On Sunday, John Salzman, trainer of Xtra Heat, will be represented in Grade 3, $100,000-added Cowdin, this time by a colt named Run Production. Xtra Heat is in Chicago,
preparing for the October 26th Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park.
The 80th Cowdin for juveniles is the co-feature on Sunday's card that also includes the Grade 2, $150,000 Astarita for two-year-old fillies. Both races are run at six and a half furlongs.
With a win over five rivals, Run Production can join a list of previous Cowdin winners that includes Gallant Fox, Jaipur, Dr. Fager, Easy Goer and Coronado's Quest.
Owned by Four Horsemen's Ranch, Run Production has won three of four starts and is the only stakes winner in this year's Cowdin. In his last start, Run Production surged ahead in the final yards to win the three-horse Comet at the Meadowlands. The race marked the first time the Saint Ballado colt rated off the early lead with success. Salzman now has a colt that can cut a :21 3/5 opening quarter and one that can relax off horses if the need arises.
"I think it's a big advantage that he can sit off horses," Salzman said. "He's plenty fast if we want to send him, but if there's other speed in the race he can sit. He's coming along nicely and I think he's getting better with each start."
Run Production tried New York stakes company over the summer, but was the victim of a brutal trip in Saratoga's Grade 2 Sanford. Breaking from post 9, Run Production stumbled leaving the gate, rushed up and battled head and head with Hussar through ridiculously fast fractions of :21 3/5 and :44 4/5. The duel took its toll on both horses as Run Production faded to sixth and Hussar backed up to ninth. While Run Production bounced out of the Sanford to win a pair of races, Hussar has yet to race again.
"It was just too much too soon," said Salzman of the Sanford. "His bad break and the fast pace was just too much to overcome. Looking back, we probably should have skipped the Sanford and looked at an easier spot. But we decided to
take a shot.
Edward Evans' Roaring Fever, who should be one of the Cowdin's pacesetters, is a full brother to the multiple Grade 1 winning Raging Fever. Roaring Fever proved he had the goods in his career debut, winning a Saratoga maiden race by open lengths as the favorite.
Things, however, got a little rough for the Storm Cat colt in his second start. Drawing the rail against a stellar group of juveniles in Saratoga's Grade 1 Hopeful, Roaring Fever was sent to the lead, controlled the pace and faded nearing the three-sixteenths pole. He checked in 12 lengths behind
Sky Mesa, the current leader of the juvenile division. There are no Sky Mesas' or Zavatas in the Cowdin and Roaring Fever should enjoy the drop in
class. Mark Hennig trains.The field for Sunday's Grade 3 Cowdin:
PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY
1 Midnight Charlie Leah Gyarmati Mike Luzzi
2 Wacky For Love Keith Sirota Jose Santos
3 Run Production John Salzman Abdiel Toribio
4 Boston Bull Todd Pletcher John Velazquez
5 Paris Adventure Tim Hills Jose Velez Jr.
6 Roaring Fever Mark Hennig Eibar Coa.