By Ryan Martin
• O’Dwyer Seeks First Stakes Win with Needs Supervision
• Off Track Could Suit Mr. Money, Cowgirls Like Us
O’DWYER SEEKS FIRST STAKES WIN WITH NEEDS SUPERVISION
From the time he first laid eyes on her at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Mid Atlantic 2-Year-Old in Training Sale, Irish-born trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer noticed something special about Needs Supervision. Purchased for just $55,000, the daughter of Paynter has already proven to be a bargain, and in Saturday’s Silverbulletday Stakes, she’ll have a chance to show just how special she can be.
The acquisition did not come easy, however. Initially O’Dwyer thought that the filly would be a little pricy but when she did not meet the reserve that consigner Hidden Brook Sales placed on her, he was able to buy her privately for $55,000.
“It’s been enjoyable,” O’Dwyer said. “She was an RNA in the ring and I talked to (pinhooker) Mike McMahon, they had her consigned with Hidden Brook. He asked if I put in a bid and I told him, ‘No she was out of my price range’ so we worked out a deal after the sale and I bought her for $55,000. I thought she’d bring a lot more and obviously she looks like a bargain now but at the time I loved her. She was one of my favorites at the sale. After that, we just took our time and backed off of her to let her come on at her own pace.”
Needs Supervision has been solely owned by Howling Pigeon Farms throughout her three career starts, but after a five-length romp against winners over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs last time out, some heavy hitters wanted to join the ride. Her original owners now have her in partnership with Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stables.
The Silverbulletday Stakes will be a stakes debut for Needs Supervision and a victory would give O’Dwyer the first stakes win of his career.
“We discussed it with the group of owners,” O’Dwyer said. “We were trying to make a plan on where to go with her. This race was high on our list so we decided to give her a go down here. If all goes well, we’ll keep her down here and maybe run back against next month. A lot will depend on this weekend and how she does. I do like it down here, I spent a winter here with Andrew (McKeever). She’s a very nice filly. She’s progressed with every run and we’re looking forward to it.”
O’Dwyer took out his trainer’s license in 2014 and scored his first career win with Aleutian Queen at Belterra Park in September of that year. In addition to Andrew McKeever, he worked for trainers Al Stall, Jr. and Michael Matz as well as prominent 2-year-old consigner Niall Brennan in Ocala, Fla.
“I just wanted to learn all of the breeze-up things, prepping young horses and bring them up and Niall is very good at that,” O’Dwyer said. “Niall always stressed the importance of being at the sale because something good will slip through somewhere.”
Need Supervision slipped through, now it’s time to see how good she really is.
OFF TRACK COULD SUIT MR. MONEY, COWGIRLS LIKE US
Heavy rain projected in Saturday’s forecast has some trainers with horses in the big stakes a little concerned, but Bret Calhoun appears unbothered. He expressed some confidence in $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes contender Cowgirls Like Us and Mr. Money in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, despite Mother Nature’s likely lack of cooperation.
A Douglas Scharbauer-owned daughter of My Golden Song, Cowgirls Like Us will attempt her fourth straight stakes victory in the Silverbulletday. Two starts ago, she won over a sloppy main track at Retama Park in the La Senorita Stakes, which was originally scheduled for the turf.
“It’s a step up for her, she’s gotten in a zone,” Calhoun said. “She’s very good right now. Last race I thought was very impressive because it came off of a three-and-a-half month layoff and she should move forward from that. It was a solid race and she showed some improvement. Obviously she has run on an off track before, hopefully if it all comes down to that it won’t bother her.”
Last out, Allied Racing’s Mr. Money ran a big race in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to get fourth at odds of 41-1. Although the son of Goldencents has only raced over fast main tracks, he has trained well over sloppy goings. On January 3, he drilled through five furlongs in 1:00.20 on an off track.
“He’s worked very well over an off track so hopefully that won’t be an issue,” Calhoun said. “He’s had a very good time since he arrived here, done everything we wanted him to do. Everything has gone right for us so far, it’s a wide open race. We’re just hoping for a good trip and that he’s good enough.”
“Every surface is different when they get wet so it’s hard to say how they’ll look,” Calhoun said. “It gives some comfort that they both seem to have handled it well. Him in the morning and her in the races.”
Mr. Money is out of the Tiznow broodmare Plenty O’Toole, whose grand dam O’Toole is a half-sister to 2009 Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed. He is also from the same family as American Patriot, a Grade I winner on turf.
Also seeing stakes action for Calhoun is three-time winner Silver Dust who has been cross entered in the $75,000 Louisiana Stakes on the main track and the $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. Robby Albarado is named the rider in both races.
“I got it entered in the grass race in case it comes off,” Calhoun said. “We might catch some turf horses running on the dirt. He’s always been extremely talented. He’s a bit of a head case but he’s won two in a row now so hopefully he’s getting it. I’ve seen him look like a superstar in the morning and not show up in the afternoon. He’s a very talented horse and hopefully he keeps his head screwed on tight. If he does, he’ll be very tough.”
Calhoun is nearing his 3,000th career victory. According to Equibase, he currently has 2,990 lifetime wins.