Hugh Nanton Romney, better known as Wavy Gravy, was an activist for peace. Often arrested at demonstrations, he decided he would be less likely to be arrested if he dressed as a clown. He was also the official clown of the Grateful Dead.
At Woodstock he and his Hog Farm collective formed a group called the “Please Force”, employing non-intrusive tactics at keeping order, e.g., “Please don’t do that, please do this instead”.
Gravy’s sleeping bag and tie-dyed false teeth are displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s psychedelic tribute to the 1960s.
A field of Eight Two-Year Old Colts will enter the Big Apple starting gate in the $100,000 ESR Wavy Gravy Stakes. The race will be run at Six and One-half furlongs over the Turf Course.
VIKING CANDY – the deeprock trained 2-Year Old Bay Colt by Shirocco out of the G3 winning mare DARK CANYON CANDY (Cape Cross) enters this field off an outstanding second place finish in the G3 Salisbury Medallion last time out; the top ranked competitor in this field is making his second stakes appearance and hasn’t been off the board in three career starts; the IRE-bred should excel over a distance of ground, but has proven more than capable while sprinting during his young career…one to beat
SEA THE HUMOR – making his third consecutive stakes appearance is the valesa trained 2-Year Old Bay Colt by Sea the Stars out of the graded placed ALOADOFAWESOME (Awesome Patriot) and grandson of the multi-graded stakes winning/graded stakes producing GETALOADOFTHIS; like VIKING CANDY, this IRE-bred is destined to do his best running over a longer distance of ground, but has been knocking on the at the stakes level over his last two appearances, finishing third in the Ghostlyformer Turf Juvenile and Smooth Top Turf Juvenile Stakes respectively…main threat
JUST A PIECE – the modestly bred 2-Year Old Bay Colt by Peace and Justice out of a Scat Daddy mare is the only horse in the field with multiple victories; although the trotter1 trained PA-breds victories did come in Hot Race appearances, and while he finished second in Local Bred company Allowance, it is his last start that earns him a chance in this field when he finished a strong closing second on the Turf in Oklahoma against Open Bred rivals…punchers chance
RALLY AGAIN – the kingab trained 2-Year Old Bay Colt by Awesome Again out of the stakes winning RALLY CAT (Storm Cat), Dam to multiple stakes winners including GRANNYIBAKEDUACAKE, winner of the G3 Leopard Stakes; is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his seven stakes winning siblings, the KY-bred appears well on his way after raising some eyebrows in his debut when he posted an 80-speed figure after pressing the early pace and holding off a late charge in the final yards…dangerous
HOUSE MORMONT – the cadet trained 2-Year Old Bay Colt by Fastnet Rock was all out in his debut getting up in time to catch the pace-setting THE GOLDEN KINGCAT, who had little resistance throughout the early going; the IRE-bred colt hails from the G1 winning INVINCIBLE CADET (Invincible Spirit) on the Dam side and is a half-brother to GENERAL SNITZEL, winner of the G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas; another colt that is likely to excel racing around two turns, but last suggests one turn is well within his wheelhouse during the early two year old racing season…elite family tree
KATWALK EXPRESS – it’s not often you see a son of Kitten’s Joy winning this early in the two year old season, so when you do, it’s probably a good idea to pay attention; the casino trained 2 Year Old Light Grey Colt by Kitten’s Joy out of the stakes winning mare STARWAY EXPRESS (Sea the Stars) was a gate to wire winner in his Florida debut over the Turf Course while being kept under wraps by jockey Vinny Gardner; should be first from the gate again and likely to have plenty left in the tank off his debut victory…one to catch
HAND OF THE NILE – the ace trained 2 Year Old Bay Colt by Pioneerof the Nile, out of the stakes winning mare PUNKIN GLEN (Gleneagles) gave a good account of himself to finish second in his debut after picking a tough spot in his debut against a field of Kentucky Local Breds; chasing a spirited early pace, the KY-bred began is closing drive with the eventual winner AFLEET CHANNEL, locked strides with him coming to the wire but had to settle for the short end of the photo; toss out the 61-speed figure, the race was only 4.5-furlongs, and the added 2-furlongs will put that number on par with the rest of this field…eligible to improve
BEDILIA’S BOY – it’s good to see the jetman barns back into full swing, and entered in this ESR feature, in his first career start, is the 2 Year Old Bay Colt by Sebring out of the stakes winning LADY BEDELIA (Forestry), second place finisher in the G3 Hill Side Challenge; while the AUS-bred appears to be in tough for his debut, it should be noted that his Dam won at first asking while posting an 81-speed figure…would surprise
Handicapping the Field
No surprise that we have a talented field of two-years old’s, most regally bred, many hailing from top racing mares who are graded winners or have produced graded winners or both. It is probably too early to define pace patterns from any of these young horses just yet, and many of the top rated horses in this field are likely to excel at longer distances, but they are not short of success during the early season sprints making picking winners a challenge even in a short field.
VIKING CANDY and SEA THE HUMOR are two horses that may prefer racing nine furlongs or more. The fact that both horses prefer to race close to the lead and lost ground in 6.5-furlong races suggests their speed will carry further at longer distances. This is not to say neither can win this race, they both hold Class over this field, obviously their recent races suggest otherwise, but if I am splitting hairs…
RALLY AGAIN and HOUSE MORMONT are both miler types and both are perfectly suited to this ESR Stakes distance. Both horses hail from incredibly successful family trees and I would expect the winner to come from one of these two colts.
KATWALK EXPRESS might be the only runner in this field whose running style I’d dare to predict. I have dealt with many Kitten’s Joy breeds, none seem to run this early in their racing career, so this colt might be just that good. His ease of victory in his debut suggests he can go even faster in the early stages of this one and still hold sway. He’s going to have to be caught, and this is the problem that I see especially for VIKING CANDY and SEA THE HUMOR.
JUST A PIECE is probably the least likely candidate of the horses that have won previously to win this race. Despite his two victories, the PA-bred is not quite the caliber of his opponents and would surprise with a top three finish.
HAND OF THE NILE and BEDILIA’S BOY both have merit, but in the end are still maidens running against winners in a Stakes event.
HOUSE MORMONT - benefits most from early pace battle between RALLY AGAIN and KATWALK EXPRESS
RALLY AGAIN – too much family success and an 80 debut are just too much for the rest
KATWALK EXPRESS – no telling how fast this guy can run