Flame­away keen to try grass

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Mar­cus Hersh

Flame­away has a fees-paid berth plus ship­ping ex­penses to the Breeders’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Turf on Nov. 3 at Del Mar, de­spite hav­ing never run in a turf race.

Flame­away won the Bour­bon Stakes last Sun­day at sloppy Keeneland, and though the race was rained off the turf and onto the dirt, Breeders’ Cup of­fi­cials elected to al­low it to main­tain its sta­tus as a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In qual­i­fier.

A rain-off is noth­ing new for Flame­away.

“I’ve en­tered him three times on the grass, and he’s never got­ten to run on it,” trainer Mark Casse said. “I’m think­ing maybe for the first time ever, we’re go­ing to get a mon­soon at Del Mar, and the race will get rained off turf.”

Flame­away won his de­but over the all-weather sur­face at Woodbine, won the off-theturf Skid­more at Saratoga, and fin­ished sixth when ac­tu­ally en­tered for dirt in the Iro­quois at Churchill be­fore his nar­row Bour­bon vic­tory. Casse be­lieves Flame­away, by Scat Daddy, has found suc­cess rac­ing over sur­faces that aren’t ideal.

“He breezed in Florida on the grass and in Toronto on the grass,” Casse said. “He loves the grass. My hope and be­lief is that he’s much bet­ter on grass. But one thing about him: His times and his Beyer num­bers are noth­ing to write home about, but he has this lit­tle habit very few horses have in that he re­ally likes to win.”

Flame­away, owned by John Ox­ley, fetched $400,000 at a year­ling auc­tion, and one could have bought 20 My Boy Jacks for the same cost. My Boy Jack punched his ticket to the BC Ju­ve­nile Turf by win­ning the $101,000 Zuma Beach Stakes over one mile on turf Mon­day at Santa Anita. My Boy Jack, by Creative Cause, was pur­chased as a year­ling for just $20,000 on the rec­om­men­da­tion of trainer Keith De­sormeaux.

“That’s my game,” De­sormeaux said. “I seem to do bet­ter with the $20,000s than the $200,000s. What­ever the cost, what I look at first is the phys­i­cal side. He didn’t have much pedi­gree, but he was cor­rect and ath­letic.”

My Boy Jack came into the Zuma Beach stakes-placed but still a maiden af­ter four starts, but un­der Keith’s brother Kent De­sormeaux, he skipped home nicely, ral­ly­ing into a fast pace to win by three-quar­ters of a length.

“You don’t want to start think­ing he’s a cham­pion 2-year-old just yet be­cause he got a per­fect setup,” Keith De­sormeaux said. “That’s what makes Kent such a great turf rider: He’s al­ways at the proper place for what the pace is.”

My Boy Jack fin­ished sec­ond in the Del Mar Ju­ve­nile Turf on Sept. 3 to En­cum­bered, who also is bound for the Ju­ve­nile Turf af­ter fail­ing to hold his grass form on dirt in the Fron­tRun­ner Stakes. De­sormeaux also had con­sid­ered run­ning My Boy Jack, whom he thinks might be just as good on dirt, in the Fron­tRun­ner but thought bet­ter of it.

“Bolt d’Oro, he’s pretty good,” he said of the Fron­tRun­ner win­ner.

The Ju­ve­nile Turf is cer­tain to be over­sub­scribed and fig­ures to at­tract a good num­ber of over­seas run­ners. While the Euro­pean con­tin­gent re­mains in flux, the con­nec­tions of Beck­ford, James Garfield, Ra­jas­inghe, Roar­ing Lion, and Tip Two Win have all within the last 10 days specif­i­cally ex­pressed plans to travel to Del Mar.

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