Interstatedaydream, Air Recruit cross paths in opposite directions
Interstatedaydream’s career is just about over. Air Recruit’s is only beginning. And both of them logged stakes wins on an intermittently sunny Saturday at Laurel Park.
For Interstatedaydream, a four-year-old Classic Empire filly whose signature victory came in the 2022 edition of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan, her rallying triumph in the $100,000 Twixt Stakes may prove to be her swan song.
“If this was her last race, I’m glad that she went out on top,” said owner Staton Flurry after Interstatedaydream, the overwhelming 3-10 favorite, had cruised to a 2 ½-length triumph over 23-1 Miss New York in the Twixt.
Flurry said that “more than likely we’ll see” Interstatedaydream in a November mixed sale. With six wins, two in graded company, and more than $700,000 in the bank to go with a solid pedigree – she’s out of an Uncle Mo mare – she figures to attract plenty of attention then from buyers, just as she did today from bettors.
Breaking from the outermost post in a field of eight, jockey Sheldon Russell, aboard the Brad Cox-trained Interstatedaydream, was content to dawdle in seventh in the early going, several lengths behind Malibu Beauty, who carved out a half-mile in 47.79 seconds and three quarters in 1:12.19 while maintaining a three-length advantage.
With Jaime Rodriguez up, the Gary Capuano-trained Malibu Beauty continued to hold the advantage with an eighth to go. But once uncorked after a wide journey, Interstatedaydream drew away to win in 1:44.02 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track.
“I was glad to see her kick on for home today and run down that other horse,” Flurry said. “[In midstretch] I’m like, ‘Does she even really want to be out here anymore?’ Because she didn’t look like she was giving any at all. But she showed her class, and Sheldon rode a great race.”
Shortly after Interstatedaydream moseyed off into the sunset, Air Recruit earned his first stakes win in the grassy $150,000 Laurel Futurity and may have stamped a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
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“We’ll look at our options, depending on how he comes back and stuff,” said Arnaud Delacour, who trains Air Recruit for Mark Grier. “If we can get in the Breeders’ Cup, it could be an option. He did it impressively enough.”
Air Recruit, a two-year-old Air Force Blue colt, won at first asking sprinting on the turf at Colonial Downs. In his second start, in the $131,000 Rosie’s Stakes at the same track, he ran into the sprinting buzzsaw known as No Nay Mets.
“Shooting for second, really,” Delacour acknowledged of facing No Nay Mets, who owns two of the six fastest two-year-old Equibase speed figures this year.
The added ground of the 1 1/16-mile seemed to help Air Recruit, and of course, the absence of a runner comparable to No Nay Mets didn’t hurt either.
Penn National shipper Tropandagen, an easy first-out winner at Monmouth Park, went off the 2-1 favorite and made the early running under jockey Tyler Conner. Meanwhile, Charlie Marquez had Air Recruit perfectly positioned inside and a couple of lengths off the lead.
Rounding the far turn, Marquez had his mount biding his time while Wine Collector, under Angel Cruz, tackled the tiring leader. But as the field turned for home, Marquez guided his mount to the outside, and from there, it was all over.
“I think Charlie did a great job because [the horse] was a little sharp coming from sprinting,” Delacour said. “He broke on top, and he did manage to get him to settle. He didn’t really get in a fight with him, just did a great job getting him to drop the bit. And after that, he just waited and came around.”
The final margin was 5 ½ lengths over the late-on-the-scene Massif, who nosed out Blue Creek for second. Running time was 1:46.95 on a good turf course.
Off as the second choice in the field of 12, Air Recruit paid $7.20 to win, and the exacta returned $20.40 for a buck.
NOTES The day also featured two other stakes races, the $150,000 Selima on the turf for two-year-old fillies and the 12-furlong Japan Turf Cup for three-year-olds and up… In the Selima, favored Brocknardini improved to 2-for-3 with a 2 ¼-length victory under Joe Rocco, Jr. A Palace Malice filly, Brocknardini is trained by George Weaver for Thomas Brockley and Daryn Brockley… Recent $50,000 claim Yamato won the Japan Turf Cup by 2 ½ lengths, overcoming trouble with a half-mile to go to rally past the leaders under Horacio Karamanos. Mike Maker trains Yamato, by Artie Schiller, for Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher… Jockeys Forest Boyce and Jeiron Barbosa both were shut out in the stakes races, but both won three races on the day…Trainer Sam Davis won two…