Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition

Following Sea puts up big one

- By Marcus Hersh


April 10, 4th race Oaklawn, MdSpWt89k

Beyer: 97

6f 1:09.92, 1st by 6 3/4 lengths b. c. 3, Runhappy – Quick Flip, by Speightsto­wn Noteworthy siblings: Inspeighto­f (Orb) – stakes placed, $128K earnings

Owner: Spendthrif­t Farm

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Breeder: Spendthrif­t Farm

This is right up there with the highest early season 3-year-old maiden-winning Beyer Speed Figures you’re going to see. Trained by Baffert, he scored his breakout win the same afternoon as Stage Raider, brother of Baffert’s Triple Crown winner Justify.

Funny, this colt more resembles Justify in scope, carriage, and power than does the actual sibling. As good as he looked in this second start, it’s a little hard to believe he lost his debut, a March 6 Santa Anita maiden sprint where he was the odds-on favorite. Jumped well out of the gate from a favorable outside draw and was right into the race from the start, going to contest the lead with one ear flopping out to the side, the other pricked, a horse just galloping along, figuring out what was happening – while going 21 and change for the first quarter-mile. Following Sea never looked like he was losing this. Straighten­ing for the finish he did angle toward the outside a couple paths, but mildly, perhaps looking at or hearing the crowd – a new experience. Joel Rosario got him straighten­ed out and gave Following Sea but one mild crack of the whip while drawing clear to the finish. Most striking about this performanc­e – the strength, scope, and long, sweet stride of a colt who was sprinting while looking very much like a route horse. Connection­s might be ruing the fact he got started too late to be a Derby horse.


April 10, 10th race Keeneland, MdSpWt79k

Beyer: 95

7f (sloppy track) 1:22.62, 1st by 10 3/4 lengths b. c. 3, Pioneerof the Nile – Stage Magic, by Ghostzappe­r

Noteworthy siblings: Justify (Scat Daddy) – Triple Crown winner, Santa Anita Derby; The Lieutenant (Street Sense) – G3 winner, $248K earnings Auctions: Keeneland September yearling 2019 – $950,000 (RNA)

Owner: John Gunther

Trainer: Chad Brown

Breeder: John Gunther

Ran into Prevalence at Gulfstream first time out, showing speed, no match late, but here, no one was anything close to a match for him. Broke quite sharply, making the lead, and was in for an outside pressing trip until a slow-starting colt flew up to join the pace. The horse inside Stage Raider went with that pace player as Stage Raider backed off and fell into a fine trip tracking from third. He was asked at about the three-furlong pole to go after the top two and did so willingly while being urged along, collared the leaders at the quarter pole, and proceeded to crush them. The crushing did turn into quite an adventure as Stage Raider drifted fairly sharply down to the fence after going clear, and then really jinked hard toward the inside rail, clearly looking at something looming near the finish. Jockey did manage to straighten him, and he ran true in the final stages, bounding home with good energy. The pedigree obviously jumps off the page, though physically he does not much resemble his Triple Crown-winning brother. This colt is more modestly built, more refined, less powerful. Might not go two turns next if he winds up racing at Belmont. Wherever he shows up, will be very interested to see how this colt develops.


April 9, 10th race Keeneland, MdSpWt77k

Beyer: 87

7f 1:22.70, 1st by 10 1/4 lengths b. f. 3, Union Rags – Caramel Snap, by Smart Strike Owner: Godolphin

Trainer: Bill Mott

Breeder: Godolphin No “noteworthy siblings” but she’s the second foal from an unraced dam who’s a sister to three-time Grade 1 winner and commercial­ly viable sire Frosted. Not your standard fifth-start maiden winner, that’s for sure. Her first two races she ran into Malathaat, a G1 winner now, and Miss Brazil, another graded-stakes filly, finishing second to both those horses in sprints. Third out she went two turns on dirt and didn’t really finish the race off, followed by a turf mile that looked similar. In this start, racing on Lasix for the third time, Caramel Swirl ran for the first time without blinkers while cut back to a sprint, and a longer one-turn horse is what she appears to be, at least for now. Wide draw, clean outside trip, but wound up caught four paths wide around the entire turn, showing gears to get to the front before the quarter pole. Straight and true on a solo mission to the wire. Stakes in her future.


April 11, 1st race Aqueduct, MdSpWt80k

Beyer: 92

6f 1:10.64 (sloppy track), 1st by 4 lengths b. f. 3, Malibu Moon – Miss Always Ready, by More Than Ready

Noteworthy siblings: Structor (Palace Malice) – won G1 BC Juvenile Turf, won G3 Pilgrim

Owner: Three Chimneys Farm

Trainer: Chad Brown

Breeder: Three Chimneys Farm

Very nice debut, though the visual might not have been quite up to the standard of the speed figure.

Was 4-5 facing five foes off a Payson Park work pattern and broke like an absolute rocket, not just the first jump, but especially strides 2 through 5, though her impressive early burst was countered by a quick foe who drew alongside to press Always Carina to the half-mile pole. Around the turn jockey Jose Ortiz let Always Carina out just a half-notch and she quickly disposed of her pace rival. Past the quarter pole, this looked like one of those blowouts where the leader really widens the lead in upper stretch, but she was somewhat slow to change leads and never really put forth another big burst while still dominant to the wire. Other horses caught her not far into the gallopout, but likely only because she was geared down. Would expect her to stretch to routes without issue.


April 10, 13th race Oaklawn, MdSpWt93k

Beyer: 84

1 1/16 miles 1:45.27, 1st by a neck b. c. 3, Constituti­on – La Belle, by Dixie Union

Noteworthy siblings: She’s Offlee Good (Offlee Wild) – won Arlington-Washington Lassie

Auctions: Kee. Nov. breeding 2018 – $85,000, Kee. Sept. yearling 2019 – $400,000

Owner: Allied Racing Stable

Trainer: Bret Calhoun

Breeder: Forrest Hills Farm

Narrow win margin, but it was seven lengths from second to third, and while this colt was under heavy pressure to get home, he also had a tricky, demanding trip going two turns for the first time following a pair of sprints. Broke from the rail, was switched out to press the pace, wanted to get a little strong but allowed himself to be taken in hand. No sooner had he relented to switching off than a horse middle-moved three wide, putting him between horses, then stuck down at the fence through a stretch-long duel. Can see why they ponied up some bucks for him.


April 10, 7th race Oaklawn, MdSpWt93k

Beyer: 86

6f 1:10.72, 1st by 2 3/4 lengths ch. c. 3, Daredevil – Majestic Miss, by Majestic Warrior

Auctions: Fasig-Tipton Oct. yearling 2019 – $9,000 (RNA), OBS March 2yo 2020 – $85,000

Owner: Steve Landers

Trainer: Brad Cox

Breeder: Forbush Farms

Sprint debut, then two routes, and now back to sprint, and the cutback in distance must have triggered this breakthrou­gh showing. Wears a big old shadow roll and races in blinkers. Traveled in the bridle throughout and was much the best. Sprinter-miler for the immediate future.

 ?? COADY PHOTOGRAPH­Y ?? Stage Raider is a brother to 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.
COADY PHOTOGRAPH­Y Stage Raider is a brother to 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.

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