3 BEL The Nerud (GII) [BC]
$300.000 4yo&Up 7f Dirt 123lbs
It was a big weekend of racing at BEL at when there are big races and big purses, big horses come to the top. The Nerud (GII) showed that as Con Artist, last years BC Sprint (GI) winner and one of the best sprinters going, took this seven furlong dash by a length, getting home in 1:234 on a wet BEL main track . Reach For A Latte had the lead as they turned for home but had to settle for second, with 16/1 shot Harleys Hope two lengths back in third.
Twelve entered the gate with the scratches of Einstein and Kiss The Snake, as as they got away, Di Bug was the early speed, Reach For A Latte and Broken Tap towards the inside, Harleys Hope and Out And Bad came next. Out On A Limb, Con Artist with that one, Salili along the inside, Peculiar Sensation, Iron Cross, then back to Bodivo and Apples To Oranges was away a step slow.
Down the backside and now moving through the sweeping turn, Di Bug by two, Harleys Hope on the outside of Reach For A Latte and Broken Tap along the rail giving chase. Then a gap to Con Artist three wide, Salili skimming the rail and Out On A Limb between that pair, another gap to Out And Bad caught three wide, Peculiar Sensation along the rail and Bodivo between that pair, then Iron Cross four wide and Apples To Oranges continued at the rear.
Now moving around the turn and into the lane, they went past the three sixteenth’s pole and Di Bug continued to show the way by a length, Reach For A Latte edging up on that one, Harleys Hope three wide and trying to push forward, as Con Artist swung widest and was making a big move towards the front. Broken Tap continued to skim the rail, Out On A Limb feeling the sting of the whip, Salili saving ground, Peculiar Sensation on his flank, Bodivo three wide, Out An Bad Four wide, Apples To Oranges trying to find more along the inside and Iron Cross now last and five wide.
Inside the furlong marker and to the finish, Reach For A Latte moved past Di Bug, but his lead was short lived as Con Artist was flying down the center of the course and was not going to be denied, as the classy black stallion pulled away late to go under the wire in front by a length. Reach For A Latte continued on well for the place, Harleys Hope making a nice late run for third, and Broken Tap using that inside position to nab the fourth spot, just a head in front of Out On A Limb. Di Bug tired to be sixth, Salili seventh, Iron Cross eighth, Apples To Oranges in a DH with Bodivo for ninth, Peculiar Sensation eleventh and Out And Bad closed this one out.
Con Artist is a black 5yo entire by No Doubt About It – Sheltered, by Haunted Steel, and he was bred in ON by Mb Stables. Acquired via private purchase for $1,500.000, the Smokey Stover owned monster now has eleven wins from twenty-eight starts, a whopping $2,594.840 in lifetime earnings, and with three wins from six seasonal starts, he doesn’t look ready to head-off to the stallion station just yet.
$2 Mutuel Prices:
|5 – Con Artist||12.40||6.20||4.40|
|6 – Reach For A Latte||9.10||6.20|
|7 – Harleys Hope||10.80|
Track: Muddy Time: :23 :463 1:111 1:234
$1 Exacta: 5 – 6 Paid 65.10 $1 Trifecta: 5 – 6 – 7 Paid 739.00
Scratched: Einstein, Kiss The Snake
Con Artist away well, settled in behind the pace, moved up through the turn, hit the front end inside the furlong marker, won driving. Reach For A Latte stalked the pace, up to take over at the furlong marker, quickly headed, continued on well. Harleys Hope pressed the leader, no excuse, good try. Broken Tap ground saving trip while never far from the leader, evenly late. Out On A Limb raced mid-pack, evenly. Di Bug broke alertly, set the pace to the furlong marker, headed, nothing left. Salili was not a factor. Iron Cross well off of the pace, never involved. Apples To Oranges trailed, poor effort. Bodivo lacked speed, outrun. Peculiar Sensation outrun. Out And Bad showed some early interest, tired.