Regal Ransom lived up to his top billing with an easy wire job tally in the 30th running of the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on September 19th.
Under a heady ride by Richard Migliore, the Godolphin runner strolled through fractions of :24.05, :49.03, and 1:13.11. He got a mile in 1:36.95 and had plenty left in reserve to hold off the hard charging Blame in 1:49.63. The race was won between the quarter and the half when he was able to get away with two hidden furlongs in almost 25 seconds. Good horses will almost always win under those pace circumstances.
Give credit to the winner for coming off a layoff and getting the job done. Before the Super Derby, he was last seen attending the pace and finishing 8th of 19 in the Kentucky Derby on the 1st Saturday in May.
Blame did everything but win on Saturday. The late blooming son of Arch, trained by Al Stall Jr., was racing three wide on the backstretch and had no shot to catch the loose on the lead winner. He leveled off in the stretch and was clearly 2nd best. He has a graded stakes with his name on it in the near future.
Massone saved all the ground and was a clear 3rd. Soul Warrior prompted the pace and finished 4th. Red Lead, Uno Mas, and Electric Alphabet rounded out the order of finish.
The highly regarded Friesan Fire, who finished 18th in the Ky Derby and 10th in the Preakness, is back in training after injuring his leg in the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown. He may be switching barns since his current trainer Larry Jones is expected to retire at the end of this year.
Blue Grass winner General Quarters has resumed training after knee surgery sent him to the sidelines following a 9th place finish in the Preakness.
Travers runner-up Hold Me Back is a beast on synthetic ground, and he returns to preferred footing in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on September 26th.
The much anticipated rematch between 1-3 Travers finishers Summer Bird and Quality Road takes place in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 3rd at Belmont Park. Both are coming up to the race in good order, and the latter is trying to recover from a less than idea trip in the Midsummer Derby. It should be an exciting contest if both bring their A games.
Image: Stacy Edwards