People make fun of hillbillies for how they talk sometimes, but those damn yankees have a dialect that is also quite humorous. One of my New York born buddies and I have often traded laughs with a play on our particular versions of the English language. After watching some stakes races last weekend there were some performances that had me speaking Bronx. It started on Friday and ended on Saturday evening with tree remarkable runs. You know… one…two…tree.
The first was the Brad Cox trained Caddo River in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park on January 22. This tree-year old (keeping with our Bronx lingo) son of Hard Spun picked up his second career victory in four starts with a woodshed win (hillbilly term). The incredible 10 1/4 length lambasting in the one mile Smarty has this River flowing towards the Kentucky Derby.
Number two took place at Gulfstream Park in the Pegasus World Cup on January 23. Again a Brad Cox trainee put on a show as Knicks Go ran them off their feet. Leading at every call, this five-year old son of Paynter turned in some sizzling early fractions (22.90 opening quarter, 46.16 half mile) before easily pulling away down the stretch. Winning by a geared down three lengths, this striking runner has been sitting on Go since coming into the Brad Cox barn.
Now we come to number tree. Wildman Jack came into the grade 3 Palos Verde at Santa Anita trying to figure out just where he belongs. Having had success in the turf sprint races, this five-year old son of Goldencents was winless since May of 2020. Trying to shake things up a bit, trainer Doug O’Neill turned his Wildman loose on the main track. After stalking the early pace, Jack took to the California dirt like butter on a biscuit. Powering to the lead at the top of the stretch, the Wildman did his pappy proud as he rolled to a 4 1/4 length win in the six furlong race. Absolutely proving he can be a player in the Sprint division, Jack rewarded his cunning conditioner with a moonshine moment.
These runs were all nothing short of magnificent and it is likely a good bet we will hear from all tree of these runners as the year unfolds.