GIII – Turf Monster Handicap
$300.000 Graded Stake 5 Furlongs on Turf for Three & Up
2016 Champ: Owen Wolff
Five furlong turf stake races may be the most unpredictable races in horse racing. You need a good start, the perfect trip and your jockey has no room for error in such a short, fast race. The race features a bit of everything, graded stake winners to first time stake runners so it should be a fun and interesting race, don’t blink or you will miss it!
1- Moscow Court (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Lopez P)
His most recent race, the Quick Call was a winning effort for Moscow Court. His works are some of the quicker ones of the group and gets the rail post which is not a bad thing in this type of race. The three year old gelding has enough speed to be a contender in the race and combined with the post should be a top contender in the race.
2- Snake In The Ring (Trained by John Henry, Ridden by Rocco J S Jr)
This is the first career stake race for Snake In The Ring. It will be a big jump in competition for him as his last start was a $20.000 claimer at MTH which he won in impressive fashion going 56:51 over the five furlongs on turf. He will need to step up his game even more if he wants to be a contender in this race. He did get the luck of the draw and has a nice post to work with.
3- American Life (Trained by Angelos Stable, Ridden by Hernandez J J)
As the top weight in the race he has always been a consistent and one of the best turf sprinters over the past year. He was a close second in last years BC Turf Sprint and is looking to get back to that race again this year. With a good post and how consistent he has been over his career I would expect a great effort out of him here.
4- Engaging (Trained by Mb Stables, Ridden by Talamo J)
The second entry from Mb Stables is Engaging. A win in his first race of the year, the $75.000 Frontier Turf at HOU got the year off on the right foot but hasn’t been able to find the winners circle since. For the most part has been running in small ungraded stakes, his most recent start although a second place finish was probably his best race of the year.
5- Abu (Trained by Aer Stables, Ridden by Prat F)
Back in earl April Abu ran the fastest five furlong turf race of the year when winning at PRX. That was his last victory and will be looking to get back on the right track under new owners. He has been purchased a couple times over the last few weeks finally ending up under the care of Aer Stables. He will need a better trip then he has been getting lately and likely will want to be closer to the lead then he has been during his losing streak.
6- Dehere (Trained by Maxmillion Farm, Ridden by Gutierrez Mario)
Only three races this year makes Dehere the most rested horse in the field. In those three starts he does not have a win yet but his last race was a very solid second place finish in the Troy Handicap. Has been a good runner in these short turf stakes in the past and should be one to watch here.
7- Crush On Rita (Trained by Cherrytree Hill Farm, Ridden by Bravo J)
Three straight wins then a fifth place finish in the seven furlong GII Play The King. He has shown the ability to handle a wide range if distances on the turf but has not run at five furlongs since the first few races of his career. Five furlongs seems like it may be a little short for him and may need a little more distance.
8- End Of Bay (Trained by Maxmillion Farm, Ridden by Elliott S)
After attempting a dirt route stake last time and finishing last it is back to the turf sprint races for this four year old gelding. He has two wins and a third in three career starts at five furlongs. From the outside post he will likely be looking to leave the gate quickly and clear the field early and hold on late.
9- Phooeys Quest (Trained by Smokey Stover, Ridden by Caballero H)
The second fastest five furlong race of the year is held by Phooeys Quest. His most recent win was that quick time, a nice rebound after a last place finish in the GIII PARX Sprint. The outside post was an issue for him in that PARX Sprint and could be a big factor in here too. He likes to come from off the pace which is tough to find your way to the rail early in the race from the outside.
My Selections: 7/3/1