The IND Derby – Grade III
IND Race #2 1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $500.000 For Three Year Olds.
This race is the usual mix of TC failures and up and comers but overall its a pretty poor field for a $500.000 race. That maybe because Mb Stables has only one entry or it maybe because the three year old races have been such a lottery that trainers are at a loss as to where to place them. Whatever the reason i am sure the winner will emerge as a BC hope in some shape or form so lets look at the 7 runners and work out which one it will be.
1 Heez On Fire, trained by Aml Racing
Aml Racing will be hoping this one falls into the up and comer category and if you look at his works alone that is certainly the case. On the racecourse he hasnt been so convincing but with only 4 races under his belt there is certainly room for improvement. Well beaten in the TAM Derby after a debut maiden win he was then sold for $200.000 and after a spell came back to run a close third in a one win allowance at CD. He dug deep to score in a statebred optional claimer last time but so far that form does not match what he can do on the gallops. Probably the best worker in the field sometimes at HRP that is what matters rather than what they do on the racecourse so if the odds are generous this one will be worth a gamble.
2 Return Home, trained by Mb Stables
The obvious favourite with 4 wins from 5 starts he rather typifies the generation at the moment as his works do not shout stakes winner but he has managed two black types in a row. So where Heez On Fire can work a second quicker it is this one that has the wins on the board. I am guessing that Return Home possesses the hidden ‘heart’ gene which is why he has kept grinding out the narrow wins and if that is the case he will start a worthy favourite and probably win.
3 How To Laff, trained by Serenity Stables
This one was looking a big chance in the TC races after a win in the Gotham and a game third in the Wood Memorial but his two efforts in the Preakness and the BEL were very disappointing. His works since the BEL suggest he is better than his tenth and fourteenth in those two runs but you have to take his return to form on trust. At his best he is right in this but he is running out of chances.
4 Wintergreen Mint, trained by Alberta Rose Stables
Bought for just twenty dollars this one burst onto the scene last time with a six length win in an all aged open allowance. That run was very impressive but you have to take the three year old form against older horses with a pinch of salt because of the massive weight allowance they get so whilst his form looks good it may not match up to the form of some of his rivals.
5 Sieur de Moon, trained by Barcelona Farms
His win in the grade two Californian Stakes last time was very impressive as he went to the front off the wide gate speed push and never looked like losing. He has had a spell since that Californian win and his works like his form have been a little up and down so there are a few questions he needs to answer today. If he gets to the lead off a below average pace he could be hard to peg back today but i cant get over confident about his chances.
6 Made To Sin, trained by John Henry
Won the Holy Bull and Fountain Of Youth on his way to the KYD but ran a terrible race in the big one ending up fifteenth. A better effort in the Preakness suggested it was the slushy ground that beat him in the Derby, but he still only managed seventh and he is another that is running out of chances. A couple of strong works in the run up to this race suggest he is back on song so as long as the wide gate plays fair today he will be right in this.
7 Mancini, trained by Our Athletes
He was looking strong in the TC qualifying races winning the BG Stakes and cashing out in three others. Come the TC though he was, like so many, very disappointing failing by some way in both the KYD and the Preakness. He could easily bounce back today as ignoring those two efforts he was a very consistent sort at this level and his works have been good enough to give him a chance.
Its get your pin out time again as the three year olds once again do battle. Do you go with the proven form or the works? whichever way you go you may well be wrong but for todays race i am going for works and plunging my HRP dollars on Heez On Fire. Return Home will no doubt be in the finish and its hard to write any of the others out of the equations but you have to make a choices so thats my one two. Good luck to all.