GP Race #16 1 1/8m Dirt Stake
Purse $300.000 For Three Year Olds.
Its pretty bemusing as i have just written a review for a two year old race and the work times are pretty much the same as they are for this three year old race. I think these three year olds wont have long before they are victims of the weight allowances but for now we see them come out for one last go at their own age group.
1 Happy Happy Joy Joy, trained by Nakamura Stables
These late season three year old races can throw up the odd surprise and this could be just the type to provide one of those. Bought for $65.000 back in May he has been lightly raced since but his two races have seen facile victories albeit at a lower level than this. Having recorded a 1.36 and 1 he is working as well as any of these but with no black type form at all you have to rely on those work times as your only guide to his chances.
2 Lord High Admiral, trained by John Henry
Close up in both the KYD and The Preakness after winning the AR Derby he has continued to run well in top company since ending up with an excellent third in the BC Classic last time out. Work wise he is just one of many but if he can reproduce that BC form or the close thirds in both The Travers and The Haskell then he should just about win from this handy draw.
3 Grounded In Reality, trained by Mb Stables
The sons of Commanding havent done as well as the daughters but this is a nice type that comes here fresher than most.He ran a terrific race in The Woodward to be fourth beaten just a length after stalking the lead and then attempted to do the same in the Awesome Again last time out for a similar run but ending up seventh. My main worry about this one is his ability to see out this trip at this level although a great draw will help him today and i am sure his trainer will be trying to conserve a bit more energy for the finish today.
4 Socraties, trained by Spooky Racing
He has been a great advert for horse selling park this season with two $200 plus sales since the summer. The most recent sale saw his current owner purchase him from John Henry after a pretty average effort in the BC Dirt Mile where he ended up a never dangerous ninth. Prior to that he had won the BC Derby and got pay checks in both the ONT and WV Derby’s so there is plenty of ability there i am just not sure he is at the top just yet.
5 Moccasin Skin, trained by Defoe
Another one that has been playing Horse Selling Park almost as much as racing he has the work times of a superstar and some decent form to match. Well behind Socraties in the WV Derby he was sold by Australia Wide to Defoe who immediately got to grips with him and sent him out to win the WV Breeders Classic in good style in October. Another without the rigors of a tough season he could well be another one to upset the more established runners in this race.
6 Hidden Slew Laff, trained by Gdp Inc
Didnt show enough early season to get into the TC picture but when he won the OH Derby in June things started to rapidly rise for this gelding. An excellent run for fifth in the Haskell was followed by late finishes in both the Travers and The PA Derby but in both cases his finishing position was pretty poor. He is a lot better than his form figures suggest but whether he is quite good enough to win remains to be seen.
7 Benzar, trained by TwinTowersRacing
Ahhh the conundrum of working out a race at HRP is perfectly summed up in this one as we have a horse that works the same as all the rest but has only won two races from ten attempts at overnight level. He ran nicely in the Bold Ruler Handicap last time staying on for fourth and has looked for a long tie like a trip like this would suit. Yet another without an obvious chance but plenty of good reasons he can win.
8 Fat Lady, trained by Hambletonian Stable
Another one that proves that maybe we are a little soft on our digital horses here at HRP as he ran his career best race last time out in his sixteenth race of the season. A triple grade 3 stakes winner this year he was being beaten in overnights at the start of the year but came on leaps and bounds the more times he ran. His last start was in the Grade Two Autumn Stakes where he ran out a fairly comfortable one length winner from a tough draw and i must admit there are plenty f good reason he can win his ninth race of the season today.
9 Winter Is Coming, trained by D J C Racing Stable
Has been given some horrible draws of late but has also put in some excellent performances against the odds. He tried to make all in the WV Derby but weakened late to be beaten less than a length into second. He ran even better in The Travers when again faced with a wide draw and forced by the wide speed push to make the running ending up fourth beaten just a half length. Another wide draw in the Awesome Again saw him take route B from the wide draw this time and go to the back of the field early on. Flying late he was only beaten a quarter length into second. Like the story of the draw effect at HRP he was then forced up onto the pace from another wide draw last time but weakened as usual this time to be seventh. So which will the race engine pick for him today, back or front? Either way he should run well but i think he has a winning chance if allowed to go back at the start.
This race will go one of two ways…the obvious in which case lord High Admiral wins or the not obvious in which case Happy Happy Joy Joy or Moccasin Skin wins. Actually i forgot the most frequent way which is for Mb Stables to win but as the stable has only one runner here it does open the race up to everyone else.