Special Win For Our Athletes in BG Stakes

BG Stakes (Grade 2)- $1,000.000 Purse
KEE- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
April 8, 2017

While everyone that plays this game wants to be successful, and can point to the same handful of races that we’d all love to win, a list that would not be much different from trainer to trainer, each of us have individual races that might mean a little more to us then to everyone else.  We all have that home track, which fuels our real life passion for the sport, and brought us to this virtual world. For trainer Our Athletes, KEE is that track.    Entering Mancini in the BG Stakes was certainly exciting enough, but to watch him cross the finish line first brought tears of joy, to the trainer. “ “All my friends traveled east to Lexington with me and were ecstatic to win the BG Stakes,” the trainer told the SRF after the race, “We now have a KYD contender at CD, just 10 minutes from hom, he’ll be one of the 2 local favorites for sure!” Certainly, we can relate to the special feelings that Our Athletes has experienced, and now the trainer will get to saddle two for the KYD, a truly special accomplishment.  Atletico pulled off the win last week at the LA Derby in a dead heat, but the trainer does not have to share this win with anyone! Congratulations! It is his first win in the stake, and the second time C S Nakatani has ridden the winner, but you have to go back to 2006 to find the other time.  The time of the victory was 1:48.04, the third fastest in the history of the race.   Let’s take a look at how it played out!

(½ Mile- :45.21)- No one was surprised to see Dixieland Force shoot out to the lead for Aer Stables, hoping to pull a repeat of the successful strategy that worked for Bronx Bomber a couple weeks ago.  He had an early challenge from Seminole (On The Map Racing); and both Wipeout (Sanny Village) and Champsville Sweeper (Axeman) broke well.  Seminole would eventually back off a couple lengths as we moved in the backstretch, and Wipeout and Champsville Sweeper stayed a length behind him.  Not Perfect (Kopites) was next in line, but had to run four wide into the backstrech.   Rounding out the lead initial breakout pack were Solow (Blushing Meadows), Nineties Balter (John Henry), and Snow To Remember (Oquinn Farm).    After these first eight, a gap of 2-3 lengths opened up on the rest of the field, and that second pack was led by the eventual winner Mancini.  However, as they moved around the turn, C S Nakatani wanted Mancini a little closer to the leaders and moved him up a couple lengths to be at the tail of the front back by the time they hit the half mile.  It was another length back to Treasure Trove (Mb Stables), as King Death Row (Aer Stables) rode the rail to his inside almost eight lengths from the lead.   Grounded In Reality (Mb Stables), Coin Flip (Mb Stables), and Forestry (D J C Racing Stables) rounded out the field in the first half of the race.

(3/4 Mile- 1:09.29)- As the field moved into the turn, Dixieland Force began to tire out, and was on the cusp of being passed by the field.  Seminole had moved up to challenge him, and would take the lead soon after the official six furlongs marker.  Neither Wipeout or Champsville Sweeper were making an emphatic move at this point, and seemed content to have Dixieland Force fall back to them. Solow was looking for a lane to split them, and Not Perfect was looking good on the outside while rounding the turn.   As all this was going on, Mancini was setting up his move.  C S Nakatani was able to tell that he would have to move Mancini to the outside of the three wide that was in front of them.  Moving four wide then, he quickly pulled up alongside Nineties Balter and Snow To Remember, to make that pass as quickly as possible.  Those at the back were all beginning to get the urging forward from their jockeys as well, and were closing the gap.   Grounded In Reality had a particularly good lane, and looked to follow Mancini on through.  King Death Row was a little slow to respond with run, in comparison to others near him early.

(Top of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)-   At this stage of the race, only four and a half lengths separated first from fourteenth, but there were clearly comers and goers.  At the front, Seminole was hanging on pretty nicely and looked as though he was destined for a much better finish then he would end up having.  Not Perfect was making a strong move to the outside, but he too, would be unable to finish well.  The quickest mover of them all at this point was indeed our winner, Mancini.   He had to do it the hard way, about six or seven lanes from the rail, but it also was able to keep him out of traffic trouble.  In an all out drive, Mancini moved up to third with only Seminole and Not Perfect ahead of him.  Also looking good here was Solow, who was only a quarter of a length behind Mancini at this point.   Snow To Remember was keeping up with the pack in a steady stride.  As for the frontrunner Dixieland Force, he would run out of speed in stretch, and this time have the opposite effect on his stablemate.  On the exit of the turn, King Death Row exploded with run on the rail, and seemed as though he was going to be one of the top stretch threats, but he would have to check up in order to avoid running into his stablemate.  Compounding matters further, he moved into the lane of Wipeout, who was also dropping, just not as rapidly.  Champsville Sweeper also had enough.   Treasure Trove was able to tuck in right behind Solow, and was grateful that that one had plenty of life left.  On the far outside, another Mb Stables entry, Grounded In Reality, was making things very exciting with his own push forward, though Coin Flip trailed.  Forestry did not seem to be about to finish third at the point (in a dead heat), but had a clear lane in order for him to provide his last second run.

