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Three-Year-Olds to Watch

by Angela Hermann

Now that the national Triple Crown trail has come to an end, the three year old season in Shakopee is going full-scale. New faces greet us each week, some in stakes and some just breaking their maidens. These boys have short and long term goals in mind, but we’ll examine each prospect to see what the sophomores bring to the table:

· Samendra – This chestnut Bernell Rhone trainee took on allowance foes in his two outings this summer, one open and one against statebreds. The Minnesotans treated Samendra better than open company did, as the colt showed a new dimension in coming from off the pace to defeat Dancingwithbigron and Coconino Slim, among others. The Kissoon/Butzow owned & bred colt may not be looking for additional distance but really seems to have come into his best form at three. His class alone could make him a factor in a number of stakes races.

· Black Tie Benny – Samendra’s stable mate has been working like a machine for his seasonal debut, but has not made a start yet due to track conditions. Though entered in Samendra’s statebred allowance last weekend, he was a late scratch. This speedy son of City Place will most likely get a race in this weekend for owner/breeder Barbara Rehbein, so watch out for high speed and low odds!

· Ghost Skier – A Henry Hanson homebred, Ghost Skier proved that he put all the pieces together in his last start, breaking his maiden in impressive fashion. Ghost Skier has blazing early speed and used it from the ten hole to dash away to his first victory. Another prospect with some distance questions, but the mother’s side of his pedigree may add some necessary endurance to the equation.

· Desert Alley – The son of Flower Alley looks to renew his rivalry with Black Tie Benny as a three year old. Though his winter wasn’t so successful, Desert Alley found his stride when returned to his home in Shakopee, winning his second start of our season with authority. He has worked a “Bullet” half mile since that victory, and appears primed for another powerful effort. With his lineage, taking on a route of ground should not be a problem. It’s his tendency to not relax on the front end that may make him vulnerable….

· Nice to Meet Me – Two sons of Pioneering dead heated in a MN-Bred allowance this past weekend, but we focus on Nice to Meet Me due to the style he showed in the win. Mondovi (co-victor) got soft fractions on the front end, while Nice to Meet Me showed great versatility in coming from just off the pace and through a narrow opening inside of horses. Both horses showed tenacity in the stretch, take nothing away from Mondovi. We just get the feeling that Nice to Meet Me may have got the best of him with extra ground. Both were well clear of the field.

These Minnesotans have a few major goals in the near future: The Blair’s Cove Stakes on turf, the MTA Stallion Auction Stakes, and the Victor S. Myers, Jr. Stakes. These are just a few of the names that will contest these stakes, with several more talented runners soon to join the fray. Anyone catching your eye on the three-year-old scene? Feel free to comment!