The Man O War (Grade 1)- $400.000 Purse
BEL- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Inner Turf
May 13, 2017
While the groundscrew did a fantastic job with the main track, the turf course still fell victim to an endless day of rain in New York, and it would be listed as soft. This led to the scratching of two of our six entries, G Honkus Brown and Mean Street would not be part of the race, leaving us with a small field of four. Capturing the victory would be Dogs Dragon, a gelding who had won on off tracks in the past, and was our pre-race selection, rain or shine. With this victory, he is now 3-for-3 in races that go at least 11 furlongs. The proud winning trainer is Maxmillion Farm, who wins the race for the first time, and the same held true for the jockey, R J Albarado. Congratulations! The time of victory on soft turf was 2:17.88, which is about three and a half seconds faster then Pituco’s win in 2010, the last time we ran it with the same condition. Let’s look at the result!
(½ Mile- :51.91)- The field goes single file pretty quickly as we go down the frontstretch, with the top two pulling well ahead. Up front, John Henry’s Steel Kelp is not shy about jumping out on the lead, and pulls ahead by a length from Bay O Fire (Oval Express Farms). These two round the opening turn, putting four length separate on the two trainers. Eventual winner Dogs Dragon (Maxmillion Farm), was third initially, but as they approached the first turn, R J Albarado wanted him at the back, and he would be eight out at this point. This would leave post-time favorite Chrystal Pip (Mb Stables) to himself in the third position and to run the pace that he wanted.
(3/4 Mile- 1:17.13)- As we move down the backstretch, we start to see Steel Kelp pulling away further from Bay O Fire, which may have been more due to the fact that his rival could not keep up. The lead opens up to two and a half at six furlongs, and then to a little over three as they approach the final turn. Bay O Fire is also beginning to hear the hoofsteps behind him get a lot louder as well. Over the backstretch, Dogs Dragon was content to stay in the back for the first half, but as we got closer to the turn, he started showing his intentions to move forward, and pulled even with Chrystal Pip for third. Chrystal Pip himself had not really pushed forward at this point, and still had gap of five lengths to the leaders, which is what it had been for the duration of the backstretch.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7 Furlongs To Go)- Steel Kelp looks good going into the turn and maybe that she is opening up, but that may have been misleading as Bay O Fire began to considerably retreat at this point. Dogs Dragon was kicking it into gear, and would become like a freight train with no one getting in its way around this turn. He had about five lengths to make up on Steel Kelp when it began, and by the time we reached the top of the stretch, he had not only taken the lead, but pulled out to a length and a half advantage. He was clearly the horse to beat at this point, and Steel Kelp was backing up. The pacesetter showed signs of fatigue and perhaps a tailwind as Dogs Dragon went by and lost interest. Chrystal Pip was the only one left that could possibly be moving forward at this point, and not tiring out. That one was competitive on the rail and poised to take second, but given he was even with Dogs Dragon at the top of the turn, it would have taken a stunning event for him to win the race. All that was really left here, was to watch Dogs Dragon run to the wire!
(Finish- 2:17.88)- There would be no surprises in the stretch! All Dogs Dragon had to do was maintain his stride, and this gelding that loves to go long would have no problem doing so, and he would win this race rather easily. Chrystal Pip, to his credit, did not lose any further ground in the stretch and puts forth a second place run to be proud of. After that, this race was done. Steel Kelp end up losing by eight lengths in his third place, and reports have it that eventually, Bay O Fire did finish as well.
About The Winner- Dogs Dragon, trained by Maxmillion Farm, and ridden by R J Albarado, is a five year old gelding by Dogs Dragon and out of the late Iron Dragon. He was bred in California by Kopites, and acquired by Maxmillion Farm via La Canada Racehorses in private sales in June 2015 for $400.000. Congratulations to the connections! He has now won 11 of 29 career starts with his earnings now at $1,405.060. The win is the sixth graded victory for the gelding, and his first Grade 1!
|##||Horse Name||Owner Name||Jockey||Odds||Fin||Time||SRF|
|Dogs Dragon||Maxmillion Farm||Albarado R J||1.15||12||2:17.88||—|
|Chrystal Pip||Mb Stables||Ortiz I Jr||1.00||25||2:18.31||—|
|Steel Kelp||John Henry||Velazquez J R||3.60||38||2:19.48||—|
|Bay O Fire||Oval Express Farms||Pennington F||227.30||4||2:21.13||—|
Time: :514 1:17 1:414 2:174
$2 Mutuel Prices:
|2 – Dogs Dragon||4.30||2.10|
|3 – Chrystal Pip||2.10|
$1 Exacta: 2 – 3 Paid 4.10
Winner Picked by NS