Looking at the cards for the latest Juvenile Classic Qualifiers, the first thing to jump off the page at you is the strength in depth of quality of the colts and fillies that would be contesting these events. It is still relatively early days for these juveniles but the way things are shaping up we’re going to have a fiercely competitive final come November.
First up were the colts, headed by old rivals Rule The Air and Dakota Celery. These two need little introduction having won no less than seven qualifiers between them over a variety of distances. The ground would seem to favor Rule The Air on this occasion, Inx’s Dakota Celery being a proven mudlark. Ap822’s Ap Godzilla is often there or thereabouts in these events too.
Cepat Kaya’s French Fried had so far contested two qualifiers, both stayers’ events, and had shown little so far beating only one horse home on each occasion. He did have some other fairly decent form in the book but nothing that would suggest he might perform quite as well as would turn out to be the case here. With the ground in his favor this time, Rule The Air emerged the victor. French Fried surpassed himself to take second although he appeared to be well held by the winner. Unable to get his toe in today, Dakota Celery was made to settle for third.
In the standings, Dakota Celery still leads the way, albeit by a reduced six point margin over second placed Rule The Air. This pair remain well clear of the remainder headed by McKinleys’ Raymond’s Pride and Karl Khoder’s Excites.
The fillies’ Juvenile Classic Qualifier looked every bit as tough. Current Championship standings leader Chromium was in the line-up, looking to add to the two classic qualifiers she had already won. She had finished in the money in each of her last three efforts in qualifiers but connections were no doubt keen to see her regain the winning thread. Gnb Racing’s Bank Note has sometimes appealed more as a sprinter and probably prefers the short end of the classic distances than this 2200m but there is no doubting her ability, already a two-time qualifier winner.
I have been guilty of underestimating the ability of Filante Stables‘ Pool Party in this column before but have since altered that opinion as the filly continues to improve and go from strength to strength. She has been successful in each of her last three attempts in qualifiers and was to notch a four-timer here with notable ease. The race did not unfold kindly for the chestnut filly and despite running into every piece of trouble she could possibly find, her talent saw her through and still win win something to spare. Inx’s Dakota Princess also enhanced her reputation here with a fine second while Bank Note did nothing wrong in finishing third.
Time will probably show that the apparent blips that appear in Pool Party’s form are more than likely put down to a distaste for the mud. She now moves into third place in the overall standings, level on points with stablemate, Big Samantha who finished in fourth spot here. Three points ahead of Pool Party is Bank Note who is ten points behind Chrisman’s Chromium.