Month: October 2018

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 20)

The main even this weekend is the Jeju Governor’s Cup at Seoul on Sunday where Busan mare Indian Star will bid to complete a hat-trick of victories in the Group 3 test. Before that though there is Friday action on the South-Coast with 11 races from 11:30 to 18:00: 

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Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(10) FASHION WANG hasn’t been far away in recent efforts and led for much of the way around three weeks ago at this distance before ultimately finishing 3rd. Despite the wide draw she should lead again and can provide jockey Kim Hye Sun a first winner since her return form a lengthy injury absence. (7) BAENGNICHONG was 6th that day and can improve here. The other contenders all have something of the unknown about them. (2) GOLDEN REX has struggled for fitness in his latest two but has been working consistently in the lead up to this and should go better. (3) GIPPEUM DAY returns from seven months out and is under the care of a new trainer. There are no clues from any recent trials but a top jockey is booked and she may go well. (5) TAEYANGUI CHUKJE was a good 2nd on debut behind the excellent Sun Day all the way back in March. He disappointed in his return three months later and comes in here after a further four months off.

Selections (10) Fashion Wang (7) Baengnichong (5) Taeyangui Chukje (2) Golden Rex
Next Best 3, 8
Fast Start 2, 5, 8, 10

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here with just four of the twelve having raced before. (1) CHEONNYEONUIJILJU has raced twice, finishing a much-improved 2nd at this distance on September 28th, beating a length and a half by a good-looking winner in a fast time. He started slowly that day but ran on very well and should have too much here. Of the others with experience, (2) GOLDEN SHARP and (6) KARIN both finished 5th on their respective debuts and both will be expected to improve today. Of the first-time starters, the pick in trials was (7) GOOD DANCER. The Bart Rice-trained colt went through a couple of heats the latest of which was alongside some very experienced racehorses and he didn’t look out of place. A watching brief is advised with the rest of them although (4) DOCTOR THUNDER seemed to know what she was doing and could go well first-up. Watch the market for any clues.

Selections (1) Cheonnyeonuijilju (7) Good Dancer (6) Karin (2) Golden Sharp
Next Best 4, 9
Fast Start 2, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

(9) YEONGSEONG ACE ran 2nd on debut over this distance on September 7th and while he was seven-lengths back behind a good winner, he showed enough to suggest that he has potential and can win here. (4) GIDAEHAE also ran 2nd on debut back in August. She was stepped up to 1300M for her second start five weeks ago when she finished 6th, just under a length behind (5) GOLD TICKET who was himself making his second career start. Both should be in the hunt here with Gidaehae slightly favoured back at this trip. (3) RACING GALLOPER was 3rd behind Gidaehae in that race back in August. He returns following nine weeks off and the trainer/jockey combination will attract plenty. There are two debut-makers and of the pair, (7) JOY OF LUCK looks to have the most chance of making an immediate impact.

Selections (9) Yeongseong Ace (4) Gidaehae (5) Gold Ticket (3) Racing Galloper
Next Best 7, 1
Fast Start 1, 2, 3, 5

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

She’s yet to score in eight but (3) ROCK HARD QUEEN ran 4th in a significantly better race than this over this distance three weeks ago and she looks very much the one to beat here, probably looking to lead from gate to wire. She faces a very modest set of rivals, the best of which looks to be (10) GOLD TREE who ran a creditable 5th aa month ago on what was just his second career start and first at this distance. (4) WANBONG is the only one of the ten who has a top three finish to his name so far and he is third best here. Among the others we are looking for ones with the potential to improve. (1) HOT GIRL and (5) CAPTAIN COOK come closest to fitting the bill.

