing fifth, again not a factor in the race. She would try the same conditions at the same raceway in June and the 7th place finish where she ran flat was not encouraging.
Things changed in July when she ran 7.5f in NEW at 15/1 where there was a dawning. She ran mid-field and as the field turned for home, she came to life and ran to the lead and won by over a stride for owner Atthewire. Apparently Reason to Rise found a reason to rise. Staying in NEW, she’d go a mile in her August start and finish third. Her speeds had enhanced in these two races to the 70-range from the 50′s-60′s she had been running. Another boost in speed came in her mid-September mile race nailing an 83 as she finished second after making a lunge to get to the top entering the stretch. This filly has found a breath of life and will be flying back to the stakes for the Showcase Stake event. She’s done well at a mile and has found some form.
5 GARY CARTER 2/1
Named after the baseball player, this colt got the honors of being the 7/5 favorite in the Showcase debut race, primarily due to the breeding line using Frankel as sire. He’s a scratch bred that included Kingmambo and Kris S. as the DS and DDS. As for the debut race, he fired out of the gate for the lead but was swallowed up going by the half and ultimately finishing fourth on the good track. He would travel to NM for the rest of his races which started with a 4.5f event where he again found some fire and shot out to the lead. But the fire simmered out and he would finish third.
In July, he’d move back to 5.5f and enhance his speed from the 60′s in his first two starts to 72 this time out. Going once again straight to the lead, he was able to wire the field and break his maiden. Looking to repeat this effort, he would stay at the same distance and easily gain the lead. But the closers would pull the trigger and he was put away in the stretch finishing fourth with a 71 speed. The horse owned by Kashbarn looks to be overpriced at 2/1. He’s never gone more than 5.5 furlongs and ability to stay on the lead for the entire mile may be problematic.
6 GALILEO’S MUSIC 9/1
The late running colt was able to capture third place in the Showcase race back in February, slicing a 4 stride deficit to under two in the short 5.5f race. This Cape Blanco sired and is the only horse borne out of four time winning game mare Maclean’s Flame. After a nice late run Galileo’s Music traveled out to AR for a 5.5f effort where the late run never developed and he finished ninth. Owner Millerfarm looked to add distance in his July race located in MI where he went 7.5 f. He ran closer to the front than his previous starts, taking the fifth slot in the large 13 horse field. He had nothing to offer in the tail end of the event and staggered to the line in 7th.
Cutting back in distance to 5.5f and moving to IA, the colt would strike his top speed of 69 and finished second. He maintained a position of about 1-1/2 lengths off the top spot throughout the race which earned him the slot. He was shipped to CA in his recent start in September and a test of the dirt track with a nominal drop to the $150,000 claiming tag at a 5f distance. He hated the dirt and the speed hit his career low of 56 and finished last. He does have the ability to run late but that seemed to shine against the Showcase field, which he engages once again in this race. With that in mind, the mile distance should be beneficial and he also flips back to turf and sometimes that can empower a horse going back to a preferred surface. Also have to keep in mind that the Showcase race was on a good track, so maybe the off-weather conditions had something to do with his performance.
Makafferty is the one to beat and hasn’t really had any missteps in her career. She beat the boys before and can do it again. My top selection.
Reason To Rise has found some form recently and looks to have shaken off the cobwebs. Ability at a mile has been proven and she could present some issues to the top pick.
EWC Miller Two is third pick and narrowly over Gary Carter. EWC was fifth at mile when extending in distance and speed boost to 74. Gary Carter has early speed and will need to break away from the field. The favorite won’t let that happen, so Gary will tire, thus the edge to EWC.