Four-year-old Carouse (Party Chatter, by Pleasant Colony), for only having nine starts going into Monday’s racing, has had quite the eventful career. It has not been without its triumphs: after all he had won three of those nine starts, and been in the money twice more, including a third-place finish in stakes company at Turf Paradise last year.
Still, it had been a roller coaster.
As a yearling, Stonstreet bid $475,000 for him. On debut at Monmouth last May, he showed nothing. Six days later, he tried dirt instead of turf, and won by daylight at 23/1. Then, he lit up a sales board again, selling for $140,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Summer Selected Horses of Racing Age sale. His new connections, owner Charles Garvey and trainer Robertino Diodoro, did not make things easy for him straight out. They sent him right into his stakes debut, the Manitoba Derby. He finished a well-beaten sixth behind Flashy Jewel. An allowance against older then yielded a fourth place finish; he rallied from dead last late, but could not quite mount a credible rally against winner Seek the Noblest. After that, he shipped to Arizona, where he has been based ever since.
The pastures have been generally greener in the desert. In five starts at Turf Paradise going into his race on Monday, Carouse had two wins and a second in allowance company, and also finished third behind Ride Hard Kowboy in the Jeff and Jack Coady, Sr. Stakes. He had been particularly strong on the turf; his pair of allowance wins as well as his stakes placing came over grass.
Monday, Carouse returned to the turf at Turf Paradise for an N4L allowance going about seven and a half furlongs. The bettors figured Carouse was a sure thing, and hammered him down to 2/5.
It wasn’t easy, but Carouse got home.
Breaking from the outermost gate of six, Carouse got up to press early leader Midnight Officer on the outside as the field went into the clubhouse turn. Carouse remained affixed to his outside flank through that turn and down the backstretch.
Through the far turn, it had turned into a honest duel. Carouse got the best of Midnight Officer, but it took a while. Into the final furlong, Carouse finally edged into the lead. However, he had one more challenge to face: stablemate I’vegotafeeling, who was rallying on the outside. I’vegotafeeling was cutting into Carouse’s lead with every step, but Carouse dug in. He found just enough, despite that protracted duel, and held off his late-running stablemate by a nose.
From here, it would make sense to see him in good conditioned allowances or even stakes races over the Turf Paradise grass. Carouse has done his best work there, after all, and hopefully he can find a way to take that aptitude further yet.