Selections (3) Rock Hard Queen (10) Gold Tree (4) Wanbong (5) Captain Cook
Next Best 1, 9
Fast Start 2, 3, 10

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Both (2) YEOWANGUI GWIHWAN and (9) ARCADIA step up in class following their respective maiden wins over this distance. Both look well-equipped to cope at this level with Arcadia slightly favoured among the pair at this stage. However, they will both need to improve if they are to beat the likely favourite. That’s (4) USEUNG TICKET, who got his own maiden win in July before running a distant 2nd to Fashion Of Marine on his first try at this level in August at 1200M. He stepped down to this trip fir his latest start three weeks ago and while he only managed 6th, it was a stronger race than this and he is well worth another chance. (3) NOPIGOM NAREUSYA is another who it might be worth taking another look at, as she drops back in trip for the first time in a long time. (7) REALLY ONE was longest shot on the board when running a 4th of 12 at this distance last month (more…)

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Road Winner Motors To Another Victory / Buhwarui Banseok Back On Top At Busan

 Road Winner added to his burgeoning reputation at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon the Dicreet Cat colt, who won the JRA Trophy on international weekend last month, running out a comfortable winner in Seoul’s class 1 feature handicap.

Road Winner - Korea Racing Authority

The return of SHAMROCKER, still one of the highest-rated horses in the Korean capital, meant the rest of the field were carrying light weights and while Shamrocker himself ran creditably for 6th, he was nowhere near Road Winner. Once jockey Antonio Da Silva released the hand-brake, the even-money favourite easily saw off the challenge of WINNER GOLD and a game HAEMARU to win the 1800M test by two-and-a-half lengths.

A three-year-old colt, Road Winner was a $20,000 purchase at the OBS 2017 Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds and with the win, moved onto five wins from seven starts with prize money of US$250,000.

At Busan, BUHWARUI BANSEOK returned to the winner’s circle in the south-coast track’s feature handicap. Bart Rice’s five-year-old ran a strong 5th in last season’s Grand Prix Stakes and had been solid throughout this year’s campaign which had yielded one win from five starts prior to today. He was sent off at odds in excess of 20/1 though as Kim Young Kwan’s CAPTAIN FORCE, a Minister’s Cup also-ran but a four-length winner over this class and distance in early September.

The three-year-old was never in the hunt though as, under apprentice jockey Jo Sang-beom, Buhwarui Banseok struck the front just over a furlong out and ran on to win by a comfortable three-lengths from 2nd placed-APPROACH, who was racing for the first time since his creditable 5th place in the KRA Trophy at Kranji in Singapore in July.

Next Sunday Stakes action returns to Seoul with the Group 3 Jeju Governor’s Cup for fillies and mares over seven furlongs.

Seoul Sunday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 14)

There is a big Sunday of racing at both Seoul (11 races from 10:45 to 18:00) and Busan (6 races from 12:40 to 17:05). Here are the Seoul Previews:

Road Winner winning the JRA Trophy - KRA

JRA Trophy victor Road Winner is the one to beat in Sunday’s Seoul feature (Pic: Ross Holburt)

Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(7) EIFFEL was 3rd on debut four weeks ago and showed enough to suggest that with a little improvement he’ll be winning sooner rather than later. He’s well drawn to be on the early pace here and today can be his day. (3) SOKBO ONGJU was a slightly below par 6th in the same race but has a recent 2nd place to her name and can get closer today. (9) GOD OF SOCKS steps back to the minimum distance for the first time since running 2nd on debut in July and should be a danger, also from the front. (8) ANGELA was an improved 2nd last time albeit in weaker company than this while (2) CHEONGDAM QUEENS returns from six months out and trialed up positively at the end of September.

Selections (7) Eiffel (9) God Of Socks (3) Sokbo Ongju (2) Cheongdam Queens
Next Best 8, 1
Fast Start 2, 3, 7, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

It’s maiden juvenile fillies here with four of the ten runners racing for the first time. The only one in the field to have raced twice is set to be favourite though. (8) BLACK ZAPPER was an improved 2nd when stepped up to this distance for the first time on September 1st and should have too much for this lot today. (6) HEUNG BUJA had excuses for her 9th place on debut last month but she previously won a trial and the distance today should be a better fit so improvement is expected. (1) DADDY GLORY too raced quite greenly on her debut back in August but seemed to be going in the right direction in a subsequent trial. (7) YAHO M J CAT is another of the experienced ones who can be a danger. OF the first-time starters, (3) WONDERFUL MARIA looks the pick.

