Sport

Nine juveniles seek Front Runner status

Casual Drink, Princess Annie the leaders to land trophy

BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER

Friday, September 07, 2018

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The Front Runner Sprint, a five-and-a-half-furlong (1100 metres) event for maiden two-year-olds, easily got through the nomination process on Wednesday last as nine juveniles are entered, all in search of the first-place purse of $600,600.

Two newcomers, filly Casual Drink and the colt Bad Boy Theodore, now join the ranks of the racing youngsters as they with more seasoned rivals make the attempt to win their first race and a trophy to boot.

The distance of five-and-a half-furlongs is the longest thus far the two-year-olds are down to race this season.

Interestingly, of the nine runners only two are colts, making it quite a ladies' affair.

It looks like quite a race is in the offing and, of course, the analysts of The Supreme Racing Guide did their homework as they searched to find the winner of the Front Runner.

The analysis is published below in post-position order of the nine horses in the race.

DEVINE LEXIE: (2.b.f – Natural SelectionPreach Preacher) — Free Addi and Devine Lexie are the two most experienced horses in this juvenile encounter with two starts already under their girths. Finished fifth first time out (August 11) and improved just a smidgen to fourth on September 1. Tomorrow, even with his trainer taking off both the blinkers and the Figure 8, Devine Lexie will be hard-pressed to win.

PRINCESS ANNIE: (2.b.f – Northern Giant Millennium Princess) — This half-sister to Classic winner Future King entered her first race on August 11 as the 3-5 overwhelming favourite, but was put in her place by Baltusrol, finishing in second place some six lengths behind the winner. Princess Annie has been catching eyes in the mornings and ended her gallops for this encounter on Saturday morning (September 1) with a 1:07.2 clocking over the same distance as tomorrow's race. Now having the benefit of that exploratory run, Princess Annie should be in much better nick and her chances of taking home this trophy are second to none. Princess Annie has been consistently working with Top Self, and when they last galloped it was clear that Princess Annie was making the better headway. Princess Annie is going to start favourite once again and may just deliver this time.

CASUAL DRINK: (2.b.f – Casual Trick Zacapa) — Well-bred filly carrying the brand of the Oakridge Ridge Farms. Watchers in the mornings are taking quite an interest in this filly despite what some are claiming to be a botched gallop earlier this week. Casual Drink, the watchers say, is developing at good pace and is coming nicely prepared to run a really good race. Naturally there are always differences between the mornings and the afternoons in front of stands, so while the signs are very encouraging for Casual Drink, let's wait and see on the morrow, but don't be surprised if she becomes the front runner.

MYSTIC MAMA: (2.b.f – Nuclear WayneMama C) — Was way behind Baltusrol, Princess Annie, Top Shelf and Matriarch on debut. That trend should continue in the Front Runner tomorrow even with Mystic Mama's trainer opting to put on the visor along with the first-time use of Lasix.

MATRIARCH: (2.b.f – Casual Trick Witchcraft) — Finished about five lengths behind Princess Annie on debut (August 11). Matriarch breezed 1:04.0 for five furlongs round on Saturday morning, which gave the indication that she is still not fighting fit as yet. She goes into the Front Runner with first-time Lasix and is sure to be around at the business end of this race.

FREE ADDI: (3.b.c – Freedom For JanteAmazonian Striker) — Free Addi races with first-time Lasix and being among the more seasoned in this race, he will more than likely have to wait his turn.

BAD BOY THEODORE: (dr. b/br.c - Freedom For JanteIrish Director) — Making the trek to the starting gates for the first time in his career and will be the better at the end of the five-and-a-half furlongs.

NEVADA: (3.b.f – Adore The GoldWinning Spirit) — Was among the first of the two-year-old lot to race on May 11 over three furlongs straight. Nevada finished third, seven lengths behind stable companion Custer and Moms Treasure, with the latter going on to win after which she finished a good second behind an American importee, American Invader. Maybe, just maybe, it will be Nevada's turn tomorrow. On Monday last, Nevada breezed four furlongs straight in 47.2 seconds.

TOP SHELF: (2.ch.f – Soul Warrior First Choice) – Did really well on debut when just two lengths behind Princess Annie with Baltusrol way in front. Returns for this trophy endeavour with the decision of her trainer to put on the Tongue Tie and the use of first time Lasix. Top Shelf is not without a chance here but will have to improve. Probably a good Place Pot 8 candidate.

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