JC / Railbird

Tagg Sweeps Stakes

– There were only two graded stakes across the country on Saturday, but trainer Barclay Tagg took both, winning the Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct with Dave and the Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill with Bit of Whimsy. Dave, making his first graded stakes appearance in 34 starts, was an upset victor at 14-1. Bit of Whimsy, coming off a win at Keeneland last month, was the 8-5 favorite. “She’s had a terrific year,” said Tagg of ‘Whimsy, in his usual understated way (ESPN). The 3-year-old filly is 4-for-7 since making her career debut on April 1. In the past seven months, she’s finished in a dead heat with Rutherienne in the G3 Sands Point, run second to the ill-fated Alexander Tango in the G1 Garden City, and won the G1 QEII Cup last month. She’s now the best 3-year-old turf filly in training, and fortunately, it looks like we’ll see more of her. Tagg is sending Bit of Whimsy to Gulfstream this winter to prep for a 2008 campaign.
– Jockey Garrett Gomez tied Jerry Bailey’s record for most stakes wins in a year on Saturday, scoring his 70th with Hucking Hot in the Skirball-Kenis Stakes at Hollywood. As impressive as Dave looked kicking clear in the Red Smith or Bit of Whimsy did digging in to hold off Ciao in the Mrs. Revere, neither looked as good as Hucking Hot sitting patiently behind a wall of traffic, then splitting horses in the stretch to get the win. “There was a tiny hole at the top of the stretch and when I pointed her for it, she accelerated like it was the size of the Grand Canyon,” said Gomez of the filly’s bold move (LA Times).