Colonel John to Try Turf
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Colonel John and Well Armed are the two best horses in trainer Eoin Harty's barn. Both have been off for several months, but both are now ready to run. Harty nominated both to the Grade 2, $250,000 San Diego Handicap this Sunday at Del Mar, but didn't want to run them against one another.

He found an option. After Colonel John worked satisfactorily on the turf on Sunday morning, Harty entered him in the $85,000 Wickerr Handicap, a restricted stakes race for older horses at one mile on turf that will be run on Friday. Although Colonel John has won such major races as the Santa Anita Derby and the Travers Stakes, he was eligible to the Wickerr because he had not won a stakes race since May 1.

In fact, he hasn't even raced since Dec. 26. Colonel John, 4, finished fourth in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita, then was rested for the Santa Anita Handicap in March. But the morning of that race, he was running a temperature and was scratched.

"The groom was adamant something was wrong when I got there in the morning," Harty said. "He normally has a temperature of 99 to 100. It was 101. I didn't think it was that bad, but wanted to monitor him. A little bit later, it was 103. He had pleural pneumonia. I had never had a problem with him his whole career until the morning of the Big Cap. These guys, they know their horses. When Wayne Lukas left this circuit, I got a few grooms who had been with him for 15 or 20 years."

Colonel John worked five furlongs on turf on Sunday morning in 1:02 under jockey Garrett Gomez, who will ride him in the Wickerr.

"He's going to be fine on it," Gomez told Harty right after the workout. "He didn't really quicken, but he was comfortable on it, steady. And he covers so much ground."

Harty said he "would have preferred to run him on the main track, but there's no reason, judging by the way he worked, that he won't handle the grass.

"I didn't necessarily want to run the two of them against each other in the San Diego."
Congrats colt racks up third stakes victory title=
Congrats

Congrats colt racks up third stakes victory

Pat On the Back came away with a game victory in Monday's $50,000 Ontario County S. at Finger Lakes, the third career stakes win for the 3-year-old Congrats colt...

[read more]

Irap out games Girvin in $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) title=
Tiznow

Irap out games Girvin in $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3)

Irap became Tiznow's eighth millionaire on Saturday when the 3-year-old colt rallied to win the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) by a nose over multiple graded stakes winner Girvin...

[read more]

Battle of Midway cruises in Grade 3 Affirmed S. title=

Battle of Midway cruises in Grade 3 Affirmed S.

Battle of Midway, freshened after a solid third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), returned to the races Saturday at Santa Anita Park in the $100,000 Affirmed S. (G3) and came away with a front-running 4 1/4-length victory...

[read more]

Top-10 Sire Gemologist scores another MdSpWt winner title=
Gemologist

Top-10 Sire Gemologist scores another MdSpWt winner

Gemologist, a top-10 Second Crop Sire by both earnings and winners, registered his latest maiden special weight winner on June 19 when the cleverly-named Feed Me Carats scored by one length...

[read more]

Distorted Humor filly stakes debut a winner title=
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor filly stakes debut a winner

Arabian Hope battled to a head victory in the $64,000 Ganton S. at York in England in the stakes debut for the 3-year-old Distorted Humor filly...

[read more]

Overanalyze colt digs deep to win Belmont maiden special weight debut title=
Overanalyze

Overanalyze colt digs deep to win Belmont maiden special weight debut

Psychoanalyze outdueled Smash Williams in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight affair on Wednesday afternoon to become the third winner from the first crop of Overanalyze...

[read more]

Bodemeister filly gets job done in first stakes start title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister filly gets job done in first stakes start

Kenda was making her stakes debut in Sunday's $75,000 Special Goddess S. at Santa Anita, but was unfazed by the step up in class...

[read more]

Gemologist colt back to winning ways title=
Gemologist

Gemologist colt back to winning ways

Graded stakes winner Golden Diamond returned to the winner's circle on June 11 with a two-length allowance win going 1 1/8-miles...

[read more]

Speightstown filly rallies in time to take Crank It Up S. title=
Speightstown

Speightstown filly rallies in time to take Crank It Up S.

Deer Valley got a very well-timed ride to pull out a half-length victory in the $60,000 Crank It Up S. Saturday at Monmouth Park...

[read more]

Bodemeister's American Anthem dominates Woody Stephens S. (G2) title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister's American Anthem dominates Woody Stephens S. (G2)

WinStar Farm's et al. American Anthem got his second straight graded stakes win on Saturday with a commanding 3 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Woody Stephens S. (G2) at Belmont Park...

[read more]