2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Churchill Downs, 09/15/2023

September 14, 2023

Churchill Downs, Race 5 – Thursday, September 15, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

CD5:091523 – One mile and 1/16 on the dirt.  The boys step forward to knock heads and we’ve got nine entered (eight colts and one gelding).  Overall, the field is pretty experienced with two already having been out three times, two have battled twice and five have seen the track in the afternoon one time.  We’ve got an excellent list of trainers getting set to tighten the girth on their charges, including two from McPeek and one each from Arnold, Romans, Moquett, Asmussen, Cox and Walsh.  Additionally, we’ve got some exciting sires on the docket – two from both Quality Road and Bolt d’Oro, along with singles from Mendelssohn, Curlin and Hard Spun.  Add to that, one from the debut sire – Flameaway.  I’m anxious to watch this race – let’s peel it back…

#1 – Real Men Violin (5/2) – The Morning Line fav is a colt by Mendelssohn and he’s one of the two trained by Kenny McPeek.  His dam didn’t do much running on the racetrack, never finding the Winner’s Circle in two tries.  This guy went through the sales ring at Keeneland last September and brought $110K as a yearling (29/105).  He’s been out for live action on two occasions, his last was at SAR when he ran in a stalking position and finished second, 2+ lengths shy of Global Perspective.  He posted a 70 Equibase Speed Fig on that day.  Since that outing, he’s put in one half mile maintenance work up at the update NY oval.  Brian Hernandez, Jr. is slated to take the reins for the first time on this dude.

#4 – Mo Rhodes (12/1) – Dale Romans conditions this Quality Road colt for the Albaugh Family Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds.  His dam banked $311K by going 3 for 17 on the track, winning as a firster at Aqueduct in November of her 2YO year and she also notched a third place showing in a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 affair.  His lone race was at Ellis Park on 8/11/23 when he broke last and trailed by several lengths, before making a nice run on the turn in the six furlong event on the dirt, ultimately settling for a nice fourth place finish.  Dale has breezed him three times, all at CD since his run, where he went 4f once and 5f twice.  Martin Garcia earns the return engagement to ride.

#8 – B Wayne (5/1) – The first of two by Bolt d’Oro is trained by Brad Cox and is out of a Curlin mare that won in her second start at two (a Belmont Park Maiden Claimer), but was never again victorious in seven total starts and earned $77K.  This colt RNAed at $220K as a yearling at Keeneland September.  He has competed one time – back on 8/13/23 at ELP – and that showing was quite disappointing, as he went off at basically odds of even money.  Cox kept him in Henderson, KY for three breezes after his race – two at a half mile and his most recent was 5/8th of a mile.  Florent will be in the saddle again.

#9 – Omex (3/1) – One of the two seasoned veterans (three prior starts – all at Ellis Park), this colt is the other Bolt d’Oro in the field and his broodmare sire is Scat Daddy.  Mama was 3 for 9 and earned $45,000 with some races here in the states and some over the pond.  She did win at two over in England.  Two races back, this colt came running to finish as the runner up only one length back and his last start was a $150,000 stakes race where he checked in fourth of nine.  In the sales ring, this guy demanded $225K as a yearling at KEE Sept (17/60).  Cox moved this colt to CD after his last race and has put in three, half mile works – his last on 9/9/23 was completed in 48.4 seconds (3/81).  Tyler rode this fella in his first race and reunites with him today.  

Pick – #4 Mo Rhodes – I like the precociousness that his mom showed by winning her first out at two and she was a solid race mare.  Also, you gotta like the ownership group and Romans knows how to get these babies ready, especially at CD.  Lastly, I like his last race for two reasons – he came out of the gate slow and trailed miserably, but made a big move on the turn to finish fourth and actually went to the front on the gallop out.  Additionally, the third place finisher in that race (Palm Tree) came back as the victor at Kentucky Downs last week and the runner up (E J Won The Cup) came back with a runner up finish last week at DMR while posting an 88 EBSF.  Mo Rhodes is still in the pool at the Game of Silks.

More action coming our way over the weekend at both Churchill and Belmont at the Big A, so stay close to this great website for more of this insightful information on these wonderful 2YOs!  

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

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