June 22, 2010

Picture This: Winslow Homer is Back and He’s in Iowa

Expecting Winslow Homer to be ready for the Midsummer Derby in only two months, might seem a bit ambitious for a horse who has only made four lifetime starts, and is returning from a stress fracture in his cannon bone suffered only four months ago. Then again talent can overcome a lot, and talent is something that Winslow Homer has in spades. After convalescing, the three-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song has been working well at his home base at Delaware Park. Conditioner Tony Dutrow believes his star pupil is doing well enough to place the Iowa Derby on Saturday, the Jim Dandy on July 31, and the Travers on August 28, on the big gray’s immediate dance list.

When last seen, Winslow Homer displayed both his talent and class as he made his first try in stakes company, an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes on January 23, defeating Jackson Bend in the process.  The victory thrust the sophomore colt on everyone's list of potential Kentucky Derby winners.

The win was his third in a row at three different racetracks, after being an unlucky loser in his racing debut last July. His other wins included a sharp maiden victory at Saratoga over Blue Grass winner Stately Victor, and a romping win in an allowance race at Philadelphia Park, with graded stakes winner Afleet Again far behind, that caught the attention of a national audience. Clearly not afraid of travel, Saturday’s attempt at victory at Prairie Meadow’s Iowa Derby will be the fifth different state that the long-legged colt has run in his five lifetime starts.

A $310,000 yearling purchase for owner Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, the Kentucky bred is out of the grade 3 winning Summer Squall mare Summer Raven. While Summer Squall is one of my favorite broodmare sires, the fragility passed on by sire Unbridled’s Song scares me. Undoubtedly, Unbridled’s Song consistently sires brilliant runners, but I honestly worry about their propensity for serious leg injuries.

Godspeed Winslow Homer, you are unique talent that we all see want to do what you were born to do; run fast, but please, stay safe and sound.


darlene said...

Hope he stays safe Worried

suebroux said...

I'm glad to see Winslow Homer back to racing - he was so promising! Hopefully the injuries are behind him. Favorable for him with a small yet competitive field in the Iowa Derby. (Beware of that whole Baffert/Martin Garcia tandem!)

Lynne Veitch said...

I agree with you Brian. I'd prefer to see W. H. in more conservative hands.

Brian Zipse said...

Sue, I fully expect him to win, but I suspect that Thiskyhasnolimit is his toughest competitor.

railrunner said...

Really looking forward to seeing what he uncorks in the Iowa Derby. If he wins that will go a long way towards making this years 3-year-old crop a little more respected/interesting.