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Barn Notes: Thursday, January 8

 

IN TODAY'S NOTES: COMMANDING CURVE BACK IN TRAINING; ZOOMING HEADED TO SILVERBULLETDAY; FORDUBAI WORKS BULLET FOR LOUISIANA DEFENSE

COMMANDING CURVE BACK IN TRAINING

            West Point Thoroughbreds’ Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve has returned to training and the Fair Grounds Race Course barn of conditioner Dallas Stewart.  The son of Master Command was last seen finishing a dull ninth in the Travers Stakes on Aug. 23 and was given time off at WinStar Farm in Kentucky before returning. 

            “He looks great,” Stewart said.  “He got here two or three weeks ago and was just shedrowing and tack-walking.  I just recently started him back jogging.  He’ll do that for 10 days or two weeks before he starts galloping again.”

            Prior to his stellar showing in the Derby, the 4-year-old ridgling was third – closing from last – in the Louisiana Derby and sixth after a wide trip in the Risen Star Stakes. 

“There are no plans as far as racing yet,” Stewart said.  “At this point he looks strong and healthy.”

            Racing against the best of his generation, Commanding Curve – a $75,000 Ocala April 2013 2-year-old purchase – has been in the money in half of his 10 starts and earned $572,434 for his connections.


ZOOMING HEADED TO SILVERBULLETDAY

            Recent $100,000 Trapeze Stakes winner Zooming has been shipped from trainer Bret Calhoun’s Remington Park string to that of his local Fair Grounds Race Course to prepare for a start in its first major race for sophomore fillies on Jan. 17.  On New Year’s Eve, the Texas-bred daughter of After Market had her first work over the surface, going a half-mile in :49.60 – good for 13th-fastest of 58 moves at the distance.

            “Her plan is the (Listed $125,000) Silverbulletday (Stakes),” Calhoun confirmed.  “The race is coming up a lot tougher than I anticipated.  I didn’t expect Top Decile – a Breeders’ Cup-placed filly – or a Grade II winner like Catalano’s West Coast Belle, but with that being said we have to see who (Zooming) is.  It will be a good starting point and a good line on her against two of the best fillies in her division.”

In addition to her victory in the Trapeze, the dark bay filly also has two other wins over a two-turn mile at Remington Park – a maiden victory and an allowance.  She was a bargain $7,000 purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s Texas Two-Year-Olds in Training sale in April 2014 by her owner Carl Moore Management – for whom Calhoun trained 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge – and has since earned $94,630 with three consecutive wins in four starts. 

“She will work (Friday),” Calhoun said.  “If she runs well, she’ll fit in with the best – if not, she maybe has a future on the turf, being an After Market.  She’s a nice two-turn filly and has done well since we stretched her out.”

FORDUBAI WORKS BULLET FOR LOUISIANA DEFENSE

            The late Jim Tafel’s Fordubai signaled his readiness to defend his title in the 69th running of the Listed $75,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 17 with a sharp work on Jan. 4.  A notoriously unhurried workhorse, the Greg Geier-trained son of E Dubai stepped out of character by zipping a half-mile in :47.80 to earn the bullet of 62 works at the distance. 

            “The track was really good that day and it was right after the break,” Geier said.  “He must have felt like working that day.  He came back fine.” 

            In his 20 lifetime starts, the Kentucky homebred has finished in the top four in 10 stakes – including two victories and two graded stakes placings.  Last out, he was a game third – beaten 4¾ lengths – in the $50,000 Tenacious Stakes on Dec. 21 behind highly regarded Al Stall, Jr. trainee Rocket Time.  Last year in the Louisiana the 5-year-old bay horse ran arguably his best career race when he defeated Grand Contender by a length in a solid 1:43.37 for the 1 1/16 miles. 

 “He’s doing very well,” Geier said.  “Hopefully we’ll come up to the (Louisiana Handicap) in good shape.   We’re going to try and win it again.”