PRK Stakes Preview

5/16/2015  POST TIME 6:55PM

RACE 14 PIM         THE PRK Stakes (GI)

$1,500.000    3YO     1  3/16m     DIRT

Bawlmur… Old Hill Top…  The Infield…  The Black-eyed Susans…    A city in turmoil tries to lay down its issues for a weekend as the greatest 3yo thoroughbreds in all the land lineup for the 2015 PRK Stakes (GI), to be run at a mile and three-sixteenths over the hallowed grounds of PIM.

 A long afternoon of racing is scheduled here at PIM, but the second jewel of the TC, THE 2015 PRK STAKES (GI) is certainly why we are all here.  I was looking for a Natty Boh or a Black Label, but it seems King Cobra is the drink that everyone will be clamoring for today.  He looked like a big, big horse taking the KYD (GI) and he certainly will be the one to beat in this field.  Can he take the second leg?  I certainly think he has as good a shot as anything I’ve ever seen.  He looks like a push-button horse – put him in gear and watch him go.

There’s a few fresh horses in the race, but I really don’t see any of them as the major opposition.  I really like Mars, and now that he is breaking from a very undesirable post, I can’t even go crazy on his chances.  I still think he is the one that can bring the heat, if anyone can.

You can probably throw a blanket over five or six others in here, and traffic, being wide or just plain old bad luck could will play into the running of the race.  But, with all of that being said, I am expecting a finish with the favorites and a horse coming out of here, headed to New York, with aspirations of our first TC Champion on his mind.

The very best of luck to all of the competitors – it’s quite an achievement to even load into the gate in one of these races.  You should all be proud… without further adieu…

Here’s the Field…
For the 2015 PRK Stakes!


 Viking Shield

 Delta Farms

 Smith M E      8/1


The ARK Derby (GI) winner closed well to be fifth, beaten a length in the KYD, and that late turn of foot actually has me high on this one, despite the shorter distance.  He overcame a ton of traffic in Louisville and still found a way to be in the photo at the end of that one.  He’s been bang-bang-bang in every single one of his starts, and I think the rail may actually play to his benefit, saving ground and still being a huge factor late.  He had a nice 4f blow-out over the track for this one, so he seems to be ready to come back quickly.  M Smith gets the return call


 Dominant Speed


 Garcia Mar     10/1


Uncharacteristic dud on KYD day, but there could be every reason in the world to see him bounce off of that race.  I was shocked to see him so far back early, especially off of his third place finish in the FLA Derby where he contested the pace.  I’d look for him to be closer to the pace here today, if he has any chance of being around when the hand out checks.  They change pilots to M Garcia for this one, which will be the first pairing of this duo.


 Port On The Horizon

 D J C Racing Stables

 Ortiz I Jr      15/1


The Wood Memorial (GI) winner was dismissed in the KYD at 67/1 odds, but was a factor throughout and was only beaten a length in the end.  I really can’t offer a lot of excuses for him that day – he was right there and just got out-kicked to the wire.  They call on I Ortiz Jr for the ride today, so maybe they just weren’t happy with the ride.  I won’t be surprised at his finish, no matter where it may be.


 Chrystal Pip

 Chili King Stables

 Van Dyke D      12/1


A newbe to the TC trail, this one was last seen in Lexington when second in the Transylvania (GIII) over the grass at KEE.  Don’t be fooled by his last two coming over the grass – he has legitimate dirt ability and has been a major factor in a few of the really big spring races.  That nosed-out defeat to Im Too Confident in the Jackpot (GIII) is one that I really think sets him as a factor here today.  His freshness could spell upset.



 D J C Racing Stables

 Ortiz J L      4/1


The KYD spelled his first defeat under the tutelage of D J C Racing Stables and I think his defeat can be summed-up in one word – traffic.  He was blocked more than a 160-pound safety in the NFL that afternoon, and really did come away from that race with an excuse and a half.  The seventeen hole did him no favors that day, and he just could not recover from the start.  Look for a better get-away from the gate here today and the post should help him be a major factor in the end. Regular rider Ortiz is up again for this one.


 Pinnacle West


 Bridgmohan S X     10/1


I really expected bigger things from this one at CD, but he just seemed flat in the KYD.  He did get trapped on the rail a bit when he was moving forward, but it just seemed to not be his day.  Is this the spot for a bounce?  It certainly could be and I think horses that do well over the FG strip can transfer their good fortunes to the PIM oval.  They call on Bridgmohan today, as they did in Louisville.


