Thursday evening’s racing from the virtual ractracks at Digiturf centered around this season’s new two year olds with the highlights of the day being the Juvenile Stayers Qualifiers, hosted on this occasion on the dirt track in America for the colts and on the turf in England for the fillies. Both events boasted quality in abundance and each produced impressive winning performances.
In the absence of Chrisman’s Rule The Air, two horses stood out as the most likely winners of the Juvenile Stayers Qualifier for 2yo Colts, namely Raymond’s Pride and Dakota Celery. Raymond’s Pride, owned and trained by McKinleys was looking to go one better having finished second in a similar event, with conditions much the same as they were here, back in the middle of August. The colt that finished in front of McKinleys’ bay on that occasion was the reopposing Dakota Celery. Inxs‘ colt was making his Qualifier debut that day and since winning there he has subsequently been placed twice, in both Classic and Stayers Qualifiers, from his only two attempts at the top level. Those were both run on the turf and this would be the first time he would encounter the muddy dirt conditions that seemed to suit him so well, in a qualifying event since that victory.
Dakota Celery did not disappoint his supporters and put in a commanding display under jockey Paddy O’Reilly. Colwells End‘s Dublins Son did his best to get to the winner but not even the able assistance of Jack Ford in the plate was to be sufficient to enable Dublins Son to go past. AP822’s Ap Gorilla Killer plugged on in third place but the result was never in much doubt. Dakota Celery now stands eight points clear of the chasing pack in the standings for the Juvenile Stayers Final in November and on this evidence they will all be made to work hard to topple this colt if the ground were to come up sloppy.
Less than a week since the hammer came down on the $335 auction purchase, Mudflaps new inmate, Tasered made her debut for her new owner in the Juvenile Stayers Qualifier for 2yo Fillies. Prior to her arrival in the new yard, Tasered had won two of her only three starts to date – a Jump Starter Maiden and a Level Weights before losing her unbeaten tag when upped in class in her first attempt in a Qualifier. It might well have been the case that the 2400m trip was her undoing on that occasion but now she had a point to prove.
Of the opposition, Cepat Kaya’s duo of Flying Diva and My Little Diva looked to be the main dangers. My Little Diva in particular had some very smart form already in the book having won a previous Juvenile Stayers Qualifier and finished runner-up in a Juvenile Classic Qualifier.
Today was to be Tasered’s day however and despite having to be switched when blocked from making her run at a crucial point, Mckinleys’ filly showed a great attitude to ensure her head was the first to cross the line in a tight finish. Flying Diva came closest to denying her and went down fighting. My Little Diva fared best of the others back in third spot.