COMMONWEALTH STAKES | PURSE: $175,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 7 FURLONGS
An audible called by owner Robert Trussell this week not only resulted in a win for Occasional View in Saturday's Grade 3, $175,000 Commonwealth at Keeneland, but in profitability for Trussell as well.
Re-routed to the Commonwealth from a Keeneland optional claimer on Thursday, for which he was entered for an $80,000 tag, Occasional View has now turned a profit for Trussell following his one-length score in the seven-furlong dash on Polytrack. Trussell claimed the six-year-old gelding for a hefty $100,000 last October out of a win over the same course and distance.
"We had done the nomination for this race, and we briefly thought about putting him in for $80,000 a couple of days ago. Then Bobby [owner Robert Trussell] calls and says, 'I don't know -- I kind of like the race on Saturday.' And I said, 'Well I have to get out of the race on Thursday, so yeah, it was not exactly as planned. It kind of happened," trainer Ken McPeek revealed.
Under Alan Garcia, Occasional View enjoyed an outside stalking trip down the backside as Dimension rattled off splits of :22 ⅘ seconds and :45 ⅘ seconds. Improving position around the turn while remaining in the clear, Occasional View made a six-wide bid turning for home and gradually wore down the long-time leader inside the final sixteenth. The son of Silver Deputy stopped the timer in 1:22 ⅗ and paid $11 as the 9-2 third choice.
Dimension finished second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of 9-5 favorite Laugh Track. The order of finish was completed by Quiet Force, Undrafted, Longhunter, Piquant, Big Blue Spirit, Gunderson, and Spring to hte Sky. Carving and Ol Army were scratched.
Bred in Ontario by George Strawbridge, for whom he initially raced, Occasional View was produced by the Rahy mare Celebrate, a half-sister to Canadian champion three-year-old Archers Bay and to Grade 3 winner Nashinda. All three were reared by the stakes-winning Adorned. This extended family includes Grade 3 winners Imperial Colony and Riddlesdown.
Unplaced in his first four stakes appearances, all for Strawbridge, Occasional View fared better at that level following the claim by Trussell and McPeek. In his first start for the connections, on November 15, he finished second by a neck in the Autumn, a Grade 2 event at Woodbine. He concluded the season with a distant third in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou at Turfway Park.
Occasional View entered the Commonwealth off a ninth-place effort in the $100,000 Fifth Season at Oaklawn on January 11. His career mark now stands at 20-6-1-4, $339,765.