Chief Mate vaults to the top of my list of favorite 2-year-olds

by Ron Gurfein

The weather was hot but breezy Saturday at Sunshine Meadows and the crowd, for an April day, was larger than one might expect. There were lots of nice horses, but one performance was riveting. Unlike last year when Captain Ahab stood out to my eyes after seeing him in 2:45 when in December or early January he appeared to be a man amongst boys, 2019 has been quite different. I have seen many that were very nice and still are, but my attention has been on three Captaintreacherous colt — It’s Showtime from the fast Uffizi Hanover, Force And Fury the $300,000 Lexington graduate out of My Little Dragon and Chief Mate from the Brittany Farms mare Heaven Forbid.

All winter long they have remained at the top of my pacing list. However, Saturday morning the crowd reaction to the set that was dominated by Chief Mate set him apart from the others. I have been criticized by Captain Bell for announcing winner and losers in the Alagna sets, as it is predetermined that Tony cuts most of the miles and they all finish or try to finish the mile together. This morning was different. Chief Mate opened up five lengths on the field on the final turn and Alagna had to rip his face to finish with the followers. The colt showed such a quick turn of foot that there was applause from The Deck as he stopped the timer in 2:08.1 the fastest mile of the year for a 2-year-old but the time was irrelevant, it was something to behold. It’s Showtime and Force N Fury looked great in the set flying at the wire, and I am certain they will be top colts, but at this moment this writer’s heart belongs to “The Chief”. It truly looks that the only way to beat a Captaintreacherous is to have a Captaintreacherous.(I was quoted saying the same thing in regard to Valley Victory at this time of year before his first crop ever raced).

Other Alagna sets were: He Refuses To Lose (c Captaintreacherous—Fox Valley Zena), Odds On Hollywood (f Captaintreacherous—Western Graduate), Speak The Piece (f Artspeak—Keep The Peace, driven by Hall of Famer, Catello Manzi), Donnafugatta (f, Kadabra—Renees Pocket) and Reflect With Me (f Captaintreacherous—Remember When) going a mile in 2:10. Cat says he was flying at the wire timing his last half in 1:01. Next, four Captaintreacherous colts were on display going a nice mile in 2:11 last half in a quick 1:03. They included Captain Midnight (Captaintreacherous—It Was Fascination), Odds On Cape Coral (Captaintreacherous—Preppy Party Girl), Rouser Hanover (Captaintreacherous—Romantic Moment) and Captain Nemo, (Captaintreacherous—Hana Hanover).
Also from Alagna’s barn Creative Powerful (Artspeak—Shyaway), Captivating Storm (c Artspeak—Calvados Hall), Odds On Orlando (f, Captaintreacherous—Lindys Old Lady), Treacherous Lady (f Captaintreacherous—Weapons Against) and Jazz Fest (f Captaintreacherous—Jan It Jackson) were timed the mile in 2:11.4.

The Croghan/Webster outfit are still in Florida and had a busy morning. Recoil (f, Rockin Image—Shot To Go Blue Chip) and Puck Me Upper (c, Trixton—Pick Me Up) were nailed on the wire by Gucciriffie (f Roll With Joe—Nikites) looked great, but time unknown. Also, Booty Call (f, Somebeachsomewhere—Love Canal) nosed out Middleton (f, Somebeachsomewhere—Jolting Kate) and Sweet Beachtime (f Somebeachsomewhere—Sweet Paprika).

From the Fred Grant Barn, Island Lilly (f Chapter Seven—Up Front Hotsey) and Test Match (f Andover Hall—Widdershins) went a nice mile in 2:21 and Sugar And Spice (f Captaintreacherous—Sweet Future) and Oxford Hall (c EL Titan—On With The Show) went a quick mile in 2:16.

I caught another quick trotting mile this morning from Team Zeron. Fortune Tellin Lady (f Trixton—For A Dancer), Tricia D (f Trixton—Miss Dangles) and Curry Hanover (c Sebastian K—Choose Happy) all looked good in 2:18.

Thanks to my friend Steve Condren, I actually got to see a Casie Coleman set in person. Three really wonderful looking colts hit the wire together in 2:12 — Golden Sands (Somebeachsomewhere—Cannae Cammie), Indictable Hanover (Bettors Delight—I’m Sassy) and Examiner Hanover (He’s Watching—E Z Rock).

Domenico Cecere of Lindy Farm trained some nice 2-year-olds on Friday. I was not there, but I got the report and will list the times for those interested. Unnamed (f Muscle Hill—Moms Millionaire) in 2:20, She Does Trix (f Trixton—La Riviera Lindy) in 2:23, Pastor Lindy (c Father Patrick—Lindys Crazy Dolly) in 2:22, Dazzling Lindy (c Crazed—Lindy On The Rocks) and Hall It Off (c Cantab Hall—Pearl Axe It).

Thanks for the kind word. Have a wonderful holiday and look for a preview of my Road to the Derby next issue. Have a great week.