Pure Sensation enters BC Turf Sprint mix with Monster score

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 7th, 2015

Pure Sensation, who was made the 2-1 favorite in Monday's $300,000 Turf Monster H. (G3) at Parx Racing against many of the region's most accomplished grass sprinters, lived up to bettors' expectations when catching front runner Mongolian Saturday in mid-stretch and holding off that rival by a nose in the five-furlong dash.

Ridden by Kendrick Carmouche for owner Patricia Generazio and trainer Christophe Clement, Purse Sensation pressed Mongolian Sunset down the backside, headed him at the quarter pole, and was all-out to keep intact his perfect mark around one turn on turf. The final time was :55.81 on firm ground.

Mongolian Saturday finished a length ahead of last year's Turf Monster winner Sharp Sensation. Disappointments in the race included fan favorite Ben's Cat, who never factored in finishing fifth, and last-out Parx Dash (G3) victor Tightend Touchdown, who finished sixth.

Pure Sensation now enters the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) picture with this initial graded stakes triumph. The four-year-old gray by Zensational returned from an eight-month layoff to take a second-level allowance at Saratoga by 3 1/2 lengths on July 31 going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Last season, the gelding was multiple stakes-placed on dirt but landed the $100,000 Quick Call at Saratoga in his turf debut. He was subsequently third in the $100,000 Better Talk Now when attempting to stretch his speed over a mile.

It remains to be seen whether Pure Sensation will race again between now and a potential Turf Sprint appearance, with the $150,000 Woodford (G3) at Keeneland on October 3 being the most logical interim prep.

In the $200,000 Turf Amazon H., filly and mare counterpart to the Turf Monster, the Illinois-bred Richies Sweetheart led gate-to-wire to win by two lengths in a time of :56.36. A 9-2 chance under E.T. Baird, the four-year-old was winning for the fourth time in six starts this year and for the 12th time in 23 career appearances.

Owned by the partnership of Richard Ravin, Patricia's Hope LLC and trainer Larry Rivelli, Richies Sweetheart has excelled on the turf, winning six of eight attempts. Her only real miscue on the grass was in the last year's $100,000 Franklin County at Keeneland, where she finished fifth. She might try and better that performance when that race is renewed on October 9.

In between the grass sprints, Neck 'n Neck registered his first victory in nearly three years when getting up by a half-length over pacesetter Majestic Harbor in the $200,000 Greenwood Cup (G3). Ridden by Paco Lopez for owner Ted Mitzlaff and trainer Ian Wilkes, Neck 'n Neck covered 1 1/2 miles on the fast main track in 2:33.64.

The 17-10 favorite was a three-time graded stakes winner as a three-year-old in 2012, taking the Matt Winn (G3), Indiana Derby (G2), and Ack Ack H. (G3), but had dropped 13 straight since the latter score in November of that year.

Both he and Majestic Warrior, a past winner of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), are likely to target the $200,000 Marathon (G2) on the October 30 Breeders' Cup undercard at Keeneland.

(Pure Sensation photo: Barbara Weidl/Equi-Photo)