Speightstown Colt on a Roll
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
When Todd Beattie scratched morning-line favorite Fabulous Strike out of Sunday's Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap, he noted his respect for the 3-year-old Munnings and his uneasiness about spotting that horse 11 pounds going seven furlongs.

Beattie's fears proved well-founded as Munnings put on another dazzling display, sliding through an opening along the rail turning for home under John Velazquez and charging to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Tom Fool at Belmont Park. Riley Tucker finished second by 3 1/4 lengths over Driven by Success, who was 15 lengths clear of The Last Wave. Muninngs paid $3.30.

Munnings added the Tom Fool to his eye-catching 5 1/4-length victory in last month's Grade 2 Woody Stephens and should set him up well for next month's Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga.

"He's doing so good now, I wish the King's Bishop was the first week [of August]," said Pletcher, who trains Munnings.

Munnings, a son of champion sprinter Speightstown, became just the fourth 3-year-old in the 35-year history of the Tom Fool to win the race. He joined Plugged Nickle (1980), Groovy (1987) and Trippi (2000). The latter was trained by Pletcher.

Pletcher had mixed emotions about the scratch of Fabulous Strike. On one hand it took a multiple graded stakes winner out of the field. On the other hand, it took a primary speed out of the mix as well, leaving Driven by Success as potentially the main speed.

But Riley Tucker was quicker than Driven by Success and those two dueled through a quarter of 22.10 seconds and a half-mile in 44.47 seconds. Munnings was a stalking third, always within two lengths of the lead.

Turning into the stretch, Riley Tucker drifted off the rail, and Velazquez shot Munnings through the opening on the inside. He then drew clear under a vigorous hand ride for the victory. Munnings' final time of 1:21.08 was the fourth fastest Tom Fool behind the Pletcher-trained Left Bank (a track record 1:20.17 in 2002), Ghostzapper (1:20.42 in 2004), and Banker's Gold (1:21.04 in 1998). Munnings is owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

"Any time a horse that's won 13 races comes out it's good, but this horse is so good right now I think he'd make anybody run for their money going seven-eighths or maybe even further," said Pletcher. "He's just in great form right now, he's put it all together now. He's always shown us that kind of ability, but it's nice that he's developed into a professional horse."

While Munnings points to the King's Bishop, Beattie said that Fabulous Strike will point to the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 9.
In The Stud Feature:  Exaggerator

In The Stud Feature: Exaggerator

WinStar stallion Exaggerator is featured in the latest installment of Paulick Report’s “In the...

[read more]

$1.7 million Congrats filly tops OBS March 2-year-old sale title=
Congrats

$1.7 million Congrats filly tops OBS March 2-year-old sale

Congrats, the nation's leading sire of winners over the past two years, had his biggest winner of 2017 in the sales ring on Wednesday when a filly by the WinStar stallion sold for $1.7 million...

[read more]

$1 million colt tops Pioneerof the Nile's day at OBS March 2-year-old sale title=
Pioneerof the Nile

$1 million colt tops Pioneerof the Nile's day at OBS March 2-year-old sale

The second day of the March 14-15 OBS Sale of Two-Year-Olds was a huge one for Pioneerof the Nile, topped by a $1 million dollar colt...

[read more]

OBS March 2-year-old sale: Big returns for Tiznow title=
Tiznow

OBS March 2-year-old sale: Big returns for Tiznow

The demand for the offspring of Tiznow was never more apparent than during the second day of the March 14-15 OBS Sale of Two-Year-Olds...

[read more]

More strong results for Gemologist at OBS March 2-year-old sale title=
Gemologist

More strong results for Gemologist at OBS March 2-year-old sale

The second day of the March 14-15 OBS Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training brought more solid results for leading second-crop sire Gemologist...

[read more]

Speedy Overanalyze colt brings $200K OBS March 2-year-old sale title=
Overanalyze

Speedy Overanalyze colt brings $200K OBS March 2-year-old sale

Narvick International was the top bidder for a colt from the first crop of Overanalyze during the final day of the March 14-15 OBS Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training...

[read more]

Top-class Paynter colt hammers for $200K at OBS March 2-year-old sale title=
Paynter

Top-class Paynter colt hammers for $200K at OBS March 2-year-old sale

A colt by Paynter out of Grade 1 winner Awesome Humor sold for $200,000 during the final day of the March 14-15 OBS Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training...

[read more]

“Super” results OBS March 2YO sale title=
Super Saver

“Super” results OBS March 2YO sale

The first day of the March 14-15 OBS March Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale yielded stellar results for Super Saver when hip No. 153 sold for $625,000...

[read more]

OBS March 2YO sale yields big return for More Than Ready title=
More Than Ready

OBS March 2YO sale yields big return for More Than Ready

Leading worldwide sire More Than Ready had one of the top-10 lots during Tuesday's session of the March 14-15 OBS March Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale...

[read more]

$285K filly leads Day 1 at OBS March sale for Gemologist title=
Gemologist

$285K filly leads Day 1 at OBS March sale for Gemologist

After a very strong 2016 in the auction ring, Gemologist kicked off the 2017 2-year-old sales season with a $285,000 filly...

[read more]