April 16, 2015
Three-year-old colts have a new race on the turf in NY and the inaugural running of the Woodhaven happens Saturday, with five solid sophomores taking to the AQU turf going 8.5-furlongs for a $100.000 purse. None of the major turf stars from last year are in the field and that leaves things to some of the newer runners but with only one horse coming in off a victory, it will be tough to choose a horse to beat when the grass season is so young.
1-Ponder (Three-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Chili King Stables)
A $5.000 claim turned into a $125.000 purchase for Chili King Stables and in Ponder, you get a gelding who showed excellent potential at FG and was certainly not disgraced when second in a very start race at SA last time out. The speed rating might have come back light but the time certainly did not and with experience going a route of ground, he can easily handle the latter stages and could hang out for a minor award as he looks to win back more of his purchase price.
Analysis-Needs to step up against bigger rivals
2-Burgundy Ranch (Three-year-old gray colt / Owner-Nakamura Stables)
Burgundy Ranch tried to prove his mettle on the main track in the Grade III Lewis but really as a non-factor and got back to the grass last time out, with rousing success, and three straight wins on the lawn make him the logical choice in what is a very reachable field. He went out and set very tepid fractions over a lightning fast SA turf and has since backed that up with a mammoth one-mile work over the PRX course so look for him to try and lead once again and if he can, he could be long gone at the head of the lane.
Analysis-Wired the field last time and could yet again
3-Asakusa Wild (Three-year-old gray colt / Owner-Halo Thoroughbreds)
There is actually a lot of talent running through Asakusa Wild but he has not been able to show it as much as he would like and coming off a fourth in a minor stakes event at FG, he tried the grass once again in hopes of finding the added distance move suited to his closing ability. His speed ratings, albeit on the dirt, are the best in the field and he has continued to improve in workouts and although he does carry two-pounds more than others, that should not be a major factor and there is a chance he might be able to run down the speed, or at least run into second late.
Analysis-Tries to extend his speed to a two-turn distance
4-Extra Sweeping (Three-year-old bay colt / Owner-The Sidley Stud)
Winless, and really ineffective, since a maiden score at BEL and a second in a minor stakes at SA, Extra Sweeping will try to reverse a trend in the Woodhaven and actually close into the late pace, rather than falter badly when pressured. He was in contention to the top of the lane in his last two starts and faded when it counted both times so a change of tactics might be in order, even though he has the speed to press early against an inside rival who might be alone up front.
Analysis-Gets a speed reduced field but still needs to hold his place
5-In The Jameela (Three-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Spark Racing)
In allowance and optional claiming company, In The Jameela is very effective with two mammoth wins into a docile track-record at AQU going this same distance, but put him into stakes company and he completely falls apart and that will be a tough pill to swallow for his backers here as he tries to step up into the bigger ranks. A reachable field became his undoing last time in the Black Gold as he was unable to quicken in the stretch drive and now, he gets an outside post which will force his hand early and that will make things doubly tough for a gelding trying to get his groove back.
Analysis-Must show his might late to have any chance
With three consecutive wins over the grass and lone speed to spare, Burgundy Ranch looks like a very good thing in the first running of the Woodhaven and if he can get to the lead early and set a modest pace, he will be long gone when all is said and done. Asakusa Wild has the talent to provide a challenge but not the turf experience and that is why he gets rated second while In The Jameela knows how to handle the turf but lacks the stakes resume of others and will be hard pressed to hang onto third in the late stages.
Win-Burgundy Ranch (2/1)
Place-Asakusa Wild (5/1)
Show-In The Jameela (6/1)
Triple T Racing
Categories: NG Stakes