Stars & Stripes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
AP- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
July 11, 2015
There was one three year old in the six horse field of the Stars & Stripes: Aaliyahs Angel. There was a lot to like about this Charming Behrens colt, the first of which might have been that sire since he was a great one at these turf distance races. He had won three of four, and even though he did run in the BC Juvenile Turf last year, it still seemed as though he was improving with every race. Before today, he had never run more then a mile and an eighth, but there was every reason to believe that he would thrive at this distance. In the preview, none of that was questioned, but there was some skepticism as to whether or not this older field would be a little too much for him today. Aaliyahs Angel had no problem at all with this field, coming from way off the pace to get the victory. More on that will follow. For trainer Eastern Equine, who had himself a good day at AP, it is the first time he has been in the winner’s circle at the end of this stake, and the same holds true for his jockey, F Geroux. It’s also the second year in a row that race has won by a three year old. The winning time is a new stake record, having been completed in 2:25.44. Congratulations to all involved on this victory! Here is how it happened:
1st- 3- Aaliyahs Angel (3/1)- Our eventual race winner from Eastern Equine was at the back of the pack early, and this did represent a tactical change from what we had recently seen from him; although this is exactly how he ran the BC Juvenile Turf. He stayed back there over the run around the clubhouse turn, and into the backstretch. Towards the end of the backstretch run, we began to see F Geroux advance Aaliyahs Angel, and by the top of the turn, he had drawn level with Secret Song and Hyper Drive, and went by along their outside. By the time the run around the turn was complete, Aaliyahs Angel had made up six lengths on the pacesetter Iron Throne and seemed destined to catch him; the only question was whether or not Chateau Angel would be caught. But with a furlong to go, the other angel lost some kick in the stretch, and Aaliyahs Angel went by him in an easier manner then expected. The final half furlong saw him set up and pass the pesky pacesetter and get on by, winning by about half a length. As mentioned, the race time of 2:25.44 is the quickest the stake has been run in its history. Congratulations to all of the connections! Aaliyahs Angel is a three colt by Charming Behrens and out of the late Mothers Revenge (Christmas Snow bloodline). He was bred in CA by Kopites, and purchased by Eastern Equine from Spongebob in July 2014 in private sales for $60.000.
2nd- 6- Iron Throne (8/5)- Fired out of the gate, jumping out to a sizable lead of three lengths by the time they rounded the opening turn for trainer Marcus White. Set the opening half mile in :48.45. This pace would stay the same over the first frontstretch trip and throughout the clubhouse turn, taking the 3/4 time in 1:12.51. Some of that lead was relinquished to Chateau Angel in the backstretch, but he still seemed in good shape at the top of the final turn. Handled the turn quite well, continuing to show heart and lead the field in the stretch. He put in a good fight, even when passed for the lead to maintain his second position. His new trainer should be proud.
3rd- 2- Chateau Angel (5/2)- Decent start along the rail for Invicta Group Llc, handling the opening turn well and running third early. Jockey C A Emigh was content to keep his horse at this gap of three to four lengths during the run around the clubhouse turn and to the top of the backstretch. He was moved closer in the backstretch, and if there was going to be a winning move, this is when Emigh wanted it to come. Did well in the turn, and was in position to catch Iron Throne. Then, with about a furlong to go, he seemed to lose some of that kick that he was showing, and Aaliyahs Angel would go on by. He never would catch Iron Throne either, and settles for third.
4th- 4- Secret Song (16/1)- The Blushing Meadows entry was initially unhurried, but would make a notable effort to advance to midpack during the initial stretch run. This advance would eventually be eased up a little, and he gave up a length or two of this progress during the clubhouse turn. Didn’t make much progress in the backstretch, and by the top of the turn, Aaliyahs Angel went by and it wasn’t looking good. It wasn’t necessarily a poor stretch run at this point, and it helped secure a fourth place check for the trainer.
5th- 1- Antelope Storm (45/1)- Content to be at the back of the pack early for Frozen Tundra during the entire opening mile of the race. Ran side by side with Aaliyahs Angel for this time, and when that one made his move, Antelope Storm was also moved forward at the top of the turn with the intention of following him along. He would not be able to keep him in close pursuit, running wide in the turn and somewhat steady, but without advance, in the stretch.
6th- 5- Hyper Drive (4/1)- Started well and ran second in the early going, but the Nakamura Stables entry would also not pressure the leader early. Allowed Chateau Angel to get by him around the clubhouse turn and made no attempt at an advance at the top of the backstretch. Began to lose touch towards the end of the backstretch run, and when Aaliyahs Angel went by, he had no fight to battle anyone in the stretch.
|##||Horse Name||Owner Name||Jockey||Odds||Fin||Time||SRF|
|Aaliyahs Angel||Eastern Equine||Geroux F||3.15||11/2||2:25.44|
|Iron Throne||Marcus White||Graham J||1.70||21||2:25.56|
|Chateau Angel||Invicta Group Llc||Emigh C A||2.50||31||2:25.87|
|Secret Song||Blushing Meadows||Russell S||16.05||43/4||2:26.07|
|Antelope Storm||Frozen Tundra||Perez E E||45.20||55||2:26.24|
|Hyper Drive||Nakamura Stables||Baird E T||3.80||6||2:27.31|
Time: :482 1:122 2:003 2:252
$2 Mutuel Prices:
|3 – Aaliyahs Angel||8.30||3.30||2.10|
|6 – Iron Throne||2.90||2.10|
|2 – Chateau Angel||2.10|
$1 Exacta: 3 – 6 Paid 8.10
$1 Trifecta: 3 – 6 – 2 Paid 26.50
Categories: Grade III