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Turfdom Horses To Watch (Nov 17)

HURLEY (November 13): There’s bad luck in racing and then there’s really bad luck in racing and the latter applies to this four year old filly for Eddie Truman, who was in for a $25K tag at a mile on the turf for older runners. Off at 5/2 in a 10 horse field, she through her head to the right just before the starter opened the gates and she got totally left and spotted the field 10 lengths right off the bat. Rispoli took her straight to the fence from the outside and she was last down the back side, 12 lengths back of the leaders. She was still 7 back at the top of the lane, found a seam in the middle of the pack, and finished with a flourish to be beaten just a half at the wire. Obviously, she was much the best. I thought she should have been called a non starter, because she was acting up prior to the gates opening, and then the assistant starter was hanging all over her to prevent her from breaking with the field. The “stews” didn’t see it that way and there was no change. She’s very solid right at about this level and off this performance, she can even handle a raise. Bob Hess Jr. dropped the claim slip. Tab and follow.

LILYPOP (November 14): Three year old filly for Richard Baltas made start #2 in Saturday’s opener, a 5/8 dash on the turf for maiden special weights 3 and up. Off at 5/1 in a field reduced to six by late scratches, she broke running under Ricky Gonzalez and opened up four down the back side with sizzling fractions of 21.97 and 44.87. The favorite came to her at the 1/8 pole and she had no answer, but didn’t stop till the 1/16 pole and still held on for second. This daughter of Strong Mandate is a runner, but she needs to control that speed and with more racing she should be able to ration it out a bit. Baltas is a superb turf trainer, so I see this one in the winners circle in the very near future. Be ready.

ROCKING REDHEAD (November 14): Three year old filly for Richie Baltas stretched out to a mile after two turf sprints on Saturday and rolled to a six length win under leading rider Abel Cedillo at 15/1. She broke running from the two hole in this maiden special weight event at a mile on the turf and went very quick early with fractions of 22.60 and 46.32 for the half. She had a length and a half lead down the back side, opened it up to four at the ¼ pole, then eased on home to win by six at the wire in a visually impressive performance. This Kentucky bred daughter of Hard Spun should have no trouble with the first allowance condition, which will probably be at Santa Anita’s winter meet. Up the ladder.

CANADIAN PRIDE (November 14): Three year old gelding for Peter Eurton tried two turns on the main track for the first time on Saturday for the first allowance condition at a flat mile. Off at 3/1 in a field of 7, he broke running under Prat and vied for the lead into the clubhouse turn. He settled in third down the back side, just off the leaders with a quick 1st quarter in 22.68. He went to the lead on his own at the ¼ pole, but soon had company when the 3/2 favorite rolled up next to him. He battled on gamely to the 1/16 pole and then gave up the ghost to the favorite. He lost by three at the wire but it was at least five lengths back to the third horse. The winner was dropping out of graded stakes. “Pride” took to the two turns nicely and he is a cinch to knock out this condition for the underrated Eurton barn. This was his 3rd start off a six month layoff and he’s ready to put it all together next out. Be ready.

RED FLAG (November 15) Two year old colt for John Shirreffs, who was on our HTW list from his last start, surfaced in the Grade 3 Bob Hope stakes on Sunday and made a shambles of the field at 10/1. Six lined up on the main track at 7 furlongs and he came out running under Victor Espinoza and contested the pace from the outset. There were four across the track at the 3/8 pole, but he put the other speed away at the top of the lane, and cruised on home to win by 9 under a hand ride. Yes, he had a perfect trip from the outside, but this was still visually impressive. Shirreffs will probably stretch him out now for his next start and this colt could be on the Derby trail for 2021. Tab and follow.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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