OCEANPORT – There is nothing quite as satisfying for a thoroughbred trainer as a plan that comes together with a promising 2-year-old.
That is the case with Power Attack, a son of War Dancer trained by Kent Sweezey, who takes aim at Saturday’s $500,000 purse in the Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth Park.
The Nownownow, at a mile on the grass, highlights the final weekend of the meet at the Jersey Shore track, according to a press release.
“It has kind of been our plan all along to get to this race with him,” said Sweezey. “I’m actually surprised we got here, shocked in a way, because it’s horse racing. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
The Nownownow has attracted a field of 10 and because it is a big money grass race, trainer Chad Brown enters with a horse that, on paper, will be the one to beat. Oxymore is 2 for 2 lifetime, winning a pair of grass sprints in New York.
But Sweezey likes his horse’s chances for a variety of reasons. Power Attack owns a win and two seconds from three career starts, making him the most experienced horse in the field.
Sweezey is convinced Power Attack wants two turns as well, even though all of his career starts have been at five furlongs.
“I actually do not think sprinting is his game,” said Sweezey, who splits divisions between Monmouth Park and Gulfstream. “From what I see he is very much a two-turn horse. He’s training great. He looks awesome. I want nothing more than to win one of Monmouth Park’s biggest races.”
Sweezey came close to doing that earlier in the meet when Epic Bromance finished second at odds of 72-1 in the Grade 1 United Nations. The Brown-trained Adhamo, the 9-5 favorite, wound up winning by one-and-a-half lengths.
But these are 2-year-olds, which means anything can happen and trainers can dream big.
Power Attack, co-owned by Tee-N-Jay Farm and Sweezey, has already far exceeded his $20,000 yearling cost.
He was second in his debut in Maiden Special Weight company at Belmont Park on June 9 on the dirt, then won a state-bred Maiden Special Weight race on the grass at Belmont on July 8.
Power Attack ran into a buzzsaw in the Tyro Stakes at five furlongs on the turf at Monmouth Park in his last start when he was a well-beaten second to Sharp Aza Tack, who went on to be second in the $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile at Kentucky Downs.
“When we bought him I didn’t think he would have the speed he does,” said Sweezey. “We sent him to Thorostock (in Ocala, Fla.) with Nick Sallusto and they broke him. Nick kept calling me saying, ‘I like this horse.’ I was like. ‘Come on, Nick. Be honest with me. Just tell me the truth.’ He said, ‘No, I really like this horse.’ ”
Kendrick Carmouche, who was aboard the colt’s first two career starts, will be in for the ride.
“These are 2-year-olds, so you never know,” said Sweezey. “A couple of them have gone two turns, but a lot of them have not. We have the most experience with three races. Some horses only have one. And we have yet to finish worse than second.
“I’m looking forward to this. This is what we have been pointing to since the beginning of the season. When I look at the field I see us getting a good trip. I think he has enough speed to put us in the first flight and hopefully some of those horses are not meant to go that far.”
Admission and parking are free for the final two days of the meet. First race post time Saturday and Sunday is 12:15 p.m.