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Eskendereya and Much Else | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Eskendereya and Much Else

Eskendereya gets a paycheck for someone

Eskendereya gets a paycheck for someone

We finally had a weekend of real Derby preps!  Eskendereya put in the fine performance we expected to see last week – and then some.  His runaway win in the Fountain of Youth earned a 106 Beyer – the highest by a 3-year-old so far this season, and his bandwagon seems to have picked up at least a few passengers.  Buddy’s Saint has no real chance to show off – he was bumped around considerably before the first turn, and essentially taken out of the race.  Meanwhile, the ongoing legal tussle between Fifth Third Bank and Eskendereya’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, continues apace – but it would seem that Eskendereya’s win was good for somebody, somewhere in that tangle.

While not as visually impressive, Bob Baffert’s second-stringer, Conveyance, took the Southwest in style; Lookin At Lucky is still a few weeks off from his 3-year-old debut, but Baffert should feel quite confident that, barring injury, he’s got at least one Derby horse in the barn.  Dublin was a close second in the Southwest, with blog favorite Cardiff Giant in third.  Conveyance and Cardiff Giant have finished in the top three in two Derby preps, now, and Dublin seems to be moving forward – the California contingent looks strong (at least from this late February vantage point).

Discreetly Mine also marked himself as one to watch in the Risen Star, while D’Funnybone and A Little Warm went one-two in the Hutcheson.  Like Eskendereya, Discreetly Mine is trained by Todd Pletcher, who also had a win over the weekend in the El Camino Real derby with Connemara – that’s one way to kick off a ten-day suspension!

But the 3-year-old fillies are at work as well – Christine Daae worked a bullet at Gulfstream today, and Bickersons and Amen Hallelujah are aiming to take her on in the Davona Dale on Saturday.  There is much to look forward to in their division.

Things did not go as expected in Older Horse Land – Friesan Fire and Gio Ponti both missed out on the winner’s circle.  Friesan Fire battled with General Quarters in the stretch of the Mineshaft, but both were outrun by Stonehouse, a little-heralded 6-year-old with 10 wins out of 38 starts (and another 11 finishes in the money).  General Quarters managed to hang on for second (which seems to have become his preferred finish), but Friesan Fire ended up fourth behind Giant Oak.  Things did not go as expected for Gio Ponti either – he acted up in the gate and ended up second (by a nose) to Karelian at Tampa Bay Downs.  However, as it’s his first race after a bit of a layoff, the fact that he still managed to pick up a check is encouraging – this race was more of a prep than a ‘must win’ for him.

Finally, there’s some entirely awesome news – yes, there will be Apple Blossom trading cards.  I can see some quality eBay time in my future as a result of this announcement.  For all Apple Blossom news, continue to check out the official website, but also visit the coolest horse racing tumblr site (well, OK, the only horse racing tumblr site) I’ve ever seen: RA-Zen hell blog.  It’s all good.

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