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.
More Than Ready juvenile rolls to Rising Star status title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready juvenile rolls to Rising Star status

Copper Bullet flew through five furlongs in his eight-length maiden special weight victory Thursday at Churchill Downs...

[read more]

Distorted Humor colt brings $850,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic title=
Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor colt brings $850,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic

Tuesday was another banner day in the sales ring for Distorted Humor when a colt by the champion sire brought a winning bid of $850,000 ...

[read more]

$270,000 Paynter colt Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic title=
Paynter

$270,000 Paynter colt Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic

Paynter's 2-year-olds continue to bring top prices in the sales ring, the latest a $270,000 colt during the second day of the May 22-23 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale...

[read more]

$290,000 Super Saver filly at Midlantic Sale Day 1 title=
Super Saver

$290,000 Super Saver filly at Midlantic Sale Day 1

A Super Saver filly brought $290,000 during the first day of the May 22-23 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale...

[read more]

Beautifully-bred Bodemeister filly scores at Monmouth Park title=
Bodemeister

Beautifully-bred Bodemeister filly scores at Monmouth Park

Waitingforaspark graduated from the maiden ranks in her second lifetime start Sunday at Monmouth Park...

[read more]

American Anthem speeds to victory in Grade 3 Laz Barrera S. title=
Bodemeister

American Anthem speeds to victory in Grade 3 Laz Barrera S.

One week after Always Dreaming captured the Kentucky Derby (G1), Bodemeister chalked up another graded stakes-winning 3-year-old colt when American Anthem won the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera S. (G3)...

[read more]

Speightstown colt towers over rivals in Queenston S. win title=
Speightstown

Speightstown colt towers over rivals in Queenston S. win

Yorkton became Speightstown's 81st lifetime stakes winner on Saturday with an impressive, 3 1/2-length, front-running score in the $125,000 Queenston S. at Woodbine...

[read more]

Bodemeister colt is a “Dream” come true in Kentucky Derby (G1) 143 title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister colt is a “Dream” come true in Kentucky Derby (G1) 143

Always Dreaming put on a terrific display over a wet race track in Saturday's $2 million Kentucky Derby (G1), winning the first leg of the Triple Crown by 2 3/4-lengths...

[read more]

Bowies Hero goes last to first in Singletary S. title=
Artie Schiller

Bowies Hero goes last to first in Singletary S.

Bowies Hero overcame a less than ideal start in Saturday's $75,000 Singletary S., but the 3-year-old Artie Schiller colt erased his early deficit with a stirring stretch run...

[read more]

Speightstown filly very game in Eight Belles S. (G2) win title=
Speightstown

Speightstown filly very game in Eight Belles S. (G2) win

Benner Island gallantly fought off the late charge of Union Strike to take the $200,000 Eight Belles S. (G2) by a head on a rainy Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs...

[read more]