Never Enough Time one to watch after facile score
Never Enough Time. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Trainer Michael Trombetta has plenty of things on his mind right at the moment, most notably Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes runner-up Win Win Win, whose late-closing second in that race enabled him to punch a ticket to next month’s Kentucky Derby.
But Sunday afternoon, the 52-year-old conditioner was happy to turn his attention to another up-and-comer, the speedy three-year-old filly Never Enough Time, who dominated a first-level allowance field by over five lengths for her second win in as many starts.
“She’s nice,” Trombetta said. “We’ve liked her since — we had her ready to run last spring, she had a setback, and we had to stop on her and give her the time. We’ve always liked this one.”
In her debut March 3, Never Enough Time whistled by five lengths, but that was at 5 1/2 furlongs and over a muddy racing strip. Today, facing allowance foes on a fast track — and at seven-eighths of a mile — figured to provide a better barometer of her talent. The field included runners like Knock Out Kid, who had previously won at this level; Marvelous Martina, who just missed against similar last out; and Scatrattleandroll, who was beaten two lengths by a next-out stake winner in her prior start.
Not to worry.
Under jockey Julian Pimentel, Never Enough Time made the early lead, tugging the field through a quarter-mile in 23.23 seconds and a half in 46.43. In the final three-eighths, she pulled away easily under a hand ride, despite running a bit greenly. The final margin was 5 1/2 lengths, and the running time was 1:23.49 on a fast track.
Next up, Trombetta said, is a try in stakes company.
“These three-year-old fillies, at this time of the year, they go right into stakes. Being a Maryland-bred, there should be some stuff on the horizon locally, hopefully,” he explained. “When they graduate this early on, you don’t want to run against the olders. You might as well just be in the stakes [against other three-year-olds].”
Trombetta said they may target a race Preakness weekend at Pimlico, though not the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan. “She’s not ready for all that yet,” he said of the Susan.
The logical spot that weekend, perhaps, is the Grade 3 Adena Springs Miss Preakness, a six-furlong dash for sophomore fillies.
Never Enough Time is a homebred for R. Larry Johnson, who bred the filly in Maryland. She’s a daughter of Munnings out of the winning Partner’s Hero mare What Time It Is.
If all goes according to plan, Trombetta could find himself in the midst of a busy May, with Win Win Win at the head of the parade. The three-year-old Hat Trick colt has been in the money in all six of his starts, with a win in the Pasco Stakes his top accomplishment.
But his defeats keep flattering him, too. He finished second in the Heft Stakes at Laurel in December, and the winner of that race, Alwaysmining, now has won five straight overall, four of them in stakes company.
He fell a couple lengths short of Tacitus in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby, and that runner came back to win the Wood Memorial this past weekend. And though he was three back of Vekoma in the Blue Grass, he was perhaps the only runner to close significant ground on a day when speed ruled.
With 50 points on the Derby leaderboard, Win Win Win has guaranteed himself a spot in the Run for the Roses. That would be a good time to collect a smashing victory, rather than another flattering defeat.
“He’s really picked our heads up,” Trombetta said. “You know, he’s done some really good stuff, so we’ll see.”
And we’ll see about Never Enough Time, as well, which should give Trombetta a spring of discovery.