OCEANPORT, N.J. – Trainer Kent Sweezey is convinced that his 2-year-old colt Power Attack will be at his best going two turns on the grass. He was also hoping to find a race at Saratoga this summer for the New York-bred son of War Dancer.
But circumstances have dictated otherwise with the promising Power Attack, who will make his third straight start in a five-furlong sprint on Saturday and will do so in the $100,000 Tyro Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park.
“He probably should not be doing what he is doing right now. He’s bred to go long on the grass,” said Sweezey. “I wish there was a stakes race for 2-year-olds going long but he seems to be doing this okay.
“I can’t wait to stretch him out though.”
Power Attack, co-owned by Sweezey and Tom Swales’ Tee N Jay Stable, has done little wrong in his first two career starts. He was second in his debut in an off-the-turf maiden special weight sprint at Belmont on June 9, then won his next start at five furlongs on the turf in another maiden special weight sprint at Belmont by 2¾-lengths on July 9.
“His first race was an open off-the-turf and even though he is bred to go two runs on the grass he was pretty forward early on,” said Sweezey. “So, I thought I’d give him a race even though it came off the turf. He ran hard and fast. He got beat by a Todd Pletcher horse (Morethanreadyeddie) but he ran well.
“I wanted to send him to Saratoga after that but there was nothing in the book for him. So, we ran at Belmont again and he just galloped on the grass. The stakes race at Monmouth made the most sense for where he is right now even though it’s short.”
Sweezey, coming off a career year that saw him win 63 races in 2021, is also still basking in in the stunning runner-up finish by Epic Bromance in the Grade 1 United Nations last Saturday. Epic Bromance chased early speed Tribhuvan most of the way before tiring slightly, but still held to be second behind Adhamo at odds of 72-1.
It was the best showing Sweezey has had in a Grade 1 race in a career that began in 2017.
“He was awesome,” Sweezey said. “He hung in there after chasing a good speed horse in Tribhuvan. At the top of the stretch, we were thinking he would be a good fourth or fifth. But he hung in there.”
Power Attack, out of the Street Hero mare Street Magic, could give Sweezey his first stakes win of the Monmouth Park meet. He also keeps a division at Gulfstream Park.
“I don’t like to push 2-year-olds, but he kept doing everything right,” said Sweezey. “When the gates would open when we first started with him, he was like a rocket ship. He has kept progressing since then,”
Trainer Doug O’Neill is expected to ship Sharp Aza Tack, a winner in his only start, East for the Tyro, which closed with 14 nominations.
Tom Lucci/Monmouth Park
Photo by Bill Denver-EQUI-PHOTO