Excellent Timing gave part-owner Michael Dubb an early birthday present Sunday while giving him, his fellow owners and trainer Chad Brown a lot to ponder as winter turns into spring.
In his first start for Dubb, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables, and Marc and Joe Lore’s Wonder Stable following a private purchase last December, Excellent Timing cruised to a 6 3/4-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
He is out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Explicable, who was purchased from Legacy Bloodstock by breeder Sequel Bloodstock at the 2017 Keeneland November auction while carrying the Not This Time colt.
Perfect Munnings, a stakes winner at 2, rallied for second, five lengths ahead of It’s Gravy in third. It’s a Gamble was fourth followed by A Longlongtimeago, Echoes of Destiny, Reggae Music Man, and The King Cheek.
At 2, Excellent Timing finished second in his debut then won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race by 7 1/4 lengths on Dec. 10. Trained by Charlton Baker and owned by Happy Face Racing then, he was purchased privately by Dubb and partners and turned over to Brown.
While many options were bandied about for Excellent Timing’s 3-year-old debut, it was ultimately decided to point to the Damon Runyon, keeping the son of Not This Time with New York-breds for the time being.
“This time of year, everybody throws 3-year-olds to the wolves,” Dubb, who was in town to celebrate his 65th birthday on Monday, said following the race. “We just decided this is a New York-bred, he could have a nice long career, let’s develop the horse the right way and not get him where maybe he loses a race and loses interest. We want to get him used to winning, once we do that if we want to go to open company we can.”
Excellent Timing, under Manny Franco, was hustled to the front and then, while racing into a sharp wind down the backstretch, had a three-quarter-length advantage over It’s Gravy through a quarter in 24.49 seconds and a half-mile in 49.19.
Leaving the three-eighths pole, Excellent Timing gradually opened up and was roused some by Franco in upper stretch. With the outcome determined inside the eighth pole, Franco wrapped up on the colt, who covered seven furlongs in 1:28.02 and returned $3.30 to win.
“Manny did a great job in allowing him to show his natural cruising speed and really getting him to settle and relax and the horse did the rest from there,” said Dan Stupp, Brown’s New York assistant. “It’s a slower track, I don’t know what to make of the time. To be honest, I’m not too concerned about it; just the way he did it and the way he opened up he was very comfortable.”
Dubb said he would let Brown evaluate the options for Excellent Timing going forward, including possible open company races.
“Nothing’s out of the realm of possibility,” Dubb said.
-edited from www.drf.com