Colonel Liam Outclasses Rivals in Muniz Memorial


Two years ago, Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway) parlayed a victory in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf into a battling success in the GII Mervin Muniz Memorial S. and–ultimately–a Horse of the Year title. Following in those considerable hoofprints, Robert and Lawana Low's Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) validated odds-on favoritism in the event named in honor of the Fair Grounds' late, beloved racing secretary to continue on a similar trajectory, scoring by a 1 1/2-length margin that belied the ease with which it was accomplished.

Away without incident from gate three in a field scratched down to 10, including defending champion Factor This (The Factor), the $1.2-million second-priciest horse at the 2019 OBS April Sale was a touch fresh while in search of some cover early as he easily secured a ground-saving spot, but settled better turning up the backstretch as Two Emmys (English Channel) called the shots up front. Allowed to creep into closer contention as the field reached the half-mile pole, Colonel Liam traveled strongly on the turn and pushed away from the inside 2 1/2 furlongs out, looking every bit a winner. Asked for his best and shaken up passing the quarter pole, the big gray colt claimed the game pacesetter at the furlong grounds and pulled comfortably clear. Logical Myth (Data Link) rallied from the backfield to snag third money.

The 2 3/4-length winner of his turf debut at Saratoga last July 22, Colonel Liam gave the Aug. 15 $500,000 Saratoga Derby a big shake, closing off with a flourish to finish fourth, beaten 3/4 of a length behind Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and Gufo (Declaration of War), later first and third, respectively, in the GI Hollywood Derby. Freshened up thereafter, Colonel Liam proved 3 1/4 lengths too strong for his peers in the Dec. 26 Tropical Park Derby and found his best stride late in besting his stablemate Largent (Into Mischief) by a neck in the Pegasus. Like Bricks and Mortar, Colonel Liam is likely to proceed to the GI Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic on the GI Kentucky Derby undercard May 1.

Pedigree Notes:

Colonel Liam is the one of four graded winners and three Grade I winners for Liam's Map and is bred on the same cross as 'TDN Rising Star' Wicked Whisper. Colonel Liam is one of two winners from four to race for his dam, an unraced daughter of the Phillipses MGISW turf distaffer Wonder Again, whose full-brother Grass Wonder was the champion 2-year-old of his generation in Japan and later won the Takarazuka Kinen over 2200 meters (11 furlongs) and the 2500-meter (12.5-furlong) Arima Kinen on two occasions before embarking on a stud career. This is also the same female family responsible for GSW Hopeful Growth (Tapiture). Amazement is the dam of Colonel Liam's 3-year-old half-sister Lovely Dee (Shackleford), a juvenile colt by Tapiture and a yearling colt by the late Arrogate, like Liam's Map a son of Unbridled's Song. She most recently visited Copper Bullet (More Than Ready).

Saturday, Fair Grounds
MUNIZ MEMORIAL CLASSIC S.-GII, $300,000, Fair Grounds, 3-20, 4yo/up, 1 1/8mT, 1:48.33, gd.
1–COLONEL LIAM, 124, c, 4, by Liam's Map
1st Dam: Amazement, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Wonder Again, by Silver Hawk
3rd Dam: Ameriflora, by Danzig
($50,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP; $1,200,000 2yo '19 OBSAPR). O-Lawana L & Robert E Low; B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY); T-Todd A Pletcher; J-Irad Ortiz Jr. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 7-5-0-1, $870,965. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Two Emmys, 118, g, 5, English Channel–Miss Emmy, by Buddha. ($4,500 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Wolfe Racing LLC & Hugh H Robertson; B-Tottenwood Thoroughbreds Inc. (KY); T-Hugh H Robertson. $60,000.
3–Logical Myth, 122, g, 5, Data Link–Undo, by Flatter. ($37,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-JPS Racing; B-Glendalough LLC (KY); T-Joe Sharp. $30,000.
Margins: 1HF, 3HF, NK. Odds: 0.70, 24.70, 10.30.
Also Ran: Pixelate, Ninety One Assault, Captivating Moon, Peace Achieved, Conviction Trade, Spooky Channel, Olympic Runner. Scratched: Cross Border, Factor This.
Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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