Three WPT 2-Year-Olds Contest Grade 1 Stakes This Weekend
Three members of the WPT 2-Year-Old Class of 2012 contest grade I races this weekend. California-based juveniles Pure Indy and Tree of Life compete at Keeneland while Toasting takes on six at Belmont on Saturday. Partners are pumped up and several are heading to the tracks to watch their horses run.
Pure Indy takes on a full a field in Friday’s $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1). A daughter of Pure Prize trained by Craig Dollase, she broke her maiden in impressive style at Del Mar this summer, earning an 81 Beyer Speed Figure. She didn’t handle the conventional dirt in the Barretts Debutante last out, and we’re putting a line through that effort. She acts like the type of filly who can run all day, and should relish the added distance while returning to synthetic.
“She’s got a huge stride, and should love being back on synthetic and should love the long stretch at Keeneland, said WPT president Terry Finley. “Breaking from post one, she’ll be able to save all the ground around the first turn. Hopefully they fly early.”
“Victor (Espinoza) came out to work her at Hollywood before she flew to Kentucky, and loved how she went,” said Craig Dollase. “On paper the race sets up very well for her.”
Victor Espinoza flies in to ride both Pure Indy and Tree of Life.
Tree of Life is a perfect two for two coming into Saturday’s $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1). He broke his maiden at odds of nearly 23-1 this summer at Del Mar before winning the Baretts Juvenile last out. While we’re not fans of his far outside post, he’s a versatile horse who’s run well from off the pace and also from close up. Tree of Life isn’t a particularly tall horse, but he’s very athletic and his mechanics and body type remind us quite a bit of Awesome Gem. Distance shouldn’t be a problem for him.
“This horse has great wind,” said trainer Craig Dollase. “He worked six furlongs at Hollywood last week, and came back to the barn like it was a walk in the park.”
“We went out to the Barretts sale this March aiming to buying two horses,” said Finley. “Early in the sale we purchased Pure Indy and another very nice colt by Eddington. As the night went on, I couldn’t get the Lion Heart colt out of my mind. When he went into the ring, I just had a good feeling about him, and made a gametime decision to bid. I’m thinking that gut feeling was the right one.”
Happy Partners cheer him home at Del Mar!
About 45 minutes before Tree of Life goes into the starting gate on Saturday,Toasting goes postward in the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Trained by Tom Albertrani, she comes off a maiden score over the strip on September 9.
Albertrani is no stranger to the Frizette winner’s circle. In 2004, Balletto carried the Darley Stable silks to victory in the race. “I’m hoping has a trip similar to Balletto,” said Albertrani. “There was a speed duel up front, the race fell apart, and Balletto picked up the pieces.”
“Dreaming of Julia will be tough to beat if she brings anywhere close to her best,” said Terry. “Our filly is doing well and not too often do you get to run in a grade one against six other horses. Only two fillies in the race are multiple winners, so it’s not much tougher than a first level allowance.”
WPT has a tie to heavy favorite Dreaming of Julia. She’s out of Dream Rush, a grade one winner under the black and gold silks.