Pea Patch Stakes Preview
Given that she shares a shedrow with some of the most accomplished runners in training, it’s not surprising Speedometer’s own win streak has flown under the radar within Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen’s illustrious program.
“I looked up the other day and realized holy, she’s won three in a row, which is hard for any body to do,” longtime Winchell Thoroughbreds manager David Fiske said about the operation’s homebred daughter of Tapit. “It kind of snuck by me because they’ve been spaced out as much as they are.”
Having flaunted both speed and maturity during her trio of victories in as many starts this season, Speedometer will aim to earn some added attention for her versatility when she attempts to translate her winning form to the turf in the $60,000 Pea Patch Overnight Stakes at Ellis Park on July 9.
The 5 1/2-furlong Pea Patch for 3-year-old fillies is the first stakes race of the 8-week schedule at the historic Henderson, Ky track, which is celebrating its centennial race meeting in 2022.
In her only previous try on turf, Speedometer finished a well-beaten eighth in a maiden special weight test at Saratoga last August. While it took the chestnut filly seven tries to make her first visit to the winner’s circle - finally getting over the hump at Sam Houston this Jan. 21 - she hasn’t put a foot wrong since figuring out how to hit the wire in front.
Following her maiden triumph going six furlongs on the main track at Sam Houston, Speedometer notched another gate-to-wire victory at the Texas venue in March and most recently captured the Goldfinch Stakes by neck over fellow Pea Patch entrant Mystique Saboteur at Prairie Meadows on May 13.
“I think we’ve thought she would be good on both surfaces,” Fiske said. “She tried the grass in Saratoga, which she led most of the way and then got a little late, but I don’t know whether that was immaturity or the level of competition at Saratoga. But she’s much more mature now and I don’t think there is any reason why she wouldn’t run on the grass.”
As her name suggests, Speedometer’s acceleration has been her best weapon, one she will likely utilize Saturday when she breaks from post No. 1 in the seven-horse field under jockey Vincent Cheminaud.
“I think she has enough speed form the rail where she can probably get the lead and she’s turning back in distance,” Fiske said. “I guess really the only question is if she likes the turf course at Ellis….it has to be better than the one at Churchill.”
Should Speedometer not find the Ellis grass to her liking, Little Mombo could be one to move herself to the forefront. The Philip Bauer-trained filly recently earned her first win in five starts when she drew off to a seven-length victory going 5 1/2-furlongs over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs on May 26.
Little Mombo will break from post No. 2 in the Pea Patch.
The Neil Pessin-trained Trobairitz is well proven on turf having scored a pair of victories on the grass at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots going 5 1/2 furlongs earlier this season. The daughter of Summer Front debuted at Ellis Park last summer, finishing fifth on the turf behind Devine Charger, and comes into Saturday’s test off a ninth-place run in the Mamzelle Overnight Stakes at Churchill on May 14.
Devine Charger hasn’t won since prevailing at Ellis last August but was a good second last time out in the five-furlong Mamzelle Stakes when beaten just a head by Twilight Gleaming.
Blazing Summer, another daughter of Summer Front, is light on experience but has scored two victories in her three career outings. Trained by John Ortiz, Blazing Summer won on debut over the Ellis Park turf last September over the same distance she will travel in the Pea Patch and captured a five-furlong allowance race at Horseshoe Indianapolis on June 11.