One of these days, 9-year-old gelding Revved Up will have had enough. The natural laws of ageing say that he can’t race forever. But based on recent performances, that time is nowhere in the near future.
A son of Sultry Song-Win Approval, Revved Up has shown that his best racing days may still be ahead. The Live Oak Plantation Florida homebred is the favorite in the $300,000 Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 23, a 1 3/8-mile test on the Woodbine turf that will include 11 challengers, seven of them geldings.
Trained by Christophe Clement, Revved Up has been a model of consistency the last two years, having done no worse than second in eight of his 11 races since 2006. Six of those efforts have been wins, all in stakes competition. This year, Revved Up has not been as hot as he was in 2006, when he won five times. However, a pair of second-place finishes, and most recently, a victory in the 1 5/8-mile John’s Call Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 19, seems to indicate the turf veteran is once again hitting stride.
“He’s a great horse, amazing really,” said Clement. “He really enjoys the game and as long as we’re fair to him, he’ll give us a good effort.
“He broke a track record at Delaware (12 furlongs) when he was (5) and he might be a notch below that now, but he’s really kept his form. He hates the soft turf, so we thought this surface at this track would be best for him.”
In his career, Revved Up has raced 39 times, winning 18 of them. In all, 17 jockeys have been aboard the gray gelding, who has earned more than $1.4 million in his career. On Sept. 23, Eddie Castro will get the mount and leave from post 6 on the 3-1 morning line favorite.
Revved Up has raced in the Sky Classic once, missing by a nose to A Bit O’ Gold in 2005.
Another older gelding, Last Answer, could also be a factor. A 7-year-old by Langfuhr , out of Victorious Answer, Last Answer has started 43 times in his career, wining six times. One of those victories came in his last effort, a three-quarters-length score in the Nijinsky Stakes (Can-IIT) Aug. 26 at Woodbine. The Gustav Schickedanz homebred defeated Cloudy’s Knight, Royal Challenger, Windward Islands and Pellegrino in that race, all of whom are entrants in the Sky Classic.
Trained by Michael Keogh, Last Answer usually does his best while on the lead. He is currently at odds of 8-1.
Eccentric may be running better than any of the contenders right now. A 6-year old gelding by Most Welcome, the British invader is coming off a pair of graded stakes wins at Woodbine. The first was a 2 1/4-length win in the Connaught Cup Stakes (gr. III) May 27. That was followed by a nose victory in the King Edward Breeders’ Cup (gr. II ) July 2, beating both Sky Conqueror and Jambalaya at 1 1/8 mile. The question is, can he handle 11 furlongs after being off for more than 10 weeks?
Eccentric (5-1), who enjoys coming off the pace, is saddled by Roger Attfield. He has won 12 of 36 races for Gary Tanaka, and as Last Answer, will carry a race-high 123 pounds.
Consideration should be given to Cloudy’s Knight, who finished second not only in the Nijinsky, but also missed by just a nose in the Stars and Stripes Turf (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Aug. 26. The 7-year-old gelding has won eight times in 30 starts for S J Stable, one in graded stakes competition. The 4-1 second choice leaves from the outside in post 11.
Sterwins, who won a turf stakes at Woodbine last month, Marsh Side, Linda’s Lad and Shoal Water round out the field.
$300,000 Sky Classic Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 8, 4:27 p.m.), Three-Year-Olds & Up, 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Royal Challenger (ON), 115, Jono Jones
2. Sterwins (ON), 115, Patrick Husbands
3. Windward Islands (KY), 115, Todd Kabel
4. Last Answer (ON), 123, Emile Ramsammy
5. Marsh Side (KY), 115, Emma-Jayne Wilson
6. Revved Up (FL), 115, Eddie Castro
7. Linda's Lad (GB), 115, Julien Leparoux
8. Shoal Water (ON), 115, Robert Landry
9. Pellegrino (BRZ), 117, Chantal Sutherland
10. Eccentric (GB), 123, David Clark
11. Cloudy's Knight, 121, Ramsey Zimmerman