March 22, 2015
Only five horses lined up for the inaugural running of the Woodhaven at AQU on Saturday but one emerged as a true star in the making and his name was Ponder, as he sprinted clear of his rivals late en route to a dazzling two-length win in a powerful final time. A son of Crown Quest and a full brother to stakes winner Yes Its True, he was claimed for $5.00 then sold for $125.000 and now, sports three wins and a second from four seasonal starts and can lay claim to some bigger prizes in the near future if he shows the same move he did in earning his career-best 95-speed rating once again.
In The Jameela (2.35) came out of the AQU chute in good order to establish the lead in the Woodhaven with Extra Sweeping (4.55) to his inside and everyone was able to get a good position into the first turn as the leader sprinted clear to lead by two-lengths. An opening quarter-mile in 23.31 was quite speedy for the distance but the leader looked within himself around the tight turn and while Ponder (3.20) moved up to the inside, Extra Sweeping was right outside in a great stalking position. In The Jameela looked in tough through a powerful half-mile of 46.95 and getting swarmed on both sides did not help his cause before Extra Sweeping angled out to allow Ponder a move between rivals. With a burst of energy, he motored through after six-furlongs in 1:10.40 and quickly opened up at the head of the lane and by then, Extra Sweeping was chasing and Burgundy Ranch (*1.20) was left with way too much to do. Wide into the stretch but sprinting home, Ponder was long gone on the field with only Asakusa Wild (74.20) making any headway and with an inside run, he was able to get into second while two-lengths in arrears of the winner, with Extra Sweeping hanging on for third. Burgundy Ranch failed to quicken when it counted most while In The Jameela got caught in those wicked splits and backed all the way up to last, more than seven-lengths behind the runaway winner.
A major purchase in March and a bang-up second in his first start for the connections, Ponder was a minor threat to win the Woodhaven but now looks poised to take on bigger rivals down the line with his excellent turn-of-foot on the turf in full display. A race like the Pennine Ridge is perfect as the distances get longer, although the PEN Mile has a massive purse and just the right cache to lure a horse of this caliber in for a shot at the big money.
Congratulations goes out to owner Chili King Stables and their three-year-old gelding Ponder, a runaway winner of the Woodhaven at AQU!
Prediction Burgundy Ranch / Asakusa Wild / In The Jameela
Three-year-old bay gelding
Crown Quest-Soloist (Swarley)
Owner Chili King Stables
Time 23.31, 46.95, 1:10.40, 1:39.55
Ponder 3.20 inside trip, angled out, clear winner
Asakusa Wild 74.20 sat last, rallied past rivals late
Extra Sweeping 4.55 stalked, evened out late
Burgundy Ranch *1.20 no late factor
In The Jameela 2.35 set pace, faded badly
Triple T Racing
Categories: NG Stakes