National Museum of Racing (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
August 4, 2017
This Friday at the Spa, we will be treated to a fantastic turf race for three year olds, as the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing will take place for the 14th time. While you won’t see that one legendary name on the past winners list that immediately brings back memories, many good horses have won this race in the past, such as Iron Kaki and Sub Zero. This will be the seventh time in history that the race runs at the current 8.5 furlong distance. It was initially a nine furlong race. Our field of six does not have that big headliner, but there are several here who could be on their way to becoming that. Let’s meet them!
#1- Forestry (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- It would seem only natural that a horse with this name would be running on the grass, but this will be his turf debut here. This Charley Farley colt took part in prep races this spring for the KYD, and did run third in the Grade 2 BG Stakes at KEE in April. He followed that up with a win in the ungraded $100.000 Sir Barton at PIM in May. That was his biggest win on the main track, so now the trainer brings Forestry to the grass hoping for a little better. He’s only been worked publicly on the turf once, and it was not on a firm surface.
#2- Crushed (John Henry, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This colt is out of Profound, who was also the dam to Profound Approach, who also has had a great three year old season. Earnings wide, Profound Approach and Crushed are pretty close overall. Crushed made a successful turf debut, interestingly, on the same day at PIM that Forestry won the Sir Barton. For Crushed, it was the ungraded $100.000 Murphy Stakes that he won. It was also his first race for trainer John Henry, after purchasing him in private sales for $40.000 from Smokey Stover. With John Henry, Crushed has been able to find his niche while running on the grass, and should be one to watch over the next couple months.
#3- Serious Cobra (Aer Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- The King Cobra colt has won two out of five so far this year, with the highlight of that stretch coming at the very beginning of the year, the Grade 3 Dania Beach in January at GP. An optional claiming win followed that up, and after that race, this cobra has been slithering his way into more serious competition. The races, such as the Grade 1 BEL Derby Invitational, are impressive to have in your part performances, but the results in those races were a disappointment. He drops back here into what should be a good spot. I am impressed by his most recent public work, though it was in mid-June.
#4- Far Too Cool (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J Rosario)- He was not running against the strongest competition early this year, but his progress throughout 2017 has indeed been, far too cool. He’s won five out of nine in his career, but four of six during this year, and he has been in the money in all six. Included there is a three race winning streak that began by winning a claiming race, and ended after a win in the Grade 3 AP Classic, a race also run at a 1 1/16. His only race after that saw a cut in distance, and while he still ran well, he did not get the win. Even though a couple months have passed since the AP Classic, that was the best effort of his career, and if he can duplicate it, he could win this race.
#5- Explosive Charley (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by F Geroux)- Very happy to see the success that TwinTowers has had with him since buying him from me in February. I didn’t do much with Explosive Charley, and TwinTowers took control of his career in an explosive manner, began running him long on the turf, and he has run well. He still might need to progress a little more to win a race like this, as this will be his stake debut, and the speed figures are behind the other five in the field. Despite that, you know who I’ll be rooting for!
#6- Devil Six (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by J J Castellano)- This is a very intriguing entry, and probably the horse to beat. Running from post six, Devil Six has raced six times, and has won half of them. His racing career began with Downwind Stables, but after a $25.000 private sales transaction to Maxmillion Farm this February, his career has taken off. He has one graded win, but with a little more photo luck, that could actually be three graded wins. The victory was the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at DEL in this last start, earning a 100 SRF. Prior to that were two very close second place finishes. I also like that Devil Six seems to be versatile in regards to pace, being successful while running on the lead, as well as closing late. Maxmillion is no stranger to having great turf horses, and he has one right here. This is the probable start of bigger and better over the next couple months, but still he has to take care of business here first.