Wonderment upsets sloppy Dancin Renee

Saturday, June 17th, 2017
NYRA/Chelsea Durand

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

It was a topsy turvy late-spring Saturday at Belmont Park.

For starters, NYRA cancelled the card after the third race due to concerns about the safety of the racing surfaces. Unexpectedly heavy rain had hit the New York City metro area.

What’s more, the last race to be completed, the 6-furlong, $100,000 Dancin Renee Stakes for three-and-up New York-bred fillies and mares, ended with a surprise. Wonderment, fourth choice in the field of five, ran away with the race, while the 2-5 favorite Clipthecouponannie finished out of the money.

By post time bettors viewed the Dancin Renee either as a runaway win for the favorite, multiple stakes winner Clipthecouponannie (Pletcher/Velazquez/Repole) or, at the very least, a match race between ‘Annie’ and 7-2 second choice, Absatootly (Baker/Ortiz/Newman Racing), also a multiple stakes winner. In fact, the bridge-jumper crowd went so far as to wager $135,468 out of $162,952 in the show pool on Clipthecouponannie.

Wonderment, trained by Ken McPeek for Walking L Thoroughbreds and Sherri McPeek’s Magdalena Racing, is a 4-year-old Cosmonaut filly with some back class to be sure, having won the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park on April 2, 2016. In 10 subsequent starts, however, Wonderment had two seconds and two thirds to show for her efforts and, in her prior race, the Critical Eye on Big Apple Showcase Day May 29, she finished fourth, beaten 13 lengths

After getting away cleanly in the Dancin Renee, Wonderment settled in fourth about seven paths off the fence, while Super Alison, the longest shot on the board at 18-1, dwelt at the start and never got out of last place. Clipthecouponannie got out a step slow and rushed her way into second to track Court Dancer, who struck the front early through a first quarter in 22.66.

As the field rounded the far turn Court Dancer still led, but Clipthecouponannie began to weaken. She was passed by Absatootly to her inside and Wonderment on her outside.

Absatootly and Wonderment ran down Court Dancer in midstretch and hooked up briefly, but Wonderment decisively outfinished her rival in the final sixteenth to win by 5 lengths

Runner-up Absatootly finished 2 1/2 lengths clear of Court Dancer, who preserved the show by a neck. Clipthecouponannie disappointed her bridge-jumper friends by finishing fourth, a nose ahead of Super Allison. After a half in 45.61, the final time for six furlongs over the sloppy (sealed) going was a 1:11.63. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Anette Jasko

NYRA/Anette Jasko

“We were hoping [Wonderment] would run well,” said Jeff Odintz, assistant to Kenny McPeek. “She had a rough trip in [the Critical Eye], and she got lucky today. I think she can run on any kind of dirt: fast, wet. She handles all of it, so I was never worried about it.”

Winning jockey Dylan Davis added, “She broke sharply and settled in nicely. I just wanted to get her relaxed and she was able to settle down and stalk the pace.”

Davis continued, “Turning for home, [Wonderment] was full of run and she gave me all she had. It was a great trip. It was my first time on her and she ran a great race and everything fell into place.”

Bred by Michael S. Landers and foaled at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, Wonderment sold as a weanling to Baccari Bloodstock for $24,000 at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York Fall Mixed sale. A $47,000 buyback the following year at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale, she was purchased for $185,000 by Walking L Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, where she was offered as racing or broodmare prospect. The Dancin Renee was her third start for her new connections.

Sporting a record of 4 wins, 2 seconds and three thirds from 15 starts with stakes victories in the Grade 3 Bourbonette, Lynbrook Stakes and Dancin Renee, Wonderment has earned $329,120.

Wonderment is one of three winners, including six-figure earner Persuasive Devil (Closing Argument), from three foals to start out of A Wonder She is, a winning daughter of Three Wonders from the family of Videogenic. The mare currently has 2-year-old colt by Discreetly Mine named Potential Danger and a yearling colt by Itsmyluckkyday named Mr Wonderful. She was bred last year to Cairo Prince but aborted the foal.



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