TURF TEN

Pluck

By Nick Hahn

A top ten look at three-year old turf winners in the United States within the last six months, perhaps with thoughts of the Twin Turf at Colonial Downs.

Just this week: No Virginia-bred has ever won the Colonial Turf Cup or the Virginia Derby. However with Swagger Jack’s maiden breaking score at Gulfstream Park, Silverton Hill has a Virginia-bred by the Estate of Edward P. Evans that will be one to watch throughout the spring. The Smart Strike-sired colt doesn’t make the Turf Ten list yet but is on the radar.

1) PLUCK – The Juvenile Turf winner breezed 5 Furlongs on the turf at Palm Meadows on February 11th. The Racing Post quotes trainer Graham Motion as using the Transylvania on April 8th at Keeneland as a tune up for the Irish 2000 Guineas.

2) SOLDAT – The following day after Pluck’s work runner up, Soldat worked 5 Furlongs at Palm Meadows. A return to the turf doesn’t look favorable anytime soon with McLaughlin’s sights squarely focused on the Fountain of Youth after a 10+ length win in the Gulfstream slop in an allowance win.

3) ROGUE ROMANCE – McPeek turned this Smarty Jones colt to the dirt for the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and ran a respectable third. The 2010 Bourbon winner at Keeneland for the moment will likely stay on the dirt after running third in the Risen Star with no clear shot at the wire until late in the stretch.

4) ADIRONDACK SUMMER – Although not much has been said about Clement’s Thunder Gulch colt since winning the $100,000 Dania Beach at Gulfstream. Perhaps his fourth career start won’t involve a troubled trip as his first three have, two of those resulting in wins.

5) KING CONGIE – Despite being placed third appropriately for interference in the stretch, Albertrani’s Tropical Park Derby winner still crossed the wire first in the Hallandale.

6) MASTER DUNKER – Don’t let the fact that “The Master” was put up as the Halladale Beach winner make you think less of him. He has been steadily showing results since being switched to the turf.

Silver Medallion

7) SILVER MEDALLION – The El Camino Real Derby winner on synthetic also won a New Year’s Eve turf race at Santa Anita (Eddie Logan). Is Asmussen really going to take his Derby contender to Dubai?

8) BRILLIANT SPEED – Albertrani’s Dynaformer had to go to Tampa to break his maiden but had credible outings in the Dania Beach and Hallandale.

9) CRIMSON CHINA – His first US start was an optional allowance win on the turf at a mile and an eighth over former Turf Ten participant Ari C. Motion’s Giant Causeway is tentatively fingered for the Spiral or the Bluegrass.

10) QUEENSPLATEKITTEN – Ken and Sara Ramsey’s Canadian-bred is sired by 2004 Virginia Derby winner Kitten’s Joy and won at a mile at Gulfstream early this month.