Diamonds in the Rough: August 4, 2015

Diamonds in the Rough: August 4, 2015

Get ready, folks! There was a ton of top-notch 2yo racing action at Saratoga and Del Mar over the weekend, and we’ve got a lot to recap!

JULY 31st

Del Mar Race 4: Maiden Special Weight for California-bred Fillies
6 furlongs on dirt

In a race that saw relatively little change in the running positions, Yodelsong made the biggest run to rally from fourth to first in the final two furlongs. A daughter of Thorn Song trained by Mike Harrington, Yodelsong was never far back through fractions of :22.93 and :46.83, then finished strongly under urging from jockey Rafael Bejarano to seize command in the homestretch and triumph by 6 1/2 lengths in the time of 1:12.26 seconds. Some Caan Job dueled with Tribal Headdress for the early lead and beat that rival to the wire by 2 1/4 lengths to finish second, while Mc Hottie ran an even race to finish fourth.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Yodelsong’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Yodelsong’s maiden win
Link to Yodelsong’s pedigree

Del Mar Race 7: California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes (for California-breds)
5 1/2 furlongs on dirt

The Sam Scolamieri-trained Obey wasted little time grabbing the lead through an opening quarter-mile in :21.74 and maintained her advantage all the way to the wire, clocking the half-mile in :45.69 before finishing three-quarters of a length in front at the end of the race. The daughter of Desert Code stopped the clock in 1:04.59. Later My Love, a 41-1 shot, tracked the pace in second and just missed winning, while Just Google Me put in an eye-catching late run to finish third despite being carried out in the homestretch when My Palmilla took a bad step and was pulled up. Fortunately, My Palmilla was uninjured.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of the CTBA Stakes
Link to the replay of the CTBA Stakes
Link to Obey’s pedigree

AUGUST 1st

Saratoga Race 2: Maiden Special Weight
6 furlongs on dirt

He ran a bit greenly, but Sticksstatelydude stamped himself as a very promising colt with an impressive late-running victory. Coming off a runner-up effort at Churchill Downs, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained son of First Dude settled about three to four lengths off the lead through fractions of :22.23 and :45.66, then rallied in the homestretch while drifting around to take command of the lead and draw off to win by two lengths in the time of 1:11.39. Ready Dancer raced in second early on and maintained that position to the wire, while Request Nitro set the pace before tiring in the final furlong to finish another half-length back in third.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Sticksstatelydude’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Sticksstatelydude’s maiden win
Link to Sticksstatelydude’s pedigree

Del Mar Race 5: Maiden Special Weight for California-breds
5 1/2 furlongs on dirt

The Steven Miyadi-trained Bully Pulpit went off at 23-1, but that didn’t stop the gelded son of Lucky Pulpit from pulling off an upset victory. After dueling through fractions of :22.59 and :46.87, Bully Pulpit battled on gamely in the homestretch to hold off the late-running Look Me in the Eye to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:05.77 seconds. Look Me in the Eye, the favorite in a field of ten, rallied from fifth to fall just short of winning, while Tengas Ransom tracked the pace before giving way slightly to finish third.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Bully Pulpit’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Bully Pulpit’s maiden win
Link to Bully Pulpit’s pedigree

Del Mar Race 7: Maiden Special Weight for Fillies
5 1/2 furlongs on dirt

One Last Shot, a daughter of Any Given Saturday trained by Bob Baffert, was a bit overlooked at 5-1 but still scored an impressive victory. With Martin Garcia in the saddle, the filly rated a length behind an opening quarter-mile in :22.26, then moved up strongly to take command through a half-mile in :45.84 and drew off from there to win by 3 1/2 lengths in the time of 1:04.39. Oh Great Idea chased One Last Shot in third before finishing well to grab second by 1 3/4 lengths over pace-setting Seaside Glory, who tired in the final furlong but still held third decisively.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of One Last Shot’s maiden win
Link to the replay of One Last Shot’s maiden win
Link to One Last Shot’s pedigree

