Remsen Rumble

Remsen Rumble
Photo: Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire

The prestigious Remsen Stakes (G2) offers a chance for juvenile colts to try 1 1/8 miles for the first time in a stakes race. The top four finishers will earn points in the Kentucky Derby entry system. In the last two years, the colts who placed in the Remsen - Normandy Invasion and Wicked Strong (second and third, respectively), both finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Thunder Gulch was the last colt to complete the Remsen/Kentucky Derby double in 1994.  
This year, a full field of 14 colts are entered in the Remsen Stakes, although Moonlight Bandit and Flashaway were cross-entered in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Flashaway will compete in Kentucky while Moonlight Bandit ships into New York for Dale Romans. Both colts have been working steadily at Churchill.
2014 Remsen Stakes

 Let's take a closer look at the field.

COMBAT DIVER (Line of David - Safe Journey, by Flatter) fought hard for a nose victory against maidens last time out. Combat Diver is a half brother to the turf stakes miler Joy (by Pure Prize) and  has Rasmussen Factor inbreeding to Gold Digger as she is Line of David’s fourth dam and Gold Digger is the dam of Mr. Prospector, the damsire of Flatter. 

MOONLIGHT BANDIT (Malibu Moon - Cluain Fhada, by Fusaichi Pegasus) loved the extra distance when stepping up to a mile against maidens in his last start.  He had a strong second-to-last pre-race breeze and Dale Romans doesn't ship for the fun of it.  Moonlight Bandit’s dam went 0-2 in her short racing career, however, this colt’s pedigree is racing royalty.  His dam is a half to three stakes placed runners plus a half sister bore America (by A.P. Indy), who placed in the Mother Goose Stakes (G1). Moonlight Bandit’s third dam is the blue hen Blush With Pride, the grand-dam of Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil, English Champion Filly Peeping Fawn, and many other stakes winners. Dale Romans trained O'Prado Again for the 2011 Remsen Victory.

BODHISATTVA (Student Council - Dr. Cheryl P., by Talk Is Money) has been keeping lesser company in Maryland and his speed figures aren’t as good as others in here. There’s little blacktype in Bodhisattva’s immediate distaff line, although his dam is a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Wilko.

THIRTYSEVENLIVESON (Giant's Causeway - Mining My Own, by Smart Strike) is still a maiden and his speed figures are average.  He’s a half brother to Kentucky Derby hero Mine That Bird and multiple grade one winner Dullahan. Perhaps the Dale Romans trainee doesn't like Kentucky, or he could need time to mature, as he has the pedigree of a late-bloomer.  The son of Giant's Causeway may improve over the lawn or Polytrack.

ROYAL BURGH (Street Sense - Amazed by Grace, by Bowman's Band) made a big four-wide in his debut move to get his neck in front at the wire.  The race fractions were slow, but he had a decent late pace speed figure. He’s trained by Pletcher and may be overlooked in favor of his more accomplished stablemate, Ostrolenka. There’s little blacktype in Royal Burgh’s female family, although his dam is a stakes winning sprinter and placed in a grade three race.
EH CUMPARI (Elusive Quality - Bells Are Ringing, by Sadler's Wells) had an eye-catching victory after lagging eleven lengths behind in his debut, which was impressive consitering the speed-favoring nature of Aqueduct.  Eh Cumpari is a half brother to an English stakes winner. Their dam is a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero and top sire Unbridled’s Song.

LEAVE THE LIGHT ON (Horse Greeley - Lantern Glow, by Mineshaft) finally gets to show what he can do on a fast track after splashing through his maiden win last time out. He fired a second to last pre-race bullet and should be sharp for the Remsen.  Leave the Light On is a half brother to a Puerto Rican stakes winner. His dam is a ¾ sister to Borderland Derby winner Indy Wildcat (by A.P. Indy). This is the female family of Group 1 winners Balanchine, West Wind, Art Connoisseur and Saoirse Abu. Leave the Light On’s sire Horse Greeley has sired no stakes or allowance winners past 1 1/16 miles, although there's stanima on the distaff side.


