Positive Response heads a field of twelve 3-year-old thoroughbreds Saturday as the 3-1 morning line favorite of the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park.
Of all the horses entered in the Spiral, Positive Response has the most seasoning and he comes into the race with a 5-0-2 record in eight starts. I like Positive Response and I've profiled him in previous races. I like him in this race, too, but I don’t like him for the win because I believe 9-furlongs is stretching the limit of his competitiveness.
This will be the second try for Positive Response to run 9-furlongs. In February, Positive Response finished third in the 9-furlong El Camino Real Derby (G3) but a month later trainer William Morey dropped him back to 8 ½ - furlongs in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes which he won by 7-lengths.
Pomeroy, the sire of Positive Response, was a sprinter and he also is the sire of the speedy Hutcheson Stakes (G2) winner Flashpoint.
Positive Response is a descendant of the Danzig line of the Northern Dancer sire line and since1990 the Northern Dancer sire line has produced six John Battaglia Memorial winners. The Danzig line produced two of those winners.
Animal Kingdom (5-1) is a horse I’ve been very interested in. I wrote about him last December in my 2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook and I’ve been waiting for him to make his stakes debut.
Animal Kingdom is stepping up in class and he only has three races to his credit. But he has a really good pedigree and I believe he has a lot of potential. However, one never knows if these young colts will live up to their breeding.
I like the stable switch to trainer Graham Motion and the change in environment may be indicative of Animal Kingdom’s recent, and only, bullet work out on March 21.
I’m looking forward to watch Animal Kingdom run.
A long shot I like is Beachcombing (12-1) and it appears that he may have the “will to win.”
I like the way Beachcombing dueled with Data Link in the stretch of his last race in January. That was the 3-year-old debut for Beachcombing whose last race as a 2-year-old was in October. Despite the layoff, Beachcombing showed a lot of grit in that race and lost only by a neck.
Here’s the chart call: BEACHCOMBING stalked the pace, rallied three wide to take over soon after entering the stretch, responded when challenged by DATA LINK at the eighth pole, then dueled with that rival and was edged to the wire.
Beachcombing has room to improve off of that performance and I look for him to be competitive.
Despite the habit of drifting out in the stretch, King Congie, the 4-1 morning line second-choice, was won his last three races but was disqualified to third in the Hallandale Beach Stakes.
If King Congie runs like he has in previous races, I look for him to be competitive.