- Trevor Denman was anticipating a taut stretch duel when Magnificience crept up on Coco Belle as they entered the turn in Sunday's Santa Paula. After all, the latter was unbeaten in two 2007 tries, and ran off by nine, earning a 102 Beyer in her last; Magnificience was coming into the Grade 3 stakes following her maiden win, as spectacular as that was. And it looked like it could be a horse race as they came into the stretch.
But after briefly floundering while trying to change leads, once Magnificience got going, she was gone, trouncing a talented filly in Coco Belle, who was beaten back to third. Trainer Bruce Headley says the best is yet to come: "She's sprinting because she's just a runner. When she starts going around two turns, you'll really see something." [BRIS]
There were reports of offers having been made for the daughter of Stormy Atlantic after her maiden win. According to the LA Times, Headley was listed as the sole owner for her debut; but on Sunday, his name was accompanied by two others and an "et al," in the Form, so perhaps he's cashed out a bit while sticking around. Magnificience earned a 109 Beyer for her effort.
Magnificience's exploits have almost made us forget about Rags to Riches, previously the most hyped sophomore filly in California. Pletcher's daughter of AP Indy worked a leisurely half mile in 51 seconds on the Cushion Track on Sunday. She hasn't raced since March 11, and will train up to the Oaks. That will be an eight week layoff, and imagine the fuss if he, or anyone else, ran a horse in the Derby after a layoff like that. But I imagine such a layoff for a major Derby contender may not be many years away.
- Lava Man did not bleed in Dubai, and, according to Doug O'Neill, will "never leave California again....It's obvious there is a link." [Daily Racing Form]
- First workout for Any Given Saturday since the TB Derby - five furlongs in 1:02.20 at Palm Meadows.
- If you don't have HRTV and weren't at a track, you weren't the only person watching the Florida Derby on a computer screen, as Haskin reports. Pletcher and owner Jim Scatuorchio were in Dubai, where their English Channel finished 12th in the Duty Free.
Huddled around one of the computers, they were able to watch the race live, but the picture froze just as the horses were heading down the stretch. So, with nothing to look at but the image of Scat Daddy frozen at the eighth pole, they listened to Gulfstream track announcer Larry Collmus' call of the finish. [Bloodhorse]- Hollywood Prevue winner Belgravia hasn't raced this year, but Patrick Biancone has been quoted as saying that he'll run in the Derby even if he gets only one prep. The $2 million son of Mr. Greeley worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 on the Keeneland Polytrack on Saturday, his third workout in the last two weeks. And I wouldn't doubt Biancone's word that he intends to run the colt in the Derby, no matter how wacky it may seem.