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Turfdom Horses To Watch (Oct 27)

FIRST PREZ (October 23): Three year old colt for Doug O’Neill made his debut on Friday at five and a half on the turf for Cal bred maiden special weights, three and up. Off at 4/1 in a 7 horse field, he missed the start and was away last. Rispoli hustled him down the back side but he was still 8 lengths back at the half mile. He swung him to the outside at the top of the lane and he closed steadily on the outside and got up to win by a length at the wire going away. He only had five drills coming into his debut of which only two were 5/8, so it’s hard to break your maiden at first asking under those conditions. So you know this son of First Dude has talent. He’s bred to go long as well so he should have no trouble with the first Cal bred allowance condition, short or long. Up the ladder.

WESTWARD BREEZE (October 23): Two year old filly for Carla Gaines made her debut in Friday’s finale at five and a half on the turf for Cal bred maiden special weights. Off at 5/2 and the second choice in the wagering in a field of 7, she broke sluggishly from the outside and was fifth down the back side six lengths off the pace. She started a good run on the outside at the ¼ pole, rolled by the leaders at the top of the lane under Rispoli, and cruised on home to win by four widening lengths. You don’t see many “Munnings” offspring that are Cal breds, and you don’t see Carla win with many debut runners, so you know this one is somewhat special. She is bred top and bottom for the lawn and two turns as well. Up the ladder for this impressive debut winner.

ONE FLEW SOUTH (October 24): Four year old colt for Doug O’Neill, who had not been to the post since February with his trip to Dubai, came back in a turf sprint for the first allowance condition in Saturday’s opener. Off at 2/1, with a lot of late money coming in on him, in a field of six, he was void of any early speed and settled down in last down the back side, six lengths off the leader. Prat got him rolling at the ¼ pole and he swung six wide at the top of the lane, then put in a good late rush to finish third beaten three at the wire. He was nosed out of second and the winner went wire to wire. The time was very fast and was just .56 off the track record for the distance. This son of Giant’s Causeway can handle turf or dirt, can go long up to a mile and has lots of options for the first allowance condition. This was a good prep off a long layoff and trust O’Neill to find a winning spot for him in the near future.

CURRY (October 24): Four year old gelding for Bruce Headley, who has had a tough time getting to the races, made start #2, and 1st since March of 2019, in Saturday’s 2nd, a sprint on the main track for Cal bred maiden special weights. Off at 2/1 in a field of six, he broke inward at the start from the two hole, but then within a few strides took command of the race and was in front by two at the ½ mile pole. He increased his advantage by four at the top of the lane while in hand, through fractions of 22.14 and 44.96. Then while still under a hand ride, he shut the door on the field with a final quarter in 24.53 and won off by 10 widening lengths. It was a pretty impressive performance and if Headley can keep this one in one piece, he will have a Cal bred stakes winner on his hands over the winter. Up the ladder.

GO ON (October 24) Two year old colt for Doug O’Neill made start #2 in Saturday’s 9th and ran a much improved race over his debut. Off at 5/2 with a surge of late money, he broke OK from the outside and settled in fifth down the back side in a full field of maiden special weights going six and a half. He moved up to third at the 3/8 and then 2nd by the ¼ pole, but a Baffert first timer was long gone on the front end. Go On rallied to get 2nd though well beaten, but it was another five lengths back to the third horse. This son of Nyquist was working very well coming into this race and they also took the blinkers off. Unless he catches another Baffert buzz saw, this one is sitting on a win for the O’Neill barn.

By Rod Young (Turfdom)

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