Munasara Takes Undefeated Record to Mother Goose: Sired by Bernardini and out of turf champion mare Lahudood, it is safe to call Munasara’s pedigree an interesting mix. After all, Bernardini was a dirt monster and the majority of his progeny tend to follow his footsteps in preferring dirt, with some exceptions. Lahudood had a stellar turf career and won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup F/M Turf over an exceptional field. Her overall pedigree is European. Yet, here is Lahudood’s daughter Munasara with two dirt wins on the resume.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin should have Munasara cranked up for this initial graded stakes attempt under the Shadwell Stable colors on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Belmont Park for the Mother Goose Stakes. Photo: LATT
Munasara goes for three straight wins in the Mother Goose (GI) on Saturday at Belmont Park, run at 8.5 furlongs around one turn. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin should have her cranked up for this initial graded stakes attempt under the Shadwell Stable colors.
In Munasara’s March 15 career debut at Gulfstream Park, she won a seven furlong sprint in an unimpressive fashion. There are a couple of things to note though. Considering her sire Bernardini preferred nine furlong races or longer, and Lahudood’s Breeders’ Cup win came at 11 furlongs, judging Munasara harshly in a seven furlong event is not the best idea. She won her career debut and that is better than how most horses fare without experience.
Munasara then reappeared two months later at Belmont Park and won an optional claiming event at one mile. Unfortunately, the replay is not on YouTube, but she won by the same margin of just over two lengths. When reading the past performances, it is important to note that seeing italics on the other runners means that horse won next time out. The second place finisher So You Say won an allowance event in her next race to back up the quality of Munasara’s win. From post position four, expect Munasara to sit off Embellish the Lace’s flank early, and maybe jockey John Velazquez can notch a Grade I win for this Bernardini filly.
Embellish the Lace will not go down easily. A sibling to notable runners Afleet Express and Reporting for Duty, this filly improved rapidly after her 14-length loss three starts ago. She won her last two starts by a combined 23 lengths!
The first of those two wins came at PARX, a lower-tier racetrack with questionable competition. This makes analyzing the win difficult. At least, the italics show for the runner-up. At Pimlico, Embellish the Lace then won by 13 lengths in an optional claimer. The comments on the side note she was under a “solid hand ride.” Again, be careful about getting too excited. Pimlico is a step above PARX and a step below Belmont Park as well. The switch to Irad Ortiz is interesting because he tends to be more patient than other jockeys, which might work against this filly’s style. The rail post position may force Ortiz’s hand and encourage him to send.
Beyond the top two choices, the options look untrustworthy for anything more than a minor share. Include Betty from the number two post position will put in her usual late run. She just seems to be a step below the best. Joel Rosario pilots Chide for trainer Al Stall from post number five, and she has not finished worse than second in three tries. Also, fans of Tale of Verve might notice trainer Dallas Stewart sends out Pleasant Tales for the same owner Charles Fipke. Give Wonder Gal a glance from the far outside too, as she likes running in the money.
Watching Munasara’s progression will be interesting, as promising Bernardini stars tend to flame out more often than not. From various sources, the demeanor of most Bernardini progeny has been noted as less than pleasant, and perhaps this hampers their progression. For now, Munasara is in top form and appears the best horse on paper for this race. Use Embellish the Lace in horizontal wagers along with Munasara and focus on them in exotics, or if there is no value to be found underneath then skip the race.
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Wedding Toast continued a very good weekend for TDN Rising Stars with a reasonably easy defeat of reigning 3-year-old filly champion Untapable in the Ogden Phipps, a "Win and You’re In" event for the GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Keeneland Oct. 30.
Accorded Rising Star status with a 14 1/2-length allowance victory going this track’s one-turn mile in September 2013, Wedding Toast closed the season with a pair of black-type successes, including the GIII Comely S. Runner-up to Princess of Sylmar (Majestic Warrior) in the Cat Cay S. in a single start at four last season, the homebred was victorious in the Jan. 7 Miami Shores H. before finishing third to House Rules in the GIII Rampart S. at Gulfstream Feb. 21. Fourth to Princess Violet (Officer) in the seven-furlong GI Madison S. At Keeneland Apr. 4, Wedding Toast was entering the Phipps off a four-length defeat of Princess Violet in this track’s one-mile GII Ruffian S. May 9.
While it appeared on paper that Princess Violet had the necessary speed to lead, Wedding Toast ambled to the lead when it became apparent that the Schwartz runner was not being sent and got an opening quarter-mile in a modest :23.64, as Untapable was settled four deep under a confident John Velazquez. The chalk was given her cue leaving the half-mile pole and gained steadily on the turn, but was trapped out deep, while Wedding Toast was still enjoying a comfortable time of it on the engine and got to the five-sixteenths marker in 1:10.28. The Godolphin runner turned for home comfortably in front, went further clear into the final furlong and cruised home an easy winner. Untapable was all out to just save second from House Rules while covering 38 feet (about 4.4 lengths) more than the winner, according to Trakus.
