The Dwyer (Grade 3)- $400.000 Purse
BEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile on the Dirt
July 8, 2017
An exciting weekend of racing takes place at BEL, and one of the races on the card to keep on eye will be the 14th running of the Grade 3 Dwyer, for three year olds. It is a race that traditionally draws a strong field, and this year will be no exception. Last year, Ufc Morals would earn the win over a horse that had one the KYD just two months prior, Water Mummy, among several other KYD horses. It was the biggest win of the career to that point for Ufc Morals, and it would catapult him into Grade 1’s. I bring that up because he was our Pegasus World Cup winner this year, so any horse in this field on their way up can look at him for motivation. Interestingly, unlike last year we don’t have a horse in the field that ran in the KYD this year, but the field is still very good. There are nine going to the gate, let’s meet them now!
#1- Noble Crusader (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- This Chai Latte colt is having a terrific season, with six wins in nine starts this season, with two second place finishes to go along with it. Over the winter, he impressively ascended up the class ladder, and participated in a few TC prep races. He earned a fair amount of points for the KYD, but with the trainer having so many options, Noble Crusader would not go to that race. He seems best at running this distance, with a good win in the Grade 3 TX mile, before running out of race track in a seven furlong race, the Grade 2 Stephens, where he was second. That race was right here and BEL, and if you wondered what might have happened if he had another furlong on Clash Study, who won, we’ll get to see it in the Dwyer.
#2- Mucho Cruncher (Aer Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- After a couple of ugly race lines, Mucho Cruncher will cut back his distance. We saw him here last month in the BEL, and he tired out pretty badly to fade to an 11th place finish, the same spot he finished in on short rest at the AR Derby. Putting those results aside, he still looks like he has to prove himself against top competition. He has been competitive in graded stakes, but has only hit the board in out of five. I am excited about seeing him at this distance, as going back before the TC chase, this seemed to be where he was most comfortable. If the odds climb on him too much, take a shot. He’s a bit of an X-factor in here, to me.
#3- All Out Blitz (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The second entry from Mb Stables is an up and coming Commanding colt. He’s won three of eight, but he did not really fare that well in a couple TC prep races this year. He showed promise in the Grade 3 Southwest, but the blitz had been well blocked by the competition up until his last race. On Memorial Day weekend, he went out to GG for the Grade 3 All American, and while that is not the biggest race in the world, the field was decent. All Out Blitz did have a weight advantage there over most. He’s good enough to sack the competition, but must go all out.
#4- Clash Study (Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Last month, Clash Study raced here in the seven furlong Stephens, a Grade 2, and held off Noble Crusader to get the win. It was the biggest win of his career to date, and now these two get together again. Noble Crusader was coming on, so having the extra furlong here makes this match up very intriguing. Also interesting from the Clash Study standpoint, is that this Gsin gelding has been gradually increasing his distance with every start in 2017, though he has gone this distance if you go back to last year in smaller races. His last four races have ended up with him in the winner’s circle, and if he does win this race, it will be very interesting to see where he ends up next. Smokey Stover has done a great job with him ever since he arrived in his barn.
#5- Special Guy (Axeman, ridden by J Alvarado)- Purchased in March for $47.000 in the auction, this Mummy gelding has spent over half his career running in NY-breds, including his last two starts, here at BEL. They were also the second and the third wins of his career, so it appears as though he has clicked nicely with his new trainer. Most recently, he won the Lee for NY-breds, a $125.000 race. He may look to get out on the lead, as it looks as though he has a little better success rate when using that approach.
#6- Wicked Wonder (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by D Moran)- I always hate to say this in a preview, but I am really just not seeing it. Now, since I said that, he is going to win the race, so place those bets now! Two wins in eleven starts, with a career-high SRF of 90. Needed eight races to break his maiden, but looked good on an off track in an allowance in his last start. His works since his last start has been impressive, and it is not unprecedented for a horse to make a big jump like this successfully. Just won’t be my money making the bet on him.
#7- Jolly Be Native (John Henry, ridden by R Bejarano)- One of the best two year olds of the season last year now joins a new barn, arriving at John Henry via Kopites for $250.000 in private sales. Six months prior, Kopites purchased him from Gdp Inc for $600.000, encourage by his 3rd place, by a nose, finish in the BC Juvenile that culminated a strong year. Things started slow with Kopites, but they did win the Grade 2 Rebel together this year. Looks like, in the long run, Kopites broke even with this one, which isn’t too bad. John Henry gets him at a good time, I think. The PRK result was tough, but that’s also against the best in the virtual world. In the Dwyer, which is perfect race placement for him, in my opinion, he gets a chance to cut back down to a distance that he has been stronger at. Tempted to put him on top of my picks.
#8- Workingmanshero (Jerry Garcia Racing, ridden by J J Castellano)- Relatively lightly raced colt by Il Miglio Fabro, a name I have not mentioned enough in the SRF lately! After some summertime starts last year, this hero took some time off and did not return to the track until February. That vacation was refreshing, and he came back and won his next two races, which were both on the grass. After the wins, the trainer jumped him up to the Grade 3 AP Classic, but he would finish last, and seven lengths out. He moves back to the main track there. Seems tough, but I am encouraged by his work here on June 19th.
#9- Socraties (Blushing Meadows, ridden by M E Smith)- You know all that talk above about Noble Crusader and Clash Study, and how Noble Crusader may have just needed one more furlong in the Grade 2 Stephens. Well, the third place horse in that race, actually gained two lengths on Clash Study in the final furlong, and a length and a half on Noble Crusader. That horse, was Socraties, so maybe he’s really the one we should be looking at as far as running out of race track. He ran a great race, and other then the Wood Memorial, he has also been very consistent in what is still a lightly raced career.