The results of the Man o' War could be interpreted a few ways, Gio Ponti ran a big race against an extremely slow pace and closed like a freight train. Gio Ponti could be a horse on the decline, last year in this race he would have demolished this field by open lengths. The second place finisher Mission Approved ran a monumental race in defeat running against superior competition. I am siding with Gio Ponti being 0n the decline and Mission Approved ran a monster race. Last year the Clement runner would have inhaled this competition to win by open lengths this year it took longer for him to get into gear, it happens to the best of them Cigar and Skip Away functioned on intestinal fortitude by the end of their career more than anything else. As for Mission Approved, I would be shocked if this horse does not win a stakes race before the year is out. The John's Call at Saratoga which has the condition of non-winners of a stakes race written up for it would be right up his alley, as a matter of fact the gelding ran in this race last year.The out of state stakes action was of interest too, the Summit of Speed was contested yesterday and the most impressive of the winners of the big four (the Azalea, Carry Back, Smile, and Princess Rooney) was the winner of the Azalea, Pica Slew. Pica Slew faced grade one winner Franny Freud last year and ran faster than older fillies and three year old colts on final time in her previous start. In this start she was stuck with the unenviable task of chasing a loose runner spouting off fractions of 21 and 44. The horse chasing the fast pace usually is the first victim of the fast pace, Pica Slew reeled the leader in and won easily.
D'Funnybone lost as the odds on favorite as well after setting the pace, he gave up the lead inside the 1/8 pole. Either this horse is starting show signs of fatigue after running hard in five races this year or he doesn't like running at Calder, he lost a stakes race there last year before two dominating wins at Saratoga and Belmont.
Trappe Shot won the Long Branch at Monmouth Park, the field had two scratch which reduced it to a four horse field, he ran on June 5 against the earlier mentioned Tahitian Warrior. Trappe Shot won without putting a lot of effort into the Long Branch. Southern Ridge was taken out of his normal (for his the only two races on his resume) running style by going to the lead and he did not look comfortable at all. Nacho Friend turned in his usual decent effort by finishing strong for second, but the race was over with an 1/8 of a mile left. The most likely next start out for Trappe Shot would be the Haskell seeing how the Long Branch is the traditional prep for this race. The Long Branch did not answer a lot of questions about Trappe Shot's ability to go two turns seeing how this race was an easy spot to run in.