"I thought Princess Violet would go and I'd be sitting second with Untapable in third, but nobody wanted to go," Lezcano admitted. "My filly went to the lead very easily. She just galloped along, and when I asked her she gave me the kick I needed to win the race."
It was the first Grade I success for Wedding Toast, who was produced by an unraced half-sister to MGISW Congaree (Arazi) and SW & GISP Sangaree (Awesome Again).
Saturday, Belmont Park OGDEN PHIPPS S.-GI, $955,000, BEL, 6-6, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m, 1:40 1/5, ft.
1--sWEDDING TOAST, 117, m, 5, by Street Sense
1st Dam: Golden Sheba, by Coronado's Quest
2nd Dam: Mari's Sheba, by Mari's Book
3rd Dam: Sheba Little (GB), by Known Fact
O-Godolphin Racing LLC; B-Darley (KY); T-Kiaran P McLaughlin; J-Jose Lezcano. $535,000. Lifetime Record: 11-7-2-1, $1,179,956.
Second choice Wedding Toast led all the way in the $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park June 6, drawing off to win by five lengths while favored champion Untapable was second.
Wedding Toast, a 5-year-old Street Sense mare trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Racing, won her second race in a row after taking the May 9 Ruffian Handicap at Belmont. She is the fifth grade I winner for Street Sense, winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby.
Final time for the 1-1/16-mile test was 1:40.21 on a fast track.
Jockey Jose Lezcano gave Wedding Toast a ground-saving trip along the rail and the dark bay mare clicked off sensible fractions of :23.64 seconds and :46.62 seconds, while leading by a length over Princess Violet and Shayjolie.
"Jose made a great decision to go to the lead," McLaughlin said. "I told him we were hoping to be laying third. He said, 'I'll cover up and we'll be laying third.' There didn't look like there was a lot of pace, so he made a great decision when the gates opened ? It worked out great. They let her go easy and that was the difference. He deserves a lot of credit."
Untapable, the 123-pound highweight under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, was fifth after breaking a step slow. She made a big move on the outside to get into position heading into the far turn, but Wedding Toast was full of run after getting three-quarters in 1:10.28.
"She didn't get away from there with a clean lead. The other mare did," said Steve Asmussen, trainer of Untapable. "I definitely thought she'd be in a better position early... She wheeled out to go at her, but that filly took off and ran really fast to the wire."
The eventual winner opened up through the stretch, running a 1:34.05 mile while kept to the task with some right-handed urging from Lezcano.
"I thought Princess Violet would go and I'd be sitting second with Untapable in third, but nobody wanted to go," Lezcano said. "My filly went to the lead very easily. She just galloped along, and when I asked her, she gave me the kick I needed to win the race."
Wedding Toast returned $6.30 and $2.80 at odds of 2-1 under an impost of 117, while 3-5 Untapable paid $2.20, getting the bob by a head over 16-1 House Rules. There was no show wagering in the race of six older fillies and mares.
Completing the order of finish were Rosalind, Princess Violet, and Shayjolie.
The Ogden Phipps is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Distaff. McLaughlin said no decision has been made as to where Wedding Toast will make her next start.
Bred in Kentucky by Darley out of the Coronado's Quest mare Golden Sheba, Wedding Toast improved her record to 7-2-1 from 11 starts for earnings of $1,179,956. The Ogden Phipps was her first grade I victory.
"She's a very nice filly," McLaughlin said. "My brother Neal and his wife, Trish, up in Saratoga, have done a real good job with her. She's been up there training. She's a nice homebred ? [and] it's nice to win for Godolphin. It was a great race."
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had a big day on Saturday, sending out Wedding Toast to victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps and Frosted to a second-place finish in the Belmont.
A homebred daughter of Street Sense owned by Godolphin Racing, Wedding Toast led the Ogden Phipps field from start to finish, besting last year's Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Untapable by five lengths on the wire.
Later on the card, Frosted sat just off the pace in the Belmont and took a run at American Pharoah in upper stretch, but was no match for his Triple Crown-winning rival, who drew off to win by 5 ½ lengths.
"It was an exciting race," said McLaughlin. "For about three strides I started to call on [Frosted] and then I looked back at the leader and said, 'oops.' We were very proud of our horse, he ran very well he just ran into a star.
"It was a great day of racing, to have a Triple Crown winner," McLaughlin added. "We were second best, no excuses. We got paid for second this time, last time we thought we were second best but finished fourth [in the Kentucky Derby]. American Pharoah is a great horse; he does everything right and he does it effortlessly."
