The Road to the Kentucky Derby returns today with the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in Oklahoma, followed by the Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos Race Course in California on Saturday.
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EXPERT PICK: RED FLAG
in the Los Alamitos Futurity
The chestnut son of Tamarkuz is both bred for the trip and has given the impression of a colt who wants to run longer. Victor Espinoza retains the mount atop the one to beat, who will never be far back from the rail in the early stages.
Los Alamitos Race Course – Saturday, December 19th
Red Flag will make his first start in a Kentucky Derby qualifier Saturday. A smashing winner of the Nov. 15 Bob Hope S. (G3) at Del Mar, the 2-year-old colt will face five rivals in his initial two-turn attempt.
Racing is for reduced prize money and behind closed doors this weekend. Busan’s Saturday card is, however, available on international simulcast with 12 races from 10:10 to 15:45 local Korea time. Here are the previews:
Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Juvenile maidens to kick things off. (1) WILD BLUE has a 4th and a 2nd from two starts so far both at this distance and in the process recorded the fastest time of any of them. He has been one-paced on both occasions but is nicely drawn on the inside to get forward and should go close. So too should (14) HAEUNDAE BADA. She ran a good 2nd on debut over 1000M and the step up in trip can suit. The draw is far from ideal though. The one to beat may well be (9) SPEED MATCH. He was sent off favourite (when there was an actual betting pool) on debut on November 20th having won a trial. He finished in 5th place but should have come on for that run and the trainer/jockey combination will tempt plenty. (12) SIMON TOP GUN improved on her second outing last month and can continue her progress today while (7) GALAXY ROAD is one of a few in the hunt for some minor money.
(9) Speed Match (1) Wild Blue (14) Haeundae Bada (12) Simon Top Gun
1, 5, 9, 14
Race 2: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
More maidens. (10) HILL MORE has run well for 2nd and 4th in two starts so far, he’s just been a little bit late arriving on the scene both times. Ioannis Poullis may elect to ride him a bit close today and he has strong claims. (7) TTEUGEOUN MANNAM was certainly ridden much closer to the pace on her second outing and was rewarded with 2nd place. She’s drawn reasonably well again and is a danger. Expect progress from (2) JEJUOLLE GIL. She was great in her trial but underwhelming on debut and the addition of You Hyun-myung aboard catches the eye. (4) STAR EYE was never a factor last time out but has already recorded a couple of decent placings and with a better start should play a part. (1) MISS ROCKET too seems to be figuring things out and has placing claims.
(10) Hill More (7) Tteugoeun Mannam (2) Jejuolle Gil (4) Star Eye
2, 3, 6, 7
Race 3: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Another maiden but it’s a good one. (2) RAON THE STAR has run 2nd in both her outings so far, posting respectable times as well. In normal times she would be up to class 5 by now but gets another crack at the lowest level and she should make the most of it. (3) DOCTOR FAITH trialed up behind Raon The Star but debuted with a creditable 3rd on November 13th at this trip and can match or better that today from a slightly better draw. Both (5) MYEONGSEONG MAGIC and (6) KKOTMURI ran 4th on their respective debuts and have scope to improve here. (9) DOMINATION went back to trial after a lackluster debut in August. He won that heat with a fine front-running performance and is another one in at least the placing frame. The wildcard is (4) ADELE SUCCESS. She did nothing on debut in July but the full-sister to Success Story looked more promising when trialing two weeks ago and should get on a bit better with today’s slightly extended trip.
(2) Raon The Star (3) Doctor Faith (6) Kkotmuri (4) Adele Success
9, 5, 11
2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 13
Race 4: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
(4) WONDER RUNNER has a 3rd and a 2nd from two starts so far and has led in both of them. She’s drawn well to get on speed from the gate and could well make it third time lucky today. Also looking to get to the front early will be (12) GREAT DANCE. He drops back in trip following a good 2nd place over 1400M on November 20th, beating a couple of these in the process. The draw isn’t great here but with a good start he should be going close. (7) CHOEGANG LIGER ran 4th behind Great Dance in that 1400M race last month. He has never finished any better than 3rd but is another who may appreciate the drop back in trip today. Another also-ran in that race was (11) YEONGGWANGUIRUNNER, who came home 5th. At the start of November, he came from off the pace to run a strong 2nd at this distance and should be in contention again today.
