Following Sea wins Vosburgh at Belmont, Tiz the Bomb wins Castle & Key Bourbon at Keeneland, both win first graded stakes
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tiz the Bomb overcame an outside post and breaking through the starting gate early to win the $200,000 Castle & Key Bourbon S. (G2) October 10 at Keeneland.
As part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series, the Bourbon victory assured the 2-year-old Hit It Bomb as spot in the starting gate for the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
The drama started even before the race began when Tiz the Bomb, in post 12, broke through the starting gate. He was quickly caught and reloaded, then managed to break quite well and move over to the two path, in fourth, for the trip around the first turn. He held his spot down the backstretch, they actually lost some ground and was sixth coming into the stretch.
Jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. took Tiz the Bomb four-wide for clear running. He got by Red Danger to take the lead with a sixteenth to go, then held off Stolen Base to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:43.69 on the “good” turf.
“It’s not a good omen, typically, and yeah, it makes a trainer nervous when it happens, but Brian did a great job wrangling him up and keeping him under control,” winning trainer Ken McPeek said of Tiz a Bomb breaking through the starting gate.
Castle & Key Bourbon Replay
The Bourbon is Tiz the Bomb’s first graded stake win and comes just a little more than a month after he won the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile. He is now 3-0-0 in four starts and has earned $447,841 for Phoenix Thoroughbred LTD.
“I think for this horse definitely the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) is ideal,” McPeek said of the colt’s next start.
Tiz the Bomb is one of six stakes winners this year for Hit It a Bomb. The bay colt was bred by Spendthrift Farm and was the sire’s most expensive yearling of 2020 when he sold for $330,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearlings sale.
Following Sea victorious in Vosburgh S. (G2) at Belmont
Spendthrift Farm’s homebred colt Following Sea earned himself a trip to the Breeders’ Cup with a 4 ¾-length victory in the $250,000 Vosburgh S. (G2) at Belmont Park on October 9. (Janet Garaguso)
Spendthrift Farm’s homebred colt Following Sea earned himself a trip to the Breeders’ Cup with a 4 ¾-length victory in $250,000 Vosburgh S. (G2) at Belmont Park October 9.
The win marked the first stakes win for the 3-year-old colt, who finished third in both the Haskell Inv. (G1) and Allen Jerkens Memorial S. (G1) over the summer.
The Vosburgh is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge series, giving the bay colt a guaranteed spot in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), should his connections decide to run.
Following Sea had no problem making the lead in the field of four, getting the first quarter-mile in :22.59, with multiple graded stakes winner a length behind. Following Sea was allowed to relax around the turn before being asked to run by jockey Joel Rosario at the top of the stretch. He responded immediately and cleared off under a hand ride, stopping the timer in 1:09.20 on a fast main track.
“I thought he ran great,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “We just wanted to take advantage of the outside post and see how everything unfolded. He really took all the strategy out of play in the first 50 yards. He broke great, put himself right on the front and it seemed like he was in hand throughout.
“We’ll play it by ear and see (about the Breeders’ Cup). I’ll talk to the guys at Spendthrift and we’ll come up with a plan. It’s got to be in play.”
Following Sea’s dam Quick Flip–a winner of her first three starts at two, including Tampa’s Sandpiper S.–was purchased by Spendthrift Farm carrying Following Sea in utero for $230,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. Quick Flip’s 2-year-old filly Gimmick, a daughter of Into Mischief, recently placed in the $200,000 Sorority S. at Monmouth Park.
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Photo: Tiz the Bomb overcame an outside post and breaking through the starting gate early to win the $200,000 Castle & Key Bourbon S. (G2) October 10 at Keeneland. (Coady Photography)