Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Toughest Test Yet

Fizzy Pop is back on the turf and under the lights at Canterbury Park Thursday night in what shapes up to be his toughest test of the season. He's entered in the 8th race going a mile and a sixteenth in an Allowance Optional Claiming race for a total purse of $18,000. The claiming tag in this race is $25,000, but we've chosen not to place a tag on Fizzy this time out. He has earned a shot at winning in allowance company and we're eager for the opportunity.

The most exciting thing to me is this $25,000 level. Don't forget, we claimed Fizzy for $10,000 at Tampa back in March. In this time he's run for us 5 times logging a win, a second, two thirds and a forgettable dirt debut at Canterbury (6th) while earning a shade under $15,000 and appreciating in value about 2.5 times his purchase price. A win in this company Thursday will certainly make a statement and will certainly get us thinking about his next stop. But...first things first. This is not an easy field and there are several in here with a chance to win.

The favorite looks to be the Jamie Ness entry of Spy Story and Dawn Raider, though I think we may see a scratch of one depending upon the weather as Paul Nolan is named to ride on both. Dawn Raider looks to be the more pure turf horse and with a nice 2nd place finish over this course against $35,000 claimers, he appears to be the one to beat. Another dropper who finished two spots behind Dawn Raider last out is Fizzy's stablemate (same trainer though different owners) Green Lemon. Strategic Leader is making his seasonal debut in this race after taking seven months off. He may need one here, but has proven to be sharp after layoffs in the past. Several other shippers are making their 2008 Canterbury debuts including Kon Krete Kid from Arlington Park as well as Lloron Jotace and Mithrandir, both in from Prairie Meadows where the latter has shown some solid recent form, though at an arguably lower level.

Other contenders in this full field of twelve include turf allowance winner Ouachita Creek; Classic Trouble, who Fizzy put away last out; Silver Nat, a lightly raced 4 year old with good recent form, but whose one turf start was a disappointment; and Thrill of Victory who is taking a huge step up off the claim.

Fizzy fits in this group. His latest Beyers certainly fall in the same parameters as the top choices in this race. We know how much trouble he had at this NW2X level last time out and still managed to charge hard for second. He has an extra 16th of a mile to play with this time and I know that Dean felt badly about not having Fizzy in a better spot last out, so he'll be gunning for sure. (As an aside here, I want to reiterate that Fiz just would not settle in the first eighth last out and there was not a whole lot Dean could do about it. I appreciate that he feels badly, but he really shouldn't.)

Thursday night at Canterbury has a special post time of 4 PM. There will be fireworks to celebrate the 4th after the races and there is usually one heckuva crowd there. It should be a fun night. I hope that Fizzy can make it a special one!


PEM said...

Don't know about in Minnesota but in Florida if Jamie Ness has an achille's heel it's the turf. Extra distance won't hurt you either. Best of luck.

J.C.Scott said...

Got your blog from a link on Pregame.com and been reading your entries for the last few months.

I will be there today cheering on Fizzy. It is gonna be a fun 8 hour day at the park!

Good luck!

Ted G said...

PEM/J.C. - Thanks. As I said, it'll be a tough one, but Fiz is on top of his game. I worry about a 12 horse field and traffic issues, but it's our horse and my resposibility, so I worry so my partners don't have to!

Should be a fun, but very crowded, evening at Canterbury!