Friday, August 5, 2011

Decennial arrives just in time at the Spa

Experiencing trouble not once, but twice in a field of six, Decennial nonetheless benefited from a masterfully patient ride by Ramon Dominguez to score by less than a length on the wire Thursday in a starter handicap at Saratoga.

On Thursday, Decennial went forth as the 6/5 favorite in the 8.5-furlong test on Saratoga's inner turf. Usually full of run late, she tracked along patiently under Dominguez and behind the other five runners for the first six furlongs. Endeavoring to move up, Decennial was forced to check at the quarter-pole, then, as the Equibase chart puts it, found herself "mired behind a wall spreading from the rail into the five path." She was checked-up again with three-sixteenths to go when To The Point under John Velazquez lugged in, letting David Cohen and Higher Incentive surge to the lead as early leaders Margaret Smile and Classical Fashion spit their respective bits.

It looked as though Cohen and Higher Incentive were home free, leading by a length and a half in mid-stretch, with Decennial still two lengths in arrears, in third. But when Dominguez asked Decennial for more, she found it, and overhauled the leader just short of the wire. Final time for the trip was 1:42.82.

It was the third consecutive win and the fourth in five tries on turf for Decennial, whose only unplaced effort was on the inner dirt during Aqueduct's winter meeting. The Florida-bred chestnut filly by Trippi-Romantic Dinner, by Who's For Dinner, has made all six of her lifetime starts at age 3 on the New York circuit, and has earned $80,500 for Blue Devil Racing Stable. She was bred by Ocala Stud and is trained by Carlos Martin.

I recommended Decennial out of last year's Ocala April sale of 2-year-olds in training, where sold for just $26,000 as Hip 349. She was one of three closely related Florida-breds that I recommended from the same sale: The other two turned out to be GOURMET DINNER (also sired by Trippi, 1st Delta Downs Jackpot S.-G3, 2nd Fountain of Youth S.-G2, etc., $989,660) and RIGOLETTA (by Concerto, Oak Leaf S.-G1, $184,070). Decennial is a half-sister to the dams of both Gourmet Dinner and Rigoletta.

The three sold for a combined $101,000. Though Rigoletta is already retired due to injury, the trio have won 10 of 20 lifetime, including four stakes (two graded), for $1,254,230.

Also Thursday, the 187-horse Sales-Tip Class of 2010 nearly collected two wins in more modest claiming company. A pair of Grand Reward fillies I shortlisted for a client at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale in May each finished second in their respective races Thursday night.

Reward The Lady (Grand Reward-You're A Lady, by Youmadeyourpoint) who sold for just $6,000 as the first horse through the ring at that Maryland sale, was second beaten three-quarters at Presque Isle Downs in her effort to collect a third lifetime win, this time for a $7,500 tag. She now has two wins and two seconds from seven starts on the Pennsylvania circuit, her home state, for $39,580.

About an hour later, My Reward (Grand Reward-Leelu, by Carson City) was a hard-closing second by a head for an $8,000 tag at Charles Town. My Reward was a $16,000 RNA at EASMAY 2010, and after placing just once from her first eight lifetime starts has managed a win and two second-place finishes from her last three efforts, for combined earnings of $18,661.

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