Conquest Doesn’t Hold Back and Takes The Pegasus

The Pegasus Stakes (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
MTH- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
June 21, 2015

The grounds crew did a fantastic job today getting the MTH track ready to roll for a day of racing on a fast surface.  With that then, a lot of the pre-race analysis of how horses would handle a wet track went by the wayside.   Coming into the race, Conquest had not done much of anything in graded stakes, and for things to be different with him today, D J C Racing Stables needed to change things up.  He did exactly that, as today Conquest would be running with the leaders.  The end result seemed to be a horse that enjoyed being pushed at the start, and he turned in what has to be considered the best performance of this career so far.   Hopefully, there will be more good things to come for this colt, as the last two winners seemed to have their win in this race be their final call of glory.   Both trainer and jockey win the event for the first time, and here is how it all went down!

1st- 7- Conquest (7/1)- Our eventual race winner got off to a good start running with Kingslayer initially, but soon D E Centeno felt he would be best stalking the pace about a length or two from the lead.  Kept a steady stride during most of the backstretch run, but only as they approached the final turn did it look like he was also prepared to make a big run at the lead.  Around the turn, he maintained this lane to the outside of Steel Suited, and by exit of the turn, he only had Kingslayer in front of him.  If this was where the trainer may have been concerned about having him run on the lead early, Conquest quickly erased all doubts by showing he was still in full drive.  Soon enough he would give Kingslayer the slip, and all the was left was to hold off Valparaiso Harbor.  It proved to be a fight, but the wire came just in time to get the win.  The race-winning time was 1:41.54, which is a new stake record.  Conquest is a three year old colt bred in NY and trained by D J C Racing Stables, the only owner in which the horse has had.  He is by Flick The Switch (that Charley Farley bloodline again), and out of Desert Lady (who is by the underrated Fast Penny).  Congratulations to all of the connections!

2nd- 1- Valparaiso Harbor (9/1)- I Beato positioned the runner up midpack at the start for Barcelona Farms, but in a good striking position about three lengths or so from the lead.  As Steel Suited moved up a bit in the back stretch, Valparaiso Harbor wisely advanced into the hole that he had vacated.  Advanced nicely within the turn, but on exit, Beato opted to make a 4-wide move, and I wonder if it would have been better to make a move to the inside once he cleared Baffle for a run along the rail.  Hindsight is always 20/20 though.  Valparaiso Harbor was excellent in the stretch, but Conquest kept moving to his outside just a bit to make sure the pass would be difficult, and he would not quite get up in time.

3rd- 2- Steel Suited (5/2)- The Mb Stables entry took in slightly more money then Kingslayer to be considered the betting favorite.  The gelding stalked the pace as the middle horse of a three wide group around the opening turn.  Cleared Baffle and Conquest early in the backstretch, setting his sights on Kingslayer.  Slowly reeled him in during the turn, but at the same time, Conquest was doing the same to him, and at the top of the stretch, he had been passed for second. Put forth a good stretch run, but was not a match for the top two today.

4th- 6- Kingslayer (5/2)- Fired quickly out of the gate for Double J Stables, and took them around the opening turn in a first quarter of :23.67.  Maintained this lead in the backstretch, even with a couple challengers starting to get closer.  The opening half went in a time of 47.36.  Handled the turn well, setting the 3/4 time in 1:10.86, and looking as though he had plenty left in the tank for the run to the finish.   Despite fading to fourth, he did show some fight in the stretch and that will be enough to get his trainer a fourth place check.

5th- 5- Baffle (9/2)- Good start along the rail for the Njvets trained horse who we expected a little more from if the track was dry like it was.  Most likely, his race was lost in the backstretch.  Both Steel Suited and Conquest, who he had been running with made a move while he did not, and with Valparaiso Harbor also advancing at this point made Baffle’s lack of a response all the more concerning.  He never would get into the mix today.  Disappointing follow-up race after a big win.

6th- 3- Charley Did It (38/1)- Promptly to the back went the Emerald Racing Inc longshot.     From start to finish, Charley Did It was able to watch a good race unfold in front of him.  He had no interest, however, in joining them, although he did get up there and draw even with Articulate.

7th- 4- Articulate (9/2)- While he didn’t shoot directly to the back like Charley Did It would, this Running Farms entry was well off the pace himself early as well. Around the turn and at the top of the stretch, we were waiting for a move, and that would never happen.  Thought he would be a lot better today.


##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Conquest D J C Racing Stables Centeno D E 7.35   1nk 1:41.54  
  Valparaiso Harbor Barcelona Farms Beato I 9.15   21/2 1:41.60  
  Steel Suited Mb Stables Bocachica O 2.40   31/4 1:41.73  
  Kingslayer Double J Stables Lopez P 2.45   43 1:41.81  
  Baffle Nj Vets Ferrer J C 4.80   51 1:42.49  
  Charley Did It Emerald Racing Inc Trujillo E 38.05   6 1:42.75  
  Articulate Running Farms Bravo J 4.45   6 1:42.75  

Track: Fast

Time: :233  :471  1:104  1:412

$2 Mutuel Prices:

7 – Conquest 16.70 8.10 4.90
1 – Valparaiso Harbor   9.00 4.90
2 – Steel Suited     3.00

$1 Exacta: 7 – 1 Paid 77.40

$1 Trifecta: 7 – 1 – 2 Paid 330.00

Scratched: None


— NS


Categories: Grade III

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