Horses to Watch: Prince Abama is Ready to Rule

Prince Abama: Benoit Photo

Santa Anita Park – November 1, 2022

By Turfdom

TECUMSEH CAROLINE (October 28) Three year old filly for Phil D’Amato made start #4 in Friday’s 4th, a sprint on the main track at ¾ of a mile for Cal bred sophomore fillies. Breaking from the rail under leading rider Vasquez, she got away in order and laid third down the back side just 3 lengths off the pace. She stayed on the rail till the 1/8 pole, then swung out for room and finished in good stride to get second beaten a length and a half. It was another 3 back to the third horse and the winner went wire to wire as the favorite. This filly can handle turf or dirt but what she really wants to do is run long. If D’Amato can find a race for her, she’s a soon winner. This was a top effort today.

TRUE PATRIOT (October 28) Three year old filly for Carla Gaines is all race horse and she was in Friday’s 6th, a six furlong sprint on the turf for the 1st allowance condition for Cal breds. Off at 5/1 in a field of 8, she broke a step slow and settled in 6th down the back side on the rail. Cedillo got her off the fence at the ¼ pole, and she put in a good run down the lane and missed by just a long neck. She galloped out strong past the wire. This daughter of Clubhouse Ride can go short or long and has never been worse than 2nd in four starts. She’s a soon winner for a barn having a fine year in 2022.  

  • PRINCE ABAMA (October 29) Four year old gelding for Phil D’Amato has really been unlucky in his last two starts. In Saturday’s opener, a mile turf race for older runners called the Lure stakes, he was beaten for the second consecutive race by the shape of the race as the winner went wire to wire on an uncontested lead. “Abama” put in his typical late run down the stretch to get second but had no chance to catch the winner. He ran the final quarter in a sharp 22.31, which would win most mile turf races, but not today. Things should even out for this Irish bred and look for D’Amato to find the right spot for him soon. He still has the 2nd allowance condition available to him. Tab and follow.
  • VALIANCER (October 29) Two year old colt for Jeff Mullins made his 5th career start on Saturday in a maiden special weight event at a mile on the turf. Off at 4/1 in a field of 8. He was hustled right from the get go and asked for speed leaving the gate under Kyle Frey. He was second down the back side just off the favorite who was setting the pace through fractions of 22.62 and 45.95. He made a run at the leader at the 3/8 pole, but the favorite just let out a notch and was quickly in front by three. Valiancer hung in there till the 1/8 pole and then was all in finishing 4th beaten six at the wire. This colt needs to be covered up early for his best shot and really had no chance today due to the shape of the race. I think he gets cover next out and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mullins makes a rider switch. He can win at this level.
  • NADETTE (October 29) Three year old filly for Neil Drysdale made her first U.S. start in Saturday’s Grade 3 Autumn Miss stakes at a mile on the turf for soph fillies. Off at 5/1 in a full 12 horse field, she was off OK under Rispoli and was quickly covered up and was last into the clubhouse turn. She was 12 back of the leaders at the half mile pole, but got rolling at the ¼ pole and came six wide into the stretch. She came rolling down the stretch to get up for second but couldn’t quite match strides with the winner who got the jump on her. This one faced top company across the pond and is a soon winner for Drysdale. Put her on your stable watch and she may be shipping out of town for her next stakes engagement.