Race 5: Class 5 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 25 Million
(13) NAMDO QUEEN was a good winner on debut on November 20th, scoring comfortably over 1000M. There was full prize money on offer that day so she is up in class here and also in distance but the way she ran through the line suggests plenty in reserve and she can win again. (8) YEONGGWANGUI START’s solitary victory came at this distance and he enters here off a last start runner-up finish having led for most of the way around. If he can get to the front again then he has very solid claims. (5) GRAND YEOWANG has seemingly lost her way a little in her latest two appearances but is capable of better and has the fastest time of any of them at the distance. (7) WISE GIRL and (6) WONDERFUL KING are both up in class having run 1st and 2nd over this distance on November 15th and both should be completive at this level
Race 6: Class 4 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 28 Million
Not the strongest of class 4 races and with that in mind it might be worth having a look at the first-time starters. Of those, Midshipman filly (10) WORLD SOCKS looks the pick. She ran a comfortable and unhurried trial just a couple of weeks ago and against this limited opposition has good claims. (4) HWARANGUICHMPION had an unsuccessful spin over 1800M last month. He had run well at that particular trip in the past but today does look am more suitable assignment and he should go close. (7) AMAZING WINNER has the fastest time of any of these at the distance and while recent form has been nothing special, can go well in this company. (14) QUEEN ARDOR produced a much improved showing to beat a couple of these on her way to 4th place last start and could match that here.
Race 7: Class 3 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 32 Million
(10) BARBARIAN is a winner of three from six so far and while he is yet to race at such a short distance he is more than capable of running on the speed and can score first up today. Last time Barbarian ran was back in August and he finished 2nd to (9) YEONGGWANGUI SIDAE over over a mile. The latter horse has been a bit ordinary in two starts since but does have ability and while Barbarian can overturn the August form, Yeonggwangui Sidae shouldn’t be far away. (13) BANJIUI JEONSEOL has never finished worse than 3rd in eight attempts and while the draw isn’t ideal, he can maintain that record today. (7) BABEL HIT beat three of these on his way to a good 2nd place behind Curlin Time over 1400M on November 20th. He should be a danger again although (6) SYDNEY MANGCHI, who ran 4th that day, should be on pace from the start and has a good chance of overtuning the form. Sydney Mangchi’s stablemate (4) GOOD FOR YOU is another in the hunt.
Tapizar (Tapit–Winning Call, by Deputy Minister), who was set to be shipped to Japan to stand stud at Yushun Stallion Station for the 2021 season, was euthanized after an accident in his stall at the Gainesway quarantine barn Tuesday night. The 12-year-old was scheduled to travel in mid-January.
“It is with great sadness that Gainesway confirms the sudden and tragic loss of Tapizar,” said Gainesway Farm’s General Manager Brian Graves in a statement. “Our hearts go out to all of those involved.”
Tapizar’s top produce is the seven-time Grade I winner and soon-to-be two-time champion Monomoy Girl, a $9.5 million FTKNOV purchase by Spendthrift following her second GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff win. He is the third-leading sire by cumulative earnings from his crop year, and is also third on this year’s year-to-date fifth-crop list. He is also the sire of GIII Delaware Oaks winner Project Whiskey, as well as four other graded stakes winners, 10 black-type winners and 24 black-type horses. In all his progeny have earned over $22 million.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred won six of his 14 races, topped by the 2012 GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and GII San Fernando S. Tapizar had stood at Gainesway since his retirement in 2013.
Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Cavalli purosangue