Balooga Bull uncharacteristically lacks response after half mile in 48
Pleasant Closing dug deep in the drive to defeat Gotatigerbythetail by a neck in the $30,000 Wheat City at ASD on Saturday night, while favoured Balooga Bull faded to fourth.
Balooga Bull used his natural speed to take the lead early and clear to the inside under regular jockey Paul Nolan, but after a quarter in 23.80 the wolves were upon him. Ran the Man moved to force the pace between Balooga Bull and Pleasant Closing, and after a half mile in 48:00 Balooga Bull uncharacteristically gave way without a fight.
Pleasant Closing took a short lead over Ran the Man into the final turn and shook that one into the stretch after six furlongs in 1:13.20, just as Gotatigerbythetail came with a rush under Adolfo Morales to challenge on the outside. Gotatigerbythetail got his head in front in early stretch, but Pleasant Closing fought back gamely to retake the lead nearing the sixteenth pole. He wasn’t giving it up after that.
The final time for the mile over the fast strip was 1:41.60. Ran the Man finished third, six lengths behind the top pair, and it was 10 ½-lengths back to Balooga Bull. Cherokee’s Goal finished fifth and last, three lengths behind Balooga Bull.
Ridden by Tyrone Nelson for owner-trainer Murray Duncan and his partner Garylle Stewart, Pleasant Closing improved his career record to 7-6-2 from 26 starts and increased his lifetime earnings to $158,729.
The 4-year-old colt by Closing Argument-Pleasant Jolie by Pleasant Colony was avenging an earlier nose loss to Balooga Bull in the six furlong Free Press Stakes on June 16, and he should only get better as the races get longer with the presence of stamina influence Pleasant Colony in his pedigree.
Pleasant Closing paid $5.10 to win as the second choice in the wagering, and helped the 15% Pick-4 pay $565.30. The Pick-4 pool was $6,668 and if Gotatigerbythetail had won the Wheat City the Pick-4 might have paid over $5,000. As it was, prices on the winners in the Pick-4, races four through seven, were generally low at $5.90, $8.50, $5.10 and $12.40. Gotatigerbythetail was the longest shot on the board in the Wheat City at 10-1.
Balooga Bull wasn’t outrun in the Wheat City, rather something else was amiss. After a half mile in 48:00 he would normally have opened up; or at least fought off the challengers to deep stretch. Instead he offered no response at all and just galloped one-paced to the wire.
Veteran horseman Murray Duncan did an excellent job with Pleasant Closing as usual, and credit is certainly due to the winner for fighting back gamely to win, but Balooga Bull is better than he showed.
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013