Spectacular Gem hopes to shine in Saturday's Commonwealth Turf

Churchill Downs Media
November 08, 2019 03:05pm
Spectacular Gem hopes to shine in Saturday's Commonwealth Turf
Photo: Coady Photography
Candie Baker’s $125,000 Jefferson Cup winner Spectacular Gem could face a new test in Saturday’s Grade 3, $175,000 Commonwealth Turf when he’ll encounter a less than firm turf course and several horses that could pressure him on the lead.

“We’ll have to see what the turf is like Saturday to know if he’ll like it,” trainer Jimmy Baker said. “He got over the firm going pretty well in September (in the Jefferson Cup) but we’ll see what it’s like Saturday.

“He doesn’t need to have the lead but will likely be close to the front. If you look at his maiden win last year, he closed from well off the pace. I do think there is some other speed signed on in this race but he’s training really well from his win in the Jefferson Cup.”

Spectacular Gem, a 3-year-old son of Can the Man, is one of four 6-1 co-second choices on the morning line in Saturday’s Commonwealth Turf. The three-time winner will break from post position No. 6 with James Graham in the saddle.

A field of 14 3-year-olds are signed on to compete in the 1 1/16-mile Commonwealth Turf with two horses as also eligible should any late scratches occur. Pirate’s Punch, who is in the body of Saturday’s race, entered a 1 1/16-mile allowance event on the dirt Sunday.

The temporary rail would be taken down on the Matt Winn Turf Course on Saturday and racing would be in Lane 1 on the hedge. Races were taken off the turf on Wednesday and Thursday because of rain that occurred in the Louisville area.

The complete field for the Commonwealth Turf from the rail out (with jockey, trainer, weight and morning line odds):

1. Tobacco Road (Alex Achard, John Ennis, 118 pounds, 50-1)
2. Osage Moon (Miguel Mena, Mark Casse, 118, 12-1)
3. Clint Maroon (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano, 120, 10-1)
4. Pirate’s Punch (Robby Albarado, Grant Forster, 118, 20-1)
5. Marquee Prince (Tyler Gaffalione, Brad Cox, 120, 8-1)
6. Spectacular Gem (Graham, Baker, 120, 6-1)
7. Tracksmith (Brian Hernandez Jr., Joe Sharp, 120, 5-1)
8. Tiz Plus (Ricardo Santana Jr., Asmussen, 118, 15-1)
9. Knicks Go (Gabriel Saez, Ben Colebrook, 118, 12-1)
10. Armistice Day (Corey Lanerie, Barbara Minshall, 120, 6-1)
11. Mr Dumas (Joe Rocco Jr., John Ortiz, 118, 6-1)
12. Louder Than Bombs (Alex Canchari, David Fawkes, 118, 8-1)
13. Faraway Kitten (Julien Leparoux, Mike Maker, 123, 6-1)
14. Journeyman (Declan Cannon, Eoin Harty, 118, 20-1).

Should any late scratches occur, the following horses could draw into the field: Proliferate (Chris Landeros, Casse, 118, 15-1); and Clear Vision (Cannon, Jerry O’Dwyer, 118, 8-1).

The Commonwealth Turf is carded as Saturday’s featured event in Race 10 with a post time of 5:36 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 1 p.m.


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