 Lukas Duke

 Jkk Racing Stables

 Borel  C H     7/2


He had a great late kick in the KYD to get part of the third place money, in a DH.  The Withers and Gotham winner is a big colt that seems to find a way to get in every single race he starts.  I also think the distance is a bit more suited to the way he’s put together and he is certain a horse that could get the job done.  Borel gets the return mount.


 King Cobra

 Aer Stables

 Castellano J J     6/5


There he is… in all his glory.  The 2015 KYD winner… and this horse has not lost in four starts since being purchased by Aer Stables.  They certainly knew what they were after when the plunked down the cash for this one.  This is a horse that makes his trip – he doesn’t let anything get in his way, knows when to accelerate and has a nose for the wire.  What more could you want?  JJ is back in the saddle, as he has been for both stakes victories – another one here today?


 Prince Of Monaco

 Nakamura Stables

 Desormeaux K J      20/1


Eighth in the KYD and I really think the barn had to be bummed on that finish – he seemed like a horse that was ready to explode, in my opinion.  But that is horse racing.  He did pass some horses late at CD so there is some good things to take from that race, but I’m not sure it’s enough.  Kent is back up for this one.


 Jack The Flipper

 Running Farms

 Talamo J      30/1


They plunked down a big sum for this one off of his TAM Derby (GII) win but it’s been nothing but bad news since then.  Beat two in the Blue Grass (GI) and one in the KYD (GI) so I just can’t see anything that makes me think he’s going to turn it around on short notice.  Remember – this horse was once claimed for $15.00 – the fact that he is here shows what can be done.  They change riders to Young Joe.


 Divine And Broke

 Sanny Village

 Leparoux J R      20/1


I have a long history and reputation for writing my conspiracy theories about BC Juv (GI) winners.  Although it’s been a few seasons, here’s more of my example.  He has not had his picture taken since that Nov win, when the world was at his feet and the sky was the limit.  Ninth in the KYD (GI), he’s going to have to find some of that old magic to be any part of it again today.  Leparoux gets the return call.


 Im Too Confident

 Mb Stables

 – Scratch –       9/1




 Son Of Laggy

 Mb Stables

 Bejarano R       30/1


He was a very interesting purchase after finishing twelfth of fourteen in the AR Derby (GI).  His only seasonal win came against CA-bred horses at SA and I just can’t seem to make a case for him today, other than he is fresh off that April dud.  Bejarano gets the leg-up here today, but this is going to take some voodoo.




 Velazquez J R       3/1


He was in that tie-for-third in the KYD (GI) and that had to be a bit of a disappointment after leading most of the way down the lane.  Still, you can’t complain but so much as he did run his eye-balls out and left it all on the track.  The post does him no favors here today, but he was in the 11 hole at CD so maybe it’s not that big of a deal for him.  I like him, I just don’t like his surroundings.  Change of riders with J R Velazquez getting the call today.


 Puzzle Pieces

 Downwind Stables

 McCarthy T         30/1


I’m sure Colbie and Justin appreciate the name, but he’s been out of contention in most of his recent starts.  He also comes out of the ARK Derby (GI) but tired badly after setting the early pace.  His last win came against LA-bred horses at the end of last season, so it’s hard to jump on his wagon right now.  They take a local jock for the ride, and McCarthy does know the strip.


 King Rioja

 Mb Stables

 – Also Eligible –


Not much from him since winning the Lewis Stakes (GIII) at SA back in Feb.  He’s on the AE list and the barn would probably like to see a scratch, but I just can’t see him being much more than an early pace factor before calling it a day.


 Rail Slide

 Alydar Stables

 – Also Eligible –


He was fifth in the SA Derby (GI) after being purchased privately, and the barn may want to take a swing at these with the rest.  I don’t see him getting in here but if he does, he could shake the leaves a little bit.


 A One

 Sanny Village

 – Also Eligible –


He broke maiden in July of his 2yo season and hasn’t had his picture taken since then.  He’s been around in some of the prep races, but I think the barn would be better suited to look elsewhere to get his career going again.

#15 Puzzle Pieces is starting in PP12.

Willie’s Green Card                  8  /  5  /  2

COZMAN Picks                   14  /  8  /  5

SCOTTY Picks                      8  /  3  /  6 

Categories: TC 2015-17, THE TRIPLE CROWN

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