It may no longer be fresh in the mind, but once upon a time, February 19, 2011, to be exact, Al Stall unveiled a well-bred son of Pulpit in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. What ensued, after the gates sprang open in the six furlong event, is stuff of legend. Uncle Mo, or no Uncle Mo, it would not be overstating things to say the performance put forth by Bind that day was as fine a debut run as that of anyone from the 2008 foal crop.
With Rosie Napravnik sitting comfortably in the saddle, the Adele B. Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm homebred stalked fast fractions, before inhaling the leaders coming out of the far turn. By the time the field of eight hit the lane, the only question left was how much Bind would win by. The final answer was 9 ½ lengths. The final time of 1:08.80 underscored what was obvious to anyone who had seen the race. Things would not go nearly as swimmingly in his next two outings, though.
Not willing to be held back in two separate allowance races around two-turns, the colt out of the Unbridled mare, Check, was narrowly beaten both times. Basically he beat himself. Watching that headstrong and green horse finish second to Worldly, in person, in that third lifetime start, I was convinced I was seeing a young horse that only needed a little time to mature, before becoming something special. Unfortunately, before he could make his stakes debut in his fourth lifetime start, a fracture to a foreleg put him on the shelf.
To tell you the truth, after 19 months, I had all but forgotten one of the most promising three-year-olds of 2011. That is until yesterday. Bind returned yesterday to the same track that he had scorched more than a year-and-a-half ago. Sent off at very similar odds as his career debut, and this time ridden by Brian Hernandez, of Breeders’ Cup Classic fame, Bind wasted no time in reminding me of the horse I felt so good about last spring. The 6-5 favorite broke a beat slow, but rushed right up to join the leaders. Looking comfortable down on the rail, he waited for the real running to begin, swung off the rail to take command coming out of the turn, and cruised home a strong winner by 2 ½ lengths.
While it is true there were no real world beaters in there against him, I know the second place finisher, Yonaguska Storm, to be a very fast Louisiana-bred. Final time for the six panels was a solid 1:10.34 on a track that was not yielding fast times, and once again, I find myself excited about the future of Bind. This time I am not thinking about him as a Preakness prospect, but rather as a soon-to-be five-year-old that could make plenty of noise in 2013.
His record is a mere 4-2-2-0, he has only banked $68,000, and he has yet to even make it to the starting gate in a stakes race, but yesterday in New Orleans, Bind reminded me in no uncertain terms, that he is a horse with immense talent. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Photo courtesy of Lou Hodges, Jr.