The 2015 HRP KYD
A Grade One Stakes race for three year olds over a mile and a quarter.
Well the 2015 KYD didn’t disappoint from a spectacle point of view but with so many evenly matched runners there would always be one or two disappointing runs. This is how each of the runners fared in the race
1st King Cobra, trained by Aer Stables
Broke into midpack and remained 6 wide through the first turn. He stayed wide down the back stretch but was going very well so no effort was made to improve his position. Into the final turn he was still tacking wide but his jockey had yet to ask him a serious question and let him stride closer in his own time. Hitting the straight he moved into third and eventually hit the front at the furlong pole moving into a lead that would carry him through to the line. Unbeaten in four as a three year old he didn’t have it easy running well off the rail for the entire race and he must be given plenty of credit for this game and fairly comprehensive win.
2nd Generals Companion, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Broke to midpack and stayed there during the first half of the race. Tracked the winner through with four furlong to run but still had to move wide to make a challenge. Managed to get out and across the heels of the winner into the final furlong charging late to be a close second. He very nearly collared this winner and I think if he had have got first run he would’ve won, this was a great effort though and he looked as if the extra trip of the Preakness or the BEL will suit him down to the ground.
3rd Lukas Duke, trained by Jkk Racing Stables
Broke just averagely and didn’t try and force his way to the front but instead settled in midpack to the first turn confident of his rail position. Went well in himself until asked to go and race with 4 furlongs to run where he moved off the rail to make a challenge. Mid way through the home turn he was still trying to find gaps and as they raced down the stretch two out he was still looking to get out. In the end he kept on bravely enough but did not managed to produce enough of a turn of foot to really get him into the race for the win. This was a good effort from the coffin draw and once again this grand campaigner managed a huge race.
3rd Mars, trained by Grimley
Broke well and crossed to be one off the rail and stalking the early lead into the first turn. He put the leader under pressure eventually asserting down the back stretch and leading round the home turn. He powered into a length lead with three to run and was still holding on with two furlongs to go. Eventually though the big effort told and he was collared with a furlong to run finishing a brave and well deserved third. This was a great run by the LA Derby winner who ran his heart out for his trainer and would’ve given them a huge thrill.
5th Viking Shield, trained by Delta Farms
Slowly away and was hung out six wide into the first turn. He remained wide with only the outside clear down the back stretch eventually being 8 wide mid-way through the home turn. He ended up grazing the opposite rail down the stretch but ran on really well and was only beaten a couple of lengths in a brave effort from a horrible trip. Out of all the relative failures in the race this one impressed me the most and I feel that he will be a big threat to King Cobra in the remaining TC races.
5th Port On The Horizon, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Broke well and got near enough to the rail on turn one to give himself a chance in running. He continued to track the leaders throughout the back stretch and into the turn but could never really get into the race for the lead and could only keep on at the one pace. The Wood Memorial winner struggled to cope with this wide draw and could be given another chance with a single digit draw in one of the remaining TC races.
7th Unsuited, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Slowly away he was hung out 8 wide into the first turn and remained wide throughout. He was pushed up round the home turn and made some good ground to be close enough if he had anything left with two to run. The effort told though and he could not quicken again eventually running an honest race but with very little luck in running. He deserves another crack at the top three year olds after this effort and a kinder draw may see him go very close to avenging this defeat.
8th Prince Of Monaco, trained by Nakamura Stables
Slowly away he moved to the rail into the trailing group after two furlongs and didn’t make much of an effort to go very far for the first half of the race. He was only 7 lengths off the leader with 4 furlongs to run and looked full of running but had nowhere to go from the rail and the decision was made to ride his luck and stay there for a gap. The gap never came and when it did he made up some nice ground and was running on at the end. This was a decent effort and one wonders whether a more positive ride may have seen a better finishing position. He ran well enough to suggest a crack at one of the remaining TC races wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.
9th Divine And Broke, trained by Sanny Village
An average start saw him 7 wide into the first turn and not much better than that by the time they hit the back stretch. He was still the widest runner round the home turn tracking seven deep at one point but was still only a couple of lengths back at the two furlong pole. He whacked away after travelling further than most and wasn’t beaten that far so you can’t say he ran a poor race but he never looked like winning from where he was.
10th Dominant Speed, trained by Rockitpad
Settled back and made no show and was still nine lengths back with four furlongs to run. He was stuck near the rail with traffic blocking every route so he never got going and although he stayed on nicely and was actually only beaten three and a bit lengths he never really got a mention. The way he finished would suggest the extra trip of the Preakness or BEL would not inconvenience him so I wouldn’t write him off just yet.
11th Salt Lake City, trained by Boomtown
Broke best and easily led and crossed to the rail before the first turn. He was then put under pressure by Mars eventually letting him win the battle and settling into a close stalk. Rounding the home down he still held the rail and was keeping on gamely but as they went further to the line he faded and eventually finished pretty tired. This was a game effort by this trier but I felt his stamina was over stretched today and he may well be best over a mile in the long run.
