Mr. Misunderstood wins the Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs

Mr. Misunderstood wins the Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs

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Thoroughbred Racing

Mr. Misunderstood Looks to Carry Streak at Fair Grounds

Archarcharch gelding is morning-line favorite in Fair Grounds Handicap.

Flurry Racing Stables' Mr. Misunderstood kicks off his 4-year-old season in the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (G3T), and aims to keep his win streak alive when he steps onto the turf at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

The Archarcharch gelding—who is slated as the morning-line favorite in the expected field of 12 set to go about 1 1/8 miles—is eight-for-eight on the grass and comes into the Feb. 17 test riding a five-race win streak that dates back to last August. 

While he will face older horses for the first time in Saturday's test, Mr. Misunderstood has won all four of his starts at the New Orleans track (three on turf, one on dirt), including a 1 3/4-length score in the one-mile Woodchopper Stakes in December. Since that race, he's worked four times on the Fair Grounds dirt, including a half-mile move Jan. 27 in :48 4/5 and a five-furlong move Feb. 3 in 1:00 3/5. 

"(Mr. Misunderstood) is training really well," trainer Brad Cox said. "His last two works have been fantastic and he had a great work (Saturday) morning (four furlongs in :51 1/5). He couldn't be doing any better.

"He's definitely stepping up a little bit. He hasn't faced the talent or the depth that he's going to face on Saturday. The first time against older horses tend to be deeper water, and this will be the deepest water that he's been in. He looks amazing, he's happy, and he's doing great mentally and physically."

The 2017 Commonwealth Turf Stakes (G3T) winner will face experienced runners in graded stakes winners Thatcher Street, Granny's Kitten, and Tiz a Slam, who each are looking to rebound from recent off-the-board efforts.

Michael Hui's Galton enters off two solid runner-up efforts. The Mike Maker-trained 7-year-old son of Offlee Wild finished second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Tower of Texas in his 2018 debut, the Jan. 13 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds. One start prior, he finished second by three-quarters of a length in the one-mile Tropical Turf Stakes in December at Gulfstream Park.

Pin Oak Stable's Synchrony also comes in off back-to-back runner-up efforts, but hasn't raced since last May. The son of Tapit  is graded placed on both turf and dirt, and he's been posting regular works at Fair Grounds. In his last three moves he's earned two bullets, one Jan. 27 going five furlongs in :59 3/5 and another Feb. 3 clocking six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 for trainer Michael Stidham.

Looming a threat is GenStar Thoroughbreds's recent Fair Grounds optional-claiming allowance winner High Noon Rider. Also trained by Cox, the stakes-winning son of Distorted Humor  rallied from seventh to take a Feb. 1 1 1/16-mile turf test by a neck over fellow Fair Grounds Handicap entrants Applicator and One Mean Man

Entries: Fair Grounds H. (G3T)

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Saturday, February 17, 2018, Race 8

  • Grade IIIT
  • About 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $150,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 4:35 PM (local)
11Thatcher Street (KY)Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.116Ian R. Wilkes12/1
22Zulu Alpha (KY)Miguel Mena114Neil J. Howard20/1
33Galton (KY)Javier Castellano117Michael J. Maker5/1
44One Mean Man (KY)Robby Albarado117Bernard S. Flint12/1
55Granny's Kitten (PA)Julien R. Leparoux116Michael J. Maker8/1
66Mr. Misunderstood (KY)Florent Geroux119Brad H. Cox3/1
77Applicator (KY)Jack Gilligan117Mikhail Yanakov12/1
88Synchrony (KY)Joe Bravo115Michael Stidham9/2
99High Noon Rider (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateShaun Bridgmohan117Brad H. Cox6/1
1010Tiz a Slam (ON)Corey J. Lanerie115Roger L. Attfield20/1
1111Great Wide Open (IRE)Adam Beschizza116Conor Murphy20/1
1212Catcho En Die (ARG)John R. Velazquez117William I. Mott8/1