Kent Stakes (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
DEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
July 15, 2017
On the undercard for this Saturday’s DEL Handicap, we will have the 12th running of the Kent Stakes, which is a Grade 3 race for three year olds, going long on the grass. It draws a small field of five this year, and the theme among most of the runners is that this is a race where they look to boost their promising careers to the next level. This race does not have that one headliner, and the days of the race drawing the likes of past winners such as Sub Zero, Plucky Mach and Stealth Fighter were likely gone when the one-time $500.000 purse began to shrink. Those are horses that are runners today can look up too. Last year’s winner was I Have Arrived from Mb Stables, who has had a respectable career since then, but has not won a stake since. Let’s take a look at those who will contest this race.
#1- Criminal Enterprise (Hambletonian Stable, ridden by F Pennington)- One of two that the trainer brings to the starting gate for the race, Criminal Enterprise was acquired by his current trainer in the most recent auction for $35.120, after winning mid-level allowances. Hambletonian had bigger plans, and just eight days after the auction, he was running in the $125.000 Bold Ruckus for ON-breds, and ran third. In this race, he extends his distance over six furlongs for the first time in his career.
#2- Devil Six (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by A Cintron)- Ran second in a tight photo in his last start in the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge last month at BEL, a race with identical conditions. He is one of two coming from that race, and the other one is the one that beat him out, so he’d love the revenge on Sweep The Ravine here. In that race, Devil Six jumped out to the lead, and opened up by as many as three, and hung on as best he could in the stretch, but the closing Sweep The Ravine was a little too much. Perhaps a little better pace management will be all it takes to turn the tables in this race. Easier said then done though, in this virtual racing world.
#3- Boer Commando (Hambletonian Stable, ridden by C Cedeno)- At press time, the mount is Cedeno’s, a winner of 2 of 41 races this year, but perhaps the trainer will get one of those DEL Handicap riders to come aboard. Boer Commando is another recent acquisition by the trainer, having been a strong claim for just $15.000 at LAD sprint in May. Hambletonian stretched him back out, where he had been racing prior to the claimer, but increased the ante into the $75.000 Rainbow Stakes at SA, where he was fourth of four. He posted a good speed figure of 95 in that race, and he’ll have to do at least that here in order to have a shot.
#4- Ingrained (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- Ingrained has the opportunity to be the 400th career graded winner for Mb Stables, a number that may be hit this weekend, given the trainer’s success rate. Like many owned by Mb, he is very consistent, and has never failed to hit the board in eight career starts. Three of them have ended up with him visiting the winners circle. Those were mainly in allowances, and it was only his last start where he’d make his stake debut, though it was a small ungraded one. He finished third there, which the trainer was disappointed with (presumably), and it cost him his ability to breed. He’s your best choice if you want to look elsewhere then the two Pennine Ridge runners.
#5- Sweep The Ravine (Smokey Stover, ridden by B Pedroza)- The Sweep The Nebulae gelding figures to be the favorite in this field by virtue of his victory in the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge last month. That victory makes him the only one here with a graded win in their careers, and the conditions here are essentially the same. It is not just that race, though, that makes him the favorite, as he is a winner of three of his last four, and is always close at the end as long as the track is dry. While rain may soak the track on Friday, we should be dry Saturday. Everything seems favorable to Sweep The Ravine, but remember, he barely beat Devil Six in the last one. It looks like a pretty good exacta to play between them.