Selections (8) Black Zapper (6) Heung Buja (7) Yaho M J Cat (3) Wonderful Maria
Next Best 1, 4
Fast Start 1, 3, 5, 7

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

This isn’t a particularly strong maiden but plenty come in with recent form reading well. (2) SUNSHIN MARINE hasn’t done much wrong in three efforts to date and was a useful 4th in a better race than this – albeit nine-lengths behind the winner – last time. She looks to have solid claims today. (3) DAEMYEONG SOLAR raced rather ungenerously in the home straight last start nut still managed to finish 3rd at the distance in a similar strength race to this and must be taken seriously while (9) CHEONGDAM JEPAE returned from five months off to run 2nd on September 16th. She’s the likely pace-setter here and can go one better. (5) STRIDE UP ran well enough for 4th on debut at 1000M and with some improvement in terms of manners, can get closer. (7) MIRACLE GOLD was a much improved 2nd last time out and can build on it today.

Selections (9) Cheongdam Jepae (2) Sunshin Marine (3) Daemyoung Solar (5) Stride Up
Next Best 7, 12
Fast Start 3, 9, 11

Race 4: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(6) TRI THUNDER ran out a five-length winner on debut at the distance on September 8th. The Stay Thirsty gelding is up in class here but is well drawn to lead again and could make all once more. The main danger is (4) HANIL DALBIT. While his solitary win came at 1200M and he hasn’t raced at the minimum since his debut back in January, his recent form has been very solid and he’s a very interesting entry here. He could even start as favourite. (8) DIA PUNCH is up in class after scoring at the third time of asking last month. (9) POP STREET is too although he hasn’t raced since January. He did, however, trial up in good fashion last month. Of the pair, Dia Punch is more favoured at this time. (2) BLUE ANNA and (7) MONKEY SOCKS are others in at least the placing hunt.

Selections (6) Tri Thunder (4) Hanil Dalbit (8) Dia Punch (7) Monkey Socks
Next Best 2, 1, 9
Fast Start 1, 6, 7, 9

Race 5: Class 5 (1700M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(5) BURUI GORI has come close but over five starts to date has somehow managed to (more…)

Seoul Saturday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 13)

There are 12 Saturday races at Seoul from 10:4 to 18:00 and one of the stars of this year’s Triple Crown trail, Mask, 2nd in the Korean Derby, returns to action in the afternoon’s feature. Here are the previews:

Mask Gaon Champ

Mask beat Gaon Champ in the Sports Seoul Cup back in April before running 2nd in the Derby (Pic: KRA)

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maiden to begin with and precisely half of the twelve-strong field have raced before. (1) GEUMA KINGDOM is just a place-finish away from being promoted to class 5 with a 2nd and a 3rd from two outings so far, most recently at this distance. The Animal Kingdom colt is can settle just off the early lead here and should be too strong. Among the others who have raced before, (12) WONDERFUL DIXIE was a useful 3rd on debut in September while (5) RULES ICHEON and (9) WONDERFUL HENNESSY can both improve. Of the first-timers (2) GEOM HONG looks the clear pick having run away with a September trial. She’s half-sister to a couple of reasonable animals (Young Storm and Red Young Myeongun) and could have a few wins in her.

Selections (1) Geuma Kingdom (2) Geom Hong (12) Wonderful Dixie (5) Rules Icheon
Next Best 9, 7
Fast Start 2, 4

Race 2: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(3) I.B.S QUEEN ran out a four-length winner over 1000M in a fast time on September 2nd on what was her second career start. She’s up in both class and distance here but is well-drawn to get to the front early again and potentially lead all the way. The main danger is (5) SPEED HWANGNYONG, a class and distance winner on September 15th when he came from off the pace to record his second consecutive victory. He carries more weight today but will be a big threat. (4) GRAND DOLPUNG is up in class after a good win at this distance a month ago and must be taken seriously. (9) GLORY VERN ran a creditable 5th in a stiff race on his first try at this class last time out and can build on it today, while (6) DUSON WANGJA is another who could improve here

