Pleasant Closing spoils Balooga Bull’s 2013 debut with hard fought neck win

May 29, 2013 | Live Horse Racing, Live Racing


Pleasant Closing walks into the Winner's Circle with groom Johnathan Mills.

Pleasant Closing walks into the Winner's Circle with groom Johnathan Mills after winning the third race Wednesday night.

Best race of the year to date sets gutsy pair up for rematch

by George

Balooga Bull gave it everything he had on Wednesday night but the 2012 Horse of the Year fell short by a neck in his 2013 debut to race-fit nemesis Pleasant Closing.

Balooga Bull took the lead from the start of the 5 ½-furlong race and set slow fractions of 24:20 and 49:20 under Paul Nolan, but could never quite get clear of Pleasant Closing to his inside. Pleasant Closing moved to challenge passing the eighth pole and the race was on! And it was entertaining!

Pleasant Closing, who won at Hawthorne on March 13, took advantage of his racing fitness to edge away from Balooga Bull late, but it was clear this race would have been much, much closer if Balooga Bull had a race in him. Should be a great rematch in a few weeks, and certainly a race you don’t want to miss. Balooga Bull had a well-deserved rest this winter after a monster campaign in 2012 and should be expected to improve with a race in him.

Trained by Murray Duncan and ridden to victory by Tyrone Nelson, Pleasant Closing has now defeated Balooga Bull twice, including last year’s Harry Jeffrey Stakes. The final time for the 5 ½- furlongs over the fast strip was 1:06.40. Pleasant Closing paid $11.50 to win.

Also of note on Wednesday evening was the debut of new jockey Adrian Ramos, who won the seventh race aboard longshot E Harner ($57.20) for trainer Gary Danelson to top a $2 Superfecta that paid $18,528.60. Ramos also finished second in the eighth race aboard 13-1 shot Northern Lust for trainer Jerry Gourneau.

Ramos looks like he could be a good longshot play over the next few weeks.

Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, 2013