KD Turf Dash (Grade 3)- $400.000 Purse
KD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Six and a Half Furlongs on the Turf
September 9, 2017
The starting gate is loaded for what is one of the better purses that turf sprinters will get a chance to attain. It’s the third running of the KD Turf Dash, as a part of the signature day of racing for KD as a race track. The prior two runnings of the race have been won by Big Bird for Blushing Meadows in 2015, and then Mb Stables won the race last year with Engaging. Both trainers bring horses to the field again, against a bunch of trainers looking to win this race for the first time. Each of those two winners found their way to the BC Turf Sprint a couple months afterward, but neither have been in the money. Will the 2017 winner have a different fate in the BC? Well, first we have to figure out who that winner will be. Let’s meet the field!
#1- Forty Nine Percent (Scarletandgraystable, ridden by L H Colon)- Starting on the rail, Forty Nine Percent takes a noteworthy jump forward for his career. He’s a winner of seven out of nineteen races, so that looks good, but the only stakes he has run were a couple of small ones at TUP, and I wish I could say that he at least won one of them. 15 of his 19 starts have been going more then a mile, so this will be different for him. This is a very good racehorse, but he has a tough assignment here.
#2- Generosity (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by E Maldonado)- Generously acquired this February in private sales for just $10.000 by Maxmillion Farm and put onto the grass right away. He had some success leading up to the sale, but has flourished in his new barn with one finish in each of the top four positions in four races together. He nearly became a graded winner in July, but missed in a tight photo in the Grade 2 Highlander Stakes at WO. Generosity should be one of the main players in the stretch run.
#3- Spicy Ball (John Henry, ridden by J R Velazquez)- The four year old Chrystal Ball colt has made his living in these types of races, and it has resulted in seven wins in 20 tries. His best success this year has come in the open allowances that he has attempted, finding his groove at PRX and ELP, but you have to go back nearly a full calendar year to his last stake win. He is always in the mix, and his last race, at seven furlongs in the Grade 2 Play The King is appealing, as he was third by less then a length to All Out Blitz and Swamp Fox, who he sees again.
#4- All Out Blitz (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- The first of two horses entered into the race by Mb Stables, but not the most interesting one. More on that later. All Out Blitz is coming off a win in the aforementioned Play The King at WO last month, a race that returns its top four finishers here. It was not officially his turf debut, but in all reality, it was. That made it an impressive score, at just a slightly longer distance. Whether or not he can duplicate that is what is up for his debate. Consistency has not been a strong point of his young career.
#5- Mucho Knowledge (Estero Farms, ridden by P Husbands)- He was not in the Play The King Stakes, but it is worth noting that Mucho Knowledge ran a slightly quicker time then All Out Blitz at WO at the same distance in his last start, which was an optional claimer. Yes, he was three pounds lighter, but the point is simply that he has the speed necessary to be just as good. He is inexperienced at this level, however, but he has definitely earned this chance. This makes him a bit of a wild card for this race, and an intriguing option if his odds climb.
#6- Turn Ninnie (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J J Castellano)- Acquired by TwinTowers in February, the new trainer starting running him long right away. Five starts later, that has just not panned out, albeit there was some very ambitious placement at times. Now, he goes back to where he was 2-for-3 before the private sale, and that would be sprinting. His last such race was sharp, so if he can remember how to do it, he should be a major factor here. Could be an interesting longshot given his recent form is running long.
#7- Swamp Fox (Blushing Meadows, ridden by D Moran)- This is the most prolific earner in the field, as his winnings stand at $1,552.480, doing so over a course of 44 races. The six year old has made two BC starts during that period of time. He’s a past Grade 1 winner, taking the Fourstardave at SAR, but you have to go back to the 2016 version for that. Most recently, we’ve been seeing him in Grade 3 stakes, though his most recent start was as a Grade 2, finishing second in the Play The King at WO. I do believe that he can turn the tables on All Out Blitz, as he is more consistent racehorse. 98 has been a common SRF for him lately, and that probably gets it done here.
#8- Freak Storm (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by F Pennington)- There will be a freak storm this weekend, and anyone who is in Irma’s path, I’ll be praying for you. This virtual equine Freak Storm is not quite as dangerous and will actually be starting for the second time in just two weeks. That was a dirt try at SAR in an optional claimer. This level isn’t unchartered for him, but it does seem to be a pretty tough race. The highlight of his career this far was a victory in the 2016 running of the $75.000 Kip Deville last September.
#9- Sir Mekki (Jader Stable, ridden by L M Ocasio)- This six year old Sir Speedy gelding has won five of his last eight races. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, that run began in March 2015, and three of them are at MNR. Then, Sir Mekki ran into the horse selling park black hole that can plague our game. In what could have been the prime years of his career, he spent 18 months in private sales between three stables, before the fourth stable, LionKing Stables, decided to let him be a virtual racehorse. Two months later, he would win the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes at SA. Of course, he was recently sold again, this to Jader Stable, and he ran fourth in the Play The King last month at WO. The top three in that race he sees again. I don’t know how he will do here, but let’s just hope Jader Stable holds on to him and races him.
#10- Broken Chai (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- The second of the two entries for Mb Stables, and the far more interesting one, even if not necessarily the better one. That is because Broken Chai is indeed, a filly. Given the lack of great opportunities for female turf sprinters to make money, it probably should not be a surprise that we have a filly running here. Making money is something she has done well in her five career starts, with three wins, and never failing to be a part of the exacta. There’s a weight advantage for her, but she has never seen anywhere close to the level of competition she sees here, though she has always answered the bell for her trainer so far, too. Interesting, interesting.
#11- Neto (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by G Boulanger)– Returning for his second try at this race after running sixth a year ago, Neto is also cutting back from an eleven furlong effort at SAR in his last start. While that did not go as well, he did win at a mile two starts back in the Grade 3 Poker Handicap at BEL in June in what was also his first race off a geld. His last sprinting win came in 2016, though he always seems to be near the front. In this race, though, he faces a very strong field, and an even better one then he saw last year here when he set the early fractions. I’d be surprised to see him on the lead early again.
#12- Round The Champion (Threshold, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- On the outside, the trainer will be hoping for a quick start for his five year old gelding as he takes on several good three year olds and others here. He may need all the help he can get, after all. With three wins in 23 career starts, Round The Champion has made several stakes starts, but has come up short in all those he has attempted. Many of them, are of the ungraded variety. Being dropped down to TUP in April for an N4L allowance did not result in a victory, either. Tough to be excited about him, but as we all know, anything can and will happen in this virtual world.