12th Pinnacle West, trained by Hippyheart
Broke averagely and settled into mid pack to the first turn, he travelled well enough and was only 5 lengths off the lead as they entered the home turn. Rounding the turn he was desperately looking for a way through but when he was put under pressure he failed to find anything and just whacked away in a fairly lack lustre performance. This was probably the first average effort this son of Charley Farley has put in since his two year old debut so it will remain a question mark over him until we see his next race.
13th Spotted Cat, trained by Blushing Meadows
Being of small stature his jockey and trainer made the decision to keep him out of the early rough and tumble and the little colt was taken all the way back to the rail and last place early on. He was still nine lengths off the leaders and third last with three furlongs to run but made some ground in the end. This was a pretty uninspiring effort for the punters though as he never got into the race. I am guessing he will be put away and allowed to grow a little before he makes a come back to the big time.
14th Sindaco Di Firenze, trained by Jerry Garcia Racing
Broke well and managed to get a fairly good position through turn one. He settled just in behind the leaders and was a clear 4th down the back side. He never really saw daylight after that and was unable to push into clear air going nowhere down the stretch.
15th Decima, trained by Mb Stables
Stuck wide after a poor start and was taken nine lengths off the early lead in an attempt at finding the rail. He never really did much after that and although he did make ground at the end he was never mentioned in the commentary.
16th Shed A Tear, trained by Mb Stables
Broke slowly and led the third and trailing pack to the first turn. He never really made a show but was only six back with two to run, however he did nothing and it can safely be said he made no show. Bearing in mind he was only three quarters of a length behind King Cobra last time out this will have to be put down to a poor performance, especially as he came from a favourable draw. The only excuse for him could be that a slow start stopped him getting on the pace where he prefers to race.
17th Citizens Union, trained by Saratoga Stud
He was hung out wide through the first turn and was ridden up by his jockey to try and see some of the rail. Lots of energy was expended but he eventually nosed in front by the end of turn one and stayed there until they got to the end of the back stretch. He was still only two and a half off the lead by the two furlong pole but had done too much too soon and was only going backwards after that.
18th Im Too Confident, trained by Mb Stables
A fair start saw him 4 wide and sixth into turn one but he remained wide through the turn. He didn’t make a move down the stretch and instead went wider round the home turn trying to find some space to run but never really got into it and faded on the run to the line. This was a strange run from the race favourite and BG Stake’s winner who has never run a race as listless as this. Time will tell what this could mean for his future but you have to forgive him this effort.
19th Jack The Flipper, trained by Running Farms
4 out and midpack to turn one he was never in it and faded into the stretch after being wide on the home turn. This is the second poor race in a row since his excellent win in the TAM Derby and one has to wonder where his future lies.
20th Inspector Woof, trained by Saratoga Stud
9 wide early and was taken back to last to try and find a rail position. He was never sighted after that finishing last beaten a fair way. His run and that of his stable companion remain a mystery.
Well I guess you have to look at this race from three ‘newsworthy’ perspectives to really see the story outside of the race for the 2015 KYD. The first and most obvious would be the failure of the Mb Stables Empire to have any impact on the result. With no less than six of the twenty runners starting the season off as stable hopes who would ever have guessed that they would be the last six to finish in the race itself. Im Too Confident went off as favourite but never looked like winning and I would call anyone a liar if they said they could’ve predicted this kind of result for the stable.
The second angle would be in some way compensating to the disappointment that Mb Stables must’ve been experiencing as three of the last four home had made the stable $1550 in the last few weeks as he unloaded them pre-race. The sale in fact netted him pretty much the same profit as the trainer of the winner received for winning the race so it wasn’t a complete wash out for the champion trainer. The terrible runs of those three purchased horses remain a mystery as does the reasoning behind buying them.
The final news story other than the race itself which I will cover in a second would be the great run from Generals Companion. There has been much discussion around his twenty dollar sale earlier in the year but he must go down as one of the best buys of the season if not the decade and I would’ve thought that his previous owner won’t be buying the drinks for a while.
Those are all stories that don’t concern the winner but the winner itself is the sort of story that only these great races can turn up. Bought for just sixty dollars in November last year he didn’t win a race until he was three, that maiden win coming less than 4 months ago. From a maiden from five two year old he has become an unbeaten three year old with a grade three and a grade one on his record, a true rags to riches story. The horse may be a great story but he is not the only great story in the winning of this race. His trainer Aer Stables had not even won a grade one before this race and only has 450 career races to their name. As if that wasn’t enough they haven’t even reached their first century of winners making Aer Stables just like their admirable horse another great KYD success story.
This win will now start a couple of weeks of speculation as to whether we will see HRP’s first ever TC bonus winner. There were a few horses that had a tough trip in this race but the winner was pretty wide for much of it too so of those beaten horses I can’t see many that will improve enough to beat him in The Preakness. Generals Companion will be the biggest threat to come out of this field and there will be one or two others that come out of the wood work but this horse is certainly good enough if he gets the breaks in the next two legs.
So there it is for another year. With two dead heats in the race let’s hope next year sees an improvement in photo finishes and maybe even a plush new viewer to enjoy the race with.
Review written by Stu from Threshold Stables