According to McLaughlin, both runners came back to the barn in good shape.
Talent often comes with idiosyncrasy in thoroughbreds and Kiaran McLaughlin has derived great satisfaction at ironing out the little issues that lay between the ears of both Frosted and Tamarkuz these past few weeks.
The Godolphin trainer hopes that all of his hard work pays off on Saturday when Frosted bids to derail American Pharoah’s Triple Crown momentum in the Belmont Stakes in New York under Joel Rosario.
Tamarkuz attempts to tack on a fifth successive victory to the quartet he accumulated at Meydan this winter in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on the same card.
Frosted had to be almost reconstructed as a racehorse before his victory in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes in April.
McLaughlin had to give the Godolphin grey a soft palate operation, a change of tactics and blinkers.
After his victory at Aqueduct, the Darley homebred ran a huge race to finish fourth behind American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby and is considered the chief threat to Bob Baffert’s Derby and Preakness Stakes winner.
Tamarkuz, on the other hand, is a work in progress. The Godolphin Mile victor found it difficult to break well in Dubai and, since arriving at McLaughlin’s Belmont base on April 19, Tamarkuz has been schooled extensively in the starting stalls.
“He was naughty for the first few times, but the gate crew learnt him, and he learnt them. Now he walks right in and stands there great,” McLaughlin said from Belmont.
“The other day we popped him out the front because he didn’t break well on World Cup night but he was fine.
“The last two workouts he worked with Frosted and they went head-to-head, and he wanted to be in front and wanted to beat Frosted. I’ve watched his races in Dubai and he is very game and tough. It is nice to see that from a horse you have got. He is a big-hearted horse.
“It’s great because Frosted won a Grade 1 after we worked out his issues. We haven’t run Tamarkuz yet so we don’t know if we have fixed any of his. We hope he runs a crack race and can be a future stallion for Shadwell.”
Frosted was off the pace in the Kentucky Derby and had to endure a wide trip. There was no horse finishing stronger at Churchill Downs, though, and, after a five-week break, McLaughlin is hopeful of adding to the win achieved by Jazil for Shadwell in 2006.
Frosted is by Tapit, a sire who produced last year’s winner Tonalist, and out of a mare by Deputy Minister, who sired Awesome Again, the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.
While Frosted’s breeding undoubtedly marks him as one of the more likely to get home over the stamina-sapping 2,400 metres on dirt, with the last nine winners of the Belmont skipping the Preakness, McLaughlin is hoping fatigue steps in to aid his charge.
“You are never sure about 12 furlongs over the dirt in America,” McLaughlin said. “The way he closed in the Derby he was the only horse running late, so that gives us confidence.
“One of the main factors is that the Triple Crown is very demanding on a three-year-old colt; to run three times in five weeks, over different distances and different courses. American Pharoah has been awesome, but this is his fourth race in eight weeks and we hope it catches up with him.
“We feel the timing is to our advantage. We need Frosted to have an A-plus race and American Pharaoh to have a B race. We like our chances.”
Frosted is one of two UAE-owned horses attempting to prevent American Pharoah becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Mike De Kock is in New York to oversee the final preparations for Mubtaahij, the UAE Derby winner owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.
Mubtaahij finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and had a tough workload last week, which culminated in a 1,000m gallop on Saturday in one minute, 1.05 seconds, the seventh fastest at the distance on Belmont’s main track.
Mubtaahij is set to be ridden by Ortiz and will face only seven rivals after Todd Pletcher scratched Carpe Diem on Monday and Kenny McPeek withdrew The Truth Or Else.
When the starting gate opens June 6 in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), one of the most accomplished challengers to American Pharoah's Triple Crown bid is Godolphin Racing's Frosted.
A striking gray son of leading sire Tapit produced from the grade II-winning Deputy Minister mare Fast Cookie, Frosted comes into the 1 1/2-mile Belmont with a record of 2-4-0 from eight starts and earnings of $936,800.
Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Frosted broke his maiden in his third career start and then finished second in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II). The colt began 2015 with a second in the Lambholm South Holy Bull (gr. II) and then in the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) held the lead but then finished a troubled fourth.
He rebounded to win the Twinspires.com Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) by two lengths in come-from-behind fashion and again came from far back to finish fourth, 3 1/4 lengths behind winner American Pharoah, in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
"He's just a beautiful individual with a great pedigree," McLaughlin said of the colt bred in Kentucky by Darley.
"American Pharoah is obviously a super horse and he's going to be tough to beat," McLaughlin said the morning of June 1 shortly after watching the live stream of American Pharoah's final Belmont workout at Churchill Downs.
