GP B Cup Turf: Honey Ryder meets Einstein
by Geir Stabell (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2007-02-23 07:03:30 (First published: 2007-02-23 06:22:01 )
Gulfstream Park 24 Feb: Last year’s winner, the Brazilian import Einstein is set to clash with top turf mare Honey Ryder as he attempts back-to-back wins in the Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
While she has not been in action since running third to Ouija Board at the Breeders’ Cup in November, Einstein has had one prep for this. But prior to running fourth over a mile here last month, he had been on an even longer break. Is he sharp enough to repeat last year’s form? And, perhaps more importantly, is he good enough to give five pounds to Honey Ryder?
Nine others take up the challenge. Five of them ran up to their best form last time out.
GULFSTREAM PARK BREEDERS’ CUP TURF (G1)
Gulfstream Park 24 February 2007 – 11 furlongs turf
Top ranked horse on 100, with others ranked down in pounds.
Horses presented with sires and riders.
100 – HONEY RYDER (Lasting Approval) / J Velazquez
..96 – EINSTEIN (Spend a Buck) / R Bejarano
..91 – REVVED UP (Sultry Song) / E Castro
..89 – MUSTANFAR (Unbridled) / F Jara
..88 – RAMAZUTTI (Honor Grades) C Decarlo
..88 – INTERPATATION (Langfuhr) / T Turner
..87 – JAMBALAYA (Langfuhr) / J Castellano
..86 – GO BETWEEN (Point Given) / E Prado
..86 – DYNATONIA (Dynaformer) / C Velasquez
..83 – EMBOSSED (Mark of Esteem) / M Guidry
...? – FRI GUY (Theatrical) / M Cruz
Mustanfar ranked on his 2005-form, ranked on 82+ on his comeback run on Jan 28.
Honey Ryder, receiving 5lbs from all her opponents, will be hard to beat – despite coming off a layoff. She last ran when finishing a game third, 3 ½ lengths behind Ouija Board, in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) over this distance at Churchill Downs in November. She ran right up to her previous best that day, finishing a neck behind her old arch rival Film Maker.
Honey Ryder just got the better of Film Maker at Belmont Park in October, when they met in the Flower Bowl Hcap (G1), but – interestingly – they both ran below their lifetime best on ratings. The pace, set by outsider Jade Queen may have been the reason for that – as it developed into a stretch dash, rather than a test of stamina. Honey Ryder enjoyed a ground saving trip, and won by just a nose but she was also giving 2lbs to the second, and it was a fine Breeders’ Cup prep.
Honey Ryder has won seven of her last ten races and has become a very solid performer. She also produced her best when carrying top weight to a game head-win over Olaya and Latice in a tough non-graded stakes over 11 furlongs at Delaware Park last July. She came form off the pace to outstay them – giving 6lbs to both her nearest rivals. Honey Ryder had been on a break leading up to this win, following her easy win over Noble Stella in the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (G2) at Belmont in May (also run over 11 fur.).
Having won the E P Taylor Stakes (G1) over 10 furlongs in 2005, and the 12-furlong Orchid Handicap (G3) at Gulfstream last spring, her profile is that of a 10 to 12-furlong performer, and her fourth to Gorella in the last year’s Beverly D Stakes (G1), run over 9.5 furlongs, was not at all a bad effort.
Einstein, last year’s winner of this race – when allowed to bowl along nicely in front – looks the only threat on papert. The ex-Brazilian ran five times last year, often under difficult weights due to his southern hemsiphere background, and never put in a bad effort. After beating Go Deputy by a neck in the Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), he was fourth twice in good company; 2 ½ lengths behind Silver Whistle (Ramazutti second) in the Pan American Handicap (G2) over 12 furlongs at Gulfstream, and 1 ¼ lengths behind English Channel in the 9-furlong Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day. That was his last run of 2006, and he came back over a mile here at Gulfstream in late January, to run fourth behind Tiganello. He was probably in need of the race, and the distance was too sharp. He produced his best form over 11 furlongs but may be best suited by 10 furlongs.
Revved Up, Ramazutti and the 4-year-old Go Between are all coming off career best efforts, and all three qualify for a spot on our trifecta plan. Mustanfar made an adequate comeback when fourth behind Ramazutti, Dreadnaught and Interpatation in the Mac Diarmida (G2) here last month. He had not run since totally overmatched in last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic (G1). Jambalaya finished well for third behind Giant Wrecker in the 8.5-furlong Canadian Handicap (G3) three weeks ago, and this step up in distance suits him well.
Strong as this bunch may seem, and good as Einstein may be – he could even improve this year – the Todd Pletcher mare Honey Ryder makes a lot of appeal. Not least since the likely pace scenario will suit her much better than Einstein. She really is a ’five-star-bet’.
A: 2 HONEY RYDER
B: 10 EINSTEIN
C: 3 JAMBALAYA, 4 GO BETWEEN, 6 RAMAZUTTI, 7 MUSTANFAR, 8 REVVED UP
Globeform Race of The Week – selected as the best betting opportunity this weekend.
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