Spanish Showboat #10 takes the Gr-1 Manhattan over #4 Cju
The Manhattan (Grade 1)- $1,000.000 Purse BEL- For Four Year Olds and Upward One Mile and One Quarter on the Inner Turf June 10, 2017
While Smokey Stover dominated the early graded stakes at BEL, the tide eventually turned towards Mb Stables as the day came to an end. As we know, Mb took the big one, with Positive Thinking capturing the BEL. Congratulations to him on that, I covered a few of Positive Thinking’s early races, and anyone could certainly see how that one was getting better with every race. But the BEL was not the only big win at BEL for Mb Stables, as he dominated the Manhattan. The win goes to the legendary Spanish Showboat, and yes, I think he has now earned that distinction to be classified as not only a star, but the latest legend. Mb took three of the four top spots with his entries, and if you want to take it a step further, he and Maxmillion Farm completed the full house of the top five spots. It’s the third time that Mb Stables has won the Manhattan, having done so in 2012 and 2014, and jockey J R Leparoux wins it for the first time. Leparoux also had a good day, winning the Manhattan, Acorn, and Phipps Stakes, all in a row. Congratulations! The time of the win was 1:58.43, the fifth quickest in the stake’s history. Here’s a look at it!
(1/4 Mile- :47.24)- Breaking first out of the starting gate would be Establo Pichon’s Just Ordinary. He led the way around the first time, feeling the pursuit of a few that had started outside. Each of Inspector Jacque (Jader Stable), Mean Street (Nakamura Stables), and even the eventual winner Spanish Showboat (Mb Stables) also started well and were within a length. To Just Ordinary’s inside only Sonic (D J C Racing Stables) was an early challenger, and that one was able to get to the rail. Cju (Maxmillion Farm) ran a length behind him. Inspector Jacque would eventually be restrained and drop off a bit. While they moved around the turn, Valar Morghulis (Gdp Inc), who did not start as well, made a concerted effort to be one of the lead group and pushed forward while running the outside. After those seven, we get to the pack, with Chrystal Pip (Mb Stables) and Admirals Aces (Mb Stables) joined by Lunar Blaze (John Henry) in running three wide. It was another length and a half to the next three wide group: ThatsTheTruth (TwinTowersRacing), Dogs Dragon (Maxmillion Farm), and Carnival O Wow (Oval Express Farm). Trailing was notorious closer Spotted Cat (Blushing Meadows).
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.72)- Moving down the backstretch, there was not much movement within the field during this portion. The main action, however, would occur at the front, as Just Ordinary would be passed to the outside by Mean Street, and Spanish Showboat was preparing to follow him on by. Spanish Showboat hadn’t quite taken over the lead at this point, but we could see that he may do so soon, although Mean Street would certainly make it a challenge. Cju wisely moved off of the rail, and was able to pass Sonar pretty easily. A lane appeared to be setting up nicely for him between Just Ordinary and Spanish Showboat. Chrystal Pip would move up here a tad as well, though everyone else was still riding it out. Spotted Cat continued to trail, but seemed to be in a good spot, seven lengths off, given his normal style.
(Top of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Spanish Showboat handled the turn like a superstar who has won many races in the past. Mean Street put up a fight about halfway through, but Spanish Showboat took care of that challenge like one who has seen many mean streets. There was only one who could keep up with him around the turn, and that would be Cju, who was able to pull to his inside at the top of the turn, and was able to stay glued to him about a half a length back. Behind them, there was a large fanning out of the field as many of the greats in this race wanted to make their runs, though there were a few who were packing it in as well. They would end up being about 10 wide when all was said and done, leaving Spotted Cat way out in centerfield. Within this pack, Mb Stables’ other two entries were looking sharp as both Chrystal Pip and Admirals Aces seemed to have a good lane. Behind them, it would be who would maneuver the pack the best. Dogs Dragon seemed to have a great lane in front of him to the inside.
Finish (1:58.43)- Spanish Showboat was happy to be ahead of the pack as they moved down the stretch, but he had to work hard to stay in front of his challengers, who were all in striking range if he were to slip. But Spanish Showboat has done this many times before, and knows what it takes to win, as did J R Leparoux, who was finishing off his three race winning streak here. Spanish Showboat would not be denied, and picks up the win over what was a pretty good battle for second place. Cju had just enough to hold off Chrystal Pip, who just held off Admirals Aces. The three of them all ran a good race, and have nothing to hang their heads about . Dogs Dragon had the ideal lane for the stretch, and used it the best he could to get up for fifth, nipping Carnival O Wow for the spot. Carnival O Wow seemed to be a true victim of an outside post draw today. Lunar Blaze, Spotted Cat, and Valar Morghulis were tight for sixth and were all within two lengths. Lunar Blaze and Spotted Cat were victims of having to go considerably outside for the stretch run. Through them, is where I say everyone should at least be content with how their horse ran. Afterwards, the field is rounded out by Inspector Jacque, Mean Street, ThatsTheTruth, and Just Ordinary. Eventually, Sonic finished as well.
About The Winner: Spanish Showboat, ridden by J R Leparoux and trained by Mb Stables, is a seven year old gelding by Spanish Force and out of Grand Showboat. He was bred in West Virginia by Black Tusk Racing as a yearling, but that one never raced him and probably thought he got a good price in the auction, for $303.000 back then. Congratulations to the connections! Serenity Stables briefly owned him, but it would Team Furey who got his initial good results. That one would sell him in private sales to Mb Stables in Feburary 2014 for $200.000. That has worked out pretty well, as in 42 career starts, Spanish Showboat was 13 wins, while earning $3,495.540. This was his 10th graded victory, and 6th Grade 1.