GIII – Jones Stake
$300.000 Graded Stake 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt for Three Year Olds
2016 Champ: Viking Rasta
Nine three year olds will load into the gate at PRX on Labour Day Monday looking to take home a piece of the $300.000 in purse money. The race features four horses that competed in TC races earlier in the year and a few up and coming late bloomer three year olds looking to establish themselves for the final part of the 2017 season.
1- Coin Flip (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Talamo J)
Six races with only one top three finish this year which was a win last time out for Coin Flip. He has run in some tough races which include a fourth place finish in the GI Prk. The win was a top ten time at the mile and an eighth distance this year suggesting he is rounding into form and could expect a few more victories as the year winds down.
2- Farley On Wheels (Trained by Tiratzo, Ridden by Hernandez J J)
After winning the Wood Memorial in April to qualify for the KYD it has been a struggle. His three races since then have all been loses by at least five lengths or more. He seems better suited for the short route distances so the cut back in distance should help and a positive sign is his most recent work was a 1:10 bullet work which could be an indication he is ready to put in a big performance again.
3- Rebel Force (Trained by Jader Stable, Ridden by Ocasio L M)
Last time out in the GIII Seagram Cup he was able to put in a season best performance. That win was a top fifteen time for the mile and a sixteenth distance with only Wintergreen Mint having a quicker time in this race. This three year old colt out of Risen Ruler looks very comfortable in his new home after being purchased for $100.000 back in July. If he can get his stalking trip early on he will be the one to beat.
4- Grayteful Jack (Trained by Gdp Inc, Ridden by Lopez P)
Grayteful Jack comes into the race on a three race win streak. His most recent win was the GIII MTH Cup. His recent winning times are a bit slower then you are looking for in a race like this but he has shown a ton of heart in those recent wins so he is one you can’t count out.
5- Withdrawn (Trained by John Henry, Ridden by Gutierrez Mario)
Last time out was a solid second place finish in the GIII LA Derby. He was the post time favorite and lead mid way through the stretch before giving way to Range Of The Sun who most recently came back in the Travers with a sixth place finish. He looks like one that might be excited to get back to a bit shorter distance as he has faded off late in the last few races. Expect him to be near if not on the lead early on and hope to take it wire to wire.
6- Sir Plucky Monkey (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Espinoza V)
Exchanging hands a few times since his last race at the end of June. He was purchased mid July for $55.000 before being put through a string of works that lead to a 1:36 mile dirt work which caught the attention of new owners Mb Stables who purchased the horse privately for $200.000 at the end of August. He will be stretching out to a route distance on dirt for the first time in his career and we are not sure what to expect coming off that quick work in mid August.
7- Wintergreen Mint (Trained by Alberta Rose Stables, Ridden by Bravo J)
A closing fifth place finish in the GIII IND Derby last time out. His previous race was a six length win at MTH which was one of the top five fastest run races at the distance for three year olds all year long. His works continue to improve and should be a contender in the race.
8- Special Guy (Trained by Axeman, Ridden by Quinonez L S)
Two straight NY bred wins and an eight place in the GIII Dwyer lead into this Jones Stakes. So far in his career he has struggled with anything going longer then a mile so even the extra sixteenth of a mile is a bit of a question mark for him. He does pick up hot jock Quinonez L S who seems to win every race he enters and comes into the race winning 45% of his races.
9- Workingmanshero (Trained by Jerry Garcia Racing, Ridden by Geroux F)
Getting the outside post in this one is Workingmanshero who comes into the race without a win on the dirt yet in his career. His last two races, both on the dirt have been very solid. A 2nd place finish in the GIII Dwyer and a 3rd place finish in the GII Dandy. This will also be his first attempt at this distance. His works seem to be improving but are also a bit inconsistent so tough to say which version of the horse we get on race day.
My Selections: 3/7/1