Selections (3) I.B.S. Queen (5) Speed Hwangnyong (9) Glory Vern (4) Grand Dolpung
Next Best 6, 10
Fast Start 3, 7

 Race 3: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(8) FANTASTIC QUEEN enters with the most convincing recent form with a win and a 4th place, both at this distance and this class in her latest two. She wasn’t far away last time in a similar strength race and from a similar draw and she could win here. (9) JI SEONI drops back in trip today to the distance at which she landed her solitary win. It coincides with her having shown some signs of getting back into some kind of form last start and while she’s not always the best of starters, she has claims here. (4) THE PRIMA was last seen winning at this distance back in January. She’s had setbacks since and while she wasn’t hugely convincing in trials, she certainly has ability and could go well first-up. (2) BERNARDI SHOW and (6) DOUBLE A are others in the hunt.

Selections (9) Ji Seoni (8) Fantastic Queen (4) The Prima (6) Double A
Next Best 6, 1
Fast Start 1, 4, 5

 Race 4: Class 4 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 60 Million

(7) ALL THAT CHASE got his maiden win last time out at the tenth time of asking. It had been coming as well and he beat a couple of the others who return here. He’s not the quickest of starters but he can sit behind the early lead here and he could well repeat. (10) MANHATTAN MUSIC remains a maiden after eleven attempts but the Gio Ponti filly drops back in rip after a good effort at 1700M a month ago and looks firmly in contention here. (4) NASCAUI BYEOL came home 3rd at class and distance last time out and while this is a slightly better race, he can aim for a repeat. (8) MEGALIOS and (9) EOUL DEOUL are others who look nicely in to compete for at least a place.

Selections (7) All That Chase (10) Manhattan Music (8) Megalios (4) Nascaui Byeol
Next Best 9, 11
Fast Start 2, 3, 10, 11

 Race 5: Class 4 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 75 Million

This race is for juveniles only (and two southern-hemisphere three-year-olds). Five of the ten have raced before and one of them, (1) GAON QUEEN was an impressive winner. She scored by three-lengths having made all at this distance on September 9th and it’s very hard to find a reason to oppose here. (9) GOLD HAMMER was 3rd in that race and did (more…)

Busan Friday: Race-By-Race Preview (October 12)

It’s Friday! It’s Busan! 11 races on the south coas from 11:30 to 18:00:

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Race 1: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(3) HOPEFUL SIMON came up short when favourite over 1300M two weeks ago, leading early but weakening for 4th. Today he drops back to a distance at which he beat a few of these on his way to 3rd place at month ago and he is favoured to make the breakthrough. (11) DREAM CAT and (9) HARVEST GOLD finished 4th and 5th behind Hopeful Simon in that September 7th race and both look like being top rivals here. (4) WONDERFUL WINGS was an improved 4th on her latest start four weeks ago and can continue to make progress today. (6) SUNDAY GLORY was a touch disappointing on his second career start two weeks ago. It was three months after going well on debut and he is worth another chance here.

Selections (3) Hopeful Simon (11) Dream Cat (6) Sunday Glory (9) Harvest Gold
Next Best 4, 2
Fast Start 3, 4, 10, 11

Race 2: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juveniles only here and four of the eight have raced before. Among them, (8) K PLUS WON is set to be favourite. He was 4th on debut in August and followed it up with 2nd place, just beaten half a length, on his return four weeks ago. He should have too much here. (6) MIGHTY POWER has a 2nd and a 3rd place from her own two outings to date. She was beaten three-lengths by K Plus Won last month but she is expected to be the main danger here and it’s possible she could overturn the form. Of the debut-makers, (1) CHODONG RUSH and (2) DAEHEUNG SIDAE both trialled up well and have to potential to make a positive start here.

