Conquest Typhoon Ready for Return in Tropical Park Derby
Dec 16, 2015
Well-Connected Osaila Set for 2nd U.S. Start in Tropical Park Oaks
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Conquest Typhoon is scheduled to make his first start since May in Saturday’s $75,000 Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park, where he will seek to regain the graded stakes-winning form that ranked him near the top of the list of 3-year-old turf performers earlier in the year.
Owned by Conquest Stables, LLC, the sophomore son of Stormy Atlantic, who is slated to face a field of 12 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes, hasn’t run since finishing 11th as the favorite in the American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.
“He’s been training well. I thought his last race in May was a little flat. He had a long hard campaign. He ran as a 2-year-old into his 3-year-old year. I just stopped with him and gave him some time,” trainer Mark Casse said. “He traveled North America. I just thought his last race was flat. He did have a very wide trip in that race – he was wide on both turns – but sometimes you get a wide trip when you don’t have enough horse to maneuver around.”
Conquest Typhoon debuted last year with a second-place finish in a stakes over Woodbine’s synthetic surface before breaking his maiden two starts later in the Summer Stakes (G2) over a yielding turf course. A subsequent runner-up finish in the Grey Stakes (G3) was followed by a late-closing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita and a victory in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3) at Del Mar last fall. The Ontario-bred colt started his 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields and a second-place finish in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway prior to his American Turf disappointment.
“Unfortunately, when you bring a horse of his caliber back, you don’t have any conditions and have to bring him back in some pretty tough spots. But I like this race. It’s against straight 3-year-olds. This will be his last shot to play with the 3-year-olds and then hopefully he can prove that he can play with the big boys,” Casse said. “He got beat by less than three lengths in the Breeders’ Cup and won a stake at Del Mar. I don’t see any reason why he can’t come back and be a good horse at 4.”
Conquest Typhoon is expected to be joined in the starting gate by War Story, who will also seek to recapture his early 2015 season form in the Tropical Park Derby while making his first start on turf. Loooch Racing Stables and Glenn Ellis’ gelded son of Northern Afleet finished second in both the LeComte (G3) and Risen Star (G2) before finishing third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds. He went on to finish off the board in the Kentucky Derby (G1) after experiencing early traffic before running in two Grade 1 and two Grade 2 stakes, his best race coming in a third-place finish in the West Virginia Derby (G2) at Mountaineer Park.
War Story will make his first start since being transferred to trainer Peter Walder’s Gulfstream Park-based stable.
“It’s the last straight 3-year-old race of the year. He stays with his own,” Walder said. “We’re going to take a shot on the grass and see what we got.”
Like Conquest Typhoon, Tropical Park Derby entrant Solemn Tribute is an Ontario-bred who has demonstrated talent at Woodbine. Unlike the Casse precocious trainee, Lael Stables’ gelded son of Medaglia d’Oro was a late developer. Solemn Tribute, who was winless in four starts while dropping into a $32,000 claiming race at Tampa Bay Downs, blossomed upon being transferred to trainer Bryan Lynch at Woodbine, winning back-to-back races before finishing third by the length of two heads in an allowance race. After moving on to Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training center in Palm Beach County, Solemn Tribute finished second in the Showing Up Stakes at Gulfstream Park West last time out.
“I’d like to say it’s because of my superior training, but I wouldn’t gamble on that,” cracked Lynch of Solemn Tribute’s vastly improved form. “He might have just traveled right and enjoyed Canada. He turned it around up there, and his first race down here was creditable. Hopefully, he can carry it on in the Tropical Park Derby.”
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Watchyourownbobber, who defeated Solemn Tribute in the Showing Up; the Ramseys’ Tweet Kitten, who won his second straight race with a victory in the Bryan Station Stakes at Belmont last time out; Allen Stable’s Team Colors and Amerman Racing’s A Lot, who finished 2-3, respectively, in the English Channel Stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 25; and Eh Cumpari, who captured the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) over the Gulfstream turf last season; figure prominently in the Tropical Park Derby.
Big Family, Bucchero, Element and Enjoy the Show round out a field deep in turf potential.
The Tropical Park Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies, will also be contested on Saturday’s program, which will be highlighted by the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3).
Al Shaqab Racing’s Osaila is scheduled to make her second U.S. start for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Tropical Park Oaks, which drew 14 entries (including two also-eligibles). The Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer, a multiple-stakes winner in Europe, finished an even fifth in the Sand Springs (G2) at Belmont in her U.S. debut Sept. 12.
Martin Schwartz’s Light in Paris is also slated to make her second U.S. start Saturday. The Irish-bred daughter of Aussie Rules finished off the board after a slow start in the Pebbles at Belmont in October after winning four of nine starts in France. Trainer Chad Brown will also be represented by Long Lake Stable and Beacon Hill Thoroughbreds’ Tammy the Torpedo, a two-time winner who finished a troubled sixth in the Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) at Churchill last time out.
Calumet Farm’s Susie Bee, the winner of the Cellars Shiraz Stakes at Gulfstream Park West last time out; Glen Hill Farm’s Promotional, a recent allowance winner at Aqueduct; Haras De Saint Pair’s Iromea, who captured an Aqueduct allowance in her second U.S. start since being imported from France; and Phaedrus Flights’ Celestine, a three-time stakes winner who captured the Sanibel Island at Gulfstream last season; loom as strong contenders.
Unbridled Sonya, Westminster Road, Red Sashay, Darling Sky and Cardinal Cove round out the field.