The Sword Dancer – Grade I [BC]
SAR Race #10 1 1/2m InTurf Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
1 Bay O Fire, trained by oval express Farms
On the face of it, this five year old looks out of his depth after three very poor efforts in his last three runs, being beaten a total of 34 lengths. However, they were all on a softer surface, and if you take his work times and add them to a decent sixth in the San Luis Rey and a win in the Jerkens, then he is not without a chance from a good draw.
2 Midwestern Slang, trained by Oquinn Farm
The first of the three year olds, one of whom will probably win, he has plenty of things that make you think it will be him. He has been improving recently, and I liked the way he stuck at it to win the American Derby last time. Sure, he hasn’t the form of some of these, but his work times are among the best and the weight allowance could easily be the difference.
3 I Have Arrived, trained by Mb Stables
He is another who relishes this trip and has run into some good form in his last two starts, a good allowance win then saw him come home a length clear in the Bowling Green handicap, but I am not sure that will be good enough to beat the three’s. He is a sort that will try all the way, though, and could be value for place money.
4 Hotwheel, trained by Team 7 Illusions
Most of his races have been on dirt, but he did manage one win from three on the turf and surprise, surprise, has solid work times that are comparable to everything else on this surface. The trip will test, but despite pretty ordinary form, he has some sort of chance, albeit an outsider’s one.
5 Sean Hannity, trained by Maxmillion Farm
A good allowance win in April was followed by two good efforts in black type, most notably last time out in the Read Stakes when second. His 1:34 work is the best guide to his chances, and that looks pretty good with the weight allowance. He is the black booker in my opinion.
6 Aggracvation, trained by Mb Stables
Ran a couple of crakers in the Woodford Turf Classic and the Shoemaker Mile when third both times and enjoyed the drop in class last time to take the Singspiel. Probably one of the best chances for the older generation.
7 Sonic, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Beaten a long way in his last two starts, there will be plenty of questions should he turn those around today. He has ability, and of course, his work times are similar to everything else, so it’s not like he has no chance, but it’s a long shot to think he can win today.
8 Spotted Cat, trained by Chili King Stables
Sold for $200.000 to this trainer, he ran a superb race to win the Woodford Turf Classic back in May, but has struggled a little since. At his best and with a good trip, there aren’t many to beat this one in the turf ranks, but there have been plenty of times I liked him to win in the past season or two, but he hasn’t been able to deliver. His works times are as good as ever, and it would be great to see the ‘cat’ back to winning ways.
9 The Force Awakens, trained by Diablo Diablo
Couldn’t make it into the KYD despite some good efforts to qualify, he did run in the BEL and did pretty well to be sixth. His first ever turf run came last time out when he took the Nijinsky Stakes by a gritty half length and set a triple digit speed figure, so its clear he has ability on this surface. Work times plus weight allowance equals top three even from this horrible draw.
10 Far Too Cool, trained by Night Rider Stables
A winner of six from ten, he has been nicely placed to get here today, and on his win in the National Museum of Racing last time and his turf works, must be a very big hope despite the 10 gate. That would be my big fear for him today, but the age allowance and great form make him easy to put in your top three.
11 Speeding Zeus, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Bought for just $25.000 after running second in a claimer, the draw and his form suggests he may be here to help his stable mate.
12 Pervoked, trained by Blushing Meadows
Runs from the car park, so will need a good track bias to bring him into it today. A nice winner last time and a strong worker, he could get into it with plenty of luck.
Everyone is on the three year old bandwagon now, so we see 50% of the starters getting a weight allowance. The only two older horses I can give a chance to are Aggravation and Spotted Cat and I will be cheering for them, but I strongly suspect a three year old will win, as to which one, well I am too tired to bother picking.