Shootfromthehip Captures The KYD

The KYD (Grade 1)- $2,000.000 Purse
CD- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
May 6, 2017

Nakamura Stables first began playing this game way back in 2006.  He’s been a consistent player since then, and in recent years has been averaging around $12,000.000 in earnings per season.  Over that time, he had won 91 graded stakes prior to today’s Run for the Virtual Roses.  Last season, the trainer had a great shot to win the KYD with three going to the gate, and Palestinian figured to give him a good shot at the victory.  Unfortunately, that one would be unable to get the job done.  It took the trainer a while before he was able to saddle his first KYD runner, doing so in 2015 with Prince Of Monaco, and then the three entries last year were quite an accomplishment.  In 2017, Shootfromthehip, the impressive winner of the FL Derby, would be his only chance.  The rain would come, and leave us with sloppy track for the big race, and that left the status of several horses in the field unknown as to how they may fare, and Shootfromthehip was one of them.  Finally, after over two minutes and eight seconds of swimming in the CD slop, Nakamura’s patience and perseverance has paid off as he can join an exclusive list of trainers who have won the KYD.  On behalf of all of us at the SRF, we extent are strongest congratulations to the winning trainer and his talented gelding by Knowledge Geek. Now, we’ll see how he can fare in the PRK, but he will be going into the race hot, as a winner of three in a row.  He never runs a bad race!  It’s also a big accomplishment in the virtual jockey world, and K J Desormeaux just picked up his fourth KYD title. He rode Fuji Ninja in the first ever KYD back in 2004, then won with Willow Grove on slop in 2011, and later Commanding in 2013.  Pretty good company to be in!  The time of the win was 2:08.29, a little slower then Willow Grove’s win on a sloppy track, but it doesn’t really matter.  Here’s a look at how it was won!

The Start (after 2F)- From the outside, it’s going to be Bronx Bomber (Aer Stables), from post #18, with an explosive start from the starting gate, and jumping out to the early lead.  His neighbor in the starting gate, Slither, from post #19, also broke very alertly, but would not be quite as ambitious as Bronx Bomber was early on.  Starting well also was Rebel Force, from South Beach Racing, and it would ultimately be Bronx Bomber and Rebel Force leading the way the first time they hit the start/finish line.  Slither (Night Mare Racing) was tucked into the third place position, running two and a half lengths from the lead, with Made To Sin (John Henry) just to his inside.  Behind him, we start to get the proverbial pack beginning to form.  Shootfromthehip (Nakamura Stables) was one of four wide, battling for sixth, and was just over four lengths from the lead.  He was between Winged Feeney (Four Winds Racing) and Mancini (Our Athletes), as Banshee Star (Joseph Racing) ran along the rail.  Withdrawn (John Henry) drafted Banshee Star along the rail, and to his outside were another three wide group, consisting of Farley On Wheels (Tiratzo), eventual runner up They All Laughed (Mb Stables), and Lord High Admiral (John Henry).  Warrior Chant (Sccj Stables) was in close proximity in them as well, and was five wide on the track.  Niner Forty Niner (Serenity Stables) and Out On The Limb (Smokey Stover), with Profound Connection (Mb Stables) behind them.   Trailing were Ginger Haggis (The Sidley Stud), Atletico (Our Athletes), Mr C (D J C Racing Stables), and at the back, surprisingly, was Positive Thinking (Mb Stables).

(½ Mile- :48.13)- Rebel Force and Bronx Bomber are going at one another hard on the front end, matching strides as the race enters the backstretch.  Slither still runs third, but he is joined here by the biggest mover of the opening turn, Mancini.  They were now just two and a half off the leaders.  Lord High Admiral also took advantage of the advancement of Mancini and proceed to follow him along and advance his position as well.  Shootfromthehip ran in the middle of the field at this stage of the race, running 9th, and about five lengths from the front.   He had a bit of an opening ahead of him if he wanted to take advantage of it, or he could look to follow Lord High Admiral.  Not much happened further back in terms of advancement, but some of the four side battles that had taken place previously began to settle in to pairs of two, instead.   Runner up They All Laughed was directly behind Shootfromthehip at this point.

