The Brock Talk

Monday, July 6, 2009

Zensational and Munnings Move To Head of Sprint Division.

Two sophomore runners went to the head of their class Sunday when 3-year-olds Munnings won the grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park over older horses and Zensational (photo) took the grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park, also against the older age group.

It is somewhat uncommon for 3-year-olds to challenge their more experienced and mature rivals this early in the year, as Munnings, a son of champion sprinter Speightstown, became just the fourth 3-year-old in the 35-year history of the Tom Fool to win the race and Zensational was the first 3-year-old to take the Triple Bend in 25 years.

Zensational, has won 3 of 5 starts and $249,300 for owner Zayat Stables and is expected to face Munnings in the grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga in August and perhaps the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita in November. Munnings has now won two consecutive graded sprints after winning the grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont on Belmont Stakes day in early June.

Zensational is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and Munnings is trained by multiple training champion Todd Pletcher. Baffert won the last two Breeders' Cup Sprint's with Midnight Lute and Pletcher on the race in 2004 version with Speightstown, the sire of Munnings.

While the sprint division, meaning horses that race predominantly at less than one mile, may not be the most glamorous division, it is almost always the most competitive.

No comments: