Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition
Ceiling Crusher has Grade 1 on schedule
ARCADIA, Calif. – Ceiling Crusher, the unbeaten winner of two stakes for Californiabred 3-year-old fillies by a combined 32 1/2 lengths this year, will remain in the statebred division when the Del Mar summer meeting begins in July.
Ceiling Crusher will be an overwhelming favorite to win her fifth start if she runs as expected in the $175,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for statebred fillies at seven furlongs on July 27.
Following that race, there is high likelihood that Ceiling Crusher will start in a graded stakes. Trainer Doug O’Neill said on Monday that the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing on Sept. 23 is a long-range goal. The $1 million Cotillion Stakes is annually one of the nation’s leading early autumn races for 3-year-old fillies.
Ceiling Crusher could prep for the Cotillion in the Grade 3 Torrey Pines, a $150,000 race at a mile for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar on Sept. 2, O’Neill said. “Once we face [graded stakes fillies], it will be interesting to see what we’ve got.”
Ceiling Crusher has yet to face a challenge. She won the Evening Jewel Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs by 15 1/2 lengths on April 8. In Sunday’s $147,000 Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, Ceiling Crusher was equally as impressive, leading throughout before drawing clear for a 17-length win.
“She’s pretty amazing,” O’Neill said. “She was pretty brilliant since the day we got her.”
Owned by Wonderland Racing Stable, Todd Cady, Ty Leatherman, and Tim Kasparoff, Ceiling Crusher has earned $263,000.
By Grazen, Ceiling Crusher raced for owner Dan Northrup and trainer Luis Mendez when she won a maiden race for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at five furlongs last June. She began racing for the current owners and O’Neill when she won her 3-year-old debut in an allowance race at six furlongs at Santa Anita in January.
Brickyard Ride’s next up in air
Trainer Craig Lewis said he’s unsure where the eight-time stakes winner Brickyard Ride will reappear after his thirdplace finish in Sunday’s Thor’s Echo Stakes for statebred sprinters at Santa Anita.
Brickyard Ride finished 12 1/4 lengths behind winner The Chosen Vron in the fourrunner Thor’s Echo Stakes. He disputed the pace for the first half-mile before tamely fading from contention on the rail.
“It wasn’t his day,” Lewis said.
The race featured a highly anticipated first matchup between The Chosen Vron and Brickyard Ride. The Chosen Vron, trained by Eric Kruljac, stalked the pace before taking the lead in early stretch. The Chosen Vron won by 5 1/2 lengths for his 11th stakes win in what was likely a prep for the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29, Kruljac said in the winner’s circle.
In the last two years, Brickyard Ride has won stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to a mile on dirt, and at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.
Lewis said the 6-year-old Brickyard Ride’s condition will be assessed. He said bringing him back in the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes for Californiabred milers at Los Alamitos on June 24 is not out of the question.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do,” he said. “I have an open mind.”
The $400,000 Bing Crosby Stakes is likely the next start for Spirit of Makena, who won his second consecutive stakes at seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita.
A winner of 4 of 5 starts, all for owner and breeder Bruce Chandler and trainer George Papaprodromou, Spirit of Makena won his stakes debut in the Grade 3 San Carlos Stakes at seven furlongs on March 11.
The winner of the Bing Crosby Stakes receives a feespaid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
Last year, the Papaprodromou-trained American Theorem won the Triple Bend and Bing Crosby stakes and was eighth in the BC Sprint at Keeneland in November, his most recent start.
American Theorem has resumed training for a summertime campaign, Papaprodromou said. The 6-year-old worked five furlongs in 1:03.20 on Sunday, his fourth workout this year.
Slow Down Andy to Met Mile
Slow Down Andy, a threetime graded stakes winner who was third in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland last November in his last start, is nearing his 2023 debut in an equally prestigious race.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said on Monday that Slow Down Andy is on schedule for a start in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile Handicap, a $1 million race at Belmont Park on June 10.
On Sunday at Santa Anita, Slow Down Andy worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 under jockey Mario Gutierrez. Owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam, Slow Down Andy has had a series of quick workouts through May.
Slow Down Andy has won 4 of 10 starts and earned $909,100. He won the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity in 2021 and the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on turf last September.