Snapper Sinclair in Tenacious Stakes

Kentucky horsemen dominate Fair Grounds media notes:


BLOOM’S CONFIDENCE IN SNAPPER SINCLAIR HAS NOT WAVERED

Best known for his narrow defeat earlier this year in the Grade II Risen Star at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Tenacious Stakes contender Snapper Sinclair has had his ups and downs during a nine-race career, but owner Jeff Bloom believes the 3-year-old son of City Zip can make some noise in the handicap division moving forward.

“He’s a young horse that’s done a number of different things,” Bloom said. “For now, were honing in on his area of expertise. I think this distance (one mile and 70 yards) is probably going to be a real good fit but I don’t think he’s limited to that distance. I do believe he’s going to be very competitive in the older handicap division.”

Earlier in the year, Bloom had Kentucky Derby dreams for the Steve Asmussen trainee. A very competitive third at odds of 28-1 in the Grade III Lecomte, he set a slow pace in the Risen Star, only to be nosed out for the win by Bravazo.

“To this day was one of my toughest beats,” Bloom said. “Watching the race, it looked like we got the head bob and when you look at the photo, it’s hard to decipher who won the race. At the same time it was nice to know that we had a good horse on our hands. As things turned out, Bravazo was one of the stronger competitors in the division and to be so close to victory in that race meant a lot.”

Snapper Sinclair’s only two victories came sprinting on turf as a 2-year-olds. He broke his maiden at Saratoga over eventual two-time stakes winner Gidu (Ire.) and followed up by winning the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile Stakes at Kentucky Downs. 

“You can make the argument that his best races are on the main track,” Bloom said. “He’s really less than a whisker away from beating Bravazo on his home track at the Fair Grounds. He always has shown to be such a versatile, gutsy horse and indicated that whether he’s on turf or dirt won’t be much of an issue. Certainly, he’s been training real well since his last start so this should be an ideal spot. The distance should be right up his alley.”

Following a disappointing fifth in the Grade II Louisiana Derby, Snapper Sinclair was given some time off. He returned to finish a non-threatening eighth in a second-level turf sprint allowance at Keeneland on October 17, but bounced back with a solid second routing on dirt at the same class level four weeks later at Churchill behind next out winner Lone Rock.

“The race at Keeneland was too short for him and he had just returned off of a layoff,” Bloom said. “It was not an ideal scenario for him, but he got a race under his belt. This late in the year you would expect 3-year-olds have caught up with the older horses. His last start was indicative of his determination that he’s shown us.”

Reports on Snapper Sinclair since his return to Fair Grounds have been favorable.

“Steve has been very pleased with him,” Bloom said of the Hall of Fame conditioner. “One thing we know for sure is that he’s happy at Fair Grounds and obviously runs real well (over this dirt) surface. Steve is very optimistic about how he’s coming into the race (Tenacious) and what lays ahead for him.”

Bloom has an affinity for Snapper Sinclair’s late sire City Zip, who proved to be quite the versatile stallion.

“I’m such a big fan of City Zip,” Bloom said. “We campaigned Majestic City who now stands in New York and he was the same way whether you run him short or long. The way it plays out, some of his best horses have looked like they had run all day. City Zip almost more than others in his display in versatility as a stallion. He produced good quality versatile horses.”

Bloom will also be represented by a first time starter in the penultimate race on Santa Super Saturday with Comedian, a 2-year-old son of Into Mischief who was purchased for $75,000 from last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale and is also trained by Asmuseen.

“He’s a colt that definitely acts like he has a lot of talent so you’re always anxious to get these young ones started,” Bloom said. “He’s also one that all along the thinking was that he’s probably going to get better when stretching out but he also shows some nice early kick as well.”

TAKE THESE CHAINS SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN IN BLUSHING K.D.

Off 17 months, John Gunther and Eurowest Bloodstock’s Take These Chains (Ire.) showed no signs of rust in a romping return win over the Churchill Downs turf course, and the connections are hopeful she can handle the class hike in Saturday’s $75,000 Blushing K. D. Stakes at Fair Grounds.

A bit keen while on the lead in the race’s early stages of that (November 11) assignment, 5-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock (Aus.) would eventually win the one mile race over a “good” turf by three-lengths while under wraps for trainer Brad Cox. 

