Inspire Force for Milligram Trophy
FLYBLUEJET, fitted with a tongue tie and first-time lasix, is out to gun the lead, setting up Saturday's Milligram Trophy for stablemate INSPIRE FORCE at seven and a half furlongs.
Having got within two lengths of BOOTYLICIOUS at six furlongs on February 18, clocking a faster time than EL AFORTUNADO in last Sunday's Sir Howard, United States-bred INSPIRE FORCE should get off the mark going a furlong and a half longer.
BOOTYLICIOUS, a 15-length winner at five and a half furlongs, clocking 1:06.2 on debut last November, returned off a nearly three-month break to churn splits of 22.3. 34.3, 47.1 and 59.4, a pace which left BURLAP and INSPIRE FORCE flat-footed.
However, INSPIRE FORCE made up ground like a horse needing more real estate when finishing third on debut behind BOOTYLICIOUS and BURLAP, who led the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes field down the backstretch in December.
BURLAP had a go at BOOTYLICIOUS early in the stretch run but the classy filly powered home in 1:14.1. INSPIRE FORCE, who came off the home turn seven lengths off BOOTYLICIOUS, allowing the speedster four pounds in his first race, made up five lengths at the wire, closing willingly with every stride to finish a half-length behind runner-up BURLAP.
Last Saturday's Hot Line Stakes winner, DUROCELL, was among the runners scorched by BOOTYLICIOUS, finishing fourth in the seven-horse field. DUROCELL returned to make all in the Hot Line Stakes at six furlongs, clocking 1:15.0 whereas EL AFORTUNADO won the Sir Howard in 1:14.4 on Sunday, beating BIG GUY IN THESKY by three lengths.
BIG GUY IN THESKY, who was collared a furlong out by EL AFORTUNADO, is among eight rivals who INSPIRE FORCE will be charging at coming off the home turn.
Carl Anderson's SECRET ADMIRAL was a strong winner on debut but will have to improve significantly to repeat in what will be a stronger and true pace from start to finish, especially with another foreigner.
Returning at seven and a half furlongs, among local non-winners-of-two races, INSPIRE FORCE gets an ideal trip and less-ferocious opponents, as opposed to the cracking splits he had to chase on debut.