Awesome Feather is back on the work tab. The 2010 Champion Two Year Old Filly, undefeated in six starts in including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr.1), was sidelined indefinitely in early January after a tendon “issue” was discovered. No goals were named for a return date as the extent of the injury was unclear, and both trainer Chad Brown and owner Frank Stronach made it clear they would take as long as possible to bring their champion back slowly for the best possible chance at a full recovery. On February 7th the Daily Racing Form reported the daughter of Awesome Of Course was walking under tack and making enough positive progress that she could possibly return to light training by the end of the month.
Well, she didn’t make it into light training by the end of February but continued to build steady progress and finally made her official return to the work tab on May 24th at Belmont Park, clocking 3 furlongs in a solid :36.78. Six days later she returned on Monday, May 30th, clocking a solid four furlong move, the 4th fastest move of 19 on the day. Brown and Stronach have not publicly come out with a summer goal yet for the talented three year old, but for Awesome Feather’s loyal fans’ it’s just a matter of time and patience. She appears to be safely recovered from her ligament issue and well on her way towards reaching tip top shape.
The Acorn Stakes (gr.1) field is coming up strong just one and half weeks away from the June 11th event at Belmont Park. Already four stakes winners are listed as possible starts with three being graded stakes winners and two multiple graded stakes winners.
Turbulent Descent has been on a path towards the Acorn ever since winning the Santa Anita Oaks (gr.1) over Zazu in early March when trainer Mike Puype made the admirable and somewhat surprising decision to keep his filly in one-turn, sprint distance races, stating right off the bat that her summer goals were the Acorn (gr.1) and Test Stakes (gr.1) at Saratoga in early August. His ultimate goal is to prove that he has the best three year old filly in the land and win a championship with the daughter of Congrats, a notion that seems likely enough right now as Turbulent Descent has already won two of three starts this year and finished second once, all in graded stakes races. Indian Blessing followed the same path to sophomore championship honors in 2008, winning the Acorn, Prioress and then Test Stakes.
May Day Rose, Victoria’s Wildcat and It’s Tricky are the three other fillies listed as possible starters in the 81st running of the Acorn Stakes (gr.1). May Day Rose is a four time stakes winner and dual graded stakes winner, taking the Railbird Stakes (gr.3) over Big Tiz on May 21st in her last start. Victoria’s Wildcat is riding a three race win streak and just captured her first graded stakes win on May 6th Kentucky Oaks day at Churchill Downs, taking the Grade 3 Eight Belles Stakes. It’s Tricky made headlines earlier in the year when she won the Busher Stakes by eight lengths, remaining undefeated in three starts. In her next start she failed to threaten, finishing more than 20 lengths behind R Heat Lightning in the Gulfstream Oaks (gr.2) on April 2nd.
We’ll know a lot more about the competition next week when entries are taken but for now the field already appears to be stacked with some promising talent, though all pale in comparison to Turbulent Descent.
Photo Courtesy of Anne M. Eberhardt