SUMMER STAKES | PURSE: $258,205 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 2 | 1 MILE (TURF)
I'm Boundtoscore upset the $258,205 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG at odds of 10-1 Sept. 15 at Woodbine, earning an automatic trip to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
The Indiana-bred 2-year-old by Even the Score opened up by 2 1/2 lengths mid-stretch and held off off the late run of Are You Kidding Me to get the victory by half a length. He finished the one mile on the yielding turf in 1:37.75.
I'm Boundtoscore, never out of the money in five starts, broke alertly from the 3 hole and soon cruised up to the front under his own power. He was held under stout restraint by jockey Sarah Rook while showing the way about half a length in front of The B's and E's through a quarter in :23.85 and a half in :47.66.
"That was the colt's idea, actually," explained Rook. "We broke on top and I was trying to get him to settle a little bit more than he did. But that's what he wanted to do and ultimately, if I fought with him any more, it wasn't going to work out. So I just got him to relax as much as I could and once the other horses started coming to us, I let him roll on. He's a very game horse."
Opening a 1 1/2-length margin through three quarters in 1:12.79, I'm Boundtoscore came off the turn with the clear advantage and increased his edge down the stretch. Are You Kidding Me, sixth of eight at the quarter pole under Luis Contreras, closed with a tremendous rush to claim the runner-up position. Indiano Jones was third for Patrick Husbands, two lengths behind the winner.
Sent off as the sixth choice in the field of eight, I'm Boundtoscore paid $23.40, $10.40, and $5.80. Are You Kidding Me brought back $7.90 and $4.50. Indiano Jones returned $3.50. Favored Best Play (5-2) was fourth, while The B's and E's, Mercenary, Archer Hill, and Bear's Furr completed the order of finish.
Bred by Tollgate Stables Partnership, I'm Boundtoscore is out of the Pulpit mare Unaltered. The bay colt came off a runner-up finish in the Aug. 5 Tyro Stakes at Monmouth Park and improved his record to 3-1-1 with earnings of $226,325. He was the only blacktype winner in the field after taking the July 21 Chenery Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf at Colonial Downs.
"We were coming home from the Chenery and we were picking our races and we started out coming here for the Swynford Stakes," said Troy Rankin, who trains and owns the colt in partnership with Joe Davis. "But after he came out of the Tyro, the way he trained, he just showed us he wanted the grass. I felt for sure he could do the mile. I didn't really know he could do it as strong as he did. He's always surprising me. Every time I ask him, he steps up."
The colt broke his maiden on the Polytrack at Keeneland, and registered a third on Presque Isle's Tapeta track in a June 26 allowance in his only outings off the lawn. In his four outings at Keeneland, Presque Isle, Colonial Downs, and Monmouth, the colt hadn't traveled farther than 5 1/2 furlongs. Now his connections know he can stretch out.
"His first start at Keeneland, we knew he was good," Rankin said. "But each time he stepped up and showed us how much better he was. We didn't think we'd go to the front and hold it all the way. We were very surprised but he's got a mind of his own and living up to his name."