- I wouldn't get too put off by the final time of 1:52.48 in Saturday's Remsen, which was .87 seconds slower than the fillies in the Demoiselle. The boys set a dawdling pace which was a good second slower than their filly counterparts at each of the first three quarter marks; and there's a lot to be excited about the performances of each of the first two finishers. Hard to say which was more impressive, but I'd have to say that Atoned, the runner-up, overcame more misfortune than did the winner Court Vision, for trainer Bill Mott. Atoned clipped heels and stumbled very badly on the backstretch; it's a wonder he didn't go down. The Pletcher-trainee was then three wide around the entire turn, and swept to the lead.
Meanwhile, Court Vision was saving ground, but was behind a wall of horses. Eibar Coa swung him out, bumping Big Truck and forcing him into a tight spot from which he had to take up. Then he bumped with Trust N Dustan, and continued to bear out in front of that one as he bore down on Atoned. According to Coa though, it was all in self defense.
“He fought back and pushed them out because they were trying to push him in. To overcome that, you saw the way he kicked. He was just much the best.” [Bloodhorse]The two battled gamely to the finish, with Court Vision just getting up. And despite that slow final time, they came home in 12.63 seconds.
I mentioned Court Vision's impressive pedigree in this post. Atoned is from the first crop of Repent (Louis Quartorze), the Louisiana Derby winner who stands in Florida for $5,000. He's the only stakes winner for the stallion thus far, having won an overnight at Monmouth. But Repent is actually doing pretty well, with 14 winners overall, and a spot at #13 on the first-year sire list. Atoned is out of an Icecapade mare, and has the Rasmussen Factor, being inbred 5x3 to Shenanigans, the dam of Ruffian.
Mott swept the Saturday juvenile stakes, as Mushka came from dead last to sweep four wide around the field on the turn - literally, on the turn; she was in front by the time they turned for home - and go on to win the Demoiselle easily by 4 1/2. Here's another graded winner for Empire Maker, who has started to come on with his first crop as the year wears on. He still only has seven winners, from 22 starters; but Mushka joins Country Star to give him two graded winners, and he's up to number 10 on the first-year sire list (by earnings). Those two fillies debuted in the same race, which I had previewed in this post. At that time, just a couple of months ago, just four of Empire Maker's foals had even started, and only one had won.