The top TFUS speed figure (121) of the weekend went to La Verdad ($6), Linda Rice’s spectacular NY-bred 4yo filly, who easily won the G2 Distaff Handicap at the Big A. Since finishing 4th in her career debut, this daughter of Yes It’s True has reeled off seven wins in her next eight starts, all at six furlongs. Her only defeat came when she failed to last a seventh panel in the G2 Fritchie at Laurel. This was her first graded stakes win, and likely not her last as long as she stays at six furlongs. Here’s the result chart:
That was surely a fast pace that she set, and her raw final time figure of 114 was therefore bumped up to 121. La Verdad is the second foal out of Noble Fire, a NY-bred stakes-placed Hook and Ladder mare. Her first foal, N.F.’s Destiny (Cuvee) has also run extremely fast, earning a 124 amongst seven triple digit figures that he ran last year. However, he has disappointed in his two starts in 2014, including a 7th place finish, at 5-2, in the preceding race at Aqueduct on Saturday.
– Imperative ($55) got a figure of 116 for upsetting Game on Dude in the Charles Town Classic. This 4yo son of Bernardini did hint at improvement upon being switched to the dirt, and adding blinkers, when he ran second in the G2 San Antonio at the identical odds of 26-1 in February. But it was surely hard to make a case for him here based on his running line in the Big Cap, when he finished some 18 lengths behind Game on Dude.
Of course, Imperative didn’t have Moreno in that last race to help him out. Game on Dude is now 0-for-2 in races in which that speedster has been entered, and I imagine that Bob Baffert would prefer not to see him anymore. Moreno hassled him early on in the BC Classic last fall; and here, he pushed Game on Dude to run his first two quarters in 23.47 and 23.38. Not sure how many races that Moreno will win this year as long as he continues to race at the top levels of the game. But he will continue to be a pain in the rear of any horse who thrives by racing on the lead. Moreno epitomizes what we mean when we label a horse as being a ‘Leader.’ He wouldn’t have it any other way.
Once Moreno was done, Long River picked up where he left off in a classic tag-team assault on the 3-5 favorite. Game on Dude never had a breather, and held second to the winner, who observed the action close behind with the perfectest of perfect trips, purely on his class.
So, I guess that was a pretty good claim. Trainer George Papaprodromou took Imperative for $50,000 for owner KM Racing Enterprise, and they had already made that back with the second in the San Antonio before earning it 20 times over with the $1 million share of this purse. Not bad. Imperative is out of a stakes winning Caller ID mare; and he’s a half-brother to Battle Won, who won or placed in graded stakes on all three surfaces.