Six months to the day after Slipstream went last-to-first in the Futurity (G3) at Belmont Park, the Christophe Clement trainee parlayed a similar inside trip to beat 9-10 favorite Twilight Gleaming in Sunday’s $188,788 Palisades S. at Keeneland.
Both protagonists were last seen at the Breeders’ Cup, where Twilight Gleaming defeated males in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), and Slipstream was a checkered sixth in the Juvenile Turf (G1). Slipstream actually had a ticket to their divisional sprint race, with the Futurity being a “Win and You’re In.”
But connections believed that the five-furlong dash at Del Mar was too sharp for Slipstream, who had broken his maiden over seven furlongs before getting up in time in the six-furlong Futurity. The 5 1/2-furlong Palisades presented a similar question, if a little more ground to answer it, and the More Than Ready colt had all the requisite late zip.
As Twilight Gleaming sped forward through fractions of :22.17 and :45.73 on the good turf, the 2.70-1 Slipstream was anchored at the rear of the field by regular rider Joel Rosario. Wesley Ward’s filly continued to roll into the stretch, but drifted out, and she might have gotten slightly lost in her first start without blinkers.
Slipstream, in contrast, cut the corner adroitly and quickened to overhaul the favorite. Twilight Gleaming tried to respond, but the winner was comfortably best by three-quarters of a length in 1:02.80.
Pure Panic ran a respectable third as a 34.90-1 longshot, albeit another 5 1/2 lengths back. Circle Back Jack, No Nay Franklin, Classicstateofmind, and the troubled Baytown Frosty rounded out the order under the wire.
Jump Sucker Stables’ Slipstream has now bankrolled $288,500 from a record of 6-3-0-1. Ben Colebrook was hosting the shipper for Clement, and his comments likely summed up the reaction of many observers.
“(Rosario) looked like he was loaded with horse. It was just whether he was going to get out, and right when you think that, it opened up and he just exploded through that hole. It was impressive and Joel did a great job.”
Twilight Gleaming’s jockey, Irad Ortiz, noted that she has a tendency to wander out.
“I had a good trip. She always tries to drift a little bit in the stretch, but I did not want to fight her,” Ortiz said. “I just let her be happy and kept riding and just got caught. I could feel (Slipstream) coming, but I could not fight with my filly. I just wanted her to keep moving forward.”
Ward would not yet commit to another Royal Ascot raid with Twilight Gleaming, runner-up in last summer’s Queen Mary (G2).
“We will probably run one more time at Churchill (in the May 14 Mamzelle S.) before we decide about going to Ascot. We will make a decision after that. We ran as good as we could – no excuses.”
Slipstream was bred by Burleson Farm and McKenzie Bloodstock in Kentucky. The $170,000 Keeneland September yearling is out of the stakes-placed Stormy Atlantic mare Cake Baby, making him a half-brother to stakes winner Too Sexy. Slipstream’s fourth dam, Reckoning, is a full sister to champion Roving Boy.