Tom Morley missed the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park Aug. 11 – which became the Englishman’s second Grade 1 victory – for good reason.
“The New York-bred sale, that is the reason I didn’t go,” Morley said last week, making the short walk from the Oklahoma Training Track to his barn. “We had 10 horses pass the vet that night to bid on and I didn’t want to be sitting on an airplane while it was all going on.”
Morley instead watched from an office above Barn 8 on the sales grounds, after Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning Jr. gave him the go-ahead with one condition.
“You can watch, but you need to tell us what’s going to happen,” Browning said.
Morley, who sent Donegal Racing’s Carrick to the Secretariat off a third in the Grade 3 Kent at Delaware Park a month prior, didn’t mince words.
“I think we’ll win,” Morley said.
Morley took a seat in front of a television and watched the Secretariat without saying a word. He watched the son of Giant’s Causeway track the speed early, move into contention around the far turn, hook up with the odds-on favorite Analyze It at the eighth pole and eke out a determined win under John Velazquez at 38-1.
“The Fasig guys were all behind me watching,” Morley said. “They were like, ‘He told us. He walked in here and said he was going to win, sat down and didn’t say anything else.’ ”
In just his fourth start, Carrick joined 2016 Ballerina winner Haveyougoneaway as Morley’s Grade 1 winners. He won a $40,000 maiden claimer in his debut May 12, a starter allowance June 21, both at Belmont Park, before the Kent July 14. The $223,000 bumped his earnings to $302,800 and added to Morley’s total of $1,090,607 for 2018 through Wednesday.
Carrick returned to Saratoga and Morley’s 18-horse string on the Oklahoma shortly after his Secretariat win and is back in training for another start once the action returns downstate. The barn is 2-for-13 at the meet with two seconds and two thirds, and looking for more with less than two weeks remaining.
Morley took a few moments before the second break on the Oklahoma one morning last week, took a seat with The Special’s Tom Law at his patio table in front of the barn and went through the Saratoga string. (Originally published in Aug. 23 edition of The Saratoga Special.)
Carrick: The big horse. Literally. Son of Giant’s Causeway is out for a walk after returning to training a few days after his victory in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park Aug. 11. The $75,000 yearling went from maiden claiming to starter allowance to a third in Grade 3 Kent before his neck victory in the $400,000 Secretariat. “As you can see there in front of you, he’s a massive, massive horse for a 3-year-old. Fair play to Donegal and Frank Smith down at Elloree Training Center because he was a horse who was bought with a few minor issues with a view if he matured and handled them, then he would have every chance of being a good horse. Patience has always been the key. He came into me early this year and trained in a solid fashion, but like a big backward type of horse. A lot of people have asked why we started him off in a maiden 40 and how stupid we could have looked if he got claimed, et cetera, but honestly at the time the ability he was showing in the morning was that of a horse who could be competitive in that race . . . I was delighted to see him win, did it surprise me? I didn’t feel we really trained him to win first time out but felt we’d done enough work with him that he’d be very competitive. Since then he has turned inside out and I’m not sure he hasn’t done the same thing since Arlington. He was a very weak horse behind and with every race he goes through he appears to get bigger and bigger and bigger behind. I’ve said to Jerry all summer, ‘whatever he does this year would be a bonus because he will be a really, really nice 4-year-old.’ Now he’s a Grade 1-winning 3-year-old. Hopefully my prediction turns out and he goes on to be better at 4.”
Alreadycelebrating: Rob Masiello’s Union Rags filly is also out at the same time as Carrick. A $270,000 purchase at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred sale, she’s main track only for Friday’s fourth race. “She was the top-priced filly at the New York-bred sale last year. She’s a filly I think the world of. She will want to go further than that (7 furlongs if the race is rained off), but she’s ready to run and we think she’s pretty nice.”
Royal Asset: Matt Schera’s and Orangella Racing Stable’s 6-year-old Langfuhr gelding finished second for $25,000 sprinting on the turf Aug. 6. “He’s a hard-knocking old New York-bred, turf and dirt, Joel Rosario tells me he’s a better dirt horse but he just finished second here on the turf. He’d run some cracking races on the turf.”
Corot: A one-time $925,000 yearling, Masiello, West Point and Nexus Racing Club purchased him for $155,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky horses of racing age sale in July. A full-brother to Grade 1 winner Midnight Storm, he broke his maiden for former trainer Mark Casse at Woodbine June 16. “He’s the kind of horse we’re looking to campaign on the turf at a mile. We’re going to enter the Better Talk Now. His work on the turf was extremely good. There is the option of a straight a-other-than for 3-year-olds after that if the Better Talk Now is too tough for him at this stage. Definitely a horse with potential, definitely a horse who will improve.”
Ian Glass: Donegal Racing’s 2-year-old Hard Spun colt is splayed out in his stall. Entered multiple times at the meet, he’s yet to run due to races being rained off. Entered in the fourth race Saturday. “He has a funny story behind him auction wise. At the Fasig-Tipton turf showcase sale last year I fell in love with this horse, didn’t have anyone to buy him but was determined to get him. I started bidding and then realized I was bidding against Jerry Crawford. I stopped bidding, walked around to the back of the ring, thank God there was somebody else as well otherwise I would have been accused by Jerry of running the price up on him. When Jerry signed the ticket I was right on his shoulder, tapped him and said, ‘Jerry, it was me against you for some of the way and I’m desperate to train this horse.’ He is big and beautiful and I think the world of him. His work has been extremely good. Cannot wait to get him started. He’s certainly shown an abundance of talent in the morning. You need them to show it in the afternoon, but as you can see from here I’ve positioned my chair outside his stall and he is normally asleep if he’s not training or eating. That’s normally the sign of a good horse.”
