Horses to Watch Feb. 7 – by Rod Young Turfdom
DIAMONDINTHECENTER (February 3): Three year old filly for Jeff Bonde tried the first allowance condition on Friday after just breaking her maiden in the mud the race before. Off at 13/1 in this 7 horse field at 7 furlongs on the main track, she grabbed the lead quite easily and set fast fractions of 21.99 and 44.73 for the half. The heavy 3/5 favorite rolled up to her at the 1/4 pole and they raced as a team to the wire with the favorite prevailing, but it was a strong effort for the “Diamond” just the same. She was beaten 3 at the wire, but the winner is graded stakes placed and it was 3 lengths back to the third horse. Bonde has a good one here from the hot sire Gemologist, and she will knock out this condition this winter. Tab and follow.
REACH THE WORLD (February 4): Trainer Bob Baffert may have another one on the Derby Trail as this 3 year old son of leading sire Tapit broke his maiden in stylish fashion in Saturday’s opener. Off as the 3/5 favorite in a small field of five, he went right for the lead under Mike Smith into the clubhouse turn, withstood a challenge from Honor and Courage at the 1/8th pole, then opened up again under a hand ride to win by three at the wire. This one looks like he will get better as the furlongs increase. With all the stakes opportunities available now for sophomores, there’s no telling where he will show up next, as Baffert will ship anywhere in the country. Put this one in your stable watch.
FABOZZI (February 4): Four year old gelding for Mark Glatt tried the second allowance condition at a mile on the turf Saturday and gave a good account of himself as he travels up the ladder. Off at 7/1 in a full field, this son of Sidney’s Candy has learned how to ration his speed at rate a bit, as he sat 4th down the back side under Prat. He found himself in deep trouble at the 1/8th pole with nowhere to go, but finally muscled his way through a tight opening after checking a couple of times. He then held off the late runners to get the job done. With a clear trip he was much the best. This was just his 7th career start, so he has plenty of upside as he moves up into tougher allowance or even stakes competition. Follow.
PERFECTLY MAJESTIC (February 4): Five year old gelding for Bob Hess Jr. has run out of allowance conditions, so he tried the Grade 2 San Marcos stakes Sunday at 10 furlongs on the grass and he had a miserable trip. He laid 4th down the back side, much closer to the pace than normal, tried to come through on the inside in the stretch drive, checked badly when the hole closed at the 1/16th pole, then Desormeaux just wrapped up on him and he finished last. First of all, 10 furlongs is too long for this one. He runs best at 8 to 9 furlongs where he can hang back and make one run. Secondly, he’s not a Grade 2 performer. He is much more effective at some restricted stakes or possibly a Grade 3. He is in good form now and off this last place finish, the price will be there, wherever he shows up in the entries.
RYE (February 5): Four year old colt for Billy Morey is on top of his game right now and easily won the Super Bowl Starter Handicap on Sunday going away at the wire by two and a half. Off as the co- choice in the wagering at 3/1, he got the fast clips that he needs to be effective as they went in 22 and change and 45 and change for the half. He still has the second allowance condition available and Desormeaux fits him like a glove. In fact, Desormeaux/Morey are 5/7 lifetime together. Follow.