JC / Railbird


Checking In

with the 2-year-olds I’m following. Smash, an impressive first-out winner at Hollywood in July, hasn’t worked since July and has had some “setbacks,” trainer Bob Baffert told Steve Andersen. “Some of them got down [to Del Mar] and had setbacks. I didn’t want to push them.” The Smart Strike colt could be sent to Belmont for the fall meet. Trainer Rick Violette reports that Sovereign Default, expected to start in Monday’s Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, is injured and out indefinitely. Typhoon Slew, coming off a nice grass win at Ellis Park earlier this summer, finished third in the With Anticipation Stakes on Friday. The race was won by Soldat, switching from dirt to turf and exiting a second to Wine Police in a Saratoga maiden special last month. “When I asked him at the quarter-pole, whoosh! He really took off,” said rider Alan Garcia. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the colt could start next in the Pilgrim Breeders’ Cup at Belmont in October and would point to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Much praise for Uncle Mo from Dick Powell: “He was remarkable … anyone that was here that day might say years from now, ‘I was there the day that Uncle Mo broke his maiden.'” If the Debutante at Del Mar holds up, next year’s top 3-year-old filly could be a Californian. The 12-horse race came up tough.

Rachel, Quality Work

Rachel Alexandra put in her final work for the ungraded Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday, breezing four furlongs in :49.60 over the Oklahoma track this morning. The Pink Sheet posted pre-work, post-work, and an impressionistic in-motion photo of the move, which took place shortly before 6:00 AM and looked “nice, loose and happy” to trainer Steve Asmussen. The field for the Lady’s Secret won’t be drawn until Wednesday, but Monmouth announced yesterday that Hark, Queen Martha, Stage Trick, Starship Angel, and Yes She’s a Lady were all possible. Combined, the five have won 17 of 56 starts, and none are graded stakes winners.

At Belmont Park on Sunday, Quality Road worked a bullet five furlongs in :58.69 for the G1 Whitney on August 7. He’s looking well.

It’s that time of year, when buzz babies appear. “I have a really nice two year old running today at Hollywood Park named SMASH,” trainer Bob Baffert tipped his Facebook friends on Sunday morning, but the Smart Strike colt needed no touting for his debut. Sent off at 1-2, Smash won the five-furlong maiden special by 2 1/2 lengths in :57.63 over the Cushion Track. “Look at this guy level out,” said track announcer Vic Stauffer. And he did it with such ease.

Life At Ten gets a Beyer speed figure of 98 for winning the G2 Delaware Handicap with a final time of 2:03.21. Bit of trivia: That’s the lowest since Amarillo was given a 96 in 1998. The race was the 5-year-old mare’s sixth straight victory, and a record-tying fourth for trainer Todd Pletcher, who said Life At Ten could start next in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga. (If only Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta also showed up …)

A few updates to the disabled list: General Quarters is most likely out of the Arlington Million. The one-horse-stable star exited the Arlington Handicap, in which he finished sixth, with an injury. “He came out with a bum ankle,” said trainer Tom McCarthy. (Get well soon, GQ.) There’s good news about Drosselmeyer, sent for exam after showing some soreness following a July 4 workout. “There were just several general hot spots that came up, not any one thing or any one spot.” The Belmont Stakes winner will be turned out for 60 days and return to training in the fall, reports the Thoroughbred Times, with a goal of making the Dubai World Cup. (No Breeders’ Cup, then? Too bad.)