Nevada Litfin talks about Sunday’s win and what might be to come.
It’s SO much more fun to post after a win, but this has to happen as well. You can’t win every race and our girl ran an odd one last night. The instructions were to sit off the early speed – and we had the 1 on the inside that we figured would go – and then get first run on them to the finish.
Belle decided that she didn’t like those instructions and pulled Quincy Hamilton to the lead. He tried to relax her and rate her speed but she was pressured on the outside and she decided to call it a day.
Interesting thing about that performance is that it flew in the face of everything we know about her. We know she’s a fighter and has a lot of heart and she really showed neither last night.
Positives: she came out of the race well last night and was walking just find this morning. That means we live to fight another day.
So…what happened? No real idea. It could be that after her last race, where she stumbled and cut herself that she remembered that experience and didn’t have the confidence that she could go full out without hurting. IF that’s the case, the race served her well.
She may have had a bad night. She had run three solid races in a row (say what you will about that last race, but she ran hard after she stumbled), maybe this time she laid an egg? It happens.
This would be a great time to be able to sit and talk with her and find out what she was feeling, but we can’t so Nevada will work with her, get her ready and when she let’s us know, we will enter and go right back at them!
In terms of a second horse, this will put those plans on hold for a little bit unless we can find something that we feel like we can’t turn down. Once another horse enters the mix, expenses double and that can drain the account quickly. I’d prefer to wait to make sure we have Belle back on track and can buy with some certainty and safety – well, as much as you can.
The group has a few tables set aside inside of Silks tomorrow evening. There should be signs on them showing as reserved. We’ll meet Group 3 at the paddock after the replay of race 6.
It’s a big field so let’s get to it:
Angel Falls (Rhone/Mojica) – Canadian stakes winner has speed and the rail in his return to the claiming ranks (for more purse money) for a solid barn and rider.
Seneca Sally (Gordon/Hernandez) – Being pushed up a bit in class after earning back to back wins after clearing his claiming conditions at $6250. Tougher spot than she’s used to be has speed and an inside post.
Ice Goddess (Riecken/R Mojica) – Oaklawn Park winner who has a pair of seconds against runaway winners in his first two Canterbury starts. Looks like she’ll want to be closing.
Miss Ocean Express (Donlin/Delorme) – Nabbed an allowance score in her first local start but did finish third to Belle in her last. She’s been off ever since but has a bullet work for her return.
BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/HAMILTON)
Tapindeed (Nolen/Lindsay) – Local debut was a bit tepid but showed some gumption closing. Gets an extra half furlong and another chance.
Jeana Baby (Van Winkle/Goodwin) – Interesting Minnesota miss was sold for $100,000 at OBS and then claimed for $50,000 in California. Notched an impressive win versus Minn breds after a rough start. Her first start against open company since a 2nd in L’Etoile du Nord last year. Certainly talented and should stalk any early pace.
Here to Play (Sheehan/Velazquez) – Impressive win in local debut, albeit at $4000. Had a rough go of it against higher on the turf and settling back over the dirt in here. May be in a little deep.
Annoy (Heitzmann/A Canchari) – 3-1 morning line favorite handled Belle last time, though we did hand it over to the field at the gate. Seems to have done her best on or near the lead and should be stalking.
I Have a Secret (Bravo/Loveberry) – Was thrashed at this level last out, but Bravo is not one to bring em back in a spot if they didn’t show the talent. Probably couldn’t have gotten Loveberry either. Interested to see this one 2nd back off the layoff. Three year old maiden tries would make her competitive in here.
Frieda Zamba (Swan/Sanchez) – Drilled in local debut at this level going longer. Shortens up today and has shown some gate speed. Will have to improve.
Maid Easy (Silva/Mawing) – Last start was really her only dud in the last 12. She’ll be trying to come late and certainly has heart.
This is a big field that has a little bit of everything. There are a few that may be overmatched but enough unknowns in the field to make this quite the wide open affair. Belle won wire to wire but that doesn’t mean she has to. In fact, she may be even better stalking the pace and making a solid run. Hamilton is a solid rider who will be able to react to what she gives her and ride her accordingly.
I think that we have a real shot in here. If you draw a line through her last race because of the stumble and bump out of the gate and she can run back to her numbers from the win, she can win again, but a big field creates traffic issues and there is certainly some talent in this field. How good is Annoy? Just how good is Jeana Baby? Can I Have a Secret bounce back and surprise? Will someone run off and hide? So many variables in this one but Belle is talented, flexible and tough as nails on the racetrack and guided by a hot jock winning at a 20% clip. Quincy was also featured on the Canterbury blog this week and, for whatever reason, featured subjects have been the beneficiaries of a “blog bounce.”