KEEN ICE (Curlin - Medomak, by Awesome Again) didn’t show much in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, but he has the pedigree to run all day and he may have regressed after a hard-fought win in his maiden.  His dam is a half sister to the grade three winning miler Coal Play. This is the distaff family of grade one winners Serra Lake, Somali Lemonade, Verrazano, plus multiple graded winners Hungry Island and Al Khali. Keen Ice has the pedigree to run all day, but the speed-favoring track may play against him.

THE TRUTH OR ELSE (Yes It's True - Lakenheath, by Colonial Affair) was whipped by 25 lengths in his last two starts, both graded stakes.  To be fair, both races were held over sloppy tracks and he may not have liked getting his hooves dirty.  He has a fast-slow-fast breeze pattern, but his speed figures have been going in the wrong direction.  The Truth Or Else is a half brother to multiple stakes placed Fighter Wing (by Empire Maker). Their dam won the Silverbulletday (G3), Arlington Matron and Truly Bound Handicaps. She’s the most accomplished runner in to generations of this distaff line.  Sprinter/miler stallion Yes It’s True has only one stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles, but that one is out of a Colonial Affair mare. 
CLASSY CLASS (Discreetly Mine - Collegiate, by Saarland) lived up to his name in his debut, rating beautifully before galloping to a four length victory over maidens.  His last three works have been sharp and he should be ready to take a step up.  Classy Class’s dam was second in the Spinaway. She’s a half sister to the stakes winning turf miler Good Student (Louis Quatorze) and stakes winning sprinter The Student (Mutakddim).

OSTROLENKA (Musket Man - Pumpkin's Pride, by Louis Quatorze) takes on open company after beating up on state-bred colts, including Market Conduct.  The Todd Pletcher trainne will be dangerous and his speed figures are going in the right direction. Ostrolenka is a half brother to multiple stakes placed miler Great Gracie Dane (by Royal Academy). We have to go back to his third dam,  Champion Filly and blue hen Queen Empress to find the class in this family.  Pletcher conditioned 2005 (Bluegrass Cat) and 2012 (Overanalyze) Remsen winners.

MARKET CONDUCT (Super Saver - Charleston Springs, by Capote) couldn’t handle state-breds in his last two starts and now takes on a tougher group.  He was gaining ground late in his last race, so perhaps the extra distance will help. Market Conduct is a half brother to the stakes placed sprinters Palmetto Bluffs (by Salt Lake) and Sandy’z Slew (by Limehouse). Their dam is a stakes placed miler and a half to the stakes winning sprinter Livermore Valley. Second dam Secret Prospect is a multiple stakes winning veteran of over $500K.

FROSTED (Tapit - Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) starts on the far outside, but there’s plenty to like about this pretty gray colt.  He gets first time Lasix after freezing out maidens by over five lengths in his last start, which was at Aqueduct. His speed figures are going in the right direction and he’s been sparkling in morning drills.  Frosted’s dam is a multiple stakes winning miler and also a half sister to Champion Juvenile and well-regarded freshman sire Midshipman. The second dam Fleet Lady is a multiple graded stakes winning miler.  The drawback is Frosted's far outside post, practically guaranteeing a wide trip if he wants to be up near the lead.

Track bias:  The last five victors in the Remsen Stakes were pace pressers (third or better) by the second call.

On paper, Ostrolenka appears to be the fastest of the early speed, although Leave the Light On and Moonlight Bandit have also shown speed.  The Kiaran McLaughlin duo of Classy Class and Frosted have been working very sharp. Keen Ice and Royal Burgh could mess up the supers at long odds.

Moonlight Bandit - win
Ostrolenka - place
Frosted - show
Keen Ice – longshot pick

Meet Laurie Ross

 HRN Pedigree Analyst 


 Published Author

 Pedigree Research/Consultation/Sales 

 ThoroFan Advisory Board Member

 Member NTWAB

Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

Twitter: @IMTBreds
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LinkedIn: Laurie Ross

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