Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem March 27, 2023

March 27th, 2023

A good Monday morning to you all! Deep breaths after that big weekend. It was non-stop and wall-to-wall for most of Saturday, and it didn’t even seem to slow up that much on Sunday with the Sunland Derby and good racing most everywhere.

We saw an insane performance at Tampa on Sunday with Munnys Gold winning the Sophomore Sprint. It was the seventh race on Sunday, and she broke the track record by .80 seconds and won by 17 lengths. It was truly breathtaking to see. I told some people afterward that the only other horse I’d ever seen sprint like that through my binoculars was Shancelot back in 2019.

Speaking of Tampa, it was very cool to see Kingsbarns use our track as a prep to catapult him to a win in the Louisiana Derby (G2) on Saturday at Fair Grounds. He ran very well after taking a pretty easy lead, but it was just his third career start, and I think he’s got a real future as he gains more experience. He’s shown he can come from just off the pace, so I don’t worry about him rating on the first Saturday in May.

I wanted to use this column today, though, to talk about a couple of great riders in our game who had big weekends. I’ve had the good fortune to call lots of races won by both Reylu Gutierrez and Jareth Loveberry over the years at Colonial Downs, and it was so cool to see both shining on the biggest stages this past weekend.

Reylu came on the podcast a while back, and he was really just starting to take off again down in Texas after pairing with jockey agent to the stars Jose Santos Jr. I’ve followed Reylu’s career basically since he started back in 2017. He got off to a fast start, and it seemed inevitable that he was just going to keep that momentum going. But it did seem like a little bit of a slow year in 2020 led to him trying some new circuits, and that meant going to Texas.

He started well down there, and shortly after he was winning all the time and working his way back to success in the bigger circuits. He had a huge 2022 with over $7,000,000 in purse earnings, and 2023 looks like it’s on pace to be another huge year for Reylu, as he just wrapped up the riding title at Fair Grounds and scored in the Oaks with Southlawn.

Jareth Loveberry rode Two Phil's to a win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on Saturday in a race that just a couple of weeks ago it looked like he might not be able to ride in. On March 2 at the Fair Grounds, he suffered a hairline fracture of his fibula in the starting gate before a race. He was able to heal and get back in the saddle to ride Two Phil’s to a convincing win in the Jeff Ruby.

Jareth is one of those solid riders that has just continued to grow his business and prominence over the last several years. A look at his Equibase page shows a nearly 20-year career that has been building slowly up to this level of success, and that culminated in a 2022 season that he rode over $5,000,000 in purse earnings during the calendar year.

Saturday was the biggest win of his career, and personally I’m thrilled to see that he’s going to get a chance to possibly ride in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in several weeks.

All in all, a great weekend, and looking forward to talking more about the weekend on my podcast, as we’ll welcome in Kaitlin Free from Turfway Park and trainer Norm Casse.