That last one is a stretch, but, heck, I’ll take anything that might be and edge!
Good luck everyone!
Brilliant Belle is back in action Thursday night. We will be in race 7, a $12,500 optional claiming race carrying a purse of $30,000 for fillies and mares that have never won a race other than maiden, claiming, statebred or starter OR never won two races OR claiming price of $12,500. Belle fits the first – or allowance – condition so there is no tag on her. Quincy Hamilton will be the rider in the six furlong race. Estimate post time is 9:25 PM.
It is Group 3’s turn in the paddock (Group 3: Anderson – Heddle). We’ll check and see if there is some space for us to use on race night and let you know in a day or two when we post the race overview.
Below are the financials from last month: it was a bit of a toughie with the claim with a blown tendon and Belle stumbling and getting bumped out of the gate, but we’ll look to get back on track Thursday night!
Brilliant Belle, scrape aside, came out of her race really well. Her cut is already healing and she galloped over the main track today with no problem. She may be sweet as can be in the barn, but she’s a tough filly too!
Nevada, star of paddock and screen, did another video for us letting us know a bit about how she came out of the race and what could be next.
Belle is in tonight in race 7. She’ll break from the middle of the field in post position 4. It’s a salty little $20,000 claiming race and we could finish anywhere in this field. Justin Shepherd will again take the controls for the quick 5 furlong sprint over the main track. There is not a seating location this evening as the track has sold out it’s group areas. We’ll meet Group 2 at the paddock after the replays of Race 6.
Approximate post time is 9:22 PM. Here is a look at the field:
Earsahead (Applegate/Loveberry): Had a solid 2016 hitting the board in all three races run here at Canterbury. She came back after her winter break at Will Rogers to hit the board twice in a $17,500 claimer and $12,500 starter allowance, albeit in 5 horse fields. Worth noting that her wins have come wire to wire.
It’s the Swede (Broberg/Sanchez): Another with a good 2016 with a pair of stakes wins for Iowa breds. First two starts of 2017 were also at Prairie Meadows and while not stellar, they were also in a $45,000 allowance and the Mamie Eisenhower stakes. Her three wins last year came…wire to wire…
Annoy (Heitzmann/Velazquez): You’ll recall we handled this one in the last race, though you may also recall that we got a perfect trip while she had to swing wide which may have been the difference. She’ll break inside of us and have the speed to her inside which should clear her a path to rail in a nice stalking position.
BRILLIANT BELLE (LITFIN/SHEPHERD)
Stella’s Princess (Bravo/Mojica): Minnesotan finished 2016 with a flourish winning at pair of nice state bred sprints. The Minnesotan started the year in a Will Rogers stake and a pair of open allowances here at Canterbury. This spot may only be slightly lighter than those…maybe.
Gratzie (Robertson/Canchari): Soundly defeated us in her last start at Oaklawn before taking a break. She’s put in a pair of nice of solid works and should want the lead as well.
Seams Discreet (Arnett/Butler): One of the leading trainers in Iowa sends this one up after having been training consistently since arriving in Altoona. My guess is that they couldn’t get the race they wanted and found these conditions to their liking. That alone makes him dangerous. Reeled off 3 consecutive allowance and optional claiming wins before faltering in a pair of stakes in New Mexico. Another to sit off the pace.
As mentioned, this is a salty group of seven and there are surely some unknowns: Just how good is Seams Discreet? Can Stella’s Princess handle open? How will the shippers take to Canterbury? Are we really as good as our last race or what that a fluke?
The race will be quick, no question about that. There are enough in here that are going to want to go that if we try and wire the field this time, we could be in for trouble. While two of her three wins have been on the engine, she broke her maiden rating of the pace. That may be the tact we’ll have to take in this one to avoid burning and fading – especially with the speed on the inside that could keep us wide throughout. With Annoy on our inside, the likelihood of us being able to get to the rail early this time is going to be tough.
I’m also concerned about the “bounce” factor. The “bounce” theory is that thoroughbreds that run a career race – a superior race than they have ever run before – tend to run a poor race next or “bounce”. She’s had a nice maintenance work in between races and last week she got really keen to go to the track when one of her stablemates was heading out for a race. Hopefully these are indications that she is ready to go without issue.
We will see tonight just how good she is. She’ll have to track some quick horses early and outkick a pair of really good ones late. She repeats her last performance, she can win. She falters a little and we could be 7th. It should be a good one to watch for the crowd – and a bit of a nerveracker to be involved in!
Good luck and we’ll see you tonight!