Day At The Track

Southwind Fulton worth the wait

09:34 AM 21 Nov 2019 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Southwind Fulton, harness racing Southwind Fulton, harness racing
Southwind Fulton with Viktoria Berntsson
Ken Weingartner photo
Southwind Fulton
Ken Weingartner photo

His arrival was delayed, but Southwind Fulton is ready for his first big dance.

Southwind Fulton, who saw his season slowed by growth issues and throat surgery, will make his first stakes appearance on the Grand Circuit's final weekend when he competes in Saturday's $505,050 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands Racetrack. The Lucas Wallin-trained colt has only three starts but won his past two races by a total of more than 14 lengths.

"Of course, I would like to have three more starts in him before racing against these guys, but it is what it is," said Wallin, who trains Southwind Fulton for owner Mazza Racing Stables. "The other horses have more races and faster times, but I think if he can follow a horse, he should be OK.

"It's tough to say (what his potential is) when he only has three starts, but I think he's a Grand Circuit horse next year. He doesn't have the fastest miles, but the way he won his two races was very good. He did both very easy. It's good for him to race against these kinds of horses one time before we turn him out. It is a good learning experience."

Southwind Fulton will face a well-tested group led by Breeders Crown and Matron Stakes winner Amigo Volo. The 10-horse field also includes Rome Pays Off, a state-bred stakes winner in Pennsylvania who was runner-up in both the Breeders Crown and Peter Haughton Memorial, plus Kindergarten Classic Series champion EL Ideal and Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Ready For Moni.

Purchased for $95,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, Southwind Fulton is a son of Muscle Hill out of Fillyanthrophy. His second dam (Filly At Bigs) and third dam (Mombasa) were both O'Brien Award winners. The family also includes stakes-winners Big Rigs and Miss Tezsla.

"He's been good all the time," Wallin said. "We took him to the Meadowlands in May and he showed some speed already. But then he started to grow, and we had to take our time with him. When we started to bring him back to race, his throat started struggling. We had to take him to (Dr.) Patty Hogan and the throat seems to be good now, but he lost a month of training."

Southwind Fulton heads to the Valley Victory off two qualifiers following his two conditioned wins in October at Harrah's Philadelphia. His most recent qualifier was Nov. 16, when he led for three-quarters of the mile before finishing fourth. He was timed in 1:55.3, with David Miller in the sulky.

"He's an honest horse and normally has good stamina," Wallin said. "The last qualifier, Dave left a little with him and he got a little too grabby and went a :27.1 first quarter. We're going to try a couple of new things and see if we can calm him down. He's normally a very relaxed and calm horse. Dave asked him to go a little bit and he got a little too grabby. That's something we have to work on. But he should be fine."

The Valley Victory is part of the Fall Final Four, with the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, Three Diamonds for 2-year-old female pacers, and Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters. In addition, Saturday's Meadowlands card includes the TVG championships for pacers and trotters.

Matron Stakes winner Papi Rob Hanover headlines the Governor's Cup. The Brett Pelling trainee has finished no worse than second in his past nine races, winning five. Multiple Grand Circuit winner Lyons Sentinel got a bye into the Three Diamonds final, where her foes include elimination winner JK First Lady and Kindergarten champ Marloe Hanover. Kindergarten champ Senorita Rita and Breeders Crown runner-up and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champ Sister Sledge lead the field in the Goldsmith Maid.

Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EST) Saturday at The Meadowlands. For complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

 

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in USA: