2YO Maiden Special Weight ‘Picks, Plays and Pontification’ – Ellis Park, 06/10/2023

June 9, 2023

Ellis Park, Race 1 – Saturday, June 10, 2023

By 2YO EdgeMan

We now venture into this crazy, new world where the remainder of Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet will be run at Ellis Park – and this, the first rescheduled race at the Henderson, KY oval.  The purses appear to be unchanged from Churchill, as this auction event is offering up a purse of $92,000.  It is restricted to only those who sold or RNAed at a public auction for $50,000 or less.

ELP1:061023 – Five furlongs on the dirt.  16 lovely ladies filled the entry box, but four of them may have to wait for another day to run.  Ten of the 12 that have drawn into the main field are newbies having never raced before.  The other two have each run one time, so the field is certainly short on experience.  Spendthrift Farm has two stallions with runners in the main field (Free Drop Billy and Goldencents), along with another one on the AE list (Maximus Mischief).  Tapiture represents two entries and there is also one filly by Practical Joke and one from Honor Code.  Wayne Catalano, Paul McEntee and Kenny McPeek are three of the conditioners that you may be most familiar with – and add to that, Dale Romans who has one on the AE list along with a second gal from McEntee.

#1 – Naughty Miss (12/1) – This filly is a first-time starter by Spendthrift’s second-crop sire, Free Drop Billy and she was purchased as a weanling for the bargain price of $6,000.  Her dam ran nine times and finished first twice, earning $27,000 for her racing efforts.  She has five other foals of racing age and two are winners with one banking a smidgeon above the $100K mark on track with a 6 for 37 record.  Trainer Don Roberson will do the saddle placement for this gal who has worked five times at Churchill’s Training facility and her best move was back on 4/25/23 when she traveled in 48.6, breezing ½ mile (2/18).  Carlos Hernandez gets the mount.

#3 – Catty Cruise (10/1) – This probably does not come as a shocker to anyone, but this FTS filly is by first-crop sire – Catalina Cruiser – and is out of a Hennessy mare that was 2 for 12 while racing and brought home $75,000.  Additionally, her best offspring to date is a filly who banked $173K going 4/19, including a win at first asking in California at Los Al in December of her two-year-old season, posting a E-Speed fig of 86.  Today’s contestant was picked up for $37,000 as a yearling.  Thomas Vance is the trainer and he’s asked her for seven total workouts, with her first four coming down in Texas at Lone Star; her most recent three were done in Louisville at CD.  On 4/30/23, she zipped three panels in 36.03 from the gate at Lone Star, earning a bullet (1/32).  She also garnered a bullet the first move she made, although it was only 2f at LS – 24.46 (1/7).  Jockey duties will be handled by Corey Lanerie.  

#4 – Zadorsky (8/1) – Wayne Catalano (1 of 5 in these races at Churchill in the spring over the past five years) is the trainer of this unraced filly who is one of the two in this affair sired by Tapiture.  She hammered down for the maximum allowed to run in this race – $50,000 – and that was last October when she was a yearling.  Mom was unraced and this is her first foal of racing age.  Wayne has had her working here in KY – the first five came at Keeneland and the last two were over the CD strip.  Her effort on 5/9/23 at KEE was a dandy – 35.8 seconds for three furlongs breezing from the gate (1/26).  Francisco Arrieta will tickle the reins.

#8 – Kiss (3/1) – About as simple as a name can get, the morning line favorite by Army Mule was scooped up for $27,000 at the KEE November Breeding Stock Sale back in 2021.  Her dam bagged $188K in competition, going 7 for 30.  Although none of her foals have earned more than $100,000, she does boast four winners from her five that have started (excluding this gal).  Today’s filly has raced one time with trainer Juan Alvarado electing to have her make her debut on 5/13/23 in a stakes event down at Gulfstream Park where she was sent away at odds of 7/1 and ran a pretty even race, finishing sixth.  She has worked twice since her run, both at 4f down at GP, neither catch the eye.  Cristian Torres will climb aboard.

#9 – Edistrudis (8/1) – Practical Joke is the proud papa to this gal who will be making her debutante performance in today’s race.  Her mama is by Speightstown and could not find the winner’s circle in seven tries and did not earn much feed money – only $17,000.  Her only foal to race is a 3YO that’s scored five times from the 12 starts that she’s made and has netted $142K, so far.  Today’s runner sold for $42,000 as a yearling back in September at KEE.  Faustio Gutierrez has only put her through her morning paces four times, all up in Lexington at KEE – and none have been overly impressive.  Edgar Morales will be the pilot.

#14AEWee Bit O Mischief (8/1) – From an exciting Spendthrift Farm Debut Stallion – Maximus Mischief – comes this filly who is the product of a Congrats mare who was only 1 for 17 ($45,000) while a racer.  Today’s runner was a $50,000 pick up at the OBS 2YO sale back in March and only has one ½ sibling, but that 4YO has earned $160K on the track with a 2 for 8 race record.  Dale Romans has the assigned training duties and he’s put five works into her, all at CD, in an effort to prepare her for her first bit of live racing action today (hopefully).  Back on 5/15/23, she zipped 3/8th of a mile in 36.2 to earn a bullet (1/10).  If she gets into the field, Martin Garcia is listed to be in the irons.

Pick – #3 Catty Cruise – Even though she has no racing experience, I like the ‘first-crop sire angle’ with Catalina Cruiser (who does not have any winners yet from four to race, as of this writing).  I also see that she definitely has something under the hood as evidenced by her bullet work on 4/30/23 at Lone Star.  Her connections could have left her in TX to make her debut down there, but the trip up to KY shows some confidence that certainly is encouraging.  She is not yet owned by an individual owner within the Game of SilksNOTE:  IF #14 – Wee Bit O Mischief is able to draw into the field, she is my pick.  Again, she would certainly qualify for the ‘first-crop sire angle’ having Maximus Mischief as her pops.  Similarly, she has proven speed with a bullet move on 5/15/23 and we like the fact that they’ve had her working in KY.  Alpha Dragon Lair is the lucky and proud owner of this filly in the Game of Silks.

It’s been quite a week with the announcement of the CD Spring Meet move to Ellis and all the unsafe air that escaped Canada and found it’s way down into the northeastern parts of the U.S. causing Belmont Park (and other tracks) to cancel at least one race card on Thursday (note – it looks like the 2YO MSW race that was canceled on 6/8/23 is being rescheduled for Sunday, 6/11/23 – so be on the lookout for my updated ‘PP&Ps’ for that one).  Hoping that things settle down and we can get this race off, along with the Belmont Stakes, also on Saturday.  Hang in there my Edgie Confidants – I appreciate you.  Just stay focused on the two-year-olds and also on your families and everything will be just fine.  

Contributing Authors

The 2YO Edge Man, Past The Wire

The 2YO EdgeMan

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