BC Mile Lines Up Youth and Experience

BC Mile – Grade I
DMR   Race #14   1m   Turf   Graded Stake
Purse $2,000.000  For Three Year Olds And Upward.

This is the one race in the BC series that bucks the three year old trend with only 4 winners from that generation winning the 14 previous runnings. Its an interesting statistic but i think the reason for it is that most three year old routers tend to go for the longer races, either the Classic or the Turf leaving just a few to contest the mile. It can take a while to work out that you have a turf miler on your hands so there is a definite advantage over such a specific specialised trip as a mile as to knowing exactly what is best for your horse. The last three year old winner was Powervolt who really only had a few months at the top of his game and did little 4 months before and 4 months after the race. That may be a clue as we look at the emerging three year olds but it is hard to read too much into it. Looking at the past 5 years a draw better than 8 looks an advantage but apart from that i think we can safely say that historically this is a pretty open race which can occasionally throw up a winner from left field.
Here are the runners for this years race:

1 Ingrained, trained by Mb Stables
A lightly raced son of Decima it wasnt until a gelding operation in July that this one became any sort of hope at getting into a BC field. Prior to July he had been a decent sort in overnights winning three and placing in the other four but those runs had been over a variety of trips and he hadnt seemed to be outstanding in any way. Then came the operation and bang next race he was dead heating in the grade three Kent Stakes with Devil Six. He didnt seem to get the trip in the Breeders Stakes next out fading into sixth but was much better last time out in the Shadwell Turf Mile when storming home for second.
It is difficult to weigh up his chances but he had the likes of Compress, Lunar Blaze and Desolation Island behind when second to Far Too Cool in that last start so must be thereabouts on that form. The draw shouldnt be a problem as he has plenty of tactical speed if needed.
Last work: 34 and 4 breezing over three furlongs here at the track.

2 Far Too Cool, trained by Night Rider Stables
A pretty average two year old he was bought at auction for just $5.67 at auction. His first start as a three year old was in a $12.50 claimer which he won. He took another claimer before his new trainer realised his potential and he was then placed in an ungraded statebred stakes race which he easily won by three lengths. Things have moved on pretty quickly since then taking the AP Classic and the National Museum Of Racing before a tilt at a mile and a half in the Sword Dancer where the extra half mile was to prove too much for him. Back over the mile in his last start he took the Shadwell Turf Mile beating such established champions as Compress and Desolation Island showing that he has to be taken very seriously today. At home over this trip that last start was huge and i am sure his enthusiastic owner will be bullish about his chances.
Last work: 34 and 2 ridden handily over three furlongs at KEE

3 Red Zebell, trained by Blazin D
A five year old he rattled up a decent win record in lesser races during his two and three year old career but had the wick turned up as he matured and started to show up in stakes races. He only raced 4 times as a four year old  managing a couple of seconds in ungraded races but looked to have come to the end of is career as a five year old getting beaten and claimed in a $12.50 claimer in June. For some reason he turned a corner with his new stable winning the MTH Stakes at grade two and then running a close second in the Baruch Handicap before a decent run in the Knickerbocker Handicap. That is all good form but i just dont see it as BC Mile winning form although a quick glance at his work outs tell a much better story. A 1.34 and 2 work prior to his prep work puts him right in this and with a great draw he would have to be given a chance.
Last work a zippy 1.07 and 3 ridden handily over the downhill six furlongs at SA

4 Lunar Blaze, trained by John Henry
Didnt do much as a two year old but burst onto the scene at three winning five stakes races in a row including the BEL Derby and the Arlington Million. Those wins had the look of a BC Turf winner and Australia Wide paid out $1250 on their last attempt to recapture the days of old, but it was to be short lived. Seemingly unbeatable his first race for the new owner resulted in defeat but he still ran well to be second in the Shadwell Turf Mile and still lined up for the BC Turf as a short priced favourite. He fell into the trail on BC day and though he made ground to be sixth never got in a blow and was so disappointing that he was sold for a fraction of his original cost. The buyer that day was his current owner who was to experience this conundrum for themself as since being sold this horse has failed to win in 11 races spanning over a year. This season he has been busy trying to break the voodoo and to be honest if it wasnt for his own high standards set as a three year old you would say he is having a  brilliant season. He very nearly won the grade one Woodford Turf Classic, making all and just being caught by a half length and has since run third beaten under a length in the WO Mile. In his last start he again ran a good third in the Shadwell Turf Mile and with three triple digit speed figures in a row looks to be as close as ever to those heady days of old.
Last work: A sharp 1.34 and 2 over the mile at SA