(3/4 Mile- 1:13.46)- As the field runs down the backstretch, and prepares to enter the far turn, Rebel Force is showing signs of tiring, allowing Bronx Bomber to pull out to a full length lead.  Slither began to reel in the top two, and looked for his lane to get by Rebel Force, but Mancini was right beside him now with the same idea.  Lord High Admiral entered the top of the turn with authority as well, and the three of them were about to make quick work of Rebel Force and set their sights on Bronx Bomber.  Banshee Star was hanging tough along the rail here as well, but was going to have to move quickly to avoid Rebel Force running into him.  Shootfromthehip was beginning to advance somewhat staying a length behind Lord High Admiral, but most importantly, keeping himself in a nice clear and unobstructed lane.  They All Laughed was following him through. Niner Forty Niner had a nice trip along the rail setting up as long as no one backed up into him.  Behind them, we’re still not seeing much from the rest of the field, which was including the likes of Profound Connection and Ginger Haggis.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5 Furlongs to go)- The intensity picks up around the turn.   Bronx Bomber is showing that true Yankee heart while on the lead, as he is still in front despite all the pressure moving into the stretch.  Rebel Force backed up quickly out of contention, but did not really seem to hinder anyone with much significance as it happened.   Slither was looking sharp here and was pulling even with Bronx Bomber as they moved into the stretch, but the pressure from Banshee Star was strong.  Banshee Star had a strong rail trip throughout the race, and was preparing to pass Slither to the inside while Lord High Admiral did so on the outside.  However, the story here would be our winner, Shootfromthehip, who made his move in the turn, particularly upon exit, while going about five wide.  As he did this, he had all those horses passed except for Bronx Bomber, and that was imminent.  He was the horse to beat at this point, and the only question would be if there was someone coming from behind him.  That threat was They All Laughed, who had been stalking him all around the race track and went six wide to attempt the pass of Shootfromthehip.  Mancini had begun to drop out of it, but Withdrawn was showing some good late run, and making things particularly exciting in the pack was Niner Forty Niner, who wanted to find the best lane.   No one else was looking like a threat at this point.

Finish (2:08.29)- Shootfromthehip takes over the lead, but They All Laughed is coming at him hard.  Just when it looked like he might be passed for the win, K J Desormeuax gives Shootfromthehip some final motivation, like a jockey who’s won this race three times before, and he gets the response he was looking for.  Shootfromthehip finds just a little bit more to be able to hold on in a thriller over They All Laughed.  Along the inside, Banshee Star also ran very well, and if either of the two slipped for a moment, it may have been him in the winner’s circle.  For fourth, Niner Forty Niner does well, once he finally decides on a lane, to nip Withdrawn for the final spot to cash a check.  Withdrawn represented himself well here, too.  Sixth goes to Lord High Admiral, who did well to hang in close to the field, and really did nothing wrong.  Slither started to tire late, and found himself passed back by Bronx Bomber in the dying moments for 7th, and Out On A Limb came up for ninth.  Those were the horses who had a legitimate shot to win, and can say they were within just a length or two from victory.   Following them, there is a gap of two to Ginger Haggis, Farley On Wheels, and Mancini, with a length separating each one of them.  After them are today’s disappointments, in order: Atletico, Profound Connection, Made To Sin, Positive Thinking, Warrior Chant, Winged Feeney, Rebel Force, and finally, Mr C.  Congratulations to the winner, and to everyone with a horse in this field!

About The Winner: Shootfromthehip, trained by Nakamura Stables, and ridden to victory by K J Desormeaux is a three year old gelding by Knowledge Geek and out of Jessica James.  He was bred in California as a yearling by Nakamura Stables, the only trainer for which he has ever known.  Congratulations to the connections!  With the win, Shootfromthehip now has six wins in 10 career starts.  His career earnings sit at $2,306.800.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Shootfromthehip Nakamura Stables Desormeaux K J 9.20   11/2 2:08.29  
  They All Laughed Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 12.70   2hd 2:08.42  
  Banshee Star Joseph Racing Ortiz J L 19.55   33/4 2:08.46  
  Niner Forty Niner Serenity Stables Pennington F 13.80   4nk 2:08.62  
  Withdrawn John Henry Gutierrez Mario 27.30   53/4 2:08.68  
  Lord High Admiral John Henry Franco G 5.35   61 2:08.85  
  Bronx Bomber Aer Stables Alvarado J 25.15   7nk 2:09.07  
  Slither Night Mare Racing Castellano J J 49.60   8no 2:09.13  
  Out On A Limb Smokey Stover Smith M E 31.95   92 2:09.14  
  Ginger Haggis The Sidley Stud Leparoux J R 11.00   101 2:09.66  
  Farley On Wheels Tiratzo Hernandez J J 23.75   111 2:09.87  
  Mancini Our Athletes Nakatani C S 23.10   123 2:10.09  
  Atletico Our Athletes Espinoza V 35.15   13hd 2:10.76  
  Profound Connection Mb Stables Albarado R J 19.65   14no 2:10.79  
  Made To Sin John Henry Bejarano R 14.80   151/4 2:10.81  
  Positive Thinking Mb Stables Velazquez J R 11.20   163/4 2:10.90  
  Warrior Chant Sccj Stables Husbands P 20.35   17hd 2:11.09  
  Winged Feeney Four Winds Racing Stevens G L 11.85   18nk 2:11.13  
  Rebel Force South Beach Racing Santana R Jr 22.90   193 2:11.18  
  Mr C D J C Racing Stables Maragh R 16.30   20 2:11.81  

Track: Sloppy

Time: :48   1:132  1:401  2:081

$2 Mutuel Prices:

7 – Shootfromthehip 20.40 7.70 33.90
11 – They All Laughed   9.70 6.50
1 – Banshee Star     31.90

$1 Exacta: 7 – 11 Paid 276.00

$1 Trifecta: 7 – 11 – 1 Paid 2,329.80

Scratched: Moving Around, Profound Approach, The Force Awakens, How To Laff

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2015-17, THE TRIPLE CROWN

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