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From Synthetic To Sunland

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/24/2013 6:45:56 PM

What: Spiral Stakes/Sunland Derby
Who:  Uncaptured (to win Spiral) Abraham (key first and second in Sunland Derby with Shakin It Up, Saint Prado, Govenor Charlie, Mudflats and Dry Summer)
Where: Turfway Park/Sunland Park
When: Saturday, March 23/24

The Spiral, run on a synthetic surface, has been a nice sports betting stepping-stone to future glory. Animal Kingdom won this race 2 years ago and also won the Kentucky Derby and Lil E. Tee took the 1992 renewal and also won the Run for the Roses. Last year Went the Day Well was making his third start in the United States and he came from 5th to win by 3 and a half lengths with a 93 Beyer.

Uncaptured was rilliant early in his career winning 4 in a row on the synthetic, Uncaptured did everything asked until he was forced to check in his first loss in the Graded stakes debut. This is his first race since that effort. He showed his versatility winning the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill and he did something in the Jockey Club there that you don’t see everyday and that’s come back on after losing the lead. Considering the track record for the 8 and a half furlong Jockey Club is 1:42 2/5, Uncaptured’s final time of 1:44.97 is on the slow side and he only earned a 76 Beyer. This runner should be in the first flight from the sound of the bell and figures to be very tough till the end.

The blood is there for Uncaptured to star. His dam is unraced but she dropped Dancing Raven, who won several stakes and nearly $400,000. Uncaptured’s dam also is kin to multiple betting sites stakes winner and over $400,000 earner Gold Star Deputy. He developed and abscess in his left foot after the Jockey Club and then another one on his right foot since, hence the layoff. His trainer spoke about his start to ESPN, Mark Casse: “The main track at Ocala is all-weather, so we moved him up there, so it would be easier on his feet..the Spiral seemed the best place to bring him back.” He is the one to beat.

The Sunland Derby has earned Graded status for the first time this year and one of the reasons why is that the race gained credibility in 2010. That year, Mine That Bird was fourth in this race, but then shocked in the Kentucky Derby in his next start at 50-1 and was in the money in the other two legs of the Triple Crown. Abraham was the worst kept secret in his debut when he was hammered on the toteboard but just was a tad short to lost by a nostril. When the youngster stretched out in the off going, he was cleverly ridden and had just enough left at the wire. But sometimes those kinds of races indicate a runner has left something in reserve.

One thing he has going for him is that he is the only runner in the field proven at a 9 furlongs. Abraham has also trained solidly this month. His drill last Monday was tied with a winning stablemate and the fastest drill on the 18th was posted by stablemate Hierro, who is an older horse that has won a Grade 3 and has earned over $200,000.  Trainer Todd Pletcher and rider Johnny Velazquez ship West with this colt and they probably didn’t make the trip just to get a feel of the hospitality in New Mexico.

Key first and second in the horse betting gimmicks with Shakin It Up, Saint Prado, Govenor Charlie, Mudflats and Dry Summer.

Good luck.

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