We are now right in the middle of one of the best racing weekends of the year and everywhere you look there are great graded stakes races with many top horses coming out to play. The American Turf Stake on the Kentucky Derby undercard is one of those races. There are eight colts and geldings getting ready to do battle over a mile and a 16th on the turf in this grade 2 affair.
1-Southern Time(Canning Vale Racing)- Southern Time is a lightly raced horse that is making just his seventh start of his career. I think this is the case because owner Canning Vale Racing has been extra careful with him due to his poor front legs because when he hits the track he wins half the time. Southern Time has already proven the ability to win over this distance on the turf winning the grade 3 Burbon back in October 2014. That victory propelled him into the BC Juv Turf when he finished 6th but just one length off the leader. Southern Time boast some nice fast works and I expect him to be primed and ready to go for this grade 2 race.
2-You Big Freak (Hawaiin Shirt Guy)- You Big Freak was on the derby trail earlier this year in running in the Grade 2 Jerome and the Grade 1 Florida Derby, missing the board in both of these races. In between both those races Hawaiin Shirt Guy decided to try You Big Freak on the turf and wow did he respond to this, winning the Grade 3 Palm Beach in his first and oly turf start up to this point. You Big Freak is also working well coming into this race and I think he will be right there in the end having a say in the outcome of this race.
3-Desolation Island (MB Stables)- Desolation Island is a former claim for $50 that current owner MB Stables has been moving up the class ladder. Desolation Island is entering the race off back to back scores routing on the turf by a combined seven lengths however the fields appear to be much weaker then what he will be facing here. With that said this horse had a blistering one mile turf work on April 13th at GP which shows that MB Stables has this horse going in the right to make the next jump up to the graded level. Desolation Island also looks as if he has the ability to have a say in the outcome in this race.
4-Consus (Sarah Stables)- Much Like Desolation Island Consus is also coming into the race on a two race win streak, both of them on the turf. Consus won a MSW and an N1X in these last two races by a combined 4.5 lengths. This will be Consus first time in a stakes race of any kind and boy did owner Sarah Stables put him right into the hornets’ nest with some of these proven runners that are placed in this spot. I don’t feel that Consus is without a chance in this race however it is a tall task with the other graded stakes winners in this race….can his recent form carry him to the finish line….. we will see on the first Saturday in May undercard.
5-Cool Guy Twist (Running Farms)- A recent $50 purchase for owner Running Farms, Cool Guy Twist is set for his first start on turf. There are no public turf works for Cool Guy Twist so that make him a huge wild card in this race. Cool Guy Twist has showed a small amount of class winning a 7f dirt overnight stake at Hou in Jan 2015 but then came back and finished third in a Feb 2015 one mile dirt overnight stake also at Hou. Based upon these efforts and the lack of published turf works you have to think that owner Running Farms has seen something at the farm on the turf that has really caught the eye…..We will see if it translates to the track.
6-Bombastic Kathology (Oval Express Farms)-Much like You Big Freak Bombastic Kathology was on the derby trail earlier and when he did not qualify owner Oval Express Farms appears to have decided to bring him back to his desired surface. Bombastic Kathology boasts a record of 3-2-1-0 on the turf and both of his wins have come on the turf including one at a mile. The last win by Bombastic Kathology came in October 2014 in The Awad stakes with a purse of $100. Bombastic Kathology appears to be working well coming into the race, the question is will the return to the turf motivate him to get back to the winners circle? It is very possible but we will find out on Saturday.
7-Laffin Chino (AML Racing)- Laffin Chino was purchased in auction by AML Racing in December of 2014 for $159 coming off a very impressive win in a N1x routing on turf in October 2014. Since the purchase AML Racing has run Laffin Chino in back to back grade 3 stakes races however Laffin Chino has not managed to hit the board. I do like the published works that Laffin Chino has shown and they show that he is placed in the right spot, and one of these days I feel Laffin Chino is going to put all the fast works together and blast off in a graded stakes race. Is this the race that it will happen, possibly we will just have to wait and see.
8-Mucho Class (Maxmillion Farm)- Mucho Class has now been sold 3 times since December of 2014 with the most recent purchase going to Maxmillion Farms for $140. This sale price came after Mucho Class getting his first chance on turf and responding in a major way with a very nice win at a mile and a 16th in a O/C race at GG. After that win this is the logic spot for new owner Maxmillion Farm to take a shot…..little did he know the talent that Mucho Class would end up facing in this race. I see Mucho Class as having a shot in this race based upon his maiden voyage on the turf, will it be enough for him to win…………..time will tell.
This is a very talented field that has lined up for the 14th running of the American Turf Stakes that I feel will have an exciting finish with several horses battling for the win. It was very tough for me to handicap this race as there is so much similar talent in this race as well as a wild card. With that said I will be going with the class edge of the 2 You Big Freak to pull out the victory here. My overall top 4 picks are 2-3-7-1.
Categories: Grade II