Last weekend’s action at Belmont Park featured a plethora of Grade 1 stakes races led by the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1), which was captured by the Mark Casse-trained Sir Winston. We had the pleasure to witness numerous championship-worthy performances on both the main course and the turf during the star-studded festival of racing. But, perhaps lost in the shuffle was a pair of juveniles that overcame different obstacles to become stakes winners. And each of them did so in very impressive fashion.
MARYANORGINGER made her debut in the $150,000 Astoria on Thursday in a field of seven. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee had shown promising works in advance of her first run and she was sent off at 3-1 with Jorge Cargas Jr. in the irons.
The $190,000 auction purchase was also assigned the dreaded rail post on debut and had anything but a smooth voyage. Maryanorginger nearly went down soon after the start and, after getting her feet under her, was steadied along the rail. The Kentucky-bred had just one horse beaten after a half-mile, but it didn’t matter to her.
Maryanorginger moved three-wide in early stretch, spurted to a clear lead in mid-stretch and kept a late challenger at bay through the wire in a professional manner. And with the way the bay galloped out after the wire, she looks like the type cut out to run longer.
Her dam is a half-sister to three stakes winners, including 2002 Del Mar Futurity (G2) hero Icecoldbeeratreds. I feel that this athletic filly has an especially bright future.
On Friday, the boys would have their turn in the $150,000 Tremont that attracted a field of seven. California shipper FORE LEFT went to the gate as the 8-5 favorite and that price turned out to be especially generous.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, Fore Left led soon after the start and never gave his foes a chance in his 4 1/2-length waltz. The $97,000 son of Twirling Candy established fractions of :22.58, :45.77, and :57.85 prior to completing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.44 while being geared down late.
Fore Left could be one to watch going forward and into next season. He overcame shipping across the country after just one start, which is not an easy task, and the colt’s dam is a three-quarter sister to 2012 Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Reveron as well.
Two days, two races, two impressive juveniles to watch throughout 2019 and beyond.
(c) Horsephotos.com/Kathleen O’Leary