Selections (8) K Plus Won (6) Mighty Power (1) Chodong Rush (2) DaeheungSidae
Next Best 3, 5
Fast Start 3

Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

More juvenile maidens with four of the nine having raced before. (1) DAEJI CHAMP debuted inauspiciously in July but returned last month to run a much-improved 2nd, beaten by the well thought-of Glitter. He should be on the early pace here and it would be a surprise were he to be beaten. (5) JANGSAN JOY didn’t do much wrong when 6th on debut at this distance at the end of August and looks bound to improve here, while (9) B.K. GAMBOL steps up in trip for the first time having run a good 3rd over 1000M last month and it may suit. Of the first-timers, (7) WONDERFU EI won his trial but (2) REVERSE SWEEP was perhaps the more impressive, running through the line in a fast time and this looks an ideal debut-spot for him.

Selections (1) Daeji Champ (2) Reverse Sweep (5) Jangsan Joy (9) B.K. Gambol
Next Best 7, 3
Fast Start 1, 9

Race 4: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(5) GIRL CRUSH debuted all the way back in May 2017 and wasn’t heard from again until July of this year. She’s run well in two starts back, finishing 3rd in both, beating a couple of these along the way and she looks set to get her maiden win today. (6) TOJONG CHAMP looks to be figuring things out with a 2nd and 3rd from her latest two, both at this distance and last time beating three she faces again here. She should get close.  (12) HUNTER PARK ran 3rd at 1000M at the end of August. He’s already gone well at this distance in the past and has claims today. (4) P.K. NINE and (11) INTERCEPTOR look best of the rest.

Selections (5) Girl Crush (6) Tojong Champ (12) Hunter Park (4) P.K. Nine
Next Best 11, 7
Fast Start 10

Race 5: Class 5 (1000M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

Tricky contest here with plenty in the hunt. (3) MACH RANGER ran 2nd in a in a good race at class and distance on September 16th, beating three of these in the process. He’s not the fastest of starters so may need some luck but if he gets a clear run, he can go very close here. Bart Rice’s (8) FELICE remains a maiden after nine attempts but has three runner-up finishes to his name and was a good 3rd at this distance last month. Today could be his day. (1) COMING AGAIN returned from almost a year out last month and ran creditably with improvement expected today. (5) EOMBEULLANG was a winner on debut in July and while she hasn’t found it easy in two subsequent outings, she drops to the minimum trip for the first time today and can improve. (2) DANCING BLAZE, a much- (more…)

Cheongdam Dokki Bounces Back To Retain KRA Cup Classic

Cheongdam Dokki successfully defended his KRA Cup Classic crown at Seoul Racecourse on Sunday afternoon, taking victory on the 2000M Korean Group 2 event by two-and-a-half lengths and taking the first steps to putting defeat in the Billion Won Korea Cup International race last month firmly behind him.

Dolkong was a morning scratching, the Korea Cup runner-up having injured the frog of his hoof in a gallop this week. Although close to making the race, discretion proved the better part of valour and he was withdrawn as a precaution with the future in mind but that still left a high-quality field for Chongdam Dokki to defeat if he was to bounce back from the humbling he received when trying to match Japan’s London Town for pace in the Cup.

Defeat them he did. Sent off at long odds-on, Cheongdam Dokki led from the gate under jockey Lim Gi-won, who was restored to the mount, and looked a winner every step of the way. Triple Nine, racing for the first time since finishing 3rd behind him in the Busan Mayor’s Cup three months ago, hit his top gear late to come home 2nd while three-year-old US import Munhak Chief (by Pioneerof The Nile) scored a very promising 3rd.

Champion mare Silver Wolf came home 4th but there was no luck for two-time SBS Sports Sprint winner Doraonpogyeongseon, who ended up 6th of the 8 on his first try at 2000M.