Finish (1:48.04)- Mancini shows us all his powerful stretch drive, and is able to pull away from the field, even from the others that were moving forward.  His pass of Not Perfect must have created such a strong tail wind, as that one suddenly dropped out of it.   Grounded In Reality come on strong in the end, and got within a length of Mancini, but that was as close as he was all race.  It was an admirable effort, though, and if he did not have to be so wide, this may have been a much tighter finish.  Finishing in a dead heat for third were Treasure Trove and Forestry. Treasure Trove was along the inside, and did well to make the pass of Solow to get this position.  As for Forestry, he had the opportunity and he pounced it very impressively.  In the final furlong, especially, he looked good, so you have to wonder about him going even longer.   We had a dead heat for fifth as well, and I really thought Solow was destined for a better finish here.   Coin Flip showed that he is still one to be reckoned with in order to get up there to pull even with Solow, but he will need to be closer to the front next time.  King Death Row, once able to recover, handled the rail well but could do no better then seventh. 8th place Snow To Remember was steady and consistent, but never a threat.  Not Perfect was flat in the stretch to be 9th, and the rest of the field consisted of those who had tired out: Nineties Balter, Seminole, Champsville Sweeper, Wipeout, and eventually, Dixieland Force.

About the winner: Mancini, ridden to victory by C S Nakatani,  is a three year old gelding by Pink Panther and out of Al Naamah (Rene).  He was bred in New York as a second quarter two year old by Our Athletes, who remains his trainer.  Congratulations to the connections!  Mancini now has three wins in 11 career starts, and his career earnings now sit at $822.060.

KYD Point Picture:

With the win, Mancini’s KYD Point total is 109, and we’ll be seeing him next month in the KYD!

Grounded In Reality has 40 points, and is 18th overall.   He is 4th on the Mb Stables leaderboard, and as he is not TC-nominated, it appears unlikely that Mb will choose him as one of his three.

Forestry’s 20 points have him 28th, and will not be enough, but could perhaps get his name to appear on the also eligible list.

Treasure Trove also has 20 points, but is 31st on the leaderboard.

Coin Flip and King Death Row being shut out here will keep them out of the KYD.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Mancini Our Athletes Nakatani C S 3.90   11 1:48.04 — 
  Grounded In Reality Mb Stables Gaffalione T 6.15   23/4 1:48.27 — 
  Forestry D J C Racing Stables Saez L 6.85   31 1:48.45 — 
  Treasure Trove Mb Stables Espinoza V 8.00   31 1:48.45 — 
  Solow Blushing Meadows Leparoux J R 28.55   51 1:48.66 — 
  Coin Flip Mb Stables Ortiz J L 7.90   51 1:48.66 — 
  King Death Row Aer Stables Alvarado J 7.30   7no 1:48.99 — 
  Snow To Remember Oquinn Farm Vargas J A Jr 21.10   81/2 1:49.01 — 
  Not Perfect Kopites Desormeaux K J 25.70   9hd 1:49.13 — 
  Nineties Batler John Henry Colon L H 11.80   10nk 1:49.16 — 
  Seminole On The Map Racing Karamanos H A 23.25   111/2 1:49.22 — 
  Champsville Sweeper Axeman Boulanger G 11.80   121 1:49.34 — 
  Wipeout Sanny Village Stevens G L 27.80   134 1:49.55 — 
  Dixieland Force Aer Stables Lopez P 65.85   14 1:50.39 — 

Track: Fast

Time: :451  1:091  1:35   1:48

$2 Mutuel Prices:

6 – Mancini 9.80 4.50 5.40
8 – Grounded In Reality   10.70 4.90
9 – Forestry     3.10
13 – Treasure Trove     3.30

$1 Exacta: 6 – 8 Paid 91.40

$1 Trifecta: 6 – 8 – 9 Paid 243.80, 6 – 8 – 13 Paid 729.50

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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