Seven Years Is Still Dixie King

The Dixie Stakes (Grade 2)- $300.000 Purse
PIM- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
May 16, 2015

It takes a special horse to win the same stake two years in a row.  Not an impossible feat, mind you, but something in which does not happen all that often.  When such a stake is a Grade 2 event like the Dixie Stakes, that’s a pretty impressive feat.  In 2014, at five years old, Seven Years won the Dixie Stakes, and now at six years, he has done it again.  Of course, wouldn’t it be fitting if Seven Years won next year as well at, well, seven years?   We’ll save that line for next years write up!  That might not be a stretch, because Seven Years seems to be at his best right now and is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.  His trainer, Alydar Stables, has been the only trainer that he has ever known, something which is nice to see once a horse of this caliber has 41 starts under his belt.  J R Leparoux was the winning jockey, his second such win in this race, but first aboard Seven Years.  Congratulations to all of the connections!  Here is how it unfolded!

1st- 3- Seven Years (9/5)- Our eventual winner got off to a good start, and had a smart trip over the early going.   The Alydar Stables entry was not too bothered with chasing the early pace, but was content to stay just a few lengths off of it while running in the third position. In the lead up to the final turn, J R Leparoux asked for a little more run, drawing him level with Son of Ra for second, setting the sights on the pacesetter, Sri Lanka.   Once it was time to exit the turn, Seven Years turned on the jets like a horse that knows what it takes to win the Dixie Stakes, and very quickly he had not only passed Sri Lanka, but pulled clear by a length.  That would be an advantage that he would not relinquish as he had a nice steady run to the wire to pick up the win.  The time of the victory was 1:39.35.  Congrats again!

2nd- 7- Silver Bullet (6/1)-   The Joseph Racing entry went promptly to the back at the start, just as you would expect from this traditional closer.  R J Albarado began to urge Silver Bullet midway through the turn, and the only option for him in the stretch would be to a five-wide move, but the jockey did not hesitate to make it, and Silver Bullet responded nicely. He was full of run in the stretch, his only problem was that he was trying to catch a horse of Seven Years’ caliber.  Nothing wrong with this finish.

3rd- 4- Nitro Chip (6/1)- Decent start for the Nakamura Stables trained entry, beginning fourth and in a good position a length behind the eventual winner early.   Began to look for some running room in the turn, and got closer to the leaders, but there was a brief hold up before he could find a lane.  Once he did, he had more kick then others he had been around, and was able to move up into third.

4th- 6- Son of Ra (5/1)- Good early, emerging second as the run down the backstretch began.  Advanced closer to the leader, Sri Lanka, in the backstretch as jockey R Bejarano looked to position him for an outside move.  That move materialized a little bit, the only problem was that Seven Years flew by to his outside.  Son of Ra eventually emerged as the second place horse, but was caught by a couple that had been behind him.

5th- 5- Swizzle Stick (13/1)- Towards the back early for Njvets.  Was the most willing to run among those near the back over the course of the backstretch and advanced a bit.  Progressed gradually over the second half of the race, resulting in this decent finish, but he never really threatened for more.

6th- 1- Mean Street (11/1)- Midpack early for Nakamura Stables, running comfortably along the rail.  Possible to make an excuse that he got boxed in at the top of the stretch and that this hindered his forward progress.  A very late move that didn’t really accomplish anything may point to Mean Street having had plenty of run that he just couldn’t get a chance to display.

7th- 8- Sri Lanka (7/2)- Good out of the gate for trainer Axeman, and had the field cleared by two lengths heading into the opening turn, setting the opening quarter in :23.30, while keeping the similar pace into the half mile at :46.73.  Once Seven Years ended up passing him on his way to victory, Sri Lanka did not seem to have much fight and gradually watched as others also went by.

8th- 2- Magic Matty (31/1)- Towards the back early for Chili King Stables. Remained badly in the back throughout, losing by eleven lengths, and seven behind Sri Lanka.


##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Seven Years Alydar Stables Leparoux J R 1.90   11 1:39.35  
  Silver Bullet Joseph Racing Albarado R J 6.30   23/4 1:39.58  
  Nitro Chip Nakamura Stables Pennington F 5.95   3no 1:39.73  
  Son Of Ra Sanny Village Bejarano R 5.00   43/4 1:39.75  
  Swizzle Stick Nj Vets Espinoza V 13.90   5no 1:39.94  
  Mean Street Nakamura Stables Maldonado E 11.25   63/4 1:39.95  
  Sri Lanka Axeman McCarthy T 3.70   78 1:40.10  
  Magic Matty Chili King Stables Van Dyke D 31.15   8 1:41.74  

Track: Firm

Time: :231  :463  1:10   1:391

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Seven Years 5.80 3.20 5.10
7 – Silver Bullet   5.60 4.10
4 – Nitro Chip     3.50

$1 Exacta: 3 – 7 Paid 79.80

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 7 – 4 Paid 1,414.30

Scratched: None


Winner picked by NS and Stu

Exacta picked by NS


— NS

Categories: Grade II

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