Weekend Recap, part 2

Continued from part 1

Big week for the Juveniles

If none of the juveniles you've seen so far has knocked your socks off, we've got a few that will have you searching the washer and dryer. Our socks were long gone after watching A P Valentine, a Nick Zito-trained son of A.P. Indy, win a seven-furlong maiden race by 4 1/4 lengths, beating Heavenly Prize's son Pure Prize, another highly promising colt with distance written all over him. The time of 1:23 was two full seconds faster than the other division run two races earlier.

A P Valentine looks, acts, and runs like a seasoned pro already, and has Zito saying things like, "This colt is so good it's scary," and "This could very well be the best horse I've ever trained." The $475,000 yearling purchase is out of an Alydar mare and is bred to run all day. As for the Breeders' Cup, it's unlikely, unless the Champagne Stakes comes up a small field and very weak. Even then, he still might take a pass on the Breeders' Cup and wait for the Remsen.

Pure Prize has no shot at making the Breeders' Cup, but once this handsome, long-bodied colt gets over some of his greenness, he no doubt will be heard from. And boy is he green. Although he was much better than his first race, he still ran a serpentine course down the stretch, switching back to his left lead, yet still finished 12 lengths ahead of the third horse.

Another impressive maiden winner at Belmont last week was Griffinite, who romped by 8 lengths going a mile for the Artax team of Lou Albertrani and Ernie Paragallo. The son of Unbridled's Song stalked the early pace, then quickly drew off with every stride under a hand ride. With a mile race under his belt, there still is time to get this colt to the Breeders' Cup. As a point of reference, in his only other start, he had finished a close fourth, right behind A P Valentine, which certainly flatters both horses, as well as the winner of that race Dollar Bill, from the Dallas Stewart stable.

Remember Patrick Biancone of All Along fame? Well, the French trainer is back in business after some tumultuous years in Hong Kong, and he's got a good one in Trailthefox, who captured Saturday's Arlington-Washington Futurity in the mud by 1 1/4 lengths in a solid 1:37 1/5 for the mile. Runner-up Starbury rebounded from a dull fourth in the Sapling to finish 7 1/2 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. This son of Saint Ballado is a classy-looking colt with a lot of pedigree, and he should be ready soon to start making some headlines. As for the winner, the $9,000 yearling purchase has made rapid development since running for a tag at Hollywood Park. After romping in the Bull Page Stakes at Woodbine, he was second to the exciting Flame Thrower in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar.

At Fairplex Park, Squirtle Squirt got back on the winning track Sunday by capturing the 6 1/2-furlong Barretts Juvenile Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths.

So, we now have quite a nucleus in the 2-year-old division, with Flame Thrower, City Zip, Point Given, Yonaguska, Burning Roma, and Street Cry to go along with the exciting group mentioned above.

At Woodbine Saturday, the 3-10 favorite Ten Flat was upset by Highland Legacy in the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes.

Juvenile Fillies no slouches either

The highly touted Cash Deal, a daughter of Danzig, owned and bred by Overbrook Farm and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, didn't disappoint those who sent her off at 3-5 in her debut Sunday, winning by 7 1/2 lengths in 1:23 3/5 for the seven furlongs. The question is, will Lukas, short on 2-year-old fillies right now, be tempted to run her back in the grade I Frizette Stakes in three weeks?

Paragallo and Albertrani were at it again, capturing the other division with Devlish Erica, who held on after opening a big lead to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:24.

Another big favorite bit the dust at Woodbine Saturday, as the even-money Caught Out was upset by the 12-1 Salty You in the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine Stakes.

3-year-olds jump to head of Sprint class

After stablemates Trippi and More Than Ready stuck it to the older sprinters in Saturday's Vosburgh Stakes, and El Corredor's huge effort in the Jerome, it looks as though the 3-year-olds are going to have a big say in the outcome of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, especially if you add the brilliant Caller One to that group. And there's also the classy 3-year-old fillies Chilukki and Dream Supreme.

With Richter Scale retired and Love That Red on the sidelines, a lot was expected out of Successful Appeal in the Vosburgh, but he could manage only a fifth-place finish without ever firing. The race was dominated by Trippi, who led all the way to win by a half-length, and More Than Ready, who took a body slam at the start and dropped back to last before rallying strongly to finish second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of the hard-knocking One Way Love.

We realize 6 furlongs is another ball game, and that both these colts excel at 7 furlongs, but Todd Pletcher has six weeks to get them ready for a big race on Breeders' Cup day, and he should have them plenty sharp and fresh. The bottom line is that he's going into the Breeders' Cup with two horses who have a combined record of 13 wins in 15 starts in sprint races. Trippi is now 6-for-7 sprinting, and he had a good excuse in his only defeat, while More Than Ready is 7-for-8 sprinting, and he also had a legitimate excuse in his only defeat.

More for Mott

As if he doesn't have enough good turf horses already, Bill Mott still is building up his arsenal to fire on Churchill Downs. On Saturday, he scored a double at Kentucky Downs, winning the Kentucky Cup Mile with the 12-1 Glick, then coming back and beating a top-class field in the Kentucky Cup Turf with the classy Down the Aisle, winner of the United Nations Handicap earlier in the year. Down the Aisle came from last to win by head, and among those behind him were major stakes horses Single Empire, Honor Glide, Blueprint and Royal Strand.

Add Ciro to the list of top-class turf horses who could have a say in the Turf. The 3-year-old former Irish-trained colt scored his second victory in America in as many starts with a convincing score in Sunday's Lawrence Realization at Belmont. His two-length win came after an equally impressive victory in the grade I Secretariat Stakes at Arlington. In Europe, Ciro won the group I Prix Lupin and placed in the Irish Derby and Grand Criterium, so he's already proven his class.

Roger Attfield put himself in the Canadian International picture by running one-two in Sunday's Sky Classic Stakes, with Muntej beating the pace-setting Free Vacation by 1 3/4 lengths.

On the Mile front, Saturday's wide-open Bay Meadows Handicap was won by Devine Wind, with the Neil Drysdale-trained Irish Prize second and favored Deploy Venture third.