It’s a Cliff Hanger in Cliff Hanger as Three Have Winning Chances

The Cliff Hanger Stakes – Grade III

 

RACE DATE TIME DEADLINE TRACK RACE ## DISTANCE SURFACE RACE TYPE

 

8/23/2015 13:50 8/21/2015 3:00 MTH Race #4 1 1/8m Turf Graded Stake

 

Purse $100.000  For Three Year Olds And Upward.

 

1 Bay O Fire, trained by Oval Express Farms

It’s tough to get too excited about a three year old with 3 races under his belt and one low level maiden win. Having said that there was a lot to like about the way he won that maiden at FE pulling away for an easy two length success in a fair time. His works are pretty good too so I can see why his trainer has taken a punt at this grade three but you have to think on exposed form that he may find one or two too experienced at this level.

2 Creative Santa, trained by Maxmillion Farm

This three year old has been around the block a few times as far as owners go having changed hands four times in his short career. His current trainer picked him up for eighty bucks after two good efforts in black type including a sixth beaten less than a length in the PEN Mile. His work times have been pretty sharp this year and although he still has something to prove at this level he looks destined for a big race.

3 Speed Zone, trained by Scarletandgraystable

This fairly consistent gelding has been well placed to win his last two races and has won an ungraded stakes in his career but hasn’t quite looked up to graded stakes class so far. I wouldn’t be writing him off as he has some nice work times to his name and his last up win was fairly comprehensive but I just have a nagging suspicion that he hasn’t the required class gene to bother the best of these.

4 Exploit The Gold. Trained by Nakamura Stables

The gray brigade have been making waves this year so it really wouldn’t surprise me to see one of the veterans win today. This six year old ran a nice fifth in the Elkwood over this course and distance and backed that up last time out with a nice second in a small overnight at FE. His works are in the ball park and this race isn’t overly strong so he has a chance albeit a slim one.

5 Rocket Man, trained by Downwind Stables

This one has promised so much in his career but inconsistency has been his enemy and he has never quite lived up to his considerable promise. He would win this hands down on dirt but this is his first ever run on turf so we have to take on trust that he can act on this surface. Far from being a bad thing very often a horse runs a cracker here at HRP when an abrupt surface change is made so I actually see it as an advantage today that he sees grass for the first time.

6 March Madness, trained by La Rosa Stables

This old warhorse isn’t actually that old but he has run in so many of the top races for so long that it seems like he has been around forever. Admirably consistent he has graded stakes wins in his record and some super speed figures making him by far the best turf miler in this field on paper. His works have never been great but if you look at his last two runs both at grade two you have to give him a huge chance against a less than stellar field.

 

SUMMARY

There is only one horse that can beat March Madness on paper and that is Rocket Man but the questions about the surface for that one are yet to be answered so this is a fairly intriguing race. For me there is a straight forward trifecta with the three year old Creative Santa coming into the picture so the only question is can Rocket Man act on grass?



Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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