Graydar Passes Class Test with Flying Colors

February 09, 2013 02:08pm
This year's G1 Donn Handicap drew a field of ten salty runners, with four entrants being Grade 1 winners and three more entrants being Grade 1 placed. With the exception of being made the 114 pound low weight and entering the race as fresh as a daisy, Graydar had the odds stacked against him. The first strike against him was the fact that he was the most inexperienced in the field. Hand-in-hand with the first strike was strike two, the fact that he had no previous graded stakes experience. The field also had a healthy dose of speed, the third strike against the flashy gray Todd Pletcher trainee. Of course, no one bothered to give Graydar the memo that he was up against it in the Donn.
Instead of being intimidated by all the Grade 1 experience in the field, Graydar strode out on the track full of confidence and quickly dispatched the classy field. Under the equally confident Edgar Prado, Graydar broke alertly and used his natural speed to go straight to the lead from post position four. West Coast hard hitter Ultimate Eagle went with him from the adjacent slot five, but when Ultimate Eagle backed up, Graydar kept going...and going...and going. Despite Bourbon Courage's best efforts, the race was done as the field entered the stretch. There was no catching Graydar as he pulled away to win by an easy three lengths. The Unbridled's Song colt completed the 9 furlong race in a zippy 1.48:25, less than a second off the track record.
Second place finisher Bourbon Courage gave it all he had, but his dazzling charge down the middle of the track was just not enough to catch speedy Graydar. Today's runner up finish ran Bourbon Courage's on the board streak to five, all in grade 2 and grade 1 races. Take Charge Indy, who was part of the pace once Ultimate Eagle gave way, saved the show.
No plans have been made for Graydar's next race. As with most of his charges, Todd Pletcher intends to play it by ear.
Michael Pender, trainer of Ultimate Eagle, in a post race statement said that Ultimate Eagle had grabbed a quarter. Though he was bleeding profusely, there appeared to be no structural damage.
One race prior to the Donn also found Todd Pletcher in the winner's circle as his improving Channel Lady turned the tables on Hard Not to Like and wired the Suwannee field. Last out in the 8.5 furlong Marshua's River, Hard Not to Like found racing room on the rail in the stretch and passed pace-setting Frontside to the inside while Channel Lady passed the leader on the outside. That day Hard Not to Like crossed the wire first, but Channel Lady was having none of that today. Rather than sitting off the pace, Channel Lady broke on top and dictated the race from start to finish. 
Making her own pace proved to be quite beneficial for the English Channel filly. With no other speed in the race, Channel Lady, under Javier Castellano, was able to leisurely stroll through fractions of 25:13 and 50:21. The slow pace was particularly advantageous in holding off the late charging Abaco and Inglorious. Despite finishing third by a scant nose, Inglorious ran the most impressive race in the field. Trailing throughout, the Canadian champion was forced to swing wide in order to commence her rally. At the wire, she was charging hard for home but just could not overcome the slow pace and wide run.
Though Pletcher is confident that Channel Lady will be able to run longer when asked, he is seriously considering turning back to a mile for next month's Honey Fox.  


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Older Comments about Graydar Passes Class Test with Flying Colors...

Ultimate Eagle grabbed a quarter and then some, bled profusely. No spitting the bit here Doctor.
did I know she was Canadian 3 year old of the year? I voted for her at the Sovereign awards.
won aginast open company? even OPEN F&M? methinks not...And now that I know why I am not suprised either.
nw since June 2011 got hot for a short time against restricted company
How can you refer to Inglorious as a nag, tv? She was the Canadian Champion 3-year old Filly in 2011.
Inglorius, a nag that has not won a single race in TWO years? That one? I saw her last win and the debacle that followed and have real insight as to why the win column is empty
everything set up for graydar that day, or that low class race boosted his confidence for that day.
I have renewed hope for Inglorious, who showed up with her game face on and ran a respectable third, and only third by a scant margin.
That's what Velasquez said. When Ultimate Eagle spit the bit he had to use TCI early and try to not let Graydar get away.
Graydar 109 BSF
Only concern, he may just be a GP horse. Hope not though.
The no show from Ultimate Eagle played a big part in this outcome. Nice run by the winner, but there was no implication he'd have everything his way like that.
Well except for being carried four wide into the first turn. But Graydar was much the best today.
Take Charge Indy had no excuses as far as trip. Graydar, Wow! Seasoning should only help.
Don't mess with Pletcher at Gulstream!
Next time, Bourbon Courage!

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues and, from time to time, offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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