Friday, July 06, 2007

A Tale of a Two

For me, a 2-year-old conjures up images of a toddler displaying impatient behavior. There’s biting. Kicking. Hitting. "No." "NO!!" "NONONONONO!!!!"

Yet, I am reminded, especially this time of year, that thoroughbred 2-year-olds can be exciting as well as attractive races. Genius Alan has taken a few moments to cover today’s Belmont babies while nobody’s fool, Valerie at Foolish Pleasure has already crowned Ready’s Image as the next Juvenile Champion. And then there is Dan Illman over at the Daily Racing Form who, with religious zeal, covers every 2-year-old that wanders through Saratoga.

Thus, I am compelled to make a small and minor contribution to discussion of promising juveniles. And a very promising one here in the Lone Star State is Five Alarm.

Five Alarm, trained by W. Bret Calhoun, won his first race back in May:

Five Alarm ... was a five-length winner of a maiden special weight race, leading from start to finish under [jockey] Ramsey Zimmerman. It was the second career start for Five Alarm, who was second by three-quarters of a length in his career debut in April.

"We thought first time out, he didn't handle the off going at all," said Calhoun. "It looked like he was on ice skates out there."

Five Alarm won with ease on Saturday, earning a 78 Beyer.[DRF]

Five Alarm is by Early Flyer. I know very little about pedigree so I took some time to research some useful information that I would share with you. Early Flyer is a two-time graded stakes winner and was one of the top sprinters in 2001. He won the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) and the Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III), defeating the notable sprinting champion, Squirtle Squirt. This is an important fact because, (1) Squirtle Squirt went on the win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and (2) I like the name, "Squirtle Squirt" - it’s fun to say. Anyway, Early Flyer is standing at Valor Farm, which is in Pilot Point, Texas, which is a little ways "up the road" from Grapevine (read: not by El Paso) therefore there is a distinct possibility that I will take a fact-finding excursion to Valor Farm where therein lies the direct proportion that this will not be the last blog entry that you read about Early Flyer. Or Squirtle Squirt, for that matter.

Another important fact regarding Five Alarm’s sire, Early Flyer, is that he is a total outcross to Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector and Seattle Slew. Actually, I do not know what this means but it sounds important.

So I have had Five Alarm on my horse watch since I was so easily impressed with his maiden victory back in May. On June 19th, Five Alarm worked 5f in 0:58.40. I thought that there must be an error. Perhaps some inept blogger that did not know how to operate a stopwatch clocked the workout. But that was not the case. Gary Reckner, Lone Star Park’s clocker, used the highly technical phrase, "monster work" when referring to Five Alarm’s workout. Subsequently, Five Alarm worked 4f in 0:48.20 on June 30th which was 5/77. I should mention that this workout was a breeze. A breeze from the gate.

Tomorrow, Five Alarm will be running in the Texas Stallion Stakes. And Lone Star Park's morning line oddsmaker and track handicapper, Rick Lee, has decided that clearly there is no competition, installing him and his coupled entry Gold Coyote, the favorite at 1-1.

So, what’s so terrible about two?

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