Pletcher had two first-timers in the sixth at Gulfstream on Sunday, a maiden special affair for three-year old fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs. In Tune was listed at 4-1 in the morning line, and Love You Loads was 5-1. As the former had the services of Javier Castellano, the barn’s go-to guy in the absence of the injured John Velazquez, one might have expected In Tune to take more money.
But perhaps not to this extent: In Tune went off at 4-5 – as the proverbial “fastest horse in the world” – while Love You Loads was summarily dismissed at 13-1. One never knows what’s in store once the betting pools open! Little surprise then that In Tune glided up to the lead not long after the start, and got home under nothing more than strong hand urging by the rider. In Tune ($3.80) earned a TFUS speed figure of 94 (the same number earned by Constitution, the Toddster’s first-out winner on Saturday). In Tune is by Unbridled’s Song out of an Affirmed dam; and she’s a full sister to Affirmatif, who made some noise on turf for the trainer a few years ago. This is the distaff family of the Belmont/Travers/JCGC winner Summer Bird, as well as the prolific sire Tapit (they have the same second dam).
Funny thing is that Love You Loads ran pretty fantastic as well. Four wide on the turn (covering an additional 2o feet according to Trakus), she closed gamely to finish third, just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Love You Loads is by Giants Causeway out of the Grade 1 winner, and successful broodmare, Love Lock.
- Revolutionary earned a TFUS speed figure of 105 for his comeback win at Gulfstream on Saturday, though runner-up Falling Sky, who set lively splits of 23 2/5 and 22 4/5 to the half, got a better figure, at 106.
- We mentioned Graham Motion’s maiden turf entrant In His Kiss yesterday; and though he didn’t get the job done, the barn ran a close second and third in the 7th with Iffraaj Pink and Auntie Martha. So definitely a trainer who’s going well and worth keeping an eye on at this time.
Another hot barn at Gulfstream is that of local trainer Antonio Sano. He has three winners and two seconds from his last five starters, including Drover Road, who shared the top prize in a most unusual dead heat in the 9th race on Sunday. Not often you see the rank outsider in the field, which Drover Road was, at 53-1, finish on even terms with the race favorite, who was Medal Count (2-1). It was the favorite who had to stage a desperate rally to get the share, and he earned a better TFUS speed figure (72 to 71) for the effort.
Back here in the cold weather at Aqueduct, a great stretch drive in the Ruthless Stakes, for which NYRA managed to scrape up five three-year old fillies after it failed to fill for Saturday. Mamdooha and Vero Amore left the 4-5 favorite Summertime Friend for the summertime at the top of the stretch and battled it out to the finish. Mamdooha ($6.10) got the bob for Kiaran McLaughlin, though the valiant runner-up earned a higher TFUS speed figure (77 to 76). That’s the third win in a row for this daughter of the Cigar Mile winner Daaher. Out of a dam by Rahy, Mamdooha has tons of grass influence in her pedigree – including the champion, and 2007 BC F&M Turf winner Lahudood – so it will be interesting to see where this talented Shadwell homebred ends up.