Munnings Wins Woody Stephens
Monday, June 08, 2009
Munnings r(by Speightstown) an the race his connections always thought he was capable of, impressively winning the Woody Stephens (gr. II) at June 6 at Belmont Park.

The chestnut colt won his first stakes by shooting through on the rail and drawing off by 5 1/4 lengths over Everyday Heroes, who edged Kensei for second by a head. Favored This Ones for Phil lacked running room and was never a factor while finishing behind second choice Hull in fifth.

Triumphant Flight shot for the lead under Kent Desormeaux while Everyday Heroes, unbeaten in four starts, went with him under Jose Caraballo. Hull, also undefeated, broke sharply but the others would not let him get to the front from his outside post.

The order did not change down the backside in the seven-furlong contest for 3-year-olds, the leaders taking the field through an opeing quarter-mile in :22.32 and a half in :45.61. Velazquez had Munnings on the move when they came out of the turn and he split horses on his way by the leaders as they ran six furlongs in 1:08.89.

Munnings then threw It into overdrive and he coasted home, running the distance in 1:20.63 on a track labeled fast.

Munnings broke his maiden in his first start at 2 and then ran third in the Sept. 1 Hopeful (gr. I) at Saratoga and second in the Oct. 4 Champagne (gr. I) at Belmont before ending his juvenile campaign with a 10th-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. The Woody Stephens was his second start of 2009, having run a solid second in an allowance race at Churchill Downs May 1 for trainer Todd Pletcher. Munnings is now 2-2-1 from six starts with $302,240 in earnings.

“I liked the way he had been training here, and he came into the race in good shape," Pletcher said. "It was nice to see him deliver that performance. I thought his comeback race was better than most people thought because it was such a fast race. We talked about strategy a little bit. We felt we would be sitting off the leaders and in the pocket. We thought we would get lucky and get through on the inside. We had to wait longer than we anticipated. When it finally opened up, he accelerated and he kicked in big time.

"The obvious race we want to be ready for is the King’s Bishop (gr. I, Saratoga, Aug. 29). It’s a matter of how we get there. I might consider the Dwyer (gr. II, $200,000, July 4, Belmont Park) because of the spacing.”

Owned by Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier and Derrick Smith, Munnings paid $9, $4.80, and $3.80. Everyday Heroes returned $5.60 and $4.10, and Kensei paid $9.10.

By Speightstown out of the Holy Bull mare La Comete, Munnings was bred in Kentucky by Dan Tayloe and the Greathouse family’s Glencrest Farm. He was purchased for $1.7 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale last year.
Drosselmeyer filly tallies first stakes victory title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer filly tallies first stakes victory

Find Joy found her best stride in the final furlong of Sunday's $50,000 Kent S. at Emerald Downs, powering past Brookys Star for a 1 1/4-length victory...

[read more]

American Patriot scores big on Belmont Park turf title=
American Patriot

American Patriot scores big on Belmont Park turf

WinStar Farm's homebred 3-year-old colt American Patriot tallied an eye-catching three length victory on the Belmont Park inner turf course on Saturday...

[read more]

You Know Too sparkles in debut for Colonel John title=
Colonel John

You Know Too sparkles in debut for Colonel John

Colonel John's debuting 2-year-old filly You Know Too turned in one of the most impressive juvenile performances this year Thursday at Delaware Park, romping to a six-length victory...

[read more]

More Than Ready 2yos run 1-2 for leading juvenile sire title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready 2yos run 1-2 for leading juvenile sire

Bahama Halo and Noble Ready completed a More Than Ready stallion exacta in a six-furlong Belmont Park maiden special weight race on June 22...

[read more]

Well-bred Super Saver filly sharp in MdSpWt debut title=
Super Saver

Well-bred Super Saver filly sharp in MdSpWt debut

Open Arms chalked up an eye-catching victory in her June 19 debut in a seven-furlong maiden special weight contest at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Wood Memorial (G1) winner Outwork to stand at WinStar upon retirement title=

Wood Memorial (G1) winner Outwork to stand at WinStar upon retirement

WinStar Farm and Woodford Thoroughbreds have partnered to acquire the breeding rights to Repole Stable’s leading 3-year-old colt Outwork, winner of this year’s Wood Memorial (G1) from the first crop of sire sensation Uncle Mo...

[read more]

Speightstown colt racks up third black type win title=
Speightstown

Speightstown colt racks up third black type win

Full Salute took to the Monmouth Park turf course Sunday and came away with a one-length victory in the $60,000 Select S...

[read more]

Late surge carries Creator to Belmont S. (G1) victory title=

Late surge carries Creator to Belmont S. (G1) victory

WinStar Farm and Bobby Flay's Creator weaved his way between horses in the Belmont Park stretch to catch and pass Destin in the final strides of the $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1)...

[read more]

Tom's Ready makes the grade in Woody Stephens S. (G2) title=
More Than Ready

Tom's Ready makes the grade in Woody Stephens S. (G2)

Tom's Ready became More Than Ready's second stakes winner in two days with his incredible last-to-first run to capture the $500,000 Woody Stephens S. (G2)...

[read more]

Eagle Way becomes More Than Ready's 22nd Grade 1 winner title=
More Than Ready

Eagle Way becomes More Than Ready's 22nd Grade 1 winner

Leading international super-sire More Than Ready recorded his 22nd lifetime Grade One winner Saturday when Eagle Way won the $600,000 Aus Queensland Derby (G1)...

[read more]