AUGUST 2nd

Saratoga Race 1: Maiden Special Weight for New York-breds
5 1/2 furlongs on turf

Christophe Clement had the heavy favorite in Too Discreet, a son of Discreet Cat, and the gray colt lived up to expectations with a sharp performance. With Joel Rosario in the saddle, Too Discreet showed excellent speed while setting fractions of :21.84 and :45.41 and kicked on well in the homestretch under a hand ride to run the final three-sixteenths in :17.65 and win by 2 1/2 lengths. The final time was 1:03.06. Heated Verdict tracked the pace throughout and stayed on while to finish second, while Sax Change rallied well after a troubled start to finish third, beaten four lengths by Too Discreet.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Too Discreet’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Too Discreet’s maiden win
Link to Too Discreet’s pedigree

Saratoga Race 2: Maiden Special Weight for Fillies
6 furlongs on dirt

All of the pre-race attention was focused on Rachel’s Valentina, the second foal out of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, and the Todd Pletcher-trained filly lived up to expectations with a very impressive victory. After breaking slowly and racing very wide on the turn, Rachel’s Valentina put in a determined rally in the homestretch to get up and win by two lengths in the sharp time of 1:10.39. Off of that performance, I would say she looks like one of the early favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies! Awesome Dame set fractions of :22.25 and :45.75 before tiring slightly to finish second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Big World, who rallied from fifth at the quarter pole to finish third.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Rachel’s Valentina’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Rachel’s Valentina’s maiden win
Link to Rachel’s Valentina’s pedigree

Saratoga Race 6: Maiden Special Weight
5 1/2 furlongs on turf

Don’t Be So Salty, a gelding by Tiz Wonderful trained by Adam Rice, was sent off at 9-1 but received an excellent ground-saving ride from Taylor Rice to pull off the upset. After rating 3 1/2 lengths behind fast fractions of :21.43 and :44.59, Don’t Be So Salty was guided to the outside in the homestretch and unleashed a sharp late run to win by a length in the time of 1:02.73, a slightly faster time than Too Discreet ran earlier on the card. Ian Smith, a Todd Pletcher-trained runner with John Velazquez in the saddle, tracked the fast pace before finishing second by three-quarters of a length over the late-running War Order.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Don’t Be So Salty’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Don’t Be So Salty’s maiden win
Link to Don’t Be So Salty’s pedigree

Del Mar Race 7: Maiden Special Weight
5 1/2 furlongs on dirt

Blameitonthelaw gave notice that he could be among the best 2yos on the West Coast when he scored a convincing victory in this 5 1/2-furlong sprint. With Tyler Baze in the saddle for trainer John Sadler, the son of Blame tracked the pace in third through fractions of :21.91 and :46.30 before accelerating strongly to take command at the eighth pole and draw off to win by 4 1/4 lengths in the time of 1:04.40 seconds. According to the DRF.com’s list of top Beyer speed figures, Blameitonthelaw received a Beyer of 88, one of the best of the year thus far by any 2yo colt or gelding. Semper Fortis, trained by Doug O’Neill, set the pace and proved second best by the huge margin of 14 lengths over South Detroit, who rallied from last after a slow start to finish third.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Blameitonthelaw’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Blameitonthelaw’s maiden win
Link to Blameitonthelaw’s pedigree

AUGUST 3rd

Saratoga Race 3: Maiden Special Weight for New York-bred Fillies
5 1/2 furlongs on turf

Rudy Rodriguez’s Celestial Sighting, a son of Eskendereya, was reserved nine lengths off the pace through an opening quarter-mile in :21.42, but rallied strongly through a half-mile in :44.90 to get up and win by a length under a hand ride from Irad Ortiz, Jr. The final time was 1:03.32. Somerset Sandy, four lengths off the lead after the first three furlongs, rallied to take the lead in the homestretch before getting passed late in the race by Celestial Sighting. Miss Kew, eleven lengths behind after the first three furlongs, put in a strong late run to finish third by 2 1/2 lengths. You Look Neigh, a Wesley Ward-trained runner that went off at 20-1, got off to a poor start and was eighteen lengths back early on before rallying mildly to finish seventh, beaten 10 3/4 lengths. She could be one to watch in the future, especially with a better start.

Link to the Equibase.com chart of Celestial Sighting’s maiden win
Link to the replay of Celestial Sighting’s maiden win
Link to Celestial Sighting’s pedigree

Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin’s quest to become North America’s richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the Bloodhorse.com blog Unlocking Winners.

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