FLORENCE, Ky., Mar. 23, 2011 – With the draw for the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes scheduled for this evening, the field continues to hold steady at a dozen for the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep at Turfway Park this Saturday..
Purse too tempting for Brown to pass up
By his own admission, trainer Chad Brown has not always been certain of the best path for his Lemon Drop Kid three-year-old Beachcombing. Allowance races didn’t fill. Stakes races wound up with unsatisfactory course conditions. But Brown likes the potential offered by the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes and its generous $500,000 purse.
Beachcombing has run only three times, the most recent effort a neck loss to Data Link in an entry-level grass allowance at Gulfstream on January 23. But Data Link came right back to win his next start against tougher allowance company.
“Data Link is a nice horse,” said Brown. “Beachcombing was very game against him, and Data Link’s next performance made our race against him legitimate for sure.”
Beachcombing has had at least seven weeks between each of his starts, but Brown says the breaks have been coincidental.
“That’s due to circumstances not having to do with the horse,” said Brown. “I just haven’t always been able to decide what we want to do with him. I had wanted to run him in the Palm Beach Stakes (March 12 at Gulfstream Park), but the turf that day was too firm for my liking so I scratched him. That’s when we started taking a serious look at the Spiral.”
Beachcombing will ship via plane from Florida to Turfway Park on Thursday. On Saturday, Brown will be present to saddle Beachcombing and to give a leg up to Leandro Gonçalves. Now one of the top riders at Tampa Bay Downs, Gonçalves was the leading rider at Turfway in the 2009 Fall Meet
Connections taking a shot with Rescind the Trade
Rescind the Trade’s fifth-place finish in Aqueduct’s February 5 Whirlaway Stakes was not what the colt’s trainer Rick Violette had in mind. However, the New York-based trainer still holds out hope that his son of Put it Back can redeem himself following that less than stellar effort over a muddy, sealed racing surface.
“We’re kind of still trying to find a home for this horse,” said Violette. “We were very disappointed in the Whirlaway, which was run over an awful race track. But he breezed very well at the OBS (Ocala Breeders’ Sales) April sale over the synthetic surface there. So he has shown some affinity for synthetics, and the purse at Turfway is certainly not chump change. The horse is doing good, and we expect an improved effort.”
Jose Valdivia, Jr. will be in the irons Saturday aboard Rescind the Trade, who breezed four furlongs in :49.26 Sunday at Belmont Park. Rescind the Trade traveled the same distance in :48.08 in a March 15 workout, also at Belmont.
“This past Sunday’s work was more of a maintenance move, where we just put him through his ABCs,” said Violette. “He was very impressive in the work before that when we set him down.”
Thirtyfirststreet will represent SoCal
Handicappers analyzing the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes field would be ill-advised to overlook a horse exiting a Grade 2 stakes event at Santa Anita. Such is the case with Thirtyfirststreet, who finished a plenty-respectable fourth behind Anthony’s Cross in the February 12 Robert B. Lewis Stakes. The California-bred son of Good Journey opened his career with a second and a first against Cal-bred competition last year over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track surface. Then he went on to win the California Breeders Championships on December 26 at Santa Anita.
When asked why he is bringing his horse cross-country to the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes, trainer and co-breeders Doug O’Neill said, “He ran well on synthetics and has a good style for those surfaces. I just thought a Polytrack stakes might come up a little lighter than a comparable dirt race.”
Thirtyfirststreet will fly to Kentucky on Tuesday for his Saturday engagement. At Turfway, Thirtyfirststreet will be under the supervision of O’Neill assistant Sabas Rivera. The Parx Racing-based Kendrick Carmouche, who has ridden several horses for O’Neill at that suburban Philadelphia racetrack, will have the Spiral mount.