• The week’s highest Beyer speed figure in North America
103 Phat Man
Gulfstream Park (March 28): allowance optional claimer $46,000, 7f, dirt, 4yo+
Trainer: Kent Sweezey
Jockey: Edwin Gonzalez
Owner: Marianne Stribley, Firce Five Racing and 2 Rivers Racing
Pedigree: 7 ch g Munnings – Nicole’s Dream (Northern Trend)
Myriad graded stakes on Saturday’s richly endowed Florida Derby card on Saturday – yet we have to move on 24 hours to a minor optional claimer on Sunday for this week’s top Beyer speed figure.
Phat Man, a seven-year-old trained by up-and-coming Kent Sweezey, enjoyed the drop in class as he recorded a 2½-length victory over the favourite Endorsed, who met trouble in running.
Although Phat Man’s eight-from-32 career record is solid enough, his strike rate would be notably higher if he hadn’t tried stakes company quite so often. That, though, is clearly his proper level, as he demonstrated 12 months ago at Gulfstream with a G3 win (trainer’s career first) and two runner-up efforts in G2.
He hasn’t been at that level at this year’s Championship Meet, running 355 insteed of 212 in precisely the same races. Drop him down to allowance company, though, and look what happens – he stalks the leaders, moves up smoothly three wide on the turn and is clear before Endorsed is uncorked, earning a Beyer of 103 for his troubles.
And so on to our weekly pet subject. The first of the G1 trials for the Kentucky Derby has now been and gone and there remains not a single active three-year-old to have produced a three-digit Beyer, which used to be the minimum standard required for victory at Churchill Downs.
Known Agenda, transformed with blinkers on his last two starts, merited only 94 in the Florida Derby. Beyers don’t cover Dubai, so we can’t know if Rebel’s Romance might have broken through the barrier. Probably. Then again, also ‘probably’ he won’t run.
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