Sunday Seoul: KRA Cup Classic Day – Race-By-Race Preview (October 7)

It’s KRA Cup Classic Day in Seoul and Cheongdam Dokki can begin to put his Korea Cup disappointment behind him as he is set to start as favourite to successfully defend the crown he won last year. There are 11 Sunday races at Seoul from 10:45 to 18:00 and 6 at Busan from 12:40 to 17:10. Here are the Seoul previews with horse by horse comments for the KRA Cup Classic:

Cheongdam Dokki Mayor's Cup Lets Run Park Busan

Cheongdam Dokki goes in the KRA Cup Classic

Race 1: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) JEOKTO BIMA has shown progression across three starts so far and enters with back to back 4th place finishes. Drawn in gate 1, she steps up in trip for the first time, should be prominent early and can win this. (9) GEOTAP too races for the fourth time today and ran creditably at this distance last time. She should also be on pace early and can go close. (10) GOODCHOICE is more experienced and does have a 3rd place to his name and while a touch one-paced, can improve on the 5th he recorded at this distance last start. (3) BINNANEUN RUBY and (8) FOR J.K. are others who can improve among modest company here.

Selections (1) Jeokto Bima (10) Goodchoice (9) Geotap (8) For J.K.
Next Best 3, 7
Fast Start 1, 8, 9

Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 24 Million

(1) HANEULEUL DALRIDA started badly and received a heavy bump which he never really recovered from when well-fancied over 1300M on September 1st. He drops back in trip today to a distance at which he was 2nd in July and with a clean start today, will be the one they need to beat in what is another weak contest. (7) SCARLET PERFECT also has a 2nd place at this distance and wasn’t too far away last time. (9) SOKBO WANGWI has been knocking on the door for some time now and is another who shouldn’t be far away. (10) STAR SOCKS is inconsistent but has offered some glimpses of ability. She races for the first time since June and should challenge for the early lead. There are two debut-makers and in a race with a distinct lack of talent in it, they must be given due consideration. Of the pair, (6) GOOD MOUNT seems the more likely to make an impact first-up.

Selections (1) Haneuleul Dalrida (7) Scarlet Perfect (9) Sokbo Wangwi (6) Good Mount
Next Best 10, 3
Fast Start 1, 8, 10

Race 3: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 60 Million

Juvenile maidens here and seven of the twelve have raced before, each of them just the once. The favourites are among them. (1) SENTOSA debuted in a valuable race for Breeze-up Sales graduates and ran reasonably well over 1200M. She was prominent early and dropping back to 1000M today may suit. (9) ACE SOLONGO and (10) WONDERFUL DIXIE both finished 3rd on their respective debuts, both at this distance and both can build on it here. (4) M.J. TOWN was a close in attendance 5th on her first attempt in what was a decent race on September 2nd and she too looks likely to improve. Among the first-timers, (8) IRON HEART and (12) BIG PRO looked best in trials.

Selections (1) Sentosa (4) M.J. Town (9) Ace Solongo (10) Wonderful Dixie
Next Best 5, 2
Fast Start 1, 5, 10, 12

Race 4: Class 5 (1200M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(7) CHANGPA is yet to win, with a 4th and two runner-up finishes from three efforts to date but despite being up in class here, this could be her day. She has run on well in each of her outings so far and the additional furlong may suit in a race that is not much stronger than the average class 6. Indeed, her main rival is set to be another one up in class in the shape of (12) SABA KINGDOM, who ran out a five-length winner over 1000M on September 9th. He made all that day and will be trying to overcome the widest draw and the step up in trip to repeat here. Among those with experience of this level, (2) DAECHEON HERO and (4) SOKDO SHINHWA should be improving on the 6th and 7th places they recorded when they raced each other at 1000M on September 1st while (11) SPECIAL WINNER drops back in trip following a hard time at 1700M a month ago and can come into consideration.

Selections (7) Changpa (12) Saba Kingdom (2) Daecheon Hero (11) Special Winner
Next Best 4, 10
Fast Start 1, 2, 12

Race 5: Class 5 (1300M) Handicap / KRW 40 Million

(1) TAURUS ran a good 2nd at this distance on what was his first try at this level on August 26th. He’s yet to finish outside the top two in three starts so far and he should maintain that record here. (3) BAEKSAN MENIQUEEN stepped up to this class and (more…)