Sugar Maple- $150.000 Purse
CT- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
Seven Furlongs on The Dirt
April 18, 2015
The Sugar Maple will be held at CT for the fourth time in 2015, despite another cut in its purse. Initially the race ran in 2010 for $250.000 purse, and remained on the calendar the next year before disappearing for a couple years. Last year, this ungraded stake returned to the calendar after the purse was cut to $200.000. In 2015, another $50.000 was shaved off at it, and nearly led to this race not filling. Sources say that as late as Monday, there had only been one nomination. Fortunately, enough trainers saw the opportunity to get us a field of five for the race. Let us meet those that will be participating!
#1- Charming Nightmares (Chili King Stables, ridden by J Rosario)- After seeing maiden Secret King win the Coolmore Lexington last week, Chili King Stables had the confidence to enter this four year old filly. Like Secret King, she has never won, and has never been second. That, however, is where the comparisons end. In her last three races, she has beaten a combined one horse. Her SRF numbers do point to her having trouble in here, so more then likely this was one of the last minute entries to try and get a check. She is also working slower then others, so I cannot see any upsets involving this one.
#2- Mississippi Darkness (Eastern Equine, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Looks to be the one that has been primed for this race from the beginning and was hoping that she would have horses to race against. It has been a while since we last saw her, but when we did it was right here, when she ran 4th in the Grade 3 CT Oaks. Up to that point, she ran in several graded stakes, and does have a win in the ungraded CTBA Stakes for CA-breds at DMR way back in July. The trainer has given her a lengthy rest, and brings her back here in a field that old Mississippi Darkness would have been competitive in, so if there has been any benefit to the layoff, she can win the race. Likewise, if she doesn’t win, she will have an excuse.
#3- Osana (Ubetracing.com, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Ubetracing.com may be one of the games smaller trainers, but he has shown the ability to be good when running in this ungraded stakes. I expect today to be no different when he brings Osana to the party. The five year old Meglomaniac mare has almost run in as many races as the rest of the field has, combined, as she hits the big three-oh in the start column. She is still racing well, taking a pair of ungraded stakes in late 2014, including the Union Avenue at SAR. In her last start, she was victorious in an open allowance at PRX. So put all that together and she should do better then she did in last year’s Sugar Maple, when she was last.
#4- Blarney Bee (Smokey Stover, ridden by R Bejarano)- This four year old filly by Blarney Road is the most experienced in the field at running seven furlongs, having done so in six of her eight career starts, and half have been run at the highest of levels. Last month, she finished 3rd in the Grade 2 Inside Information at GP, and a couple starts further back, she took on strong field in the Grade 2 LaBrea at SA, where she was third, and if she duplicates that run again, there will be no beating her here. Her SRF figures are consistently in the upper 90’s, and while there are a couple others who can reach that number as well on their best day, Blarney Bee is simply the class of the field here. Anything other then win would likely leave trainer Smokey Stover with a very empty feeling.
#5- Space Fairy (Threshhold, ridden by M E Smith)- At lower level tracks, Space Fairy has been running exceptionally well, with an eight length win and a five length win in two of her last three starts. However, they were at FON and PM. I’m not sure the trainer is looking for a win here as much a he might be looking to see how she stacks up against better competition with a smaller field. After all, Space Fairy over a year ago was sixth in the Grade 1 SA Oaks, so there is some potential here. Can she beat Blaney Bee? Probably not. But I would not be surprised is she stole a second out of this while the rest of the field chased the frontrunner.
Categories: NG Stakes