4 BEL The Woodward (GI)
$500.000 3yo&Up 1 1/8m Dirt 3yo 121lbs Older 124lbs
How good is Splash Mountain? Now racing as a 6yo, the bay gelding, owned and trained by John Henry, is proving that he has no intentions of headed to Virtual Old Friends… he’s having too much fun winning big races. The Woodward (GI) proved to be yet another victory for the monster as he sat chilly behind the pace set by Gran Z, moved up a bit through the sweeping turn here at Big Sandy, wore down that pace-setter and got home by a widening length to win yet another graded stakes. The final running time was 1:47.27 for the one-turn mile and an eighth main track event. It was another length back to Champion In Action in third and Howl Of The Hound took the minor money in this one.
Away from the gate in good order with Gran Z showing speed from the outside, Red Divos Alliance and Space Commander from the inside, War Chant in the middle of the early speed, then a gap to Howl Of The Hound, Champion In Action on the outside and Splash Mountain between horses. It was another gap to Graveyard and Sate Messenger was the early trailer.
They made the long run down the backside in this one-turn mile and an eighth stakes and Gran Z was now showing the way by two. Red Divos Alliance continuing to skim the rail, War Chant from the outside and Space Commander between them, then a gap of a length and a half to Splash Mountain on the outside of Howl Of The Hound, Champion In Action on the outside of that duo, then another gap to Graveyard and Sate Messenger could still see them all.
Around the big sweeping turn and to the top of the lane here at BEL, they were nearing the three-sixteenths pole and Gran Z continued to show the way by a length and a half. War Chant between horses starting to gain on the leader, Space Commander with a clear path towards his inside, Splash Mountain down the center of the track, another length to Champion In Action, widest of all, then back to the inside for Howl Of The Hound and Red Divos Alliance, two more back to Graveyard and Sate Messenger continued to be the trailer.
Down the stretch and now at the sixteen pole, Splash Mountain had mounted a huge charge and was now looking Gran Z right in the eye, a four-some in behind that pair that included Champion In Action still widest of all, War Chant towards his inside, Space Commander from the inside and Howl Of The Hound not going away. Red Divos Alliance was backing out of it, Graveyard and Sate Messenger.
Inside the final 150-yards and to the finish, Splash Mountain was just too powerful and went under the wire in front by a widening length for the victory. Gran Z continued on well for the place, a length better than Champion In Action. Howl Of The Hound took the minor spot by a quarter length from Space Commander and War Chant, that pair in a dead-heat for fifth, Graveyard was seventh, Red Divos Alliance eighth and Sate Messenger closed this one out.
Splash Mountain is a 6yo bay gelded son of Ned Isakoff – Sneaky Alessandra, by Sneaky Little Pirate, and he was bred in NJ by Smokey Stover. Purchased after his third place finish in the BEL (GI) for a mere $20.000 (wink wink), the monster has continued to win graded race after graded race, now showing eleven wins from forty-one lifetime starts, three of those coming this season, and he has amassed earnings of $7,979.660. It looks like DMR and the BC Classic will be the next destination for this one. Congrats to the connections!
$2 Mutuel Prices:
|5 – Splash Mountain||12.10||6.00||5.60|
|7 – Gran Z||10.10||7.70|
|8 – Champion In Action||7.20|
$1 Exacta: 5 – 7 Paid 58.30 $1 Trifecta: 5 – 7 – 8 Paid 581.60
Track: Fast Time: :464 1:101 1:344 1:471
Splash Mountain mid-pack while never far from the pace, moved up through the turn, engaged the leader mid-lane, pulling away late, won driving. Gran Z set the pace to mid-lane, ceded, game to the wire, second best. Champion In Action rated back 3p, moved forward through the turn still wide, drifted out for the drive, good late effort. Howl Of The Hound rated, asked, best foot too late. Space Commander tracked the pace, no excuse, DH. War Chant up close to mid-way in the lane, tired, DH. Graveyard was not a factor. Red Divos Alliance flashed speed, steady retreat. Sate Messenger was never involved, trailed throughout.