Summer Doldrums has one prior career start at Presque Isle Downs, and it resulted in a 12-length victory in a one-mile allowance test June 8. If he's as sharp now as he was 3 1/2 weeks ago, he'll be a major force in the $175,000 Presque Isle Mile July 4 at the Pennsylvania racetrack.
Success may not follow Summer Doldrums all the time, but the son of Street Cry has been competitive in nearly all his 12 career starts, many of them in graded stakes competition. That back class will make him one of the horses to beat, as a field of 11 3-year-olds will try the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) Oct. 13, a 1 1/8-mile test on the turf.
Elizabeth Valando's Nobiz Like Shobiz figures to be the heavy favorite in the Sept. 1 Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park. The $500,000 test for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the grass has attracted a field of 11.
Trainer Todd Pletcher ran three horses in the $1-million Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) Saturday, so he expected to win. But it was the 3-year-old colt no one expected, 37-1 shot Red Giant, who won by a nose in course record time.
In spite of ending up as the 7-2 third choice on the morning line, trainer Rick Violette said his starter Summer Doldrums is geared up for a win in Saturday's $1 million Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs.
Summer Doldrums will have more than a rubber match with Strike a Deal when the two meet in the $1-million Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) July 21 at Colonial Downs. Not only will Summer Doldrums' trainer Rick Violette see his archrival, he will see the faces of past race victors.
Summer Doldrums turned the tables on his rival Strike A Deal, winning the $750,000 Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Colonial Downs by a head.
Before the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), Barclay Tagg worried that the lack of pace in the six-horse field would prevent Nobiz Like Shobiz from sitting behind horses. It turned out exactly that way, yet Nobiz overcame a paceless race and more to win the 83rd Wood by half a length and place himself among the favorites for next month's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
A field of seven was entered Wednesday for Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), with Any Given Saturday now Nobiz Like Shobiz' main foe in the nine-furlong race following the defection of Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Circular Quay.
Not even a change to green silks on St. Patrick's Day for Any Given Saturday could deny 2-year-old champ Street Sense a hard-earned victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III). Also on Saturday, rapidly emerging stars Cobalt Blue and Curlin burst on the Derby scene with impressive scores in their two-turn debuts.
If trainer Todd Pletcher doesn't manage to win a spring 3-year-old Classic this year, it won't be for lack of trying. On the day he saddled Circular Quay for a convincing victory in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), he was also taking the $200,000 Gotham (gr. III) with Cowtown Cat at Aqueduct Saturday.
Aqueduct inner track kingpin Summer Doldrums tries to defend his turf against eight rivals, including several quick invaders in Saturday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III).
- By Steve Haskin
Inner track kingpin Summer Doldrums tries to defend his turf against eight rivals, including several quick invaders in Saturday's $200,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
With two more major stepping stones to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) taking place this weekend, three prominent trainers took a moment to discuss the outlook of their potential stars.
Although most of the talk surrounding the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) was on the near disastrous spill at the head of the stretch, the bottom line is that we saw the emergence of a classic contender in Notional, who displayed a number of attributes you want to see in a Derby horse.
Lawrence the Roman, who had crushed his opposition by nearly 30 combined lengths in three previous starts, gave a severe jolt to the Derby plans of his connections when he beat only one horse in the $70,070 Whirlaway, a race for 3-year-olds won handily by second choice Summer Doldrums Saturday at Aqueduct.
IEAH Stables will be the managing owner of the 3-year-old Lawrence the Roman when the undefeated colt starts Saturday in the Whirlaway at 1 1/16 miles on the Aqueduct inner track.
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