Friday, March 20
Race 4: Claiming $40,000 at six furlongs for three year-old fillies
3 – Bernstein Flambe
If Omagodonna ever gets back to her efforts from last fall, she’s the horse to beat, but she appears to have tailed off a bit. Her last race was a step in the right direction, but she had a relatively good trip and still proved only second best against a softer field than she meets today. Partytime Chill is a threat based on her maiden-breaking score, but she will have to deal with the early speed of Zenstone.
I’m going to try to beat them both with BERNSTEIN FLAMBE (#3). Bernstein Flambe was basically eliminated at the start last time when she stumbled badly and was left far behind the field in the opening furlong. She did not do any significant running thereafter, but I’m still willing to forgive the effort. She was claimed by Bruce Brown for Drawing Away Stable out of that race and now steps up slightly in class. I know that she looks a little slow on paper, but she’s proven that she classes up with this field over sprint distances, and I think she can make some noise here at a price.
$15 Win 3
$5 Exacta Key Box 3 with 4,6
Race 7: Optional Claiming $75,000/N1X at six furlongs for NY-bred three year-old fillies
1 – Bar of Gold
Based on prior form, you have to conclude that Wonder Gal is the best horse in this race. Yet Leah Gyarmati has publicly stated that this is intended to be nothing more than a public workout–a means to an end. I don’t doubt that she’s fit enough to run, but six furlongs is probably not her best distance and I Irad Ortiz is not going to punish her to win off the layoff.
BAR OF GOLD (#1) hasn’t yet proven that she’s as talented as Wonder Gal, but I do think she’s fit for this return. John Kimmel has a reputation for doing poor work with layoff runners, but his numbers with young horses of this type are not actually as bad as they appear. While he is 0-for-12 with three year-olds returning from 180+ day layoffs in dirt sprints over the past five years, 8 of those 12 runners did finish in the money (12-0-5-3), which speaks to the good job Kimmel does with young horses in general.
I usually take trainer quotes with a grain of salt, but in certain situations they can be meaningful. John Kimmel had this to say about Bar of Gold’s preparation:
“I’ve been very aggressive; I think I have her fit. My only concern is the shipping. We were trying to get her out over the weekend, but we didn’t get a van until Monday, and she got there [Tuesday]. As long as she can shake off the van ride, I think the filly is well prepared.”
Bar of Gold’s debut was a good one and, though the time wasn’t spectacular, she did beat a solid field while showing a lot of professionalism for such an inexperienced runner. With a reasonable step forward from two to three years-old, I think she can give Wonder Gal a run for her money. At what should be an inflated price, I’m going to rely on her to do just that.
$25 Win 1
$10 Exacta 1 with 3,5
$5 Exacta 3,5 with 1