After a weekend that included two key races for the 3-year-old division, the questions surrounding the contenders for top 3-year-old honors continue. As the story goes in 2011, the most recent winners put themselves squarely in the middle of the race for the title. On Saturday at Saratoga, Stay Thirsty came away looking much like the young 3-yr-old that won the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct back in March. Yesterday at Monmouth looked almost identical to the 2010 Haskell. It was Bob Baffert, Mike Pegram and Martin Garcia who repeated Lookin at Lucky’s winning performance when Coil delivered a powerful stretch run that led to victory. Expect the summer to heat up even more this month as both Winners are probable to face off on 8/27 in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
Jim Dandy Stakes
A horse emerged from the shadows of his stablemate on Saturday. Stay Thirsty did it by winning a big race in impressive fashion. At the beginning of the year and through the Kentucky Derby Prep Season all the attention at Trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn was directed towards Uncle Mo. Even after his late scratch in the derby due to a stomach ailment, the word on his return took center stage. After a 2nd place finish to Ruler on Ice in the Belmont Stakes, Stay Thirsty needed another gear to get back to the winners circle and steal the spotlight from Mo. And that’s exactly what he did.
Going into the far turn Wills Wildcat led after fractions of 24.00, 47.66, and 1:11.39 at the 6F mark with Dominus moving into 2nd and Stay Thirsty into 3rd. Before reaching the top of the lane Julien Leparoux sent Dominus by Wills Wildcat but Javier Castellano made the same move. At the top of the stretch they were head to head before Stay Thirsty began to draw away with a furlong to go. After covering the 1 1/8 Mile in: 1:48.78 for the win, Stay Thirsty should enjoy all the attention he’s now going to get leading up to the Travers
Stakes. Owned by Mike Repole, the win brings his total to 2 wins and 1 2nd place finish in 3 races inside of NY. With the Travers also at Saratoga, Stay Thirsty and his East Coast connections will look to take another huge step by claiming their first G1 win.
- 6 Stay Thirsty $7.00 $4.20 $2.90
- 1 Moonshine $23.40 $7.60
- 2 Dominus $3.00
Stay Thirsty 2011 Results
- 7/30 Saratoga 1 1/8 Mile G2 Jim Dandy 1st
- 6/11 Belmont 1 1/2 Mile G1 Belmont Stakes 2nd
- 5/7 Churchill Downs 1 1/4 Mile G1 Kentucky Derby 12th
- 4/3 Gulfstream 1 1/8 Mile G1 Florida Derby 7th
- 3/5 Gulfstream 1 1/16 Mile G3 Gotham Stakes 1st
The most talked about 3-year-old race since the final leg of the Triple Crown had the opportunity for 2 Triple Crown winners to take control of becoming the front-runner in the race for the 3-year-old title. To take advantage of it they had to win. In the end however, it was Coil who dug in deep down the stretch for a monster effort and the win. As the odds on second choice he was expected to be in the mix but one thing that nobody saw coming, including Bob Baffert, was watching him put on a last to first performance. After a delayed break from the gate Jockey Martin Garcia played the hand he was dealt brilliantly. Considering the trends of the day on the main dirt surface, Garcia took him off the rail in the back stretch and little by little continued to inch him closer to the front.
At the quarter pole the race was beginning to look like the Preakness Stakes as Jockey Jesus Castanon moved Shackleford into the lead after pressing the pace but sitting just behind it in 2nd. After covering 6F in 1:10.68, at the top of the stretch, the Preakness Champ looked liked once he had grabbed the lead that no one was going to be able to get by him. JJ’s Lucky Train bid to no avail on the outside as Ruler on Ice charged hard but not enough along the rail. It wasn’t until about a furlong to go that Shackleford got the bid he couldn’t deny. Roaring on the outside was Coil and he was closing hard. A stubborn Shackleford fought tough to hold on but Coil got the final jump to win by a neck in 1:48.20.
Coil, by 2001 Haskell winner Point Given, notches his first Grade 1 Stakes win. The win also gives Bob Baffert his record 5th Haskell victory. His first win was in 2001. Like Point Given that year, and Lookin at Lucky last year, this colt will stay on the NY circuit and come back for the Travers Stakes later this month. The win also automatically qualifies Coil for the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The timing for this late bloomer couldn’t have been any better as he is coming into form at just the right time.
- Coil $8.40 $4.80 $3.60
- Shackleford $3.20 $2.60
- Ruler on Ice $2.00
Coil, 2011 Results
- 7/31 Monmouth 1 1/8 Mile G1 Haskell Invitational 1st
- 7/9 Hollywood 1 1/8 Mile G2 Swaps Stakes 2nd
- 6/11 Hollywood 1 1/8 Mile G3 Affirmed Handicap 1st
- 5/6 Hollywood 6 Furlongs Allowance, OC 1st
So there you have it, the next step in finding ourselves a favorite for the 2011 3-year-old champion will be the Travers Stakes. While our recent victors may headline the race it’s never too late in 2011 for another horse to take over the lead as the front runner………stay tuned.
Written by: Little Brink