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Horses To Watch Dec 3

NAZUNA (November 25): Three year old filly for Len Powell, who he just got her from Chad Brown back east, was in for the first allowance condition on Thursday for soph fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Off at 2/1 and the second choice in an 8 horse field, she broke ok and settled in 4th down the back side 5 lengths off the pace. Rispoli kept her on the fence and she moved up on her own at the 3/8 pole and appeared loaded with run. She checked badly off a horse’s heels at the ¼ pole, then got boxed in with nowhere to run. She lost her momentum and hung the final sixteenth finishing 4th beaten three at the wire. This one was Group 3 placed in Europe and was only beaten 3 lengths in a Grade 1 at Belmont this past summer, so she’s certainly good enough to knock out this condition. Powell can’t be happy with Umberto’s ride today and may switch to Prat when they resume turf racing up at Arcadia. Be ready.

MISS MATTIE B (November 27): Two year old fillie for Bob Hess made her 4th career start and 1st start going two turns on Saturday in a maiden special weight at a mile on the turf. Off at 28/1 in a full field, she broke a step slow under Mike Smith and trailed early, about 10 lengths back of the leader down the back side. After a quick opening quarter in 22.57, Smith called on her at the ¼ pole, and she made a wide swooping move around horses to reach contention, then pulled away down the stretch with a good turn of foot to win by three at the wire going away. This was her first start without blinkers and this bargain filly, purchased for just $10K, found her hole card today. Up the ladder for this daughter of Tonalist.

AWAKE AT MIDNYTE (November 27): Two year old filly for Doug O’Neill made just her second career start on Saturday and 1st on the lawn, and 1st around two turns in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante stakes at a mile on the turf. Off at 7/1 in an 11 horse field, she laid 2nd down the back side three lengths back of the lonely leader. She went after the leader at the top of the lane, put her away quickly, then almost held off a slew of stretch runners down the lane to lose by a nose. And she could have won with a stronger rider, as Gutierrez just hand rode her down the lane. This daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is a runner and she will have no problem winning her first allowance condition up north at Arcadia where turf speed actually holds much better. Tab and follow.

GOT THUNDER (November 28): Two year old colt for John Sadler made his debut on Sunday in a “salty” group of maiden special weights at ¾ on the main. Off as the 9/5 choice in a field of 7, he took all the worst of it breaking from the 3 hole, and was part of the pace picture from the inside throughout the race. There were 3 across the track early, and then 4 across at the 3/8 pole, but “Thunder” kept plugging away and never wilted, though under a ride throughout. The 2/1 second choice had the dream trip on the outside and got the best of this one down the lane. “Thunder” ended up second beaten a length and a half at the wire. This one cost $750,000 in the Keeneland two year old sale as he is a son of champion Arrogate. He’s a soon winner for Sadler up at Arcadia.

SOLO ANIMO (November 28): Four year old colt for Phil D’Amato made his third start off a 13 month layoff on Sunday in a starter allowance race for non winners twice who have won for $50K or less. Off at 4/1 in a field of 7, he bobbled badly at the start to be away last and spotted the field five right off the bat. Herrera took him to the outside and he went four wide into the clubhouse turn. Then on the back side, the boy rushed him up for the lead at the half mile pole. He made another move at the ¼ pole and assumed the lead at the top of the lane. He then went on to win by a length and a half despite all the trouble. This one has only one bad race on his six race resume and he was cut out to be a nice colt. Look for D’Amato to move him into allowance ranks next and he handles turf or dirt. Up the ladder.

By Rod Young (Tufdom)

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