"We have to have an 'A-plus' day and he has to have a 'B' day. But it's a mile-and-a-half, it's a different race over a different track and we're here. We're as close to the paddock as you can get. So it's nice just to walk through the tunnel and be at the paddock."
Since joining McLaughlin, Frosted has raced steadily, beginning last August at Saratoga Race Course. With a little better racing luck, McLaughlin believes Frosted's record could be better than it is.
"He was second in two maiden races before he broke his maiden, and then he was second in the Remsen in what appeared to be a speed-biased track that day," McLaughlin said. "He ran great, but ran second. He has improved and improved, being fourth in the Fountain of Youth and fourth in the Kentucky Derby. We could have been second-best or even first in the Fountain of Youth. We had a funny day that day and we're still trying to figure out what happened.
"Everything came together for the Wood Memorial and he won it and then he ran great in the Derby. He had excuses (in the Derby), but I don't think we were going to beat the winner. The winner was the best horse that day."
McLaughlin said American Pharoah faces a tall order in the Belmont, which will be his third race in five weeks; he took the second leg of the Triple Crown in the Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 16.
"It's a tough thing, with three races in five weeks; it's tough on any horse," he said. "But American Pharoah has done it the right way and he's training great, so he's going to be tough to beat. But you have to get in the gate and run the race."
McLaughlin said he will wait until after the Wednesday post position draw to discuss Belmont strategy with jockey Joel Rosario, who rode Frosted in both the Fountain of Youth and Kentucky Derby, but said he does not want the colt to be as far back as he was at Churchill Downs on May 2.
"I will talk to Joel after the post position draw," McLaughlin said of Rosario, who won the Belmont last year with Tonalist. "We will be closer (to the pacesetters) because it's a different distance and a different pace. We will be closer—we could still be last or seventh—but closer up; we won't be 15 lengths out of it and hopefully not six wide on the far turn like we were in the Derby. We will just have to see how we draw and who draws beside American Pharoah and how the race unfolds. But we will leave it up to Joel. He won it last year and he rides here every day so he knows the track very well.
"He (Frosted) couldn't be doing any better and we're ready to go."
Facing the likes of Grade 1 winners Untapable and Stopchargingmaria in Saturday's $1 million Ogden Phipps with Wedding Toast is not fazing her trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin.
Godolphin's Wedding Toast was powerful in winning the Grade 2 Ruffian by four lengths here on May 9. The 5-year-old is searching for her first Grade 1 victory in the Ogden Phipps.
When McLaughlin was asked if Wedding Toast needs to step up her game to win the Ogden Phipps, he responded: "No. She doesn't. If she runs that race she ran in the Ruffian, she will be very tough. But it's four weeks later, and sometimes it becomes harder to put those races back-to-back. But Wedding Toast is in a good place right now, so hopefully she can keep it going."
Among the other probables for the 1 1/16-mile Ogden Phipps, a designated "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, are Princess Violet, Rosalind, and Shayjolie. House Rules is possible to start.
Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - All three of trainer Todd Pletcher's Belmont Stakes contenders had workouts Friday morning as they prepare to take on Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah on Saturday, June 6.
Madefromlucky, Materiality and Carpe Diem all worked four furlongs at Belmont Park.
Carpe Diem, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, was timed in 47.66 seconds, Peter Pan winner Madefromlucky in 47.84 seconds and Florida Derby champ Materiality in 47.78 seconds.
Also working four furlongs at Belmont was trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's Frosted. The colt was caught in 47.84 seconds.
On Thursday, trainer Ken McPeek confirmed that The Truth or Else will start in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of the Champion" while trainer Mark Casse withdrew Conquest Curlinate.
"My horse loves the Belmont track," said McPeek, who won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava. "He has two starts and two wins on a dry track at Belmont. And he's out of a Colonial Affair mare (Lakenheath) so he should get the distance. His last race was a confidence builder. He got a good time and an excellent speed figure. His last two races have set him up for this. He really needed to win his last race (allowance at Belmont), which he did."
The Belmont Stakes currently has a possible 10-horse field: American Pharoah (jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert); Carpe Diem (undecided, Todd Pletcher); Frammento (Mike Smith, Nick Zito); Frosted (Joel Rosario, Kiaran McLaughlin); Keen Ice (Kent Desormeaux, Dale Romans); Madefromlucky (undecided, Todd Pletcher); Materiality (undecided, Todd Pletcher); Mubtaahij (Irad Ortiz Jr., Mike de Kock), The Truth Or Else (Edgar Prado, Kenny McPeek) and Tale of Verve (Gary Stevens, Dallas Stewart).
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/horse-racing/article22597626.html#storylink=cpy