HHR’s 2 Year Old Stakes Watch- June 29th

2 Year Old Stakes Watch- Bashford Manor

Circular QuayThis weekend there is only one 2 year old stakes race for us to watch, but it’s one that’s full of racing history- The Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs. Set at 6 furlongs, this Grade 3 $100,000 stakes race will be the 112th running of the Bashford Manor.  It has been over a century since this race has produced a Kentucky Derby winner in Sir Huon (1906) and 2 prior to that with Manuel (1899) and Azra (1892). It has also produced several Kentucky Derby contestants. Backtalk won the Bashford Manor in 2009 and ran 20th in the Derby and Circular Quay in 2007 ran 6th in the Derby. As you can see, this race can produce some 2 year olds to watch going forward. This year’s Bashford Manor is no different as a field of 7 very talented horses will race for the $100,000 stakes.

Asmussen Sends D’cajun Cat & Gun Roar

Steve AsmussenThe 2 to 1 morning line favorite is D’cajun Cat, ridden by Rosie Napravnik and trained by Steven Asmussen. The D’Wildcat colt won his first outing at Churchill by 5 ¼ lengths driving and looks to be fully capable of handling the 6 furlong race this Saturday. Asmussen, a three time winner of the Bashford Manor, also has Gun Roar lined up for the race. Gun Roar won his first race at Churchill on May 10th and has been training for this race ever since. Corey Lanerie will be on board Gun Roar and will be starting from the 1 slot at 4 to 1 morning line odds. Asmussen had this to say about his two entries-


“I love D’cajun Cat’s draw with him drawing six of seven for a horse that’s had one race. I don’t like Gun Roar’s draw at all going three-quarters (of a mile) here. It starts at an odd place for a baby.”


Hollywood Talent Has Talent For Bashford Manor

Hollywood Talent is another top contender in this one at 5 to 2 morning line odds and will have Hall of Fame jockey, John Velazquez aboard. Hollywood Talent won his first outing at Keeneland by 3 ½ lengths, but hasn’t raced in over 2 months since then. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Wesley Ward, this gelding is representing a powerful 3 punch combo of owner, trainer and jockey. Ken Ramsey had this to say about the horse-


“Hollywood Talent worked with Wesley Ward’s (No Nay Never), who won the Norfolk (GII) over at Royal Ascot. I was going to send the horse over there and intended to send him, but after (Hollywood Talent’s sire) Talent Search got off to such a good start, I decided it would be smarter to win the Bashford Manor with him and then take him to Saratoga and let him win the Sanford (on July 21).”


Long Odds For Debt Ceiling?!

Debt Ceiling Set For Bashford Manor StakesGet past all the “guns, talent and Cajun cats” and you might have noticed that Debt Ceiling is the overlooked horse in this one at 10-1 morning line odds. I love Debt Ceiling for this one! If the public doesn’t catch on, this horse could pay and pay well. For starters, Debt ceiling is the highest earner of the bunch at $66,600 having won his first two outings. That being said, he out classes all the other horses having won the Rollicking at Pimlico by 2 ½ lengths.  His workouts have been top notch, sporting a few bullets along the way including his most recent work at Laurel with a 59 and change. Ridden out in the Rollicking, Debt Ceiling beat Sweet Emma Rose handily, who went on to place in the Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot. Is Debt Ceiling showing signs of talent? You betcha! I am astonished that he is being overlooked… but I hope for my wallet’s sake, he stays that way! I want to give a special shout out to our guest author, Steven Mulhall from for pointing this one out to me.



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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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