Colonel Liam Progressing Towards March On New Orleans


Colonel Liam | Derbe Glass


Robert and Lawana Low's GI Pegasus World Cup Turf hero Colonel Liam (Liam's Map) breezed a half-mile in :48.40 for trainer Todd Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs Feb. 20 and is penciled in for his next start in the GII Muniz Memorial S. going nine furlongs over the Stall-Wilson turf course at the Fair Grounds Mar. 20, the Lowses bloodstock advisor and racing manager Jacob West said Monday.

The $50,000 Keeneland September yearling turned $1.2-million OBS April breezer got about three weeks off following his neck defeat of stablemate Largent (Into Mischief) in the Pegasus and returned to the worktab with a smooth four-furlong gallop in :48.50 Feb. 13.

“He has trained well since the Pegasus and the plan is to go to the Muniz Memorial at the Fair Grounds Mar. 20 and then kind of see where we go from there,” said West. “The [GI] Old Forester [Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 1] was the immediate goal and Todd was wondering whether we should do something between that and the Pegasus. He bounced out of [the Pegasus] in good shape. The plan is to ship over to the Fair Grounds and it's a plan very similar to what Chad did with Bricks and Mortar (Giant's Causeway). It works out pretty good with timing and schedule like that.”

Similar to that future Horse of the Year, Colonel Liam has excelled at middle distances to this point in his career, but West is confident that the gray colt will stay further if asked to do so.

“If you go back and watch the replay of the Pegasus, he leveled out at the eighth pole and actually bumped with [stablemate] Social Paranoia (Street Boss). That kind of bumped him onto his left lead, and then once Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] got him switched back over to his right lead, he really finished with a fury and he galloped out big,” West offered. “Pedigree-wise, you wouldn't think that stretching out and going a little bit further would be that big of an issue. Physically he looks like he can get just about any distance.”

He continued, “If anyone can get a max effort out of a horse, it's Todd Pletcher, and Irad has that experience with Bricks and Mortar at the longer distances. He's a tactical rider and we have a tactical horse that seems to handle a lot of different scenarios and he always kind of shows up. I don't think distance will ever been an issue and we're hoping we have that dilemma come Breeders' Cup time on which race we should go into.”

Colonel Liam is but one of a very exciting collection of 4-year-old turf horses that includes Saratoga and GI Hollywood Derby hero Domestic Spending (GB) (Kingman {GB}), Gufo (Declaration of War), a fast-finishing third at Del Mar; Decoraded Invader (Declaration of War); and MGSW Smooth Like Strait (Midnight Lute).

“There is plenty of depth in the division, for sure. Right now, we're at the top, but that could obviously change, so we are taking nothing for granted,” he said.


WATCH: Colonel Liam storms home in the Pegasus World Cup Turf

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