Boisterous Seeks Return to Winning Ways
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has been hitting at a remarkable rate with top contenders on the turf this year. On Oct. 13 he looks to return grade III victor Boisterous to winning form in the $150,000 Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Knickerbocker, to be run on the inner turf as race nine on a 10-race card, is an opportunity for Boisterous to recover from a disappointing ninth at odds of 7-2 in the Aug. 18 Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Park. A drop in level should help him regain the winning form he demonstrated in the 1 1/16-mile Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont back in May.
Boisterous was no worse than third in two other stakes attempts between the Arlington Million and his earlier win for Phipps Stable. Lightly-raced this season, he missed the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a neck to Rahystrada and was a narrow third in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont in June.
The 5-year-old homebred son of Distorted Humor has been assigned 2-1 favoritism on the morning line by New York Racing Association oddsmaker Eric Donovan, and will break from post 3 under jockey Jose Lezcano carrying co-highweight of 124 pounds.
Sky Blazer, 3-1 on the morning line, exits a third-place finish behind Dominus and Data Link in the Sept. 1 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Race Course. The 4-year-old Sky Mesa gelding leapt at the break and conceded about six lengths to the leader, but finished with good energy 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner to get his best placing in graded stakes company so far. Trainer Barclay Tagg and owners Joyce B. Young and Gerald McManis sent him to only one other graded stakes event this year; a sixth in the Arlington Handicap.
Also entered is improving contender Bombaguia, a 4-year-old son of Borrego who recently ran second by just a head to one of McGaughey's other runners, Air Support, in the Sept. 8 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT). It was his first attempt outside the allowance ranks for GoldMark Farm and trainer John Kimmel.
Florida-bred Tune Me In shoulders the other 124-pound impost in the field, looking for his third straight grade III win. The 5-year-old son of Concorde's Tune took the July 29 Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Monmouth Park grass and then won the Cliff Hanger (gr. IIIT), also at Monmouth, for trainer Bruce Alexander and owner Patricia Generazio. With a 6-7-4 record from 22 starts, the gray gelding rarely finishes outside of the trifecta.
Completing the field are David Willmot's Ontario-based Stormy Lord, winner of the Sept. 15 PTHA President's Cup Stakes last time out for trainer Ian Black; Japan Racing Association stakes winner See Tobe; Wildenstein Stable's Japan-bred allowance winner Barocci (trained by Christophe Clement after racing in Europe in 2010-11); and allowance winner Freud's Honour.
$150,000 Knickerbocker Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, approximate post 5:06 p.m. EDT), 3YOs & Upward, 1 1/8 miles (inner turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Freud's Honour (NJ), A. Garcia, 117, G D Sacco, 20-1
2. Sky Blazer (KY), C.H. Velasquez, 117, B Tagg, 3-1
3. Boisterous (KY), J. Lezcano, 124, C R McGaughey III, 2-1
4. Bombaguia (KY), E.S. Prado, 117, J C Kimmel, 4-1
5. Tune Me In (FL), R. Maragh, 124, B F Alexander, 10-1
6. Stormy Lord (ON), J. Alvarado, 121, I Black, 5-1
7. Barocci (JPN), I. Ortiz, Jr. 117, C Clement, 12-1
8. See Tobe (FL), J. Pimentel, 121, G Capuano, 12-1
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