Cigar Mile Longshots: Beasley ‘Stepping Up,’ Summer Revolution Should Like Distance

Lee Lewis and Mark Grier’s talented Beasley, a strong third last time out in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, will wade into much deeper waters in Saturday’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The race will be the first Grade 1 and the fourth start in the second-half of the season for Beasley, a 3-year-old colt by Shackleford. He’s faced older horses in all three races since finishing fifth in his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11, his only off-the-board finish in seven career starts.

Beasley won his debut at the Big A in December of his juvenile year and started his 2017 campaign with a pair of runner-up finishes against allowance company, including a second-place effort to the well-regarded Battalion Runner prior to the Tampa Bay Derby on February 3.

Trainer Mark Hennig said Beasley emerged from the Tampa Bay Derby with a small chip in his ankle, knocking him off of the Triple Crown trail this spring before he made his return with a hard-fought victory in a top-level allowance at six furlongs on August 17 at Saratoga Race Course.

He followed up with a head score in optional-claiming company in September at Belmont before the Bold Ruler, where he raced near a sharp early pace set by Green Gratto, only to be overtaken in the stretch to finish three-quarters of a length behind winner Tom’s Ready, also entered in the Cigar Mile, and just a nose behind runner-up Stallwalkin’ Dude, who came back to win the Grade 3 Fall Highweight on Thanksgiving Day.

“He’s been stepping up in class and he’s taking another step up on Saturday,” said Hennig. “I think he earned the opportunity and he’s handled every step we’ve thrown at him. He wasn’t really in the clear last time. He got bounced around a little bit down the stretch. When Stallwalkin’ Dude came up outside of him, he kind of pushed him down and he was bumping with Mr. Crow. I thought he was laying a little closer last time than I would have anticipated considering how quick that pace was, but I was happy he didn’t fold like he could’ve. Being caught up in the pace, he was one of the only ones that was anywhere near there early that was still there late.

“I’ve been really pleased with how he came out of that last race,” he continued. “He seems like he’s gotten better and has been training more aggressively, which is always a good sign to see when they’ve had a tough race. He came off a loss and he was ready to get back at it.”

Beasley drew the outside post in the field of 10 and will be ridden by Junior Alvarado, who has been aboard the colt in all four of his starts in New York. Installed at 12-1 on the morning line, Beasley will carry the field’s co-low weight of 114 pounds.

“I like the post. I think it’s a great spot,” Hennig said. “You get a long run down the backside. At least you won’t get jammed up inside or forced into anything you don’t want to do. In this field, at least, there’s some pace, there’s some horses that come from out of it, so it looks like it’s not going to be a stacked-up bunch. It should be spread out a little bit and he ought to be able to negotiate a decent trip there.

“The horse is pretty straightforward,” he added. “He doesn’t have to have the lead. He runs well from off the pace – well off the pace, just off the pace – he’s pretty versatile that way. I think the pace dictates where he lays early in the race.”

Jeff Drown’s Summer Revolution will be looking to make an impression in his first graded stakes appearance in more than a year when he breaks from post 9 as part of a 10-horse field in Saturday’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said the 4-year-old son of Summer Bird has been impressive in his training since winning an optional claimer in his 2017 debut, posting a two-length score against optional claimers on October 26 at Belmont Park.

“He’s training good, but I think the race is coming up very tough,” Rodriguez said. “Timing-wise, he’s coming in pretty good. I wish the competition was a little softer, but it’s a Grade 1, so it is what it is. He’s run well at Aqueduct and I think he’s really looking for a mile, so hopefully he can compete with those horses.”

Summer Revolution earned a 92 Beyer in his first start in 10 months, going to the lead in the upper stretch of a six-furlong sprint. As a 3-year-old, Summer Revolution won his first two starts and finished fourth in the 2016 Grade 1 King’s Bishop (now known as the H. Allen Jerkens) and ninth in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. After ending his campaign with a sixth-place finish in the Gravesend on December 18, Rodriguez rested him due to issues related to suspensory ligaments. He returns to graded stakes company with the services of jockey Manny Franco.

“There’s some speed in the race, but he has speed, too,” Rodriguez said. “Manny knows what to do. He can go to the lead or whatever he wants to do. He’s a pretty easy horse to ride, so hopefully he can get in a good position.”

The post Cigar Mile Longshots: Beasley ‘Stepping Up,’ Summer Revolution Should Like Distance appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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