Catching My Eye: Pimlico and Churchill Downs
After passing the eye test, Super Quick tops the speed charts
Nothing much to say except Wow. Super Quick’s win in Pimlico’s Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) produced the highest Brisnet speed figure of the weekend, a 106. Straight to the lead, the Marylou Whitney Stable homebred trained by Norm Casse demonstrated that added distance is not a problem. Obviously aided by a small field and being the lone front runner, she was still eye-catching to say the least. Add another filly to the fun going forward as Super Quick will look to turn the tables on Malathat and Caliriere, who both beat her earlier this year.
Going 1 3/16 miles, First Captain ran down even money Vindictive and second choice Untreated to win the Pimlico Special (G3). After trying this 2021 Dwyer (G3) winner at seven furlongs for his first two starts of his four-year-old season, trainer Shug McGaughey put the blinkers on and stretched him out. Rated off the pace and three wide early, First Captain swung into the six path and bore down with determination, showing his muscle and focus as he gained steam with every furlong. This is definitely a horse I want to back going forward at 1 1/8 miles and longer.
I am a big fan of a turf sprinter who can race near the front but also show a turn of foot akin to what we see from great closers. Making his four-year-old debut, Comedy Town did exactly that for trainer Michael Trombetta. Though only a second-level allowance and a not too terribly impressive final time/speed figure, what we have instead is a game horse that could continue to fly under the radar after his 10.90-1 score. Comedy Town raced in second tending to the pace through a :45.63 half only to unleash speed when asked. His phenomenal move pulling away from the pack was only tarnished by veering in on his foe. Slightly green but could have more to show going forward.
Two three-year-old sprinters break maiden impressively at Churchill Downs
Lucky number seven try for maiden Minnesota Ready or a huge performance? Trainer Neil Pessin knows when to alter course--and he threw the kitchen sink at Minnesota Ready: turf to dirt, route to sprint, new jockey, and gelded. The result? 21-1 victory racing midpack, saving ground, and swinging out wide full of run. Much the best against a solid field of three-year-olds and up.
Later that day in a race at the same distance and same conditions, first-timer Open Road ran .05 faster than Minnesota Ready. After breaking sharply to the lead, three foes ran by on the inside leaving the Quality Road colt work to do and making his win all the more impressive. Turning back Plausible Denial’s bid in the stretch, Open Road demonstrated we’ve got another Brad Cox three-year-old to keep tabs on going forward.