Q-Racing Blog: Musings

Brian Muse is preparing for an exciting few weeks.

Quarter Racing Journal

Brian Muse is preparing for an exciting few weeks.

It’s going to be an exciting few weeks for trainer Brian Muse.

Muse is sending out the seasoned B Double U in the $1,083,420 Heritage Place Futurity (G1) on June 4.

He also has the promising nonstarter Sassy Irish Lassie in the trials to the $1 million Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. Those trials are held on the first two days of the meet, May 27-28. The finals are on June 12.

Gregory Cullum’s homebred B Double U has about as much experience as a 2-year-old can have at this point of the year. The PYC Paint Your Wagon-sired gelding has made four starts and turned in his best effort in the Heritage Place Futurity trials when he won his maiden.

B Double U, under Cody Jensen, had a great start. That was the difference from his previous three efforts.

“This colt is just getting better with every race and maturing mentally,” said Muse. “We made some equipment changes and that helped. He used to rock back and forth in the gate. We put him in a bit rig, which is like a flipping halter.”

After B Double U beat the gate, the veteran Jensen just got him lined out and they went on to a three-quarter-length win. The time of :17.467 was the fastest time from 12 trials on the second day of qualifying.

During the first day of trials, there was a severe wind change from a headwind to a 20 mile-per-hour tailwind just for the ninth trial. That trial produced three of the five qualifiers.

B Double U is “good to go, soundness wise,” said Muse.

After the Heritage Place Futurity, it will be decision time for B Double U’s camp. If he is close in the Heritage Place Futurity, he could travel to Ruidoso Downs and point at the All American Futurity (G1) trials in on August 19-20. He would be a $50,000 supplemental nominee. The other option is that he is paid up in the Black Gold series and he could take that path.

B Double U has a creditable past. He also qualified for the $888,000 Remington Park Oklahoma-bred Futurity (RG3). Sassy Irish Lassie is all about the future.

Sassy Irish Lassie stood out in the Ruidoso Downs’ training races. Her time of :16.151 for 300 yards was good for the second day’s 13th-fastest mark. There were three days of training races. The time was good. The form was sensational.

A daughter of leading sire Walk Thru Fire and Kindergarten winner Sassy Smith, Sassy Irish Lassie broke very well under jockey Omar Reyes and then the smallish filly tested Reyes’ strength. She pulled him to the lead and he had her under a very strong hold when they won the training race. My program note says, “powerful.”

Sassy Irish Lassie could have died earlier this spring. “We broke her early and had her paid into the Oklahoma Futurity,” said Muse. “Then, three weeks before the trials, she came down with pleural pneumonia. She had a temperature of 102 so they swabbed her because of the virus (EVH-1). That came back negative.

“We got her through that (pleural pneumonia) at the ranch, took her back to Remington Park and then to Ruidoso.

“We are really fortunate that she lived and blessed that she can run. We vetted her this morning (May 19) and she is good to go for the (Ruidoso Futurity) trials.”

A $62,000 Ruidoso Yearling Sale purchase, Sassy Irish Lassie was bought by Raymond Merrill and will race for the partnership of Merrill and B Double U’s owner Cullum.

“She has a lot of balance and is straight and correct. She is also a bigtime mover,” said Muse. “I felt that we got a lot for the money.”

It’s money time and time will tell.

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