The Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes has been a harbinger for the juvenile division in recent years. The 2006 winner, Circular Quay, would go on to take the Hopeful Stakes. The following year saw Kodiak Kowboy use the race as a springboard to the Saratoga Special. Two years ago the powerful Kantharos won this event and had seemingly endless potential, but saw his career end too soon because of injury.
In 2012 the six furlong race has attracted a field of eight competitive freshman contenders.
#1 3-1 Good Tickled (Flatter x Varus by Vicar): Darrin Miller pupil was second to the very fast Undrafted in his Keeneland debut. He made amends in his second start by getting the maiden broken at Churchill Downs. The chestnut colt did so in wire to wire fashion. Shaun Bridgmahon will retain the mount on the $105k Keeneland September purchase.
#2 3-1 Circle Unbroken (Broken Vow x Baldomera by Doneraile Court): Florida bred races for trainer Gary Simms who is 9 6-2-0 at the meet. His debut race saw him engage in a speed duel before drawing clear for a 1 ¼ length victory. It was eight lengths back to the third place horse in that field of eight. A strong pedigree and great connections combined with an impressive debut says he has a huge shot to win. Jon Court picks up the mount on the $92k Keeneland September graduate.
#3 20-1 Go Jack Go (Harlan’s Holiday x Run Ameadowstar by Cherokee Run): Probably doesn’t have much of a shot here. He won his debut, but it was at Indiana Downs in a dreadfully slow 1:01 for five furlongs. Rodney Prescott retains the mount for trainer Ralph Martinez.
#4 20-1 Praetorian Prefect (Successful Appeal x Miss Emmy by Buddha): Finished fourth of nine in Keeneland debut before dropping to a maiden claiming race at Churchill. He won that race by four lengths and led every step of the way. He has a precocious and sprinter based pedigree. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him hit the board, but a win would probably be overachieving. Jockey Dean Sarvis, a highly capable lower track rider, gets the call for trainer John Pucek.
#5 2-1 Special Jo (Johannesburg x Quiet City by City Zip): The betting public made him a heavy favorite in his debut and he justified it by drawing clear to a six length win at today’s track. He should be gunning for the early lead, just like many others in this race. Steve Asmussen clearly has a talented colt and he will find out just how talented he is after the Bashford Manor.
#6 5-1 Roman’s Avenue (Street Sense x Career Fair by Storm Cat): It looks like the highly successful Donegal Racing has found yet another good horse. Not hard when spending $230k at Keeneland September, but commendable none the less. This dark bay won his debut by 4 ¼ lengths while facing just four other foes. Like most of the horses in this race, it’s tough to say how good he really is. Corey Lanerie rides for Dale Romans.
#7 6-1 Positively (Distorted Humor x Macoumba by Mr. Prospector): Chuck Sanford, owner of Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, is also the proud owner of this bay runner. He was third in the debut, before launching his way to a win from just off the pace second time out. Both races were at Churchill Downs. He is probably better suited for longer distances, but that doesn’t mean he cannot perform well in this spot. Look for Calvin Borel to try to make one run behind the speed for trainer Dale Romans.
#8 15-1 Hightail (Mineshaft x Stormy Renee by Storm Cat): Leave it to D Wayne Lukas to enter a maiden in a stakes race. Not that it’s a move that hasn’t worked in the past, but this colt has been handily defeated by two other runners in this race. It’s tough to see him winning with Ramon Vasquez up.
Check out our horse racing picks for the Bashford Manor!