Friday, February 20, 2009
DISTANCE MAY BE MISSING FROM BOURBON MAID’S SUCCESS FORMULA
In 10 career starts, Sagamore Farm’s Bourbon Maid has tried seven jockeys, six racetracks, five different surfaces (fast, muddy, sloppy, good and even turf) and four distances.
And it still hasn’t added up to a formula for success.
Sunday afternoon, in the 37th renewal of the $65,000-added Rare Treat, the 4-year-old daughter of Menifee will make her first start at nine furlongs on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track, and that could well be the change that turns the trick.
Bourbon Maid has only one victory in those 10 lifetime starts, but she has five seconds and a pair of third-place finishes. In her last five starts, she has four seconds and a third by margins of a nose, a half-length, a neck, two and a half lengths and three-quarters of a length.
“She has been her own worst enemy,” said trainer Richard Violette Jr. “Last time, she put Rosie (Napravnik, jockey) in a bad spot and then closed like a freight train.”
Violette has given Bourbon Maid time to figure things out. Following a horrendous try at a mile and a quarter on the turf, Bourbon Maid did not race for four months.
“That grass race was just awful, and she came back sour from that,” Violette said. “She’s come back in the fall and ran hard at every track she went to, but still found a way to get beat.”
For the Rare Treat, Violette will go with jockey Richard Migliore.
“Richie is smart and he’s strong, and maybe that’s what she needs,” Violette said. “This looks like a good spot to try to get her some black type, and the nine furlongs just might make a difference. At least, that’s what we’re hoping.”
Six of the seven fillies entered here will carry 119 pounds, while Chevalier Stable’s Weathered will carry 121 pounds. Weathered is also making her first start at nine furlongs, but fans will immediately take note of her record versus Bourbon Maid’s.
The 4-year-old Weathered, by Key Contender, is 7-2-2 from 13 lifetime starts.
“My horses haven’t been running that well,” said trainer Karl Grusmark, shortly before saddling favored Captivating Cathy, who went on to win Thursday’s third race at Aqueduct. “We could sure use Weathered to come through for us. They’ll probably make her the favorite and she should run well in there. Last year, she won a stakes at Delaware (Susan’s Girl) at a mile and a sixteenth. Then, we brought her back for the Delaware Oaks and she didn’t run as well.
“But she’s been training well, and this looks like a good spot to try a mile and an eighth.”
Mike Luzzi has the mount on Weathered, who will break from post 6 with Bourbon Miss on her outside.
Supplemented to this race is Team Stallion Racing Corporation’s Point Me to It, who will be making her season bow. The 6-year-old Precise End mare will also be making the 44th start of her career.
Since claiming Point Me to It at Belmont last fall, trainer Gary Contessa has gotten a fourth and two close seconds with her. She was second in her most recent start here on November 30 at nine furlongs in the slop.
Rap Tale, Aristo, Successful Sarah and Vladamira complete the field.
The field for Saturday’s 37th running of the Rare Treat:
PP. HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WGT
1. Rap Tale Bruce Brown Ramon Dominguez 119
2. Aristo Tom Bush Sheldon Russell 119
3. Successful Sarah John Terranova Eddie Castro 119
4. Vladamira Rodrigo Ubillo Maylan Studart 119
5. Point Me to It Gary Contessa Pablo Morales 119
6. Weathered Karl Grusmark Mike Luzzi 121
7. Bourbon Maid Richard Violette Jr. Richard Migliore 119
Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.