Pleasant Prince, No Such Word outclass foes at Remington
Remington Park's most lucrative stakes on Sunday provided a case study in the proverbial cream rising to the top. Ken and Sarah Ramsey's PLEASANT PRINCE (Indy King) rolled to a four-length decision as the 2-1 favorite in the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, and Brereton C. Jones' homebred NO SUCH WORD (Canadian Frontier) romped by 6 1/2 lengths as the 4-5 choice in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks. While No Such Word was expected to get a 45-day vacation after her triumph, Pleasant Prince could have just raced into Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) consideration.
Ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario, Pleasant Prince was kept in the clear on the outside while racing several lengths off the pace. Timely Pursuit (Purge), by far the longest shot on the board at 81-1, seized an inviting opening along the rail into the first turn. Moving through to take charge, Timely Pursuit set fast fractions of :23, :46 4/5 and 1:10 4/5.
Pleasant Prince improved his position on the far turn, and joined the battling pair of Timely Pursuit and Monsignor (Forest Danger) swinging into the stretch. It was no contest from there, as Pleasant Prince asserted his class and drew off. The chestnut stopped the teletimer in a brisk 1:48 4/5 for 1 1/8 miles on the fast track, not far off the track record of 1:48 set by Classic Cat in the 1998 Oklahoma Derby.
The Wesley Ward-trained winner returned $6.40, $3.60 and $2.60. Timely Pursuit proved surprisingly resilient and finished a clear second by 2 1/4 lengths, paying $32 and $9.80 and capping the $329.80 exacta. The 30-1 Stachys (Candy Ride [Arg]) closed for third, a half-length up on the 3-1 No Hesitation (Siberian Summer), and provided $7.20 to show. The trifecta was worth $3,258.60, and the 8-6-9-10 superfecta ballooned to $11,280.20. Monsignor tired to fifth in the nine-horse field.
Pleasant Prince now brandishes a scorecard of 13-3-2-3, $557,398. Pleasant Prince lost his first two starts in maiden claimers before graduating in a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs last November. A distant fourth in the Fountain of Youth S. (G2) three starts later, the chestnut led briefly before bowing to Ice Box (Pulpit) by a nose in the Florida Derby (G1). Pleasant Prince failed to earn sufficient graded earnings to participate in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after running seventh in the Blue Grass S. (G1) and third in the Derby Trial S. (G3) in his next two starts, but contested the May 15 Preakness S. (G1) where he was always far back and finished 11th in a field of 12. Rebounding with a photo-finish victory in the July 15 Ohio Derby (G3), he was most recently a rallying third in the Smarty Jones S. at old Philly Park on Labor Day.
Bred in Florida by Adena Springs, Pleasant Prince was purchased for $30,000 as an OBS August yearling. He is the first registered foal from the unraced Archduchess (Pleasant Tap), a half-sister to multiple Canadian Grade 3 winner Mark One (Alphabet Soup), stakes winner Daiwa Carson (Carson City) and the Grade 2-placed Golden Corona (Gulch). Pleasant Prince counts as half-siblings the unraced juvenile colt Arch's Brew (Milwaukee Brew) and a yearling colt by Run Production.
Pleasant Prince counts as his fourth dam Missy Baba (*My Babu), the dam of leading sire Raja Baba (Bold Ruler), Broodmare of the Year Toll Booth (Buckpasser) and the Grade 1-winning Sauce Boat (Key to the Mint). Other prominent descendants of Missy Baba include Broodmare of the Year Weekend Surprise (Secretariat), 1980 champion sprinter Plugged Nickle (Key to the Mint), French champion Gay Mecene (*Vaguely Noble) and English highweight Wolfhound (Nureyev).
One race earlier, No Such Word inhaled her opponents in no uncertain terms. Held up last of 10 early by regular rider Terry Thompson, the Cindy Jones filly raced far behind the dueling pair of Machorina (Macho Uno) and American Story (Ghostzapper), who alternated for the lead through splits of :21 2/5 and :46 2/5. When Machorina abruptly threw in the towel, Speedacious (Yankee Gentleman) advanced and passed American Story by a half-length through six furlongs in 1:11 1/5.
Most significant, though, was the inexorable headway made by No Such Word at this point. Easily gaining on her own volition, the class of the field overwhelmed Speedacious and American Story leaving the far turn and opened up with each and every stride. With Thompson barely moving his hands, No Such Word was much the best as she negotiated 1 1/16 miles in 1:43 1/5. The bay furnished mutuels of $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10 while spearheading the $9.40 exacta, $38.80 trifecta and $187.20 superfecta (2-9-3-1).
