TURF TEN – "AMERICAN TURF"

By Nick Hahn

Garret Gomez guides Banned in capturing the American Turf

A look at three year old turf colts with at least one 2011 start on the turf in North America. 

Friday’s $200,000 American Turf (gr. IIT) introduces us to Banned, a Kitten’s Joy colt by Caerdinalli owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey.  Trained by Tom Proctor, Banned rolled over the Churchill turf to prevail by 4+ lengths.  After Great Mills set the fractions, Banned went wide out of the turn setting up his impressive stretch run.  The American Turf also validates Close Ally’s entry to the list.  Air Support also moving well in the stretch got third.

1. KING CONGIE – I’m not willing to pull him off the top rung until he gets beaten on the turf. He was as game as any in the Bluegrass stretch run on synthetic when he finished third. Albertrani is on record that he is considering the turf this summer in either the Virginia Derby or the Secretariat Stakes or both.

2. AIR SUPPORT –After this Smart Strike-sired Transylvania winner burst onto the scene with a win in the Transylvania Stakes, he rallied well in the American Turf. This is Claude McGaughey-Stuart Janney colt has seen some of the toughest competition.

3. BANNED – Tom Proctor’s colt gets an outstanding win in the American Turf for a Kitten’s Joy sired colt owned by the Ramseys with Garrett Gomez aboard. Strong Virginia Derby connections there.

4. BRILLIANT SPEED – Bluegrass winner turned the tables on King Congie in the Bluegrass Stakes. Albertrani colt has plenty of time, but the Derby bid comes with at least some cost. He may be the most consistent colt on this list on the turf (or synthetic).

5. CLOSE ALLY – An anonymous comment in the last Turf Ten posting suggested this one prior to the American Turf. After getting second in the turf test, I certainly agree.

6. ADIRONDACK SUMMER – Clement’s Thunder Gulch was flying in the Transylvania Stakes and simply ran out of racetrack. Passed the American Turf, but he Clemente has rested him before.

7. GREAT MILLS – Not a bad outing in the American Turf but not as impressive as the Transylvania. The mile and a quarter question needs to be solved..

8. TWINSPIRED – Michael Maker could be bringing another to Colonial Downs this summer. It’s been over a week since the Bluegrass and this Harlan’s Holiday colt still has yet to fade from the Keeneland rail.

9. DERBY KITTEN – The Ramsey’s know the way to Colonial Downs if the Derby doesn’t work out for the Lexington winner. Showing Up won the Lexington, ran 4th in the Derby and won the Colonial Turf Cup in 2006.

10. ANIMAL KINGDOM – The Kentucky Derby returns Graham Motion’s Leroidesanimaux colt back to for the first time since his maiden voyage. An intriguing Derby pick, but I’m thinking that this summer, he’ll be back on the grass.