5 Desolation Island, trained by Mb Stables
In his three year old season he won the BEL Derby and the Northern Dancer before a stunning late finish saw him only go down by a half length in the BC Turf. Although his future looked as if it would take shape over the maximum distance he has failed over any other trip than a mile since and whilst he has run some respectable races over further it looks like he has settled into a career as a turf miler now. A winner of the MM Mile as a four and five year old he also took the Shoemaker Mile this season in a spring and summer where he was beginning to look like a real prospect for this Turf Mile. He lost nothing in defeat when a late closing seventh in the WO Mile but was pretty disappointing in the Shadwell Turf Mile last time when a never dangerous ninth. That last start was a bit of a head scratcher as he is normally consistently competitive in those types of races but it would be a brave man to write him off on that one poor effort.
Last work: A 58 and 2 breezing the five furlongs at this track

6 Devil Six, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Bought for just $25 this gelding has moved from maiden to dual graded stakes winner this year and despite just eight career starts comes here a serious chance from a stable that seems to have found some amazing turf routers in the last 6 months. A close second in the American Turf and the Pennine Ridge he then dead heated for the Kent Stakes before brave effort to be third in the National Museum Of Racing, It was his last start that tells us most about his chances today when he won the LRL Turf Cup in a strong time from Aggravation and Serious Cobra earning a speed rating of 103. With no grade one form at all he is certainly one of the least exposed in the field and this mile certainly looks his best trip. A good draw and a stable in form.
Last work: 1.21 and 3 on the turf seven at SA

7 Midway, trained by Whitewater Stables
This lightly raced five year old is the big stable hope this BC and isnt without a chance from a decent draw. Breaking his maiden by nine lengths as a three year old he then won the Commonwealth Turf as a three year old and the Arcadia Stakes in a solid but short season at four. This season has seen his busiest season and it is paying dividends with a  repeat win in The Arcadia before an excellent second in the Kilroe Mile and third in the Makers Mark behind Desolation Island. He certainly has some decent form which puts him into this race but he will have to be at is absolute best to win although has the draw to do that. His last start was a disappointing eighth in the DMR Mile which has me worried but ignoring that he has been consistent enough to run an honest race.
Last work: 1:12 flat on a rain effected six furlongs at WO

8 Kenny Wisconsin, trained by D J C Racing Stables
A real tryer from a stable of tryers his form has tailed off a bit recently but at his best he would have a chance. A maiden from three as a two year old he improved to win two at three but still hadnt won much before a strong season as a four year old saw him move up the ranks. This season he has moved about a bit being sold twice for around the $100 mark, not a great advert for his BC chances but he may turn out to be a great buy. He won the San Gabriel Stakes first up this year with the likes of Cju, Spotted Cat and Antelope Storm behind but has struggled to build on that success with his next best effort being a good second in the DMR Mile, His last two starts have been down the field in the WO and Shadwell turf Miles which wouldnt be good enough here but his works are still strong which says he wont be too far behind.
Last work: 1.34 and 3 for the turf mile at SA

9 Seven Years, trained by Alydar Stables
This eight year old is such a great horse i could talk about his career for a long time. With 16 wins in a 62 race career he has won over $4000 and really is one of the greats of the game in his own right. believe it or not he first raced in this series in 2011 when down the field in the BC Juvenile Turf but tasted victory in this very race in 2014 before some of the field were even born. I could list all his great victories but some of them are so long ago their relevance to his chances today would be a bit remote so i will concentrate on this year. As an eight year old you would easily excuse some decline and it is true there has been some but his old legs have proved he can still give them a but of a gee up in this grade. A winner of the Miami Mile he has run some good races in defeat too and i rather liked how well he went in the WO Mile last time out from an impossible draw. His best days are behind him but he will still be right there with a stretch in front of him.
Last work: A sharp (for an old fella) 1.11 and 1 breezing over six furlongs on this track.

