Murphy Stakes, Purse $100.000, Ungraded, 1 mile, Turf for 3 year olds
Another great weekend of racing is upon us, with the headline race being the second crown jewel of the Triple Crown the Preakness Stakes. Much like two weeks ago at the Kentucky Derby there is a nice under-card of racing. This is a nice 1 mile turf race for 3 year olds that actually has a horse who scratched out of a poor draw in the Preakness Stakes to run in this spot in Puzzle Pieces. There are some intriguing runners in this field that hope to use this ungraded stake as a spring board for bigger and better things in the second half of this year.
1-Burgandy Ranch (Nakamura Stables)- Comes into the race off a fading fourth place finish out of The Woodhaven Stakes at AQU in April over the turf course at a mile and a sixteenth. Owner Nakamura Stables looks to have decided that it would be best to shorten Burgandy Ranch a little bit back to a flat mile in this race where he has yet to run. After looking through Burgandy Ranch’s past performances it does not look like the distance in the Woodhaven Stakes was the issue as he had already won at that distance as well as further. Could it have been the step up on class that caused the fourth place finish? It appears that way to me however we will find out this weekend.
2-Be My Guest (D J C Racing Stables)- A Recent $60.000 purchase for D J C Racing Stable back in March of 2015, Be My Guest was placed Directly into an overnight stakes race sprinting on turf where he raced against some older horses. Be My Guest finished a respectable fourth in the race, so D J C Racing Stable has decided to run him against horses his age this time. This will also be, Be My Guests first time going a route of ground as his longest race came back at SA going 6.5F down the hill in November of 2014. In digging deep though the public works there is nothing recent going a mile on the turf, he must have done something behind the walls to make owner D J C Stables feel that a stretch out will help him. I feel that the distance may be just a bit to much for this horse to overcome.
3-Puzzle Pieces (Downwind Stables)- A horse that was an AE for the Preakness Stakes and was then entered into the body of the field when there was a scratch, Puzzle Pieces was then ultimately scratched by owner Downwind Stables for a chance to run here with the hope of a better post. Puzzle Pieces comes into the race with some class as it has won an ungraded stake in the past and took four shots on the derby trail this year, managing one third. The question with Puzzle Pieces is will he like to run on turf? This will be his first career start on the turf, however he has some fast one mile turf works coming into this race that show that he at least he has the possibility of liking the surface. The other big question for Puzzle Pieces is does he like to win? Winning in only 2 of 11 starts? WE will find out this weekend if the change in surface can get Puzzle Pieces back into winning form.
4-Noble O Noble (Oval Express Farms)- Comes into the race with just a maiden win to his name, and having never tried turf before. Noble O Noble was also a horse that had derby dreams and took two chances on the trail but only managed a 12th and 9th place finish in these races. I tried digging through the work history on this horse to see if there were some turf works to look at to see how he may like this surface, and the only public work on the turf came on May 11th and was a nice 6F H work at CD. I will be curious to see if this horse can turn the tables and get his first non maiden win on the turf.
5-Luft Orama (PJR Farms)- Comes into the race in great form. Luft Orama has finished first or second in all of his starts after his maiden voyage, including a win over the turf in an overnight stake in November of 2014. Since that win owner PJR Farms tried four times to get a win for Luft Orama in an allowance or an OC race, with the win finally coming in an N1x at FG in March of 2015. Luft Orama has been off since that race and his public works have been good ones. I feel that this horse is sitting on a good race and could have a say in the outcome of this race.
6-Chapter In The Fog (Hippyheart)-Comes into the race off a good second place finish going a flat mile on the turf against older horses in the Clark Stakes in April of 2015 where he was the early pace . This was Chapter In The Fog’s first run on turf and owner Hippyheart had to be thrilled with the run, which is why he is running him back here against horses his same age. The last public work for Chapter In the Fog was a blazing one mile work on the turf in March of 2015. Much like Luft Orama I feel that this horse has a huge race in him, and for me is the one to beat in this race.
7-Bold Convict (Boulevard)- This is a recent $7.000 claim out of a MCL race on May 5th 2015 who new owner Boulevard must be very happy with for him to step up to this level. This lightly raced horse does not give me much to go off of, but his race times and work out times have not shown me anything that makes me believe he is ready for this level at this time. That coupled with the fact that he will be coming back off less than two weeks after a race makes me feel that he will finish near the back of the pack.
8-S S Stieners (Wolfs Den)- Five of his last seven races he has finished first or second so he is coming into the race with fairly good form. The problem is four of those 4 have been seconds. S S Stieners most recent effort was a second in an allowance race at WO, and that came off a win in an OC going long on the turf at FG in March of 2015. S S Stieners best races against stakes company have all come in state-bred races and on dirt at the end of 2014. The works for this horse are nice but nothing eye popping. He could be there in the end but we will see on Saturday.
9- Hollywood Henderson (First Flight Stables)Is right at home on the this surface as he has never stepped foot on the dirt in his life for a race. He has only missed the board one time during his 6 race career and that was his last race in the grade 3 Transylvania Stakes in April 2015. Hollywood Henderson has won an overnight stake going a flat mile in his past at SA in December of 2014. He comes into the race training very well and also has the look of a horse that will be there in the end having a say so about the outcome in this race.
The 3 year old turf racing is starting to heat up and I have had the pleasure of covering this race. I see this as having several competitive horses in the race but I see the outcome being 6-5-9-3. See you at the races!
Categories: NG Stakes