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The Racing Dudes react to Slammed winning the 2022 TCA Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, a “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Trainer Todd Fincher now has 2 legitimate threats for the World Championships, along with Cody’s Wish. Watch the replay for the Racing Dudes’ INSTANT reactions, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Brad King, Suzanne Kirby and Barbara Coleman’s Slammed posted her first graded stakes victory in dominating fashion by romping to a 6½-length victory in the 42nd running of the $350,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) for fillies and mares.
Trained by Todd Fincher and ridden by Florent Geroux, Slammed covered the 6 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:10.03. The victory is the second in the race for Geroux, who won the 2018 renewal on Golden Mischief. It is the first Keeneland stakes victory for Fincher.
The victory gave Slammed a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) to be run here Nov. 5. The New Mexico-bred filly would have to be supplemented to the Breeders’ Cup, something Fincher said earlier in the week the owners were up to doing.
Slammed would become the second New Mexico-bred to run in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The other was Ricks Natural Star in the 1996 Turf (G1) at Woodbine.
Slammed grabbed the lead out of the gate and under token pressure to her outside from Happy Soul produced fractions of :22.75 and :46.02. At the head of the stretch, Slammed hit another gear and drew clear for the easy victory.
A 4-year-old daughter of Marking out of the Roll Hennessy Roll mare Hennesey Smash, Slammed improved her record to 12-9-1-0 and boosted her earnings to $557,030 with Saturday’s $179,025 check.
Favored in the field of eight, Slammed returned $6.78, $4.74, $3.60. Happy Soul, ridden by John Velazquez, returned $6.02 and $4.44 and finished a half-length in front of Joyful Cadence, who paid $5.30 to show under Rey Gutierrez.
It was another 1¼ lengths back to Li’l Tootsie with Club Car, Sconsin, Liberty M D and Palm Cottage following in order.
Todd Fincher (winning trainer of Slammed)
“Really, my only concern was getting away from the gate good and clean. Last time she slipped behind and it cost her, so when I saw those turquoise blinkers jump out of the gate I was very happy. I looked up after the first quarter and it went in 22 and 3, I said, ‘If she gets beat we have no excuse,’ because the fractions weren’t too bad—she can go much faster. So, very happy. And you saw what she did down the lane. She had a lot left. She’s an awesome horse.”
On winning a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race
“I’m more proud of the horse than anything. I’m just the trainer. The horses are the superstars. She’s a superstar and we’re just trying to stay out of her way.”
Florent Geroux (winning jockey)
“It was good (away from the gate), just like she did in the morning, very professional. She knows what to do out there. I’m very pleased for the opportunity from (trainer) Mr. (Todd) Fincher and the owners and my agent for getting me the mount. I was just the lucky recipient today on her. Very excited about her. She relaxed very nicely (in the middle of the race). You can tell on television, when their ears start going back and forth, it’s usually a good sign that the horse is taking their time and having fun out there. As soon as I chirped to her a little bit at the three-sixteenths (pole), I had plenty of horse left and I just tried to keep her focus all the way to the wire. But that was really a result of strong urging.”
John Velazquez (rider of runner-up Happy Soul)
“We broke well and got a good position. I was holding my position around the turn and I thought I had a good chance, but the other horse (Slammed) closed and mine just kind of stayed the same. She put up a good fight for second.”
Rey Gutierrez (rider of third-place finisher Joyful Cadence)
“I think the race went according to plan: Slammed is obviously the speed. We wanted (Joyful Cadence) to run really good today. She closed in good and ran hard. I thought I was going to run second, but Happy Soul came back and got me.”
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