Barring Tor Fastest Of All In Grade II Highlander

July 6, 2015

A return to a firm turf and the ability to close into a wicked pace was all the gutsy gelding Barring Tor was looking for in the Grade II Highlander Stakes on Sunday at WO, and that is exactly what he got en route to a sharp half-length victory over Super Sexy Sanny, who was the surprise of the race while making his first start on turf in almost four years. A son of the now deceased Aqualung from a mare who has only produced sporadic foals, he has been an anomaly over both dirt and turf but certainly loves the grass and proved it with an electrifying run that pushes him past $1200.000 in earnings, with 15 career wins including three this season already.

It is a very short run into a very sweeping turn when you run over the WO turf course and Balai Yeux de Feu (5.75) took the lead early with Hold The Mach (*4.15) to his outside and those raced full throttle with Midnight Money (7.70) holding his own after a solid break. The opening quarter-mile rattled off in 22.43 with the leader able to get down to the rail but others were not so fortunate as Sea Speaker (6.45) and Super Sexy Sanny (55.70) held everyone far out into the track from their good posts. Straightening away down the huge stretch at WO, Hold The Mach was still at least six-wide on the course and actually able to hold his own through a blistering half-mile in 44.99 but that effort did little to hold off the cavalry and there were any number of horses who could have won in the final furlong, with a blitz across the track all but inevitable. Super Sexy Sanny emerged with a brief lead a furlong from the wire as Sea Speaker tried to move forward between rivals and T S Friday (4.75) tried to sprint while all the way in the parking lot but in the shadow of the wire, Barring Tor (6.75) got the best of everyone after a dream ride inside and sprinted home to a half-length win over Super Sexy Sanny, with the two $1000.000 earners proving that back class can be crucial. Sea Speaker ran very well in his first start for the new connections to finish third, ahead of Big Bird (10.40) who came inside with a brief rally. Hold The Mach evened out after that wide run, Top Slew (4.55) was way too wide, T S Friday failed to quicken and both Midnight Money and Balai Yeux de Feu had nothing left for the drive and wound up near the back of the field.

Barring Tor has been a stakes-level performer his entire career but this victory in the Grade II Highlander Stakes was his biggest win to date, and comes over a surface and distance that has proven to be the best for him over the years. There really is nothing for him on turf until the Grade II Play The King over the same course but his closing kick will be on show once again so that might be his best chance to get a return trip to the Grade I BC Turf Sprint at KEE later this year.

Congratulations goes out to owner Maxmillion Farm and their seven-year-old gelding Barring Tor, a powerful off-the-pace winner of the Grade II Highlander Stakes at WO!

Winner                              Barring Tor

                                             Seven-year-old chestnut gelding

                                             Aqualung-Round Turn (Auto-Generated)

Owner                                Maxmillion Farm

Time                                   22.43, 44.99, 56.70, 1:08.20


Barring Tor                       6.75 broke evenly, inside run, passed tired rivals

Super Sexy Sanny             55.70 midpack early, brief late lead, outfinished

Sea Speaker                        6.45 between rivals, lacked needed late push

Big Bird                               10.40 too far back early

Hold The Mach                *4.15 wide run

Top Slew                             4.55 too late

T S Friday                           4.75 no late response

Midnight Money                7.70 brief lead, evened out

Balai Yeux de Feu              5.75 pace, faded

Triple T Racing 🙂

Categories: Grade II

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