Saturday, September 22, 2012

Monmouth Park Barn Notes for Friday, Sept. 21, 2012


The horse with the unusual name has already attracted a national following and the membership in Purple Egg’s fan club could soon be getting bigger.

The undefeated 2-year-old son of Lion Heart has passed both of his tests so far with flying colors. An eye-popping victory in a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park on August 23 by 4 ¾ lengths was followed by a 6 ¾ length triumph when he raced his next condition in a non-winners of one other than allowance race at Parx Racing on September 15.

“He’s two-for-two and we’d like to bring him along in graded stakes company next,” said Margo Flynn, the vice president of marketing and publicity at Tampa Bay Downs and one of the horse’s seven owners comprising the Goodwood Racing Partnership II. “We’re looking at the Nashua (a grade 2 at Aqueduct on November 4) at a flat mile or the Iroquois, which is a grade 3 (at Churchill Downs also at one mile).”

The Iroquois is traditionally run on the opening day of Churchill’s fall meet (October 28) and the card, which features juveniles of both genders, is billed as “The Stars of Tomorrow.” Purple Egg has so far given every indication that he belongs in that cast.

“When Paco (Lopez, who has ridden him in both races) got off him at Parx, he told us that the horse is really getting the hang of it and had improved significantly from his first race,” Flynn said. “He won by almost seven (lengths) under a hand ride”

Prior to his maiden score, trainer Jane Cibelli twice sent him to the races and twice he had to be scratched. His list of transgressions includes rearing up, dumping his rider, running off, and leading the outriders on a merry chase each time while continually eluding them. Then there was the matter of trying to savage the pony sent with him to calm him before his last false start.

“We had no choice but to geld him. The third time he went over was going to be ‘make or break’ for him and he made it,” Flynn explained. “After he was gelded his whole temperament changed. He went from being mean and nippy in the barn to being nuzzly and nice to be around.”

Purple Egg’s pre-gelded antics attracted considerable attention in the social media universe. After he fired off those two stunning performances, his legend went viral.

“People have been commenting all over the message boards,” said Flynn. “He does have a following and it’s growing.”

So are the offers to purchase Purple Egg but so far he’s staying in Cibelli’s barn.

“Hopefully, we’re going to have a really strong 3-year-old campaign with him,” said Flynn.


Only two months ago, Raging Daoust raced with a $10,000 claiming tag. On Saturday, he’ll appear on the national stage when he takes on graded stakes winners in the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-olds at Parx Racing.

“The race came up pretty salty, but I have confidence in my horse,” said Charles “Buddy” Carlesimo, Jr., who put the halter on Raging Daoust and brought him back to his barn after that win at Monmouth on June 23. “Since I claimed him, he has done nothing wrong and everything right.”

Indeed. The gelded son of Kafwain out of the Caveat mare Champagne Forever has raced three times, all at six furlongs on the dirt, all at Monmouth Park while going through his conditions and he has returned to the winner’s circle each time.

“I hoped he’d be a good claim, but I didn’t expect it to turn out like this,” said the affable trainer, who didn’t even have to win a shake to get him.

In the Gallant Bob, Raging Daoust will have to battle with multiple graded stakes winners Trinniberg and Currency Swap as those two renew the heated rivalry they’ve been engaging in this year and last. Grade 1 winner Currency Swap is trained by Monmouth-based Terri Pomay, but it is another locally-based runner who may figure prominently in the outcome of the race.

Well Spelled, winner of the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes here two starts back on July 14 for trainer Ben Perkins, Jr., is ideally suited to the distance while Trinniberg and Currency Swap have only won at 6 ½ or 7 furlongs. Moreover, if those two hook up in another of their noted speed duels, the hot pace could favor a closer like Well Spelled.

Well Spelled, a son of Grade 2 winner Spellbinder, also has the advantage of a win over the Parx surface and at the distance in an allowance race this past April.

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