First Blood for All Too Hard

All Too Hard is marshalling his 3yo troops for the spring with unbeaten Queenslander Alligator Blood launching the charge at Doomben this Saturday.

Trainer David Vandyke has nominated Alligator Blood for the AQWA Construction Hcp (1200m) and bookmakers reacted with respect when pricing him at $4.40 first-up since Australia Day.

The well-built gelding has furnished into a superb individual during an extended spell following a leg injury that derailed a Group 1 prep in Sydney.  “We were considering the Golden Slipper but he developed a hock problem so I turned him out,” Vandyke explained.  “His 2yo form was obviously quite impressive and he’s had two trials to fit him for Saturday.”

Alligator Blood (3g All Too Hard – Lake Superior by Encosta De Lago) blew his rivals away with a whirlwind finish on debut at the Sunshine Coast in December and was just as impressive back at his home track a month later.  “I liked the way he hit the line in his last trial and will be very competitive fresh,” Vandyke added.  “He could go to Sydney for the Golden Rose or we could wait a little longer and head to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas.”

A Baramul Stud-bred son of Vinery sire All Too Hard, he’s from the family of Champion South African mare Tracy’s Element.  Her daughter Typhoon Tracy was sired by Vinery’s foundation stallion Red Ransom (USA) to claim Australian Horse of the Year honours in 2010.

More Than Ready can continue his amazing run this month at Saratoga on Saturday with top-class filly Uni (GB).

She has been installed a 5-2 favourite in the Fourstardave Hcp Gr.1 over 1600m.  The Chad Brown-trainee is undefeated at the distance and the winner gains an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile Gr.1 at Santa Anita in November.

Uni has won 6 of her 9 starts in North America and was last seen unleashing a trademark winning kick in the Perfect Sting Stakes LR at Belmont Park.

Brown had the Fourstardave in mind for Uni right after that race.  “I think she’s an exceptional talent at a mile,” he said.  “I don’t run fillies too much against males but I’m very excited about this race.”

Her More Than Ready stablemate Made You Look is a two-time Group winner and is quoted at 10-1 in the Fourstardave.

More Than Ready 2yo Noose will be a major beneficiary if there’s a hot pace in the Saratoga Special Stakes Gr.2.  He rallied to a 5-length victory at Churchill Downs in his only start and has earned a 4-1 opening quote from the inside barrier.

Prepared by Eddie Kenneally, he can emulate More Than Ready colt Copper Bullet who won the Saratoga Special in 2017.  His dam Cowgirl Mally (Gone West) was placed in the 2009 Schuylerville Stakes Gr.3 at Saratoga.

On the west coast, Thanks Mr. Eidson steps up from a 9-length maiden romp into the Best Pal Stakes Gr.2 at Del Mar.  The Kentucky-bred 2yo is owned by Del Secco Racing and has opened at 6-1 on the morning line.

“The light kind of clicked on for him in that maiden,” trainer Jeff Bonde said this week.  “He had run well but had some trouble beforehand at Santa Anita.”

Thanks Mr. Eidson cost $210,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale.  His dam Nest Egg (Eskendereya) is an unraced half-sister to La Troienne Stakes Gr.3 winner Final Round (Storm Cat).

Winning Envelope completes the More Than Ready black-type line-up in the Pucker Up Stakes Gr.3 at Arlington on Saturday.  The 3yo filly is one of the outsiders at 12-1 but has overcome numerous obstacles to make the grade at Group level.

Sold for a mere $3,000 at a 2018 Kentucky 2YO Sale last year, she was compromised by a stifle injury that would supposedly prevent a racing career.  But her original trainer Hutch Holsapple didn’t encounter any problems after taking her home to Chicago and she bolted in on debut at Arlington last August.

Subsequently sold to prominent owner Robert Lothenbach, she qualified for the 2018 BC Juvenile Fillies Turf Gr.1 but failed to gain a start from second emergency.