Without Rain, Queenwood Reigns in Acorn

    Smokey Stover trained Queenwood captures the Gr-1 Acorn over KY Oaks winner (#9)  K T D

The Acorn (Grade 1)- $700.000 Purse
BEL- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile on the Dirt
June 10, 2017

This year’s running of the Acorn saw the return of KYO winner K T D to the track, and she was one of a surprising few from the Oaks who found their way to this race. That day at CD was a soaker, and while it did not stop K T D, it certainly did with Queenwood. I hesitated to make that effort a complete throw out, because Queenwood simply was not competitive at all. Did the rain make that much of a difference with her? Well, after the Acorn, we know that it made all the difference. Prior to the Oaks, Queenwood had won three straight, all of which occurred in OP. Thankfully, there was no rain, and with that, Smokey Stover picked up his third straight graded victory here at BEL. Clear to say, that regardless of what happened in the BEL Stakes, that Smokey Stover reigns supreme today. His filly, Queenwood, is a big reason why. It’s his first win in the stake, and the same holds true for J R Leparoux. Congratulations! The time of the race was 1:35.00, and that my friends, is your new stake record! Let’s look at the race a little more now.

(1/4 Mile)- Breaking well out of the gate is French Connection from D J C Racing Stables, and she seemed destined to be the one leading at a quarter mile until just prior hitting the mark, I Ortiz Jr seemed to put her on a restrain. This would lead to Secret Affair, from her outside post, being the early leader for TwinTowersRacing with Her Lucky Day (Mb Stables) running just to her inside. French Connection was now a length back, and another half length behind her, you had a threesome going three and four wide consisting of Impressive Mrs (Oval Express Farms) on the rail, Natural Zone (Mb Stables), and the eventual winner Queenwood (Smokey Stover) running in the fourth lane. After them, there was a gap of two lengths to Phun Stick (Axeman) and Fangs (John Henry). Valiant Champ (Mcl Stables) was another length back, and then at the back it would be Konodo Freestyle (John Henry), Musical Treat (Mb Stables), and K T D (Aer Stables). While K T D is certainly a closer, that seemed to be a little too far back at this point.

(½ Mile- :46.65)- The race proceeds down the backstretch and into the turn running along a pretty good clip. Secret Affair and Her Lucky Day remained the top two, but J R Leparoux pulled Queenwood along to the outside of them. She would now be third, and about a length behind Secret Affair. Many in the middle of the pack just seemed to content to maintain their position during the second quarter of the race, but one exception to that was Musical Treat. She had advanced to pull even with Fangs, and was positioning herself for a strong run to the outside. As for K T D, she was still at the back, and still had six lengths to make up.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- Queenwood was brilliant while rounding the turn, and it seemed like she would easily take over the lead as they moved into the stretch. Secret Affair was star struck when she saw the queen, it seemed, and she would pack it in quite badly at this point. However, along the rail, Her Lucky Day was chugging away quite nicely. She had been second to Secret Affair, and was also happy to see that one bow out, but would not give in to the queen. Her Lucky Day would remain in the lead as they hit the top of the stretch, and the two had a length lead over a threesome battling for third now. Those three would be Impressive Mrs, French Connection, and Natural Zone. These three were content to hold their positions while going around the turn, and they all seemed like they would have a great shot in the stretch. Fangs, going long for the first time, was caught in tight behind French Connection here, while Musical Treat had a better lane to the outside. K T D was making her move now, and assertively went to the outside while rounding the turn. You knew she was going to unleash a frantic run in the stretch, but had to make up four lengths on Queenwood. Did she concede too much ground early? Elsewhere Phun Stick, Komodo Freestyle, and Valiant Champ were still not showing anything.

Finish (1:35.00)- Queenwood battles it out on the outside in the stretch with Her Lucky Day up for the challenge until there was about a furlong to go. At that point, Her Lucky Day was no longer able to keep up, and Queenwood looks to start pulling away for the win! With a half furlong to go, it was pretty interesting, because a length behind Queenwood, they were six wide, all noses apart, in the battle for second. With them battling it out for that spot, it seemed all the better for Queenwood, who wins and makes it look pretty easy in the process. In the stretch, and as expected, K T D was fantastic. Her excellent charge allowed her to be part of that six wide battle for second with a half furlong to go. She had three full lengths to make up with a furlong to go. In the end, her push was valiant, but she did indeed concede too much ground early, and ends up second. A steady run for Impressive Mrs throughout along the rail allowed her to be a good looking third as the next five finished very close to one another. The charging Musical Treat gets the 4th place check with Her Lucky Day, French Connection, and Natural Zone having better runs then their ending position will imply. Fangs was behind the wall in eighth, and at the back Komodo Freestyle, Phun Stick, Valiant Champ, and Secret Affair round out the order of finish.

About the winner: Queenwood, trained by Smokey Stover and ridden by J R Leparoux, is a three year old filly by Steel Fox and out of Blame My Mind. She was bred in January by Marcus White as a yearling, but was sold unraced in private sales in March 2016 to Smokey Stover for just $16.670. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her 7th in eleven career starts, and it was her third graded win. Her career earnings now sit at $963.440.


##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Queenwood Smokey Stover Leparoux J R 5.75   11 1:35.00  
  K T D Aer Stables Pennington F 5.65   21/2 1:35.23  
  Impressive Mrs Oval Express Farms Gallardo A A 37.00   3no 1:35.34  
  Musical Treat Mb Stables Castellano J J 10.25   4nk 1:35.35  
  Her Lucky Day Mb Stables Smith M E 7.75   5no 1:35.42  
  French Connection D J C Racing Stables Ortiz I Jr 6.85   6no 1:35.43  
  Natural Zone Mb Stables Albarado R J 2.85   73/4 1:35.44  
  Fangs John Henry Bejarano R 15.50   82 1:35.63  
  Komodo Freestyle John Henry Talamo J 28.05   91/4 1:36.03  
  Phun Stick Axeman Boulanger G 21.25   101 1:36.11  
  Valiant Champ Mcl Stables Vargas J A Jr 19.70   111/2 1:36.46  
  Secret Affair TwinTowersRacing Velazquez J R 11.75   12 1:36.58  

Track: Fast

Time: :231  :463  1:101  1:35

$2 Mutuel Prices:

10 – Queenwood 13.50 6.80 3.70
9 – K T D   6.90 3.60
4 – Impressive Mrs     5.70

$1 Exacta: 10 – 9 Paid 23.10

$1 Trifecta: 10 – 9 – 4 Paid 197.60

Scratched: None


— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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