Looking to make it three wins in as many appearances in his budding career, WinStar Farm's Speightster delivered yet another strong performance to cement his status as one to watch in the 3-year-old division over the coming summer months.
Let go at debut odds of better than 5-1 over the extended seven-furlong trip at Keeneland Apr. 17, Speightster attended wicked-fast fractions, but despite that taxing pace, he blasted away from his seven other rivals to score by seven lengths en route to earning TDN Rising Star status. Given plenty of time to recover from that effort, the homebred–a close relative of fellow Rising Star West Coast Swing (Gone West)–took the next logical step in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance on the second race of the Belmont S. undercard and made light work of that field as well, winning off by 3 1/2 lengths to earn this first crack at graded-stakes company.
Drawn one from the outside in gate six, Speightster jumped well for Jose Lezcano and was well-held in second as longshot pacesetter Hollywood Angel (Circular Quay) set honest fractions of :22.83 and :46.29. Speighster traveled well on the turn and looked to have Hollywood Angel at his mercy turning for home. He collared that one at the quarter-mile marker and looked on his way to an easy victory, but Texas Red, having his first run since a second in the GII San Vicente S. Feb. 1, was finding his best stride on the turn and loomed dangerous four wide into the stretch. He took aim on Speightster inside the final eighth of a mile, but the recency of the WinStar runner and Texas Red's lack thereof won out on the day. Tommy Macho (Macho Uno) was a well-beaten third.
“We identified him as a nice 2-year-old last year, and then we had to give him time because he had bucked his shins,” commented trainer Bill Mott, winning this race for the first time. “We sent him home for a good while and finally got him back to the races, and he's been perfect. He's 3-for-3 and he's done it the right way every time. If we're looking at Saratoga, we're thinking [Grade 1] King's Bishop [August 29] as a possibility. That would be something we'd sure consider right now. The sky's the limit.”
Though they clearly would have preferred a win, trainer Keith Desormeaux was not overly downtrodden with Texas Red's performance.
“I thought [his trip] was awesome. That's a helluva time :35 flat [1:35 mile], you could see him running strong through the wire and he's bred for a mile and quarter so it's beautiful,” the conditioner stated. “A beautiful step to our ultimate goal which is the [GI] Travers S. [Aug. 29, Saratoga Race Course].”
Saturday, Belmont Park
DWYER S.-GIII, $500,000, BEL, 7-4, 3yo, 1m, 1:35.13, ft.
1–#@SPEIGHTSTER, 117, c, 3, by Speightstown
1st Dam: Dance Swiftly, by Danzig
2nd Dam: Classy 'n Smart, by Smarten
3rd Dam: No Class, by Nodouble
O/B-WinStar Farm LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Jose
Lezcano. $275,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0,
$363,800. *1/2 to Paiota Falls (Kris S.), SW,
$177,354; and West Coast Swing (Gone West), SW
& GSP, $175,827. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for
the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Texas Red, 123, c, 3, Afleet Alex–Ramatuelle (Chi),
by Jeune Homme. ($17,000 Ylg '13 KEESEP).
O-Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmar, Lee Michaels,
J. Keith Desormeaux et al.; B-Stonestreet
Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-J. Keith
3–Tommy Macho, 117, c, 3, Macho Uno–Starstream,
by Awesome Again. ($25,000 Ylg '13 FTKOCT).
O-Paul P. Pompa, Jr. & All American Horses LLC;
B-John Liviakis (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $60,000.
Margins: 2HF, 2HF, 1. Odds: 2.25, 1.90, 3.50.
Also Ran: Smart Transition, Blofeld, Hollywood Angel, Bridget's Big Luvy.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, or the TJCIS PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.