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The Stymie

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 2/23/2011 3:31:48 PM

The race named for the $1,500 purchase Stymie, who went on to earn over $900,000 when that was real money in the late 1940s, will be renewed this weekend at Aqueduct but before we get into dissecting the field, a word has to go out to juvenile champ Uncle Mo.

It was announced Tuesday that Mo, who will in all likelihood go favorite if he makes it into the gate on Kentucky Derby Day, will make his first start of the year March 12 at Gulfstream Park in the $100,000 Timely Writer Stakes.

The unbeaten son of Indian Charlie has trained well at Palm Meadows this winter and his trainer, Todd Pletcher, is on record as saying the Gulfstream surface is very similar to the surface he has been training on. As an option if the Timely Writer does not fill, it’s possible he could enter in the Tampa Bay Derby the same day.

The road map is for him to have just one other prep before the Derby and that will likely be the April 9 Wood Memorial.

Indian Charlie proved his stamina taking the Santa Anita Derby and Mo’s dam Playa Maya was stakes placed and won at a mile and a sixteenth. Mo’s top sibling Forest Voices also was proven going long.

As the Triple Crown unfolds, pay attention to the maps of all of the trainers with contenders and concentrate on those that have a plan in place.

Now on to the Stymie.

A short and sweet field of 5 will pit skills at 9 furlongs on the inner strip and there are some options with several previous stakes winners in the cast.

Arson Squad looms the class of the field. He is the lone millionaire in the group, he won two Grade 3s last year and he figures to appreciate this distance as he just ran out of real estate in a shorter trip last time.

More Than a Reason posted a 19-1 upset being Squad last December but he has not won since. He lost his last pair in $75,000 optional land but he was in tough sprinting last time. Four of his 12 career wins came on the inner strip.

Remand is an interesting runner. He was Grade 2 place last year, was hung wide in his 2010 finale but has trained fast since taking an optional group wire-to-wire just over a month ago.

Goombada Guska was over 4 lengths clear of the show horse last time but not a threat to the lonely winner. Bred in New Jersey, he had a successful campaign at Monmouth this past season and should sit a nice stalk and pounce trip.

On the outside comes Masala, who tried stakes rivals early in his career but has never run in the money in a stakes. He hit hard times when put in a claimer and taken for $25,000 last September. He will likely need the race of his life to cash.

A few of these runners have taken turns beating each other so let’s go outside the box a little and take an up and comer.

Remand fits the ticket. In good hands, Remand hails from a barn that wins at 19% but his best asset today looms the fact he is the lone speed in a paceless race.

He was on the motor from the get go last time, made the lead after a half mile, posted a 1:11 2/5 three quarter split and cashed by almost 4 lengths in a race he may have needed to boot.

Backers may not get a better chance at a theft attempt than Remand today.

Good luck.

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