Twilight eclipses his elders in McKnight
Date Posted: 11/24/2012 7:45:55 PM
Last Updated: 11/29/2012 12:28:05 PM
Twilight Eclipse, a three-year-old Purim gelding making only his sixth career
start, registered an 11-1 upset of Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000
McKnight Handicap at Calder. His stalk-and-pounce rally under Manoel Cruz
resulted in a 1 3/4-length triumph in a time of 2:26 3/5 for 1 1/2 miles on the
Ioya Bigtime, the 3-2 favorite, led comfortably through splits of :25 1/5,
:48 4/5, 1:13, 1:37 3/5 and 2:02 3/5. Twilight Eclipse, who rated in second
passing the stands the first time and third in the second run down the backside,
was poised to make a bid when only 1 1/2 lengths behind that rival approaching
the quarter pole. Although Ioya Bigtime initially appeared to have run left,
Twilight Eclipse easily swooped past in the stretch and drew off to a convincing
win for owner West Point Thoroughbreds. Twilight Eclipse paid $24.80, $12.40 and
Outsiders filled out the trifecta as Mucho Mas Macho, the 39-1 longest shot
on the board, made a bold rally late to finish second, three parts of a length
ahead of 11-1 chance Vertiformer. Ioya Bigtime retreated to fourth and was
followed by 2010 McKnight winner Prince Will I Am, Manchurian High and Center
Divider. Forte Dei Marmi, the 8-5 second choice, trailed the field after making
an early move around the third and final turn.
Scratched from the McKnight were Decaf Again and Ducduc, who ran later in the
Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap.
Winner of his first two starts in the span of 17 days at Indiana Downs this
past June, Twilight Eclipse was transferred from the barn of John Langemeier to
Tom Albertrani's after being privately purchased by West Point prior to the August 30 Equalize at Saratoga. A late-closing
sixth in that affair, he was a modest fifth in the Grade 3 Kent in his next
start. He preceded this victory with a third in the October 21 Temperence Hill
at Belmont in his dirt debut. His record now stands at 6-3-0-1, $147,111.
Bred in Kentucky by Epona Thoroughbreds, Twilight Eclipse sold for a mere
$1,000 as a newly-turned yearling at the Keeneland January sale. Produced by the
Twilight Agenda mare My Twilight Dancer, he hails from the family of Grade 2
winner Slavic and multiple Grade 3 winner Mythical Power.
Twilight Eclipse's third dam was multiple stakes winner Alanesian, the
ancestress of champion Revidere; Princessnesian, filly winner of the 1968
Hollywood Gold Cup; multiple Grade 1 winner and sire Harlan's Holiday; and
multiple Irish highweight Burden of Proof, among other notables.
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