Excellent Timing makes his first start for trainer Chad Brown as he heads a field of eight New York breds that will line up in Sunday’s $100,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct.
Nine were entered but the 3-1 second choice Eagle Orb came out of a work on Friday with an injury and will be scratched.
Excellent Timing was previously trained by Charlton Baker, breaking his maiden against state breds on Dec. 10 in his second career start by 7 ¼ lengths.
That win got the attention of Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Michael Dubb who purchased the colt privately and turned him over to Brown. He was shipped to Florida where he spent January and February at Payson Park.
“I thought that the horse was pretty impressive and ran a fast number,” Kumin said. “We got a look at his figures and thought maybe there’s a chance he’d be buyable. We were able to buy him and move him over to Chad, so we’ll see how it goes. He should run a big race.”
His main rival will be the Todd Pletcher trained Perfect Munnings, who won the state bred Rego Park in his second career start and was third in the state bred Gander in his most recent start on Feb. 14.
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Perfect Munnings Wins the Rego Park
Two other interesting contenders in the race are recent maiden winner A Longlongtimeago (9-2) and It’s a Gamble (12-1) who will be making his debut on dirt. His first six starts came on turf including a win against first level optional claimers.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 8 The Damon Runyon (4:55 ET)
5 Excellent Timing 5-2
3 Perfect Munnings 4-1
1 A Longlongtimeago 9-2
9 It’s a Gamble 15-1
This colt was a good looking maiden winner in his second career start, taking the field gate to wire and drawing off to win by 7 1/4 lengths. He caught the attention of high profile owners Dubb, Madaket and Kumin who purchased him privately and sent him to Florida with Chad Brown. The colt worked sharply and put in one quick drill since returning to New York. Just one of the five that exited his last race has come back to win, Fool Moon Fever running second, second and third behind breaking his maiden last out by 17+ lengths. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should move forward as he returns off a three-month break, giving him some time to mature. The barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. With the scratch of Eagle Orb he figures to be lighter than his 5-2 morning line.
The Pletcher trainee cuts back to seven furlongs after stalking the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the state bred Gander, the winner drawing away to win by 11 3/4 lengths. He broke his maiden on turf going six furlongs and then won the state bred Rego Park last out in his first go on the main track. Blinkers are added here and he picks up Carmouche who has had plenty of success since picking up mounts from Pletcher, hitting at a 35% clip (with a +ROI).
The colt tracked the early pace and came with a good late rally to break his maiden in his debut, sent off at 9-2 in a field of 10 here over a wet track. The third-place finisher Reggae Music Man came back to graduate in his next outing on Feb. 13 by 6 1/2 lengths and four others exited the race to run second or third in their next starts. He was away last, tracked the early pace, had to wait for some room on the far turn and edged clear late in a professional outing. He looks capable of moving forward off that effort for a capable outfit.