Although Riverside Bloodstock’s 6-year-old gelding Dimension, trained by Conor Murphy, is coming off a ninth-place finish in the Connaught Cup (gr. IIT) after bobbling at the start, the son of Medicean was impressive winning the Play the King last year. He wired his 12-horse field from the outside after a slow break to score by 2 1/4 lengths, missing the course record by three-fifths of a second.
He then battled on the lead in the Woodbine Mile (gr. IT) only to tire and finish fifth behind Wise Dan. Although he followed that up with another fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), he was beaten only three lengths at odds of 24-1.
Dimension’s main threat could be the Ian Black-trained Excaper, the horse he defeated in last year’s Play the King. This year, the 5-year-old son of Exchange Rate captured the seven-furlong Connaught Cup May 31. He then was second, beaten a half-length, in the one-mile King Edward Stakes (gr. IIT), after blowing a thee-length lead in the stretch.
But this is such a strong field, it’s difficult to tell who will go off as the favorite. There's grade I winner Winning Prize, who scored in the Frank Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) and Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park this year before throwing in a clunker in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) in his last start June 14. Like several of the others, the Neil Drysdale-trained son of Pure Prize will be using the Play the King as a prep for the Woodbine Mile.
Another top-class horse to watch is Kaigun, who gave Wise Dan a scare in the Makers46 Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland in April, losing to the two-time Horse of the Year by only three-quarters of a length. He was then fourth behind Wise Dan, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, second behind Real Solution in the 1 1/8-mile Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and fifth in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths.
The best races for the son of Northern Afleet have come at a mile and farther, so there is a question with him dropping back to seven furlongs, which could be used to sharpen him up for the Woodbine Mile.
As if that isn’t enough to make this a tough spot, add the Tom Amoss-trained Global Power, coming off a third in the Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park; Highlander Stakes (gr. IIT) winner Something Extra, who has a ton of early speed; and Lockout, as fast-closing third in the Highlander at six furlongs at Woodbine for Mark Casse.
Woodbine , Sunday, August 10, 2014, Race 6
- 3 yo's & up
- 3:33 PM (local)
|1||Global Power (KY)||Jacob Radosevich||117||Thomas M. Amoss|
|2||Sharp Sensation (KY)||Jesse M. Campbell||119||Reade Baker|
|3||Lockout (KY)||Gary Boulanger||117||Mark E. Casse|
|4||Something Extra (KY)||Eurico Rosa Da Silva||123||Gail Cox|
|5||Dimension (GB)||David Moran||121||Conor Murphy|
|6||Awesome Eclipse (FL)||Sheena Ryan||117||Ravendra B. Raghunath|
|7||Excaper (KY)||Emma-Jayne Wilson||123||Ian Black|
|8||The Brothers War (KY)||Alan Garcia||117||Richard C. Mettee|
|9||Kaigun (ON)||Patrick Husbands||117||Mark E. Casse|
|10||Winning Prize (ARG)||Victor Espinoza||126||Neil D. Drysdale|