The Pilgrim (Grade 2) (BC)- $200.000 Purse
AQU- For Two Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Inner Turf
October 1, 2023
The gate was full for the running of the Grade 2 Pilgrim as trainers took their shot at securing the automatic spot into the BC Juvenile Turf that is given to the race winner. Picking up that honor would be Numbskull, but his trainer was certainly not that when he decided to geld him just a couple weeks ago. How much of an impact that played in this result, we’ll never know but it certainly looks like the right decision at this point in time. Numbskull went off at odds of 10/1 and gets the first win in the race both for trainer Blazin D as well as for jockey F Pennington. Congratulations to them! The race winning time was 1:39.99, slightly slower than last year’s (which is the only time this race was run at AQU). Nothing wrong with that, as after all it was won by the eventual KYD winner last year. Let’s take a look at this race now!
(1/4 Mile- :23.00)- We have a two-horse breakaway at the front of the field as Maxmillion Farm’s Last Destiny and the Mb Stables- trained Expeditiously jump out of the gate and open up a cushion of nearly three lengths to the rest of the field as they, themselves, run side by side. Holding the third spot is Targeted Breeding, and the TwinTowersRacing entry is a length ahead of a group of three. That includes our eventual winner from Blazin D, Numbskull, as he rides the rail. Arindel’s Sinche Pree, who was our pick to win, is also there, along with Pollards Best, for La Canada Racehorses. Next comes Bregman (Luz International), then Convincing (Diablo Diablo) and Soho First (Allinthegate). At the back are Jiri (Royalty Stables), Force Power (Arkansas Elite), and Pirates Cup (Riggins Racing).
(1/2 Mile- :46.43)- There is not any change at the front of the field as we move around the clubhouse turn and into the backstretch as both Last Destiny and Expeditiously run next to one another while having a sizable advantage over the rest of the field. The horse that had been leading the rest of the pack, Targeted Breeding, was still looking good but now has horses running on each side of him. Numbskull maintains a steady stride on the rail, while Bregman runs in the third lane. A length behind them are Pollards Best and Sinche Pree, and it’s almost two to Convincing. The rest are even further back.
(Top of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- As we move into the turn, Expeditiously is able to get the upper hand on Last Destiny, and pulls ahead of him by a length. Meanwhile, the lead that the two of them had opened up on the rest of the field was closing, and Numbskull was in the best spot to take advantage. He had run well on the rail the whole way and pulled to within a length and a half of the race leader. Targeted Breeding was also making progress, though not in the same manner that Numbskull was. Bregman, Pollards Best, and Sinche Pree continued to run in the middle of the field, but we had not seen a push out of them yet, or from anyone that was behind them.
(Finish- 1:39.99)- Maintaining his steady stride, Numbskull would pull even with Expeditiously with about a furlong still to go and would make the pass shortly after. Now with the advantage, the next question would be whether or not there were any new challengers emerging from the back, but that was not happening. Numbskull was clearly the best in the dying moments of the race, drawing away as the leader and going on to win by a convincing two lengths. Expeditiously is second and was never really threatened for that position. Some late kick from Pollards Best got him third, but he never looked like he was going to finish higher than that. Targeted Breeding is the best of the rest for fourth, and the final running order will read Convincing, Bregman, Jiri, Sinche Pree, Force Power, Last Destiny, Pirates Cup, and Soho First.
About The Winner- Numbskull, trained by Blazin D and ridden to victory by F Pennington, is a two-year-old gelding by Generals Opus, and is out of American Kitty. He was bred in the great breeding state of Pennsylvania as a first quarter two-year-old by his trainer, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his second in three starts, and his first stake win. His earnings improve to $145.710.
Time: :23 :462 1:10 1:394
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 1 – 9 Paid 67.60
$1 Trifecta: 1 – 9 – 2 Paid 1,567.30
Scratched: Palace Art
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES