2 year old WICKED SLIDER was one of the Kirkwood Glloping Group at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida sale. He broke his maiden in July and is now stakes placed in the $100,00 HILLSDALE S.at Indiana Grand where he stalked the pace between horses and ended up third.
IRISH HUSTLE (Data Link) broke her maiden in February at the Fair Grounds. After some time off, she ran 2nd in allowance company at Evangeline Downs. Next again at Evangeline and racing a mile, she was unhurried early and then cleared the field for win # 2. Now she has added black type to her pedigree page running third in the Elge Rasberry S. The three-year-old filly is owned by Martin Racing Stable LLC and trained by W. Bret Calhoun. She was a member of the Gallop Group at Fasig Tipton Florida.
Stakes winner and also multiple Graded Stakes Placed, REALM (Haynesfield) added other stakes placing running 3rd in the Grand Prix American Jockey Club Invitational Stakes at Belmont. Bred in Virginia by Morgan’s Ford Farm, Realm was selected by Tagg from the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale, paying $75,000. He’s earned just over half a million dollars.
Second in his first start, DEFENSE WINS (Flatter) a $175,000 Kirkwood consigned 2 year old, stepped directly into G1 stakes company and was just nosed out for the place. He is trained by Doug F. O’Neill for owners C T R Stables LLC (Calvert), Great Friends Stable, LLC, Kramer Racing, RAP Racing, K T Racing, Steven Keh, and Tom Mansor. This promising 2-year-old still has all his allowance conditions ahead of him.
Mucho Gusto, runner-up in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 20 ran a strong third in the Travers G1.
Mucho Gusto was a $625,000 two-year-old purchase at Timonium prepared and consigned by Kirkwood
Said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, trainer of Mucho Gusto: “He’s trying. They’re tough races we’re competing in. He ran a great race. We had reason to jump up at the end and root for him. Take nothing away from the winner. He just breezed by us. We’ll go on from here. Not sure where, but we’ll find a spot.”
Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, Mucho Gusto worked five furlongs in 59.20 seconds, the fastest of 39 workers at the distance. Baffert said Mucho Gusto will be shipped on Tuesday, and that his assistant Jimmy Barnes will be at the race.
A winner of the Godolphin Mile G2 at Meydan earlier this spring, Coal Front had to settle for third in the Monmouth Cup G3. The 5-year-old Stay Thirsty ridgling, also won Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his first start of the year. He closed an abbreviated 2018 campaign with a win in the Dec. 22 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park. As a 3-year-old, he won the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) at Parx Racing and the Amsterdam Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.
Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly out of the Mineshaft mare Miner’s Secret and owned by Robert LaPenta and Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners, Coal Front now has earning of $1,725,280.
Consigned by Kirkwood Stables to the 2016 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, Coal Front went to LaPenta for $575,000.
A $625,000 two year old purchase at Timonium consigned by Kirkwood, Mucho Gusto has competed in six straight graded stakes races since breaking his maiden at 2 on Sept. 18 and has yet to miss the board. This will be his second try in G1 company. He raced wide and right on the pace throughout most of the race and then engaged in a furious duel with Maximum Security through the stretch. He finished Mucho Gusto was a clear second, eight lengths ahead of Robert P. Donaldson’s Spun to Run. He has now earned $630,800 for owner Michael Lund Petersen and trainer Bob Baffert.
When Bob Baffert looks to extend his record for victories in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational to nine on July 20, the Hall of Fame trainer will likely do so in an unfamiliar position.
Six of his previous eight Haskell winners have gone off as the favorite in Monmouth Park’s signature race (Bayern in 2014 and Coil in 2011 won for Baffert as the second choice).
That probably won’t be the case when Mucho Gusto goes postward in the $1 million race despite the colt’s nearly-flawless record of five wins, a second and a third in seven career starts.
But would it be a surprise if the son of Mucho Macho Man out of Itsagiantscauseway, by Giant’s Causeway, pulled off a minor upset?
Yes and no, said Baffert.
“It would probably be a lot of fun to win it with this one. When you don’t expect to win those are the ones that are a lot of fun,” he said. “But honestly, we’re surprised when we lose. We’re not surprised when we win.
“If I didn’t think we had a chance to win I wouldn’t send him. I think he’s got a chance. If everybody shows up and runs the way they’re capable of it should be a heck of a race.”
For now, Maximum Security and the Todd Pletcher-trained King for a Day are the headliners in the 52nd running of the Haskell Invitational. Joevia and Mucho Gusto, despite back-to-back G3 wins at Santa Anita, would be nipping at the heels of the top two. Chilly in Charge, Everfast and Spun to Run are the other probable starters at this point.
“If Maximum Security runs his race I think he will be tough,” Baffert said. “I thought he just got tired last time (a one-length loss to King for a Day in the Pegasus Stakes on June 16).”
Starting with his first Haskell victory with Point Given in 2001, Baffert has won the race eight times and has been second on two other occasions. Point Given’s victory was followed by wins by War Emblem (2002), Roman Ruler (2005), Lookin at Lucky (2010), Coil (2011), Paynter (2012), Bayern (2014) and American Pharoah (2015).
He was second with American Freedom in 2016 and in 2013 with Power Broker.
“Mucho Gusto is a little like Power Broker. He’s that kind of horse,” Baffert said.
A $625,000 yearling purchase, Mucho Gusto has competed in six straight graded stakes races since breaking his maiden at 2 on Sept. 18 and has yet to miss the board. This will be his second try in G1 company.
“He’s a horse who I think is getting better. He’s very consistent,” Baffert said. “But he’s going to have to step up in order to compete with these horses.
“I like to take a swing at the fences. Sometimes you have to do that. If he wins it’s great. Even second would be fine. I’m not going in with the favorite like I usually do but I think he deserves a chance so we’ll take a shot at it.”
Baffert said Mucho Gusto, owned by Michael Lund Petersen, will breeze Friday at Santa Anita and ship to New Jersey on Wednesday, July 17. Joe Talamo, the colt’s regular rider, will make the trip East to ride in the Haskell.
“This is a horse that is slowly getting there,” Baffert said. “He’s been pretty solid to this point but I think he is still getting better. This would be a big accomplishment for him if he were to win.”
Among other Haskell Invitational contenders, Maximum Security galloped on Thursday and will have his final work before the race either Monday or Tuesday, trainer Jason Servis said. Joevia, third in the Belmont Stakes, will work five-eighths on Sunday in his final prep, according to trainer Gregg Sacco.
Trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero said he has enlisted Paco Lopez to ride Spun to Run in the Haskell.
Off the favorite due to her 2 third-place finishes, RAVENEL (Verrazano) stalked the pace and then came around horses to get up for the graduate by a length. She raced 1 1/16 on the turf at Laurel. The 3 year old filly is owned by Carolyn K Friedberg and trained by Thomas F Proctor. RAVENEL was a $95,000 Kirkwood grad at OBS March 2018.
Racing 1 3/16 over the all weather surface at Presque Isle Downs, MR. GREY (Fr)(Mr. Sidney) circled late and mowed down the field to win his second race in a row. As a 2 year old, he was consigned by Kirkwood to the OBS April sale and RNA’s for $50,000. He is now owned by Andy Kohler and is trained by Claude Brownfield. The 5 year old gelding has earned over $167,000. MR. GREY was bred in France by EARL Haras Du Quesnay.