Q-Racing Blog: Promising Filly

Q-Racing Blog: Promising Filly

This Iowa-based filly could send her connections over the moon.

Signs Of  A Blue Moon wins John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge trial

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By Ty Wyant

Tom Lepic’s homebred Signs Of A Blue Moon could send him and trainer Jason Olmstead over the moon after racing to the fastest qualifying time to the $64,889 John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge.

“We’re pretty impressed with her,” Olmstead said. “She didn’t get away at all in her trial. She was beaten by at least 2 lengths. (Jockey) Berkley (Packer) got her going and then she did it on her own. Berkley was just trying to qualify after that start and she went and caught Cant Deny Her.”

Signs Of A Blue Moon was fortunate to have a running path after the seemingly worthless start and used that path to get the head victory in the 350-yard dash. Her time of :17.883 topped the three trials.

Karen Dixon’s Cant Deny Her posted the second-fastest time of :17.894.

The stunning trial win showed Signs Of A Blue Moon is ready to start climbing up the class ladder. After the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge, the filly will run in the trials to the $250,000-est. Valley Junction Futurity (G3) on September 4 with the finals set for the last weekend in September. If she wins the John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge, she will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the $125,000-est. John Deere Juvenile Challenge (G2).

“She’s a big rangy filly,” Olmstead said. “She was gangly at Remington Park and has kept improving.”

Signs Of A Blue Moon made two starts at Remington Park this spring. She was fourth in her Remington Park Futurity trial and then came back to finish second by one-half length in a maiden race for Oklahoma-breds.

The Tres Seis daughter reached the winner’s circle at Prairie Meadows. In her first start at the Iowa track, a maiden race, she took a hard hit from the horse on her inside at the start and then showed her determination to run down competitors. She caught leader RL Teton in the final 100 yards and quickly drew away to the one-half-length win. That race foreshadowed the running style and grit of her John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge trial, her following start.

Aside from the competitive Cant Deny Her, who has two seconds and a pair of thirds from five starts, Signs Of A Blue Moon will face fellow trial winners Not A Secret and Purty Darn Quick.

Michael Teel’s homebred Not A Secret finished on the board in two of his first three starts, each at Remington Park, and is 2-for-2 at Prairie Meadows. The Charlton Hunt-trained gelding, like Signs Of A Blue Moon, won a maiden race and then took his John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile trial. He won by three quarters of a length with the third-fastest qualifying mark of :17.951.

Purty Darn Quick, owned and bred by the Estate of Thomas Bradbury and trainer John Hammes, also started at Remington Park without a win. After a troubled ninth-place finish in his debut, he moved up with a close second-place finish in his second start, a maiden race. The gelding took a big step forward when he won his John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge trial by a dominating 1 1/2 lengths, with the fourth-fastest mark of :17.986.

The John Deere Prairie Meadows Juvenile Challenge shapes up as one of the more compelling races on the regional Challenge schedule.

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