Sport

MY SUGARMAN – A sweet but lumpish run on debut

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 02, 2018

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After attracting attention in his morning workouts, the American-bred My Sugarman lived up to expectations on his first competitive appearance on local soil last Saturday.

Everyone, including his trainer Spencer Chung, was impressed with My Sugarman's performance after seeing jockey Dane Nelson steer the far-striding colt from second-to-last position to an eye-catching victory in the Restricted Allowance event down the five-furlong (1,000m) straight course.

Nelson weaved a passage through the field on My Sugarman and then blew away his rivals by a length and a quarter, ending with a fast time of 58.2. Atomic Prince (Robert Halledeen) was second, while Harry's Train (Anthony Thomas) finished third.

“It was a very good performance by My Sugarman today (Saturday). It was his first career run and he was running somewhat green as well, but he came through well for the victory and I am happy with him.

“He was giving problems at the starting gates to go in and load, and that took a lot out of him. Plus, when he broke, he went to the left and gave away a lot of lengths, but once he got rolling he came through for the win and I am pleased with his performance.

“Well, he is a good runner and you can never tell from this early stage how good he is, but he is good enough and I am looking for improvement from him. With that being said, it was good that he won the first time out,” Chung said.

After giving gate handlers all sorts of problems, My Sugarman ( StrollAugusta Queen) took his time to settle in the starting gates. When the gates opened, My Sugarman swerved to the left to the inside rails and was in second-to-last position in the field of six runners as Atomic Prince (Robert Halledeen) led the field over Harry's Train, Dad's Luck (Rudolph Paige) and Necromancer (Dick Cardenas).

Shortly after, My Sugarman started to drift out, giving Nelson a difficult time in the saddle. However, with his experience and strength, Nelson got My Sugarman to straighten in the middle of the racetrack passing the dummy rails, taking aim at the leaders.

Once My Sugarman got well-balanced and felt a few cracks of the whip, the far-striding colt took control in the final furlong (200m) and powered home to score an emphatic win.

“This horse literally threw me off. On top of that, he wasn't satisfied there, he then turned his attention to the gatemen, refusing to go into the gates. Eventually he went in, and we didn't break that well, but once he settled down in the race, he just blew past the horses and won pretty well. He is a very nice horse, and with room for improvement, he will be going places,” Nelson said.

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