Actually, The Muzik May Play in Salvator Mile

The Salvator Mile (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
MTH- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Dirt
July 5, 2015

Prior to the running of the United Nations Handicap at MTH on Sunday, we will also be treated ninth running of The Salvator Mile, a Grade 3 event that was once dominated by Australia Wide.  The race first appeared on the calendar in 2006 and was the highlight of the career of late Trench Warfare, who is probably more well known as a sire these days having had 232 foals out on the race track with that have earned over $5,000.000 in total.   From 2008 thru 2011, this was Australia Wide’s territory as he impressively won the race those four straight years with four different horses.  Demoledor was the first, then it was won by two of the game’s greats, Whats Up and Madhouse before the less heralded Dream Dancer saw the winners circle in 2011.  This domination either led to the stewards not wanting to hold the race in 2012, or kept enough trainers away in awe of the trainer who has recently begun a comeback.  It returned to the schedule in 2013, and was won last year by Mb Stables and his Greek God.   While it would have made for a great storyline if Australia Wide had a horse in this field again, he does not.  It’s a smaller field with five going to the gate, and there are no Whats Up’s in this field, and the five owners in the field likely do not see that as a bad thing.  Let’s meet our runners!

#1- Brutal (Aer Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)-  After showing promise as a two year old and early in his three year old season, Brutal caught the eye of Aer Stables, who purchased the Chai Latte colt in March for $200.000 and promptly sent him to the AR Derby just two weeks later.  He would disappoint, and place 13th out of 14, and not return to the race track until after Memorial Day, and in an optional claimer.  While he did win that race, this was not likely the plan when that sum of money was put down on him.  Now, Brutal can begin on the road to redemption, and that would begin with a win in this race.   He has been hot and cold in his career with some very respectable wins, but each time he has been moved up to the stake level he has been in the second half of the field. Having said that, if Aer Stables was hoping this race would come up on the softer side, he has gotten his wish.   My favorites in this field are the two on the outside, but there is no reason why he can’t be third, and that can be the start.  I am not sure he can put the time needed to win the race, which I think will be in the low 1:34’s.  If the race isn’t that fast, then he can surprise.

#2- Dreaming Again (Gdp In, ridden by J Velazquez)-  The trainer searches for their second career graded win with this colt that was recently purchased for $37.000 in the auction.  To this point, Dreaming Again has not done much in his career that would make you think he is about to win a grade 3. He has earned just $3.600 in his career, finishing off the board in his first two pay maiden attempts before he was shipped to LRL for victory on the free track.  He is coming off an optional claiming runner up at ALB, and I would have at least liked to see him win that to have more confidence here.  With an approximate 13 second final furlong in a race that he ran in 1:22.24, I don’t think he can get into the lower 1:34’s here.  However, that was all with his old trainer, and if Gdp Inc has discovered something, then he should not be counted out.  Dreaming Again did work nicely at PRX on June 19th, but it’s a time the others have done or are capable of as well.  I’d love to be more confident in him for the sake of his trainer, but I will pass.  Surprises can and will happen from time to time.

#3- Dojea (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J Bravo)-  This four year old Swarley gelding has had a lot of success running in NY-bred stakes,  but has not been able to translate that into a graded win quite yet.   In total, he has won four NY-bred stakes, including the Bongard and Ruynon while a two-year old.  At FL, he captured the NY Derby around this time last year, then around Thanksgiving, he was victorious in the Thunder Rumble, part of the NYS Stallion Series.  Most recently, Dojea is coming off that type of race, but it was a third place finish in the $200.000 Commentator. The closest he has been to a graded stake win is a fourth place finish in a five horse at the G3 Jones Stakes at PRX; otherwise, these races are not the highlights of his past performances.  The horse seems to be working well heading into the race, and he certainly is due for a win at the graded level.   He’s capable, but I sense a finish much like he had in the Commentator.

#4- Muzikology (Wynnewood, ridden by T McCarthy)-  This four year old gelding recently saw his third ownership change via private sales, going from Four Winds Racing to Wynnewood for $148.000 on the same day that he ended up disappointing in the Grade 2 OP Handicap, placing six of seven.  While it made one trainer want to get rid of him as quick as he could, another saw a nice opportunity and sent him to SA in late May for the Californian Stakes, a Grade 2.  He was fourth there, but ran against some pretty good company such as Xmas Diamond and Hardline.   Today, Muzikology will see a field that has similar resumes as he does, and if he runs as he ran this same distance back in March at the GP Handicap, that may be all it takes.   He has been knocking on the door lately for a graded win, and I have a good gut feeling about him that he is about to uncork the best race of his career to date.

#5- Actually (Mb Stables, ridden by J Rosario)-  On the far outside, we have this three year old gelding that seems to have a lot going for him in this race.  He has been brought along gradually and patiently by Mb Stables, needing some time to finally get that maiden win monkey off his back.  Once he did, Actually would score an impressive two length win in a SA allowance, then two races after, he ran a near flawless race at CD in an optional claimer, just missing the track record at CD for this same distance we run at today by a tenth of a second.  Even his second place finish in the PRX open allowance is a positive, as there is no shame in losing to the winner, Russian Cash, who has won over $600.000 in his career. As a three year old, it will help him that he gets to carry five less pounds from what figures to be his two primary challengers, as well.  This would actually be a great stepping stone win for Actually if he were to be triumphant, and he probably should be the betting favorite on race day.

Prediction: 4-5-3-1


— NS

Categories: Grade III

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