Catching My Eye: A Perfect Day for Brian Lynch
With a 10-race card, including six stakes races on the dirt, this past Sunday at Ellis Park was set up for a great day of racing. The fields were stacked from top to bottom and the horses brought their best efforts, resulting in thrilling finishes race after race. As a fan of the sport and a gambler, at one point all I could think was, why is anyone watching or wagering on any other track?
In the end, the day belonged to trainer Brian Lynch. Sending out four horses, he won each of the three races where he entered, including the $250,000 Ellis Park Derby and $150,000 Debutante.
Tumbarumba's beaten Scotland, who is probable for the Travers; Joey Freshwater, who ran fourth in the Dwyer and second in the Quick Call, and freshman phenom Damon’s Mound. But made 8-1 in the morning line and chilly on the board up until the last minute, could Tumbarumba get one mile in the $150,000 Ellis Park Derby against the likes of the Iowa Derby winner How Did He Do That, Denington, Transect, and Godolphin’s rising star Loyal Company, among others?
With three wins under his belt coming into the Derby, the big questions for this game Louisiana-bred were what happened last out and could he go longer. On a speed-favoring sloppy track in the Maxfield, he was up against the race flow and possibly just did not like the footing when finishing sixth behind Ryvit.
Back on a fast track and receiving the services of Rafael Bejarano, Tumbarumba worked out a great trip with the inside draw. After tracking along the inside early on, Bejarano guided him off the rail ahead of the far turn and positioned Tumbarumba three wide. The lukewarm favorite Loyal Company got the jump on him out of the turn, but Tumbarumba proved the best as the two went to work running down Transect and Blue Light in the stretch.
For that effort, he earned a career-best 99 Brsinet Speed figure. Have no doubt this LaBred is legit.
Coteau Grove Farms bred a really nice one here. The son of Oscar Performance out of the Street Sense mare Naive Enough, Tumbarumba is a fighter through and through. His four wins have come a head, a nose, a neck, and now with the Ellis Park Derby, 3/4 lengths.
Lynch showed his hand running first and third in the opener. Facing a salty allowance field, Oscar Eclipse was sent off at 3-2 and did not disappoint, while his stablemate Quaternion ran a solid third overcoming a troubled start and wide trip.
With a 96 Brisnet Speed figure, the 3-year-old Oscar Eclipse posted one of the top speed figures on the day. A neck away from a perfect three-for-three in 2023, the son of Oscar Performance has added another win on the dirt for the stallion, who went 15:8-0-1 going long on the turf, winning multiple graded stakes. And if you forgot, Oscar Performance was trained by, you guessed it, Brain Lynch.
Speaking of fantastic young sires, how about Omaha Beach? Of his first crop, Hot Beach became the top earner with $103,920 after winning Sunday’s $150,000 Ellis Park Debutante at seven furlongs.
After finishing second on debut to the Adirondack (G3) place-finisher Here U Come Again, the maiden made her encore against stakes company, and the bettors saw her coming. Made the 2-1 second-favorite, Hot Beach broke from the far outside of nine fillies under Declan Cannon, stalked four wide, and drew clear in the upper stretch. Cannon won two on the day.
Going seven furlongs, Hot Beach earned an 84 Brisnet Speed figure. She completed the distance one second faster than her male counterpart Baytown Chatterbox, who won the $150,000 Ellis Park Juvenile on the same card.
Favorites got beat left and right and both the Pick 5 and the Pick 6 were left unsolved. Racing continues on Friday, Aug. 18 at Ellis, and $92,036 carries over into the late Pick 5 pool; $77,739 into the Pick 6.