Spanish Showboat Looks to Double Up in AP Million

July 14, 2015

The biggest mid-season prep for the Grade I BC Turf comes Saturday afternoon under what might be less than ideal conditions and with the Grade I AP Million, aptly for $1,000.000, you get a full field of 12 with just about everything. Three-year-old sprinters to turf milers to older Grade I winners, a gelding who has changed hands four times this year and the defending champion trying to do what only one other horse has done in Million history, there is much to like in the field and much to discuss as well. One thing is for sure; to win this event ranks you amongst the best that HRP has ever produced, with Royal Randwick, Dogma, Bronze Sabre and Loookin Goood all well above the $3000.000 mark in career earnings with this race on their credentials.

1-Spotted Cat (Three-year-old chestnut colt / Owner-Blushing Meadows)

Grade I SA Derby runner-up Spotted Cat has tried just about everything this year, with start going long on the dirt, a mile on turf and short in the BEL Sprint Championship and now, he goes back to a route on the turf and against this field, will need every bit of the weight allowance to hit the board. Jockey R J Albarado gets back in the saddle but his best efforts have been on the main track and this is the type of race that needs experience, and he simply does not have it.

Analysis-Untested on turf and that is a big concern

Fair Odds-15/1

2-Tin Lizzie (Three-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Stald Gullis)

After testing the waters with minor success, Tin Lizzie broke through with a career-defining win in the Grade I Read at DMR last time out but over a soft turf, it has to be taken with a grain of salt and the hope is that he can continue that momentum over a possibly firm course. That 100-speed rating certainly jumps out, as does a good one-mile prep, but distance and surface questions still abound and the fear is that his 132-1 upset will translate to inflated potential and disappointment.

Analysis-Needs to prove his last was not a fluke

Fair Odds-10/1

3-One Off (Four-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Chili King Stables)

First or second in the his last seven starts, with owners changes after nearly all of them, One Off finally raced for the same connections twice and came away with a sharp second in the California Dreamin Handicap and with extra room, he can settle off the pace and start to make a name for himself in the turf division. The move into open company can be quite daunting and he needs to take his grass form out of California but his connections are quite good at bringing horses into big races and he has potential that others do not in this tough spot.

Analysis-Makes a big leap but not totally out of reach

Fair Odds-15/1

4-Spanish Showboat (Five-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)

A minor stakes winner as a three-year-old, Spanish Showboat rocketed to the top of his division with three huge Grade I wins including the AP Million and while this year has not been as big a success, he has a chance to repeat in his return to the grass. He was certainly not disgraced when fifth in the Grade I SA Gold Cup, his best race of the year came going ten-furlongs in the Grade II San Marcos and he has worked lights-out as usual coming in, with a big effort on the horizon as he preps for another run at the BC Turf.

Analysis-Defending champion is hard to bet against

Fair Odds-3/1

5-Dance Charm (Four-year-old gray colt / Owner-Sarah Stables)

A big win in the Grade II Whittingham two starts back set up Dance Charm for a run at Grade I glory in the United Nations but the extra furlong got the better of him on that day and the cut back to 1 ¼ miles will help his chances of earning another top turf win. The rest will help him recover from what has already been a long season and if he can settle in midpack and find room late, he should be good enough to get up for a minor award with others in the field fail to handle the distance.

Analysis-Solid enough but not a win candidate yet

Fair Odds-8/1

6-Silver Bullet (Five-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Joseph Racing)

Multiple Grade I winner Silver Bullet comes into the Million off a huge score in the Shoemaker Mile and with experience going this trip, and plenty of closing ability, he will be the fastest one in the final quarter-mile with dead aim on the longtime leaders. Prepped perfectly for this race with increasingly impressive workouts, he knows the track but gets a new jockey and that might be the only knock against a gelding who clearly has the talent to win.

Analysis-Jockey change might up his odds

Fair Odds-5/1

7-Bombastic Kathology (Three-year-old chestnut colt / Owner-Oval Express Farms)

Bombastic Kathology is winless in six starts this year and was only fourth in the BEL Derby, albeit behind a next-out Grade I winner, and on paper, his speed ratings and class make him one of the longest shot to hit the board. He has not been fast enough on the track or in workouts to contest the best of the turf males and the hope is that he can get back to allowance ranks and earn some confidence for his next few starts.

Analysis-Not in the same league as others

Fair Odds-25/1

8-Titan (Four-year-old bay colt / Owner-D J C Racing Stables)

It is becoming tougher and tougher to back Titan with any sort of confidence and even with a Grade II win this year by a slim margin, he still ranks as an outsider off his dismal showing in the United Nations versus similar rivals. A good one-mile workout at SAR was followed by a sharp six-furlong split but he has never really excelled at the highest level and probably will not again, given the talent assembled here.

Analysis-Not one to back off his last at MTH
Fair Odds-15/1

9-Quickoto (Five-year-old chestnut horse / Owner-Nolespan Racing)

Nolespan Racing has had some success with turf runners as of late and Quickoto followed up a solid in the AP Handicap with a powerful high-level allowance win at SAR, proving that good form is just as important as back class. The question mark for him might be the distance since ten-furlongs is longer than he is used to going and if he does not time his move just right, he might be spent in the final furlong when the closers are charging the hardest.

Analysis-Improving but needs to show his very best here

Fair Odds-8/1

10-Studs Chito (Five-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Nakamura Stables)

Studs Chito loves to finish second with nearly half of his finishes in that position and with a less than stellar win record, the chances of him scoring the AP Million are much higher than others, even if he did win with authority last time out. He has never raced at the Grade I level before and has only cracked a triple-digit speed rating once in his career so the hope is that he can settle from his outside post and have enough left to keep touch with the rest of the field down the lane.

Analysis-Great at ELP but this is the big time

Fair Odds-25/1

11-Forever Steel (Four-year-old black colt / Owner-Mb Stables)

Mb Stables has a one-two punch in the Million with defending champion Spanish Showboat and the highly talented Forever Steel, the best horse in racing not to have a Grade I win on his resume but with five Grade I runner-up finishes including the United Nations last time out. That off-the-pace effort was one of the best of his budding turf career and from a family of grass runners, it would not be surprising for him to be closing at the end for a big piece and possibly, his first top-level triumph.

Analysis-Will be charging at the end and should love the distance

Fair Odds-4/1

12-Eve Of Destruction (Five-year-old chestnut gelding / Owner-Emerald Racing Inc)

It took a whole bunch of tries but Eve Of Destruction finally broke through with a Grade I win when he upset the United Nations at MTH last time out and given the chance, he should be able to run to another powerful victory over horses that he beat last time and even some new rivals. The only real knock against him is the outside stall and with his stalking ability, he might have to expend more energy than he would like early and that could leave him vulnerable if he is leading at the head of the lane.

Analysis-All class in his last start and should get a similar trip here

Fair Odds-5/2

Overall

Owner Mb Stables is locked and loaded in the Grade I AP Million with a two-pronged attack with champion Spanish Showboat and superstar Forever Steel but all eyes will be to the outside and Eve Of Destruction, who will be looking for back-to-back Grade I wins after his tally at MTH. Big things are expected from many in this field and choosing a choice was extremely tough but in the end, class and distance are the key points and any of the top three would be deserving winners of this tough turf test.

Prediction

Win-Eve Of Destruction (5/2)

Place-Spanish Showboat (3/1)

Show-Forever Steel (4/1)

Triple T Racing 🙂



Categories: Grade I

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