Two-turn test Mr. Fantasy's best option
The connections of Mr. Fantasy have resorted to Plan C for the promising 3-year-old's second start.
Mr. Fantasy will make his next start in a first-level allowance race for New York-breds going 1 1/16 miles Sunday at Aqueduct. It will be the seventh race on the card.
Mr. Fantasy, a New York-bred son of E Dubai and a half-brother to Tin Cup Chalice, wowed observers with an effortless 10 1/2-length debut victory on Dec. 28, running six furlongs in 1:10.51 and earning a gaudy 97 Beyer Speed Figure. The plan was to keep the colt sprinting for his second start, and a first-level allowance race for New York-breds carded for last Wednesday seemed the ideal spot. But that card was canceled due to inclement weather.
As a back-up, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin entered Mr. Fantasy in Saturday's six-furlong Dancing Count Stakes at Laurel Park. But, McLaughlin really didn't want to ship the horse or run him in a stakes in his second start.
The hope was that Wednesday's canceled race would be brought back. It was, only the distance was changed to 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as the $250,000 Gotham Stakes on March 7, a race McLaughlin hopes Mr. Fantasy proves worthy of entering.
"The thought process is if we're going to look at the Gotham why not go a mile and a sixteenth now against New York-breds instead of six [furlongs] and win by eight, and then you still don't know'' about distance, McLaughlin said Friday from south Florida. "If we go long Sunday, he gets the experience of running long once against a lesser group.''
The draw was unkind to Mr. Fantasy as he will break from post 10. But McLaughlin hopes the colt's speed will enable him to clear the field and gain a favorable position entering the first turn. Richard Migliore will ride Mr. Fantasy.
"He's a very talented horse and I think Richie does a good job with these kind,'' McLaughlin said. "If he does take the lead, he'll settle him down, slow him down, and hopefully coast along.''
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