June 9, 2015
It might not have had the huge purse or the huge reputation of other events on BEL Stakes weekend but the Grade II Eclipse Stakes at WO did see a standout performance from Broomsticks Camelot and the five-year-old gelding rolled to his 10th career victory with a powerful effort over a pair of recent Grade III winners. From the first crop of El Gran Broomstick, who has already produced multiple stakes winners, he was claimed for only $10.500 at TP in January but since then, has three wins from four starts including this mammoth score, with a 101-speed rating ranking as his best to date and one of the pinnacles you like to see from an improving handicap horse.
A small field of five was assembled for the Eclipse and while speed was expected from the inside, Optimist (28.90) drew first blood from midpack and sprinted a length clear of both Phelps (*0.75) and Broomstick Camelot (1.80), who held well on the inside. The entire group tightened up through an opening split of 23.77 but two-wide into the backstretch, Optimist was looking good on the front end with his stablemate sitting the perfect trip outside. But as Broomsticks Camelot inched up along the rail and Devilish Intentions (39.45) sat in waiting through a half-mile in 47.52, it was still Optimist leading the way and looking solid on the engine, with an inside trip doing all the work for him. But heading around the far turn, Broomsticks Camelot moved to the outside and that forced Phelps even wider and as the quintet sprinted through six-furlongs in a massive 1:10.94, it looked like a two-horse race with Optimist holding on for dear life. At the head of the lane, the lead was down to a neck and with each stride, Broomsticks Camelot moved closer and in the shadow of the wire, he finally wore down the long time leader and surged to victory over a rejuvenated Phelps, who came wide to the wire to nose out a charging Esskelorth (3.85) for second. Optimist might have found the pressing fractions a little too much for him as he weakened only late for fourth while Devilish Intentions failed to menace and wound up last in the compact field.
From a $4.000 claim to a Grade II winner, Broomsticks Camelot has certainly improved over the past seven months with five wins and now, a sharp score in the Eclipse Stakes for his well-meant connections. The top two finishers could easily meet again in the restricted Bertrando Stakes at LA in a few weeks time, or await a meeting in the Grade III Salvator Mile, which would be ideal for both in both distance and purse.
Congratulations goes out to owner Canadian Racing and their five-year-old gelding Broomsticks Camelot, a determined winner of the Grade II Eclipse Stakes at WO!
Prediction Phelps / Optimist / Esskelorth
Winner Broomsticks Camelot
Five-year-old gray gelding
El Gran Broomstick-Bayardo Sakountala (Auto-Generated)
Owner Canadian Racing
Time 23.77, 47.52, 1:10.94, 1:41.94
Broomsticks Camelot 1.80 inside trip, angled out for drive, just up
Phelps *0.75 backstretch stall, came on again
Esskelorth 3.85 inside trip, too late
Optimist 28.90 set good splits, weakened in drive
Devilish Intentions 39.45 no late menace
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade II