Lieutenant Ron Heads Discovery; Thorn Song Leads River City

Written by trackmasterplus on November 21, 2008 – 2:20 pm -

West Point Thoroughbreds and Hallen’s up and coming LIEUTENANT RON heads a field of eight set to contest the 1 1/8 mile Discovery Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old chestnut colt by Graeme Hall has won three of four career starts with escalating Equibase Speed Figures and looks like a good one who is being patiently handled by trainer Kieran McLaughlin. However the LIEUTENANT will be trying a route of ground and stakes company for the first time and it’s often difficult for a horse to try TWO new things in one race. READY SET likes to make a strong late run the the winner of the Aug 2 West Virginia Derby (Grade 3) will have to hope the pace is an honest one or he might find the horse he beat that day, WEB GEM, looking to even the score today. BIG TRUCK and READY set are the only two runners with Graded Stakes wins to their credit.

At Churchill Downs a field of eleven is signed on to contest the $100,000 River City Handicap (Grade 3) at 1 1/8 miles on the grass. The probable favorite is THORN SONG, who set the pace in the Breeders’ Cup mile but faded to ninth place down the stretch. No one was going to beat Goldikova that day and there is nothing even close to that quality here. The 5-year-old horse by Unbridled’s Song is that rare sort that can set a fast pace and keep going. Provided that Breeders’ Cup effort didn’t wear him out he might prove to be too much for any of these. Possible upsetters include KARELIAN, who has won 6 of 13 grass starts, and STEVE’S DOUBLE, who finished 3rd behind THORN SONG in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap on this same course back on July 4 of this year.

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