Catching My Eye: Three 3-year-olds who took a big step up
Below are a trio of three-year-olds who caught Kevin Kilroy's eye.
Cox worked Home Brew six times between the $150,000 Oaklawn Stakes and Saturday’s $150,000 Pegasus at Monmouth Park. And it showed. Taking another step forward in terms of speed figures (105 Brisnet, 97 Beyer), really you didn’t need to see a figure to know this Gary and Mary West homebred ran an intoxicating race.
The three-year-old’s third rider in three starts, Paco Lopez got the call when Florent Geroux had travel issues.
Early on in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race, Home Brew had a mind to be led by no one and eagerly moved toward trouble tightening into the frontrunner. But Lopez kept a strong hold and managed to keep Home Brew tucked tightly in the rail pocket behind the frontrunning Cyberviking and Chad Brown’s speedster and betting-favorite, Electability.
Keen early, Home Brew settled nicely in the backstretch, but as soon as space opened up in the turn, Lopez asked and Home Brew sling-shot off the rail, passing the eventual place and show finishers in a flash and extending the lead late. This Street Sense colt out of Omnitap (Tapit) looks to have matured, though did lose focus late. Who could blame him, he put the competition away long before.
Four-for-four on fast dirt, the only clunker he has run was on the sealed slop in the Smarty Jones. Monmouth, Churchill, Oaklawn, Laurel — Home Brew can win anywhere. But will he run in the Haskell against his stablemate Cyberknife?
On to Saratoga?
A first-level allowance on a fast track was just what the doctor ordered for Ontheonesandtwos. Winner at first asking as a two-year-old, this filly out of Norm Casse’s barn was overmatched in graded stakes as a two-year-old and has had a bad case of seconditis as a three-year-old.
Taking the lead early like many a Casse trainee excels at doing, the daughter of Jimmy Creed held frontrunning position through the early calls for the first time in her eight-race career. And in hot pursuit was none other than the talented Tarabi, last seen finishing third to Echo Zulu and Juju’s Map in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Her 95 Brisnet Speed figure going the seven furlongs was faster than Triple Crown runner Happy Jack’s 91 winning at Churchill Downs at the same distance. It was also faster than highly regarded three-year-old filly Society’s 88 BRIS figure; although, that Steve Asmussen trainee went 1 1/16 miles winning the $150,000 Monomoy Girl S.
Is she a need-the-lead and just hasn’t been able to gain that early advantage in past races? Possibly. That is the note I’ll keep on her in case she draws against other worthy frontrunners and is being offered as an underlay in the pools. But it’s good to know how these speed figures compare to others on the same day, in similar company, and Ontheonesandtwos could easily be posting a 100-plus figure in her next outing.
A month shy of a year since her debut as a Spa Baby at Saratoga, Repealing returned to the track. But this time she was at Churchill, and this time instead of running into Echo Zulu and being sent off at 12-1, she was bet down to 8-5 favorite. And boy did they know.
Breaking nicely but not in front, Repealing dueled for second with the Nyquist filly Broadway Blaze. She shook free of that foe before the turn and set her mind to running down Royal Flower, stabled by Asmussen and sent off as the second favorite. Once Repealing gunned her down, Tyler Gaffalione geared down and coasted home. Tested in the duel, ran down a worthy foe, and more left in the tanks—that is the type of graduation ceremony I look for.
Trainer Al Stall should be feeling good about his work to get this daughter of Constitution in form and firing a 91 BRIS figure and an 88 Beyer. Look for her to return to Saratoga, although this time, you won’t see the bettors hang 12-1 around her neck.