Since Virginia Day at Laurel Park August 5th, action among Virginia-bred horses has produced some upset victories for some and a first ever graded stakes win for another. And, we are less than a month away from the September 30th “Commonwealth Day” card at Laurel which features five $60,000 Virginia-bred restricted stakes and a trio of open graded ones.
Free Union won his second race of the year in upset fashion August 26th at Timonium’s opening day program. The 4 year old Fierce Wind gelding, bred by Susan Minor, was best in a field of nine and returned $43.40 after being sent off at odds of 20-1. He raced outside the field throughout in the 1 1/16th miles claimer, took the lead turning for home and crossed 1 1/2 lengths in front of Supah Czech. Free Union, who is out of the Buddha mare, Big Bad Buddha, earned his fourth lifetime victory. The victor is owned by the Lawrence Stable, who received a 25% bonus courtesy of the HBPA/VTA Mid-Atlantic owner’s incentive program.
Horner Man also collected his fourth lifetime win in a 6 1/2 furlong claiming sprint at Gulfstream. The 4 year old Congrats gelding battled Fifth Avenue Flash head to head through the second half and prevailed in 1:17.42. Sent off at 25-1, the winner returned $52.80. Bred by S. Barton, Inc., Horner Man earned his fifth “in the money” effort of 2017 and saw his current year bankroll increase to $25,480. He is out of Cee’s Irish by Cee’s Tizzy.
A pair of Virginia-breds chocked up recent six-plus length scores. Beachtown Benny and Turks and Chaos beat their respective fields handily at Ellis Park and Penn National. Both were in claiming events and both were contested at around the one mile distance. The former went gate to wire in a field of twelve while the latter raced close to the front in a field of eight, ran clear at the head of the stretch and finished with a flurry. Beachtown Benny was the betting choice while Turks and Chaos paid $19.40.
Beachtown Benny was bred by Mr. & Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin and has bankrolled $30,311 from eight starts this year. The three year old is by Discreetly Mine out of Enterprise Beach by El Prado. Turks and Chaos is a five year old daughter of Oratory and was bred by Mary Iselin. She is out of the Citidancer mare, Hat Dancer.
Most recently, Cryptos’ Holiday won his first race since capturing a thrilling allowance flat during last fall’s International Gold Cup card at Great Meadow. The 4 year old Harlan’s Holiday gelding best of seven in a $36,000, one mile allowance optional claimer at Delaware Park. He won by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:38.64. The winner, out of the Cryptoclearance mare, Cryptos’ Best, was bred by Lazy Lane Farms and is owned by Magalen Bryant. He has earned a respectable $77,240 from 11 career outs.
Eight year old Brudda Clyde made his 46th lifetime start August 27th at Grande Prarie and won his second straight at the Canadian track in Alberta. Bred by James Sumter Carter, the Political Force gelding reached the winners circle for the 14th time. He is out of the Lord Carson mare, Flying Kitty.
And kudos to breeder Robin Richards and Just Call Kenny, who collected a solid Grade 3 stakes win August 26th in the $100,000 Philip Iselin Stakes. That race recap appears separately on the vabred.org website. The 6 year old Jump Start horse has bankrolled $141,830 this year alone from 7 “top three” finishes which includes that first ever stakes triumph. His career bankroll increased to $433,000 with that victory. Just Call Kenny has competed in a trio of consecutive Grade 3 stakes at Monmouth this summer. He was second in the Salvator Mile Stakes June 17th and third in the Monmouth Cup Stakes July 30th.