Freaky Styley: Named after the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second album released in 1985. 2-year-old Scat Daddy colt was bred in New York by Chris Larsen and West Point Thoroughbreds. “Very big, raw. We train the half brother Danny California, who broke his maiden and ran here fourth in an allowance the other day. Late-maturing family but he’s a bigger, stronger, deeper individual than Danny is. I haven’t pressed any buttons but his works have been very good since he came in. He came in from Danzel Brendemuehl, she thought the world of him and I agree with her that he could be a talented colt.”
La Moneda: Patricia Moseley’s homebred 5-year-old Freud mare won the first Sunday of the meet and is entered in Friday’s Yaddo Stakes. “What a superstar this filly has been for us this year. A huge thank you to Brendan Walsh and his team. The reason she’s in my barn is because he doesn’t have a New York division year-round. He very kindly lent her to us this year. Patricia has been a wonderful person to deal with. She won back-to-back races at Belmont, came up here and knocked out her open 2x in extremely impressive fashion. I do think this filly is capable of winning a graded stakes. Her numbers indicate that, the way she’s progressed this year. At a one-turn mile back at Belmont in a race like the Athenia I think she would have a real good shot at that.”
Moses Supposes: Tom Priola’s 3-year-old Desert Party gelding cost $17,000 last year and broke his maiden in his second start for a $40,000 tag June 16. “Tom is a new owner of mine sent to me by Nick Esler. He’s a fun little horse, can run on either surface and we’re looking forward to getting him in a race toward the end of the meet.”
Danny California: Larsen’s and West Point Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old Afleet Alex gelding finished fourth in a state-bred allowance Aug. 8. He broke his maiden Feb. 11 at Aqueduct and is 1-for-8 with $55,380 in earnings. “He’s a horse that has a decent level of ability. I ran him a mile and an eighth here last time and it’s very tough for these 3-year-olds against older horses. In graded stakes this time of year the 3-year-olds are still receiving five pounds from the older horses. Danny got two pounds from older horses in a New York-bred allowance. We’ll give him one go on the turf and then give him a little bit of a break. He’s been in training for two years straight, very sound horse but if we want to have a nice 4- and 5-year-old we better give him the opportunity to have a little holiday.”
Excuse My Charisma: Masiello’s and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Pioneerof The Nile filly, a $300,000 buy in March, finished ninth in her debut going 1 1/16 miles on the grass Sunday. ”She’s very much a horse we hoped would be a Kentucky Oaks type filly but at the moment she’s just too weak behind to try a long dirt race with so we’re going to run her on the grass. She’s trained well on the turf and there’s enough pedigree to suggest she’ll handle it. This is something I like to do with a lot of my babies. It’s extremely hard to get a two-turn horse as a 2-year-old ready to go long on the dirt. I’m perfectly happy to let them have a start on the grass and then move to the main track if that’s where they belong.”
Queen Of Connaught: European import with Coolmore connections intended to run Whitney Day in the Fasig-Tipton Waya before it was canceled. Entered back, the 3-year-old Daughter of Declaration Of War was scratched when it was moved to the main track a week later. “She’s had an awful trip over here, well, she hasn’t but the gods have played against her having had a postponed Waya and then a rained-off-the-turf Waya. There’s two ways to treat these European horses, you either have to run them straight off the plane or give them six weeks to acclimatize before you run them over here. I have nominated her to the Glens Falls but that’s a question mark. She is two-other-than eligible, I would love for them to put up a 2x in the book here, hint-hint, going a mile and a quarter or further, hint-hint, but if they don’t there are a number of races at Belmont or the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs. That might be the spot for her. Then maybe the Zagora and Long Island, then a break, one start at the Fair Grounds before getting stuck into the New York races next year. She’ll improve as a 4-year-old.”
Causforcelebration: West Point Thoroughbreds’ and Jimmy Kahig Racing’s 3-year-old Noble Causeway gelding looks to end run of seconds – three in four starts – in maiden claiming race that goes as the 11th Friday. “The perpetual bridesmaid. He’s finished second three times in four starts this year. Whenever he gets things his way he’ll win and give his partners the most tremendous day and I’m really hoping it happens up here. It’s one of those things where the dynamic of the race has to go for him and he will get the job done.”
Regalian: Claimed by Morley and Rainbows End Racing Stable for $20,000 out of a 6-length victory Aug. 3, 3-year-old son of Fast Bullet is 2-2-1 in seven starts with $92,250 earned this year. “He’s owned by a new syndicate, local people. They have three horses with me. One is a half to I’m A Chatterbox called Zinger, he’s targeting a race here; they have Regalian and Lucky Long with me. Great people. They’re from Jersey, Connecticut, they’re a lot of fun and every time we win for them it means the world. They had a rough year between losing a 2-year-old and having a couple bad horses but we’ve got them on the score sheet a couple times this year and hopefully Regalian and Lucky Long and Zinger can do the job for them going forward.”