Summer Doldrums took the Colonial Turf Cup earlier this summer

Summer Doldrums took the Colonial Turf Cup earlier this summer

Jeffrey Snyder

Hawthorne Derby: Summer Doldrums Hopes Experience Provides Edge

A field of 11 is entered for the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) Oct. 13.

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 tackles the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) Oct. 13, a 1 1/8-mile test on the turf.

Summer Doldrums is the only challenger with a graded stakes victory to his credit. It came three starts ago in the Colonial Turf Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs, when he scored by a head in the 1 3/16-mile event. Since then, Summer Doldrums tried graded stakes at Colonial and Delaware Park, coming in fourth both times.

Bred in Kentucky by Gentry Stable, Summer Doldrums was purchased for $150,000 at the Keeneland 2005 September yearling sale by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. He is trained by Richard Violette Jr.

Summer Doldrums, out of Unaccounted For mare Dance for Dixie, has won four races and placed in four others. He has tried graded stakes competition five times, including a fourth-place finish in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) in April. Other than Love Dubai, who has five unplaced graded stakes tries to his credit, none of the Hawthorne Derby starters have that kind of back class.

"I thought (Summer Doldrums) was too far back in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) and then he was shuffled at Delaware right at crunch time. No excuses, but when you run against the best, you usually need the right trip," said Violette. "I think we’re sitting on a very good race, but a clear trip from the 3/8ths pole to the wire would certainly help."

Christopher Emigh will ride for the first time, as Summer Doldrums leaves from post 10 and carries a race-high 122 pounds. The dark bay colt likes to come from off the pace.

In contrast to Summer Doldrums’ closing style are Starvinsky and Voy Por Uno Mas, a pair of colts who have done their best work on or near the lead.

Richard Shultz’ Starvinsky reeled off four consecutive victories to start his 2007 campaign, the last one coming Aug. 4 in the Nick Shuk Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park, a 3 1/4-length front-running score. When the son of Stravinsky tried graded stakes competition for the first time Sept. 1 in the Kent Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT), he finished seventh.

Starvinsky is trained by Bruce Jackson and leaves from post four under Eusebio Razo, Jr.

Voy Por Uno Mas comes in red hot, having won three of his last four, the lone defeat by a nose in the Regaey Island Stakes at Ellis Park Aug. 18. The son of Mazel Trick scored his first stakes win in his last start, a 1 1/4-length victory in the Honor Grade Stakes at Arlington Park Sept. 9.

Twilight Meteor, trained by Todd Pletcher, must be given consideration as well. The Smart Strikecolt has just one win in six tries this year, but most recently was second by a nose in the Kent Breeders’ Cup, easily outrunning Summer Doldrums. Owned by Peachtree Stable, Twilight Meteor will leave from post nine with Chris DeCarlo up.

Ghazi Up (who has two stakes win this year), Bold Hawk, All I Can Get, James the Greater, Western Prize, and Wheels Up at Noon complete the field.

$250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:54 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ghazi Up (IA), 120, Diego Sanchez
2. Love Dubai (KY), 114, T. D. Houghton
3. Bold Hawk (KY), 116, Jean-Luc Samyn
4. Starvinsky (KY), 116, Eusebio Razo, Jr.
5. All I Can Get (MI), 116, Federico Mata
6. Voy Por Uno Mas (KY), 116, Jesus Lopez Castanon
7. James the Greater (NE), 116, Earlie Fires
8. Western Prize (KY), 116, Jose C. Ferrer
9. Twilight Meteor (ON), 118, Christopher P. DeCarlo
10. Summer Doldrums (KY), 122, Christopher A. Emigh
11. Wheels Up At Noon (FL), 116, Nick Santagata