Horses to Watch: Fort Bragg Set for Battle

Fort Bragg Photo: Starlight Racing

Santa Anita Park – October 18, 2022

By Turfdom

FORT BRAGG (October 10) Three year old colt for Bob Baffert made start #2 on Monday in a maiden special weight event at a flat mile on the main track. Off at 3/5 in a field of 9 and breaking from the extreme outside, he was caught four wide into the clubhouse turn and settled in third down the back side, two and a half back of the leaders. He went to the lead on his own at the ¼ pole, then drifted out at the top of the lane, went 6 wide and bumped the runner up forcing him to check. He righted himself right away, then drifted in again at the 1/16 pole under right handed whipping, again forcing the runner up to steady sharply. He went on to win by two but was disqualified and placed second, and rightly so. This one has loads of talent but raced as green as a cucumber. Baffert will get him squared away and he’s a “single” next trip to the post.

  • RUTHLESS BUT KIND (October 10) Three year old filly for Eric Kruljac made start #2 in Monday’s third after running nowhere in her debut. Off at 12/1 in a 9 horse field, she was void of early speed once again and was well back in the pack down the back side trailing by 9 at the half mile pole in this maiden special weight race at a mile on the lawn. She was still 7 back at the ¼ pole, came wide into the lane, then finished strong out in the middle of the course to get second beaten two at the wire by the favorite. She galloped out very strong past the wire and went by the winner quite easily. She cost $625K at the Fasig Tipton yearling sale and is bred top and bottom for the turf. This filly has talent and is bred to be a good one. She’s a soon winner for a fairly good barn.  
  • ONE SILK STOCKING (October 15) Three year old filly for Doug O’Neill made her 1st start on the turf in Saturday’s opener after running five times on the synthetic and dirt tracks. Off at 17/1 in a field of 8 at ¾ on the turf in a starter allowance race for non winners three times, she broke alertly under Maldonado, then settled in fifth down the back side. She moved up at the ¼ pole, was four wide into the stretch, then battled gamely down the lane to miss by just a half at the wire. She ran the final ¼ in a good 23.43. She’s not really bred for the turf, but she took to the grass nicely and this late running sprinter can knock out this condition on this surface. The O’Neill barn is having a strong meet and he will find a winning spot for this filly.
  • SCHOOL DANCE (October 15) Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato made her 1st start in California after 7 races at Gulfstream in Saturday’s finale, a starter allowance race for non winners twice at a mile on the turf, 3 and up. Off as the 5/2 choice in a field of 12, she broke OK under Vasquez as was mid pack down the back side. She started her run at the ¼ pole, came around horses while 4 wide into the lane, and exploded late to pull away by four at the wire. It was visually impressive as she dominated this full field. She is now eligible for the same race for non winners three and she’s in good hands with the top turf trainer on the circuit. Up the ladder.
  • LEMON SUSHI (October 16) Four year gelding for Val Brinkerhoff made start #6 in a maiden special weight event on Sunday for Cal breds at ¾ on the main. Off as the 8/5 choice in a field of just five he dueled for the lead early with two others, put them away at the top of the lane, and pulled clear to win by three at the wire. This was just his 3rd start this year and he is still a fresh horse after being off 7 months. He can win the first Cal bred condition and is in good hands with Ray Vasquez. Up the ladder.

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