July 13, 2024

Juveniles plot course to Breeders’ Cup following Kentucky Downs stakes victories

Snapper Sinclair after winning the Kentucky Downs Juvenile on the track's postponed opening day, Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The connections of both Snapper Sinclair and Ultima D plan to head to the Breeders’ Cup. The question is whether they’ll use a race at Keeneland to get there.

Snapper Sinclair won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile and Ultima D the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies on opening day at the all-turf oval in rural South Central Kentucky.

Snapper Sinclair has been very impressive in both his turf starts after a dull effort in his career debut on dirt. He won a maiden race at Saratoga before shipping to Kentucky Downs for trainer Steve Asmussen.

“We were disappointed in his debut, so we worked him on turf at Saratoga and he just took off,” Asmussen said. “Jeff (Bloom) bought him out of the OBS April sale, and he worked great on synthetic. He’s amazingly versatile.”

Bloom’s Bloom Racing Stable went to $180,000 for the colt at the aforementioned two-year-olds in training sale, and he and his partners named the colt after a character in the Mickey Rooney movie Down The Stretch.

Bloom said he’d leave it up to Asmussen whether the colt gets another race before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November at Del Mar.

“We had hoped all along this would be the type of horse to take us to those type of races,” Bloom said. “We’ve been wanting to get a horse with Steve for awhile, and this one has been a perfect fit.”

Ultima D’s connections were more bullish on the Keeneland route, as trainer Wesley Ward said the Scat Daddy filly would go to the Jessamine Stakes before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

“She shouldn’t have been a maiden coming into this race,” Ward said of the filly’s tough-luck losses in her first three starts. “She ran great at Saratoga and keeps improving. We’re very happy.”

Ward trains Ultima D for attorney Mike Morgan’s For The People (of Morgan & Morgan fame). Charlie O’Connor of Coolmore’s Ashford Stud works with Morgan on his bloodstock and racing ventures, and the filly is by the late Scat Daddy, who stood at Ashford.

“We had no concerns about running the maiden,” O’Connor said. “She got beat by a monster (El Dulce) at Saratoga. She’s a good one.”