American Story, the 8-5 second choice, suffered her first loss in her stakes debut, but was best of the rest in second. Another two lengths adrift in third came Speedacious, and the remainder of the field was strung out.
According to retired trainer Larry Jones, now serving as wife Cindy's assistant, plans called for No Such Word to enjoy a well-deserved break before gearing up for her four-year-old campaign. He added that the final decision would be made in consultation with owner/breeder Brereton Jones.
No Such Word's record now stands at 14-6-1-2, $503,213. A winner in two of her first five outings, No Such Word next made a successful stakes debut in the March 13 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn, drawing off to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Third, beaten nine lengths, to Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision) in the Fantasy S. (G2) in her next start, No Such Word was a solid second in the Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2) before reaching the winner's circle again in the June 5 Go for Wand S. at Delaware Park. Fourth to Blind Luck in the July 10 Delaware Oaks (G2), No Such Word was coming off a score in the August 14 Monmouth Oaks (G3).
The Kentucky-bred No Such Word is out of the winning Muskoka Ice (It's Freezing), who has since produced Nemorino, a juvenile full brother to the winner. Muskoka Ice is herself a half-sister to Grade 1 runner-up and multiple stakes scorer Karmani (Run the Gantlet) as well as the granddam of this year's Ben Ali S. (G3) winner Dubious Miss (E Dubai). Another of note in this line is Grade 2 victress Moon Mist (Key to the Moon).
Also at Remington on Sunday, Bobby Joe Hammer's SCHRAMSBERG (Storm Cat) became the fifth stakes winner produced by Hall of Famer Serena's Song (Rahy) when prevailing in a blanket finish in the $150,000 Remington Green S. After rating five lengths off the slow early pace, the Chris Hartman trainee uncorked his rally five wide into the stretch, but jockey Ramsey Zimmerman then tacked inside to dive between rivals. Schramsberg punched through in the last strides and forced his neck down on the wire, finishing the 1 1/16-mile affair on firm turf in 1:43 as a 9-1 shot. The top five finishers were separated by a grand total of a length.
Schramsberg RNA'd for $1.4 million as a Keeneland September yearling in 2007, and sported the colors of his breeder, the Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust, for his first eight starts. The four-year-old chestnut broke his maiden for Todd Pletcher on the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields in February, but after toiling in allowance/optional claiming company for Craig Dollase, he resurfaced in Hammer's ownership at Prairie Meadows in June. Now three for five since joining Hartman, Schramsberg has compiled an overall mark of 13-4-1-2, $158,493.
Schramsberg is a full brother to Coronation S. (Eng-G1) heroine and graded/group stakes producer Sophisticat, as well as Grade 2-winning sire Grand Reward. They are half-siblings to Grade 2 hero Harlington (Unbridled) and multiple stakes heroine Serena's Tune (Mr. Prospector), herself the dam of multiple Group 3 scorer Vocalised (Vindication).
Serena's Song, the champion three-year-old filly of 1995 and an earner of more than $3.2 million, has produced three registered foals since Schramsberg -- an unraced juvenile colt named Stormberg, also by Storm Cat; a yearling filly named Night and Day (Unbridled's Song); and a weanling filly by Street Cry (Ire).
Sanders Brothers' homebred ALL ABOUT ALLIE (Storm and a Half) remained perfect from three starts after dominating the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial S. for juvenile fillies at 6 1/2 furlongs. Trained by David Whited and piloted by Shane Laviolette, the robust bay powered to the lead in midstretch and crossed the wire a four-length winner in a final time of 1:17 1/5. All About Allie, who was coming off a 4 1/4-length triumph in the Lady Razorback Futurity at Louisiana Downs, has bankrolled $76,620.
Kicking off the stakes action, Gold Mark Farm's DOUBLE ESPRESSO (Medaglia d'Oro) engineered a last-to-first victory as the 6-5 favorite in the $51,470 Flashy Lady S. With Cliff Berry in the irons, the Tom Amoss filly got up by a half-length to earn her second career stakes success, following the Pan Zareta S. at Fair Grounds in February. Double Espresso blitzed six furlongs in 1:09 1/5, advancing her line to 17-6-1-5, $223,936. The four-year-old was most recently third in the Pink Ribbon S. at Charles Town.
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