“She’s aggressive when training,” Cox said. “We haven’t had her that long. We got her about a month prior to her last race. She has settled in well and has been working well. She has a real nice pedigree so we’re looking to get some black type with her.”

Take These Chains’ last effort was the first time she has been on the lead. In her other three victories she came from off the pace.

“We’ll just let (jockey) Florent (Geroux) determine where she’ll be,” Cox said. “The ideal spot is to sit off of a few (lengths) and get good trip but if she’s on the lead she showed she can win doing that last time. Last time out there was no pace and she found herself on the lead.”

Take These Chains is out of the Chester House broodmare Take the Ribbon, who was a graded stakes winner and Grade I placed. She comes from the same family as two-time Grade I winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Good Magic.

Cox also is represented in the Blushing K. D. by Grade II winner Beau Recall (Ire.) who will be making her debut for the trainer.

Cox has Pioneer Spirit cross-entered in the Tenacious Stakes and Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes but stated that he is leaning towards running in the Tenacious for the 5-year-old son of Malibu Moon.

Also on the Santa Super Saturday card, Cox will send out three young horses for their career debuts, including Gainesway Farm home-bredCornacchia

“He’s been training really well,” Cox said of the 2-year-old son of Tapit out of two-time graded stakes winner Great Hot (Brz.). “He had a nice gate drill at Churchill on the third. We’re looking forward to getting him started. He probably wants to go further than six furlongs and acts like he has some speed so we’re excited to get him going.”

CALHOUN POINTS COWGIRLS LIKE US TO SILVERBULLETDAY STAKES

Following a victory in Sunday’s Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park, trainer Bret Calhoun will likely point Cowgirls Like Us to the $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes on January 19. 

Owned by Douglas Scharbauer, the 2-year-old daughter of My Golden Song raced outside of the state of Texas for the first time in the Oklahoma Stakes event, which she won by 3¼ lengths. She entered the race off of a pair of stakes victories over the main track at Retama Park.  

“We shipped her in last night and if everything goes well between now and the Silverbulletday I think we’re going to give her a try there,” Calhoun said. “I’m very happy with the race. She was coming off of a three and a half month layoff and she ran extremely well. Obviously the water will be a little deeper here since it’s a tougher race but she steps up every time. The last three races she’s gotten better and better and that’s all you can hope for. She looks like she’s on the improve.”

Cowgirls Like Us is out of the multiple stakes-placed Gold Legend broodmare Nothinbettertodo who also was campaigned by Calhoun.

The Silverbulletday Stakes is the first of three local preps on Churchill Downs’ Road To The Kentucky Oaks and rewards the Top 4 finishers based off of a scale of 10-4-2-1.

LADY T N T SHORTENS UP TO ONE TURN IN LETELLIER MEMORIAL

After trying Lady T N T around two turns against Grade I company in the Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland, trainer Joe Sharp will cut the 2-year-old daughter of Justin Phillip back to one turn in the $75,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes.

“We tried stretching her out in the Alcibiades,” Sharp said. “Obviously that’s the time of year you have to try it out but we kind of knew in our hearts that she was a sprinter. We gave her a little freshening and she’s been working lights out down here so we’re getting her back to her comfort zone which is around one turn.”

Owned by Scott and Evan Dilworth, Lady T N T won two of her four career starts in wire-to-wire fashion by a combined dozen lengths, which took place in a maiden special weight at Saratoga and a first level allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. She is out of the two-time Grade I placed Salt Lake broodmare High Heeled Hope who also produced graded stakes winner Sweet Hope.

Earlier on the program, Sharp will debut Dreams Are Made, a well-bred 2-year-old daughter of Tapit who was a $500,000 purchase from Eaton Sales’ consignment barn at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“(Owner) Breeze Easy sent her to us this fall and she’s been working real impressively,” Sharp said. “She seems real talented and real precocious so we’re excited to get her going.”

Dreams Are Made is out of the Unbridled’s Song broodmare Siren Serenade who is a half to Grade I winner George Vancouver and Grade II winner Saarland. All are out of the four-time Grade I winning broodmare Versailles Treaty.

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Jennie Rees

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