Huge Weight Advantage Helps Darkest Days Beat Boys

The United Nations (Grade 1)- $300.000 Purse
MTH- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Turf
July 1, 2017

Darkest Days may have seemed a little out of place in this race, and that would have had nothing to do with skill. Everyone else was a colt or gelding, and at least four years old. Darkest Days was the only three year old in the field, so that alone was worth a little something. Then, comes the fact that Darkest Days is indeed, a filly. This meant that she would carry 114 pounds for this race, while everyone else in the field carried 124. Over an eleven furlong race, that’s very significant. It seems a little disrespectful to say that if she was equal weight here, that she would not have won. That doesn’t really matter, anyway, she qualified for the race, got the allowance she was entitled to get, and did all she needed to do. Mb Stables wins the race for the second time, having also done so in 2012 with Loooking Goood. R Bejarano also rode his second winner, with his prior victory coming in 2014 with Silver Bullet. Congratulations to the winners! The race went in a time of 2:12.45, and that is one of the slower times in the race’s history, but it was all the was needed. Here’s a look at the result!

(½ Mile- :48.44)- Wait, a second? Who’s that out in front? Yes, it’s true, traditional deep closer Spotted Cat is going to do things a little differently today, starting well out of the gate for Blushing Meadows and leading the field around the turn and into the frontstretch the first time. Steel Kelp (John Henry) and Moms Guy (Hawaiian Shirt Guy) are also looking good at the start, and stalking Spotted Cat, a length or so back. We go back another length to see Kenny Wisconsin (Aer Stables) and Bama Blue Streak (Hambletonian Stable) running side by side, and they are about three lengths out. Our eventual winner, Darkest Days, is sixth for Mb Stables, and comfortably content to stay on the rail. The veteran War Scent is to his outside for Our Athletes. At the back, Mb Stables’ Sunny Gabe can see them all in front of him.

(3/4 Mile- 1:12.89)- Nothing has changed, so not much new to report here. Spotted Cat appears to be comfortable while on the lead, and neither Steel Kelp nor Moms Guy are applying pressure. If there was anyone making a good move here, it was Darkest Days for tactical reasons, who went to the inside of Kenny Wisconsin, so she could have the rail around the turn, and into the backstretch. Everyone else was in cruise control here.

(1 Mile- 1:36.21)- As the field moved down the backstretch, there were several horses looking to make their move to the front. Spotted Cat continued to lead at this point, but was looking vulnerable, and perhaps, inexperienced, as a front runner. Moms Guy and Steel Kelp each moved to his outside and prepared to make their pass, while Bama Blue Streak was showing an excellent stride in the fourth lane and moved up to join them. Darkest Days appeared to be caught now, and staying on the rail was just not going to work for the filly. She looked to move between Moms Guy and Steel Kelp, and Kenny Wisconsin was a very courteous gentleman to allow the filly to move into his lane, at his expense. War Scent held his own on the outside, while Sunny Gabe got closer to the front.

(Top of stretch, 1.4F to go)- Ready for the dash for cash? After a little more then nine and a half furlongs of racing, the front six were lined up like they were just released from the starting gate. Less then a length separated these six, and the good news would be that they all had a clear lane in front of them. Sunny Gabe was seven wide, but not quite lined up with the rest of the field. The only one caught behind the wall was the earlier gentleman, Kenny Wisconsin. That’s what happens when you’re a nice guy.

(Finish- 2:12.45)– Until there was a furlong to go, this race could have gone to pretty much anyone. Though with every stride in the stretch, Darkest Days and War Scent began to emerge as the biggest contenders for the win while Bama Blue Streak was also in the mix. It was good to be on the outside here, and in the end, Darkest Days prevails in a photo over War Scent, and Bama Blue Streak. Sunny Gabe runs a good fourth. Kenny Wisconsin edges Steel Kelp for 5th, with Moms Guy and Spotted Cat rounding out the finish.

About The Winner: Darkest Days, trained by Mb Stables and ridden by R Bejarano is a three year old filly by Commanding and out of Southern Charmer. She was bred in Florida by Mb Stables as a second quarter two year old, and they have been together throughout! Congratulations to the connections! The win was her third in a row, and fifth in her last six starts. It was her second graded win, and first grade one. Overall, she has won seven out of 10, and has amassed $420.880 in earnings.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Darkest Days Mb Stables Bejarano R 7.50   1hd 2:12.45  
  War Scent Our Athletes Leparoux J R 6.80   21/2 2:12.48  
  Bama Blue Streak Hambletonian Stable Ocasio L M 26.30   31/2 2:12.60  
  Sunny Gabe Mb Stables Albarado R J 2.95   43/4 2:12.73  
  Kenny Wisconsin Aer Stables Pennington F 5.30   5nk 2:12.89  
  Steel Kelp John Henry Desormeaux K J 3.60   61/2 2:12.94  
  Moms Guy Hawaiian Shirt Guy Castellano J J 7.90   7hd 2:13.04  
  Spotted Cat Blushing Meadows Ortiz I Jr 5.30   8 2:13.07  

Track: Firm

Time: :482  1:121  1:361  2:122

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Darkest Days 17.00 8.50 6.10
4 – War Scent   8.40 6.60
8 – Bama Blue Streak     25.90

$1 Exacta: 1 – 4 Paid 104.50

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 8 Paid 1,626.00

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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