The Reaper Rises Again

Go For Wand Handicap (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
AQU- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile on the Dirt
December 2, 2017

At one time, The Reaper was the most dominant female horse in the game. She won the 2014 BC Juvenile Filles, and then followed it up by winning the KYO the following season. Thirty months have passed since that glorious day at CD, and The Reaper had never again visited the winners circle in a graded stake. She won some allowances along the way, and had been competitive in graded events since then, but the win was elusive. Given her history, her excellent conformation and solid autogen bloodlines, this five year old mare is a rarity in this game that she has not been retired and already produced four or so foals at this point. Kudos to John Henry, who’s kept her on the race track to experience this success, which is his first win in the stake. The Reaper, for some strange reason, and despite being our pick to win from the start, went off at odds of 15/1. The second place horse, Chase, of whom we also picked to finish second, was the longest shot on the board at 17/1. Evidently people listened to us with the exacta options, though, as it only paid $61.40 despite the odds of the horses. The winning jockey is J Rosario, and it’s also his first win in the stake. Congratulations to them! The time of win was 1:35.30, slightly slower then last year’s race, which is really the only past edition it can fairly be compared too. Let’s take a look!

(1/4 Mile- :24.08)- The Reaper wastes no time in this race, bursting out of the gate for John Henry, appearing to take the early lead before Work Out, from Mb Stables, emerges with the lead moving into the turn. These two both clear their rivals by about three lengths here. As the run into backstretch gets ready to begin, The Reaper recaptures the lead from Work Out just as they hit the quarter mark. Chase is in the third position all to herself at this point, as the D J C Racing Stables entry is two lengths ahead of the two other horses that were, reportedly, also in this race. Library Of Congress (Royalty Racing) and Therapy (TwinTowersRacing) seemed to content to just race themselves for the whole mile.

(½ Mile- :47.59)- The Reaper turns it on a little bit in the second quarter of the race, and now pulls ahead of Work Out by two lengths. Her form was strong, and at this point it was really starting to look like she would break out of her slump. Chase remained third, trailing by four and a half lengths, but really did not have any pressure on her one way or the other. If she was saving up for a run, she could loom as a dangerous threat. The other two continued to keep other company at the back.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5 To Go)- In front, it is still The Reaper, but there is pressure coming from behind. Work Out was closing slightly but the big move around the turn was being made by Chase, who had cut the lead in half and would have a comfortable trip around the rail while The Reaper drifted out a bit. Chase was coming, and living up to her name. Still nothing out of the other two.

(Finish- 1:35.30)- With a furlong to go, The Reaper seemed to be in good shape, she was maintaining good form, and Work Out was not able to catch her. On the rail, Chase was only making slight progress. However, things changed very late here, and it’s hard to determine if it was cause more from The Reaper beginning to tire, or Chase suddenly finding another gear. Regardless, Chase was coming, and making this very interesting in the closing moments. She got there, but needed just a couple more strides to get the win. In the end, The Reaper picks up the long overdue win, and its only fitting that it was drama filled in the end. Work Out never posed an additional threat, but was never in danger of falling out of third. Library of Congress and Therapy are only 4th and 5th because there were only five horses. Both were disappointments.

About The Winner: The Reaper, trained by John Henry and ridden by J Rosario, is a five year old mare by Holly Summer and out of Irish Lucky. She was bred in California by Downwind Stables as a first quarter two year old, and was acquired by the trainer, via Heavens Own, for $198.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is her 10th in 28 starts, and her first stake win since winning the KYO in 2015. Her career earnings are now $2,501.970.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  The Reaper John Henry Rosario J 15.05   1nk 1:35.30  
  Chase D J C Racing Stables Velazquez J R 17.15   21 1:35.35  
  Work Out Mb Stables Ortiz I Jr 1.65   31 1:35.55  
  Library Of Congress Royalty Racing Gallardo A A 1.40   41/2 1:35.80  
  Therapy TwinTowersRacing Bejarano R 2.65   5 1:35.93  

Track: Fast

Time: :24   :472  1:104  1:351

$2 Mutuel Prices:

4 – The Reaper 32.10 18.20 8.70
3 – Chase   18.70 5.30
5 – Work Out     2.90

$1 Exacta: 4 – 3 Paid 61.40

$1 Trifecta: 4 – 3 – 5 Paid 919.00

Scratched: None

Winner and Exacta picked by NS


— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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