 

10 Sir Tom, trained by Brave
This grand old six year old is a real game favourite and just keeps on running big races. As a three year old he was third in this race but he went better as a four year old despite a worse over all season and won this turf mile in the gamest fashion. He was stretched out a few times as a five year old managing a big win in The United Nations and that probably prompted a go at the BC Turf as opposed to the mile last season. He ran well for a long way but failed to stay the trip at that level ending up a tired but creditable fifth. As a six year old when many have started to decline he has once again proved his longevity with a Canadian Turf and an American Stakes win and most notably a win in the Grade one Foster Handicap by a half length from none other than Compress. After that great win he was a bit disappointing in the WO Mile where he was only beaten three lengths but never got into the race finishing eighth. I dont think that last start should be taken too seriously as he has never been one to string together wins and was actually beaten in the same race when winning the Turf Mile in 2015.
A tough draw hasnt been kind to the old favourite but he has done alright from wide draws before so it may not be a problem.
Last work: a 34 and 1 for the three furlongs ridden handily at WO

11 Aggravation, trained by Mb Stables
A close fourth in this race last year this son of Commanding will be looking to go better today. That great fourth in the turf mile came after a grade one win in the Secretariat Stakes and he has proved again this season that he is effective over further than the mile, a fact that can certainly help if they go a stamina sapping speed in this race. This season he has run third in the Woodford Turf Classic running on from behind and then switched tactics to try and make all in the Shoemaker Mile, fading a little in the end to be third. He took the mile and a half Singspiel before failing in the Northern Dancer but ran better in the LRL Turf Cup when beaten by Devil Six. He like a few of the four year olds that had great seasons as three year olds has suffered a little at the hands of the weight allowances but he clearly retains ability and the older horses are certainly catching up the youngsters as we reach the thin end of the season. A proven horse at this level the draw will be tough for him but e was a very close fourth last year from gate ten so its not beyond him.
Last work: 58 and 4 breezing the five furlongs on this track

12 Serious Cobra, trained by Aer Stables
Built a solid record at two and then came out to win The Dania Beach at three and looked to have a good season in front of him. A poor effort in the rain affected ground of the American Turf preceded a good second in the PEN Mile where he ran on the pace but then he failed to get the trip in the BEL Derby fading right out of it. His last two in the National Museum of Racing and the LRL Turf Cup have been much better placing in both and it certainly looks like the mile is his best trip. He is a fairly dark horse here as he is working well but a horrible draw may see him struggle with one or two of these.
Last work: 1.10 and 4 on the dirt at BEL

13 Compress, trained by Cherrytree Hill Farm
Despite a win in the FL Derby and two good efforts in the KYD and BEL his trainer has exclusively raced him on turf since and that decision looked vindicated when he was a close third in this race last year. He added the HOL Derby at the end of the year as well but as with many four year olds he didnt start his new season off too well. A couple of soft runs in stakes company saw him taken to overnights to try and restore his confidence but he only managed one from three at that level and many were asking whether his best days were behind him. Those critics were answered in no uncertain terms in his next two starts when a close second in the Foster Handicap preceded a game win in the WO Mile. At that point it looked like he was going to cruise into the BC turf mile but his last start in the Shadwell Turf Mile saw a wide draw kill his chances and he ended up a weak fourth after being put onto the speed. Today will tell us more as he has a wide draw again but he can be an inconsistent sort, the best Compress could win, the worst could be out of teh frame.
Last work: 1.35 and 4 over a mile on the dirt at WO

14 Antelope Storm, trained by Scarletandgraystable
Like Sir Tom he is entering the veteran stage but this winner of 14 races is in great form this year and has recorded six straight 100 plus speed figures. He took a long time to get going not winning a graded stakes until he was a five year old but he won the Woodford Turf Classic in the same year and ran very well in this race from a horrible draw leading until late on and ending up seventh. He only made $149 at auction and since joining his current owner has really found the consistency that was lacking throughout his career. Fourth in the San Gabriel Stakes on seasonal debut he then racked up four staright wins all at graded level and including the Dixie and The Read Stakes. His prep for this race was in the WO Mile and he very nearly made it five in a row when very nearly collaring Compress and going down by just a neck. Though he is six he is having his best season yet and hasnt stopped improving but a nasty draw will make it very hard for him.
Last work: 1.11 and 2 breezing the six furlongs here at DMR

AE’s Great Destiny the winner of the DMR Mile may be the best of them with Spring Stormtrooper next best but they would be outsiders if they got into the race.

SUMMARY
A few months ago i would have been happy to go with Compress even from the wide gate but his last start was pretty lack lustre. The older generation is well represented here with Sir Tom, Antelope Storm and Lunar Blaze but the three’s will be tough to turn over as always with Devil Six, Ingrained and Far Too Cool being dangerous withe the weight break.



Categories: BC 2017, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, The Breeders' Cup

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