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.
Gemologist colts shine at OBS August Select Yearling sale title=
Gemologist

Gemologist colts shine at OBS August Select Yearling sale

A pair of colts from the first crop of Gemologist brought bids of $280,000 and $240,000 during the select session of the OBS 2015 August Yearling sale...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile filly cruises by six in $100,000 Summer Colony S. title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile filly cruises by six in $100,000 Summer Colony S.

Catch My Drift put it all together in Monday’s $100,000 Summer Colony S. to win the 1 1/8-mile contest by a widening 6 ¼-lengths as much the best...

[read more]

Super Saver’s Embellish the Lace takes them all the way in G1 Alabama S. title=
Super Saver

Super Saver’s Embellish the Lace takes them all the way in G1 Alabama S.

Embellish the Lace turned back all her challengers to score an ultra-game victory in the historic Alabama S. (G1) Saturday at Saratoga...

[read more]

Fourth straight win for More Than Ready’s Shore Runner title=
More Than Ready

Fourth straight win for More Than Ready’s Shore Runner

Shore Runner gave his owner Brad Grady another thrilling win with a half-length victory in the $100,000 Troy S. Saturday afternoon at Saratoga...

[read more]

Congrats filly sparkles in $75,000 Gold Mover S. title=
Congrats

Congrats filly sparkles in $75,000 Gold Mover S.

Flutterby turned in another stellar performance in Saturday’s $75,000 Gold Mover S. at Gulfstream Park...

[read more]

Tiznow filly tops F-T NY Selected sale title=
Tiznow

Tiznow filly tops F-T NY Selected sale

Tiznow had the top-priced lot during the first session of the Aug. 15-16 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York Bred Preferred Yearlings auction...

[read more]

More Than Ready filly rolls by seven in Niagara S. title=
More Than Ready

More Than Ready filly rolls by seven in Niagara S.

Hard to Stay Notgo dominated the $50,000 Niagara S. Friday at Finger Lakes, the second stakes win in the young career of the 3-year-old daughter of More Than Ready...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer notches another MdSpWt winner title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer notches another MdSpWt winner

Copper Cajun rolled to an impressive 5 ½-length maiden special weight score Wednesday at Evangeline Downs to give freshman sire Drosselmeyer...

[read more]

Bodemeister yearling colt brings $500,000 at F-T Saratoga title=
Bodemeister

Bodemeister yearling colt brings $500,000 at F-T Saratoga

A colt by Bodemeister brought $500,000 during the first session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings sale on Monday...

[read more]

Two Winners in Two Days at Saratoga for Bellamy Road Juveniles title=
Bellamy Road

Two Winners in Two Days at Saratoga for Bellamy Road Juveniles

Bellamy Road’s 2-year-olds have come out running at Saratoga Race Course...

[read more]