Eleven Two Year Old Fillies may have to rely on off track pedigree, as heavy rains pound the New York area producing a Sloppy Big Apple oval for the $100,000 ESR Generation Gap Stakes. The race will be run at Six Furlongs over the Dirt Course.
HANDZAPPER – you may not have to look any further than this ace trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Ghostzapper out of a stakes winning, graded stakes producing mare CRYPT ROBBER (Gone West); after a strong finish against Colts in her racing debut, the KY-bred looked much the best breaking her maiden in her next start over a sloppy Kentucky oval; to further enhance her off-track ability, her Dam won over $100k on off tracks, while her half-sister, SHERPA LEPESCU, won the G3 Blackhawk Cup over a sloppy track; expect a strong performance from this filly as she moves up considerably over the sloppy going…singing in the rain
LOVE HER STRUT – making her racing debut for the casino racing stables is the 2 Year Old Light Grey Filly by Arrogate out of the stakes winning mare CASINO EXPRESS (Bernardini); although her family tree doesn’t indicate an affinity for the off going, her Maternal Grand Dam, CRIMSON EXPRESS, was a G3 winner and Dam to multi-graded stakes winners DAIWA EXPRESS and JUDDMONTE EXPRESS as well as three other Listed Stakes winners; she has the credentials to be a good one and could surprise if she takes to the off going…your call
DANCIN’ DELILAH – the jetman trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Street Boss, out of the G3 winning mare FORMER DANCER (Kingmambo), impressed favorably in her maiden victory LTO; first from the gate, the KY-bred opened up lengths on the field, faced a strong late challenge from MORE WAR CRIES, and held sway approaching the wire; her Dam did her best running over the Turf Course, and that may well be the direction this filly is going, but speed is dangerous in the slop and her last was good enough to merit consideration here…one to catch
SOLAR SYSTEM CADET – the cadet racing stables send out this first time starting 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Speightstown out of the G3 winning mare MOON CADET (Malibu Moon), Dam to the G2 winning TALENTED MR. CADET, and G3 winning LOOKIN GOOD CADET who turned in a second place Grade2 finish over a sloppy track in 2017; while there isn’t a strong off-track influence in this fillies bloodlines, Speightstown is well-known for producing off track specialists…short odds for debut
UNION ENFORCER – the francua trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Union Rags out of a Medaglia D’oro mare was spectacular in her Florida debut, taking command of the field on the turn and turning back her rivals in the final stages of the race; the sloppy going should be of little concern for the KY-bred as her Dam finished first and second in two tries in the off going while her Maternal Grand Dam, the G1 winning CUPID’S COMPANION, won the G3 Shirley Smith Stakes and the Louisiana 1607 Challenge over a sloppy race course…all systems go
ZAPPED SWEET – the kingab trained 2 Year Old Light Grey Filly by Medaglia D’oro wowed the Florida race-goers after running down a MSW field while posting a 77-speed figure in her first career start; her Dam, the stakes winning SUGAR SWEET (Ghostzapper), was never hindered by the off going, finishing first or second four times in five career off track appearances, however none of her nine offspring has shown an affinity for off tracks; with no real reason to think she won’t handle the wet track, and given her solid connections’ she has to be considered a major player in this ESR feature …one to beat
RISEUPWITHTHESUN – the spinround trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by American Pharoah out of the G1 winning mare AN EMPTY COUNTRY (Smart Strike) is another that enters this field off a spectacular maiden victory; after breaking toward the back of the pack, the KY-bred waited patiently to make her move and was handled confidently between horses finishing up much the best in her Kentucky victory; although there is no strong off-track influence on the Dam’s side, American Pharoah has produced four Graded winners in the off going; combine that with the Dam’s strong on-track performance and you get a very formidable opponent here on Saturday…major player
KRIS RED T – although the aladar trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Redesdale is the most accomplished runner in this field, the undefeated NY-bred will be making her first start over the Dirt Course; the two-time turf winner has certainly been impressive to this point in her career, and is sure to make some noise in upcoming ESR local turf races, however she could be a risky play if she doesn’t handle the surface switch…happy with part
LEGENDARY GHOST – it’s not often I am scrambling for an entry in an ESR race, but such was the case for this week’s feature; the 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Shaman Ghost out of the Graded stakes producing mare LEGENDARY GOLD (Mineshaft) is the unfortunate victim of a weak 2yo crop; the KY-bred regressed badly in her last start, and only the hope of being an off track freak would propel her effort against this field…look elsewhere
SAWTAAD – the deeprock trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Awtaad out of the stakes producing mare KAIZER CHIEFS (Johannesburg) exits the G2 HAPPY MOTHERS DAY LTO, and although she was noncompetitive in the race, she is the only horse in the field that has run in stakes company and is dropping down in class; connections come off a big ESR win last week with a horse that also had the edge in experience, and at 28-1 you’d have to think the oddsmaker wasn’t paying attention…I’m a believer
CHEWIE THE CAT – the kody trained 2 Year Old Bay Filly by Discreetly Mine out of a Cat Thief mare closed from last to first in her debut in a local MSW event in Argentina LTO; the URU-breds Dam, CHARLESTON CHEW, was 1 for 1 over an off track and 8 for 17 over a Poly race course, a surface that translates well to a sloppy dirt course; now I’m not going to tell you that this filly has the class or pedigree to beat this field, but class sometimes goes out the window over the slop, and there is no reason to believe this filly won’t move up in the slop…show bettors delight
Handicapping the Field
By now you have figured out that I believe the Sloppy Track will play a big role in the outcome of this race. The off going can be, and often is the great equalizer in any horse race especially 2yo babies who haven’t demonstrated any ability over a wet surface. I have drawn my conclusions on the outcome of this race based on family history and on track performance over off tracks.
The Major Players
Top consideration has to go to HANDZAPPER who recorded a victory over a sloppy track last time out. Although it was only a four horse field, the competition was good, and the second place finisher came out of that race and broke her maiden in her next start over an off track. The Dam was a solid performer in the off-going and her half-sister was a graded winner in the slop. Generous odds of 7-1 make her a very temping play.
UNION ENFORCER demonstrates the early foot often associated with winners over a sloppy track. Family history says she should love the slop, and like they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I don’t think the off going will hinder the chances of RISEUPWITHTHESUN. The Dam was a G1 winner and the sire has produced multi-graded stakes winners over an off track.
While I can’t say for sure ZAPPED SWEET will like an off track, I can’t say he won’t like it either. The Dam isn’t a great producer, but this filly might just turn out to be her best. Top connections make her a must in this category.
LOVE HER STRUT and SOLAR SYSTEM CADET are both extraordinarily bred fillies capable of racing over any track condition. The knock is that they are maidens against winners, and while that doesn’t account for much in 2yo racing, I have to draw a line somewhere.
KRIS RED T and DANCIN’ DELILAH might be better suited for the turf, but DANCIN’ DELILAH has to be caught over a sloppy racetrack and based on her last start, she might put just enough distance between herself and the pack making it that she just might not get caught.
LEGENDARY GHOST, SAWTAAD, and CHEWIE THE CAT are going off at odds of 20-1 or greater. Now I know odds don’t mean anything, especially when it comes to two year old’s, but I been round here long enough to know it ain’t good either. I do think CHEWIE THE CAT is an interesting entry hailing from some very good connections.
HANDZAPPER – she makes the most sense and generous odds are an added bonus
UNION ENFORCER – speed and off track ability make for a deadly combination; she has both
RISEUPWITHTHESUN – too much pedigree to expect anything less than a top effort
CHEWIE THE CAT – have to put a Show bet in on this one