Valedictory Stakes (Grade 3)- $125.000 Purse
WO- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Dirt
December 10, 2017
After getting a couple of nominations not too long before the deadline, the 8th running of the Valedictory will indeed take place this year. This Grade 3 race is for those horses who want to run all day, running at the game maximum of a mile and a half, and doing so on the main track. The big name in the field is the six year old Dogs Infowarrior, who’s career earnings are more then triple the rest of the field combined. That’s impressive, but does that make him the horse to beat? Let’s take a look!
#1- Historiography (Barcelona Farms, ridden by P Husbands)- If an award for most inconsistent horse in the game was provided, Historiography would have to be considered. Now, that could be seen as a knock on him, but that’s not the complete intention. To be coined that, you have to have moments of greatness, and Historiography has had then, picking up a win earlier this year in the Grade 3 Cougar Handicap. Then, in his next race, at the same distance, and one in which the winning time was slower, he finished 10-lengths off the lead. He did carry 13 more pounds in that race, and that could be a pass, but with the weights much more equal in the unofficial BC race, the Marathon, he again well up the track. If the Cougar Handicap Historiography shows up, he can and will win this race. I just can’t trust him.
#2- Dogs Infowarrior (John Henry, ridden by D Moran)- This Dogs Bachelor Party horse has had an impressive career, winning nine of 36 starts, and accumulating over $1,600.000 in earnings. But, a lot of that was last year, and even before. So, we need to look past that figure and see if the current form of Dogs Infowarrior will be good enough. I believe that it is, thanks in large part to two strong second place runs during the summer, coming in the PRM Cornhusker, a grade 3 with a small though impressive field, and the Grade 3 Longacres. His last start was a disappointment, but hopefully that was just an aberration.
#3- Cut The General (Mb Stables, ridden by G Boulanger)- While most three year olds with talent look to run heavily during the spring and summer months, Cut The General was serving as one of the poster children for Horse Selling Park. Eventually, he ended up in the hands of Mb Stables, who realized he had a race horse worth keeping, taking an allowance and the $200.000 Temperence Hill (defeating Historiography). This looks like another Temperence Hill to me, not just because the distance is the same, but I think Cut The General will be able to win it the same way. Don’t think anyone will press him on the lead. Maybe Dogs Infowarrior, but that would surprise me a little.
#4- Door Code (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by R M Hernandez)- After five races, Door Code is still looking for the right code to be able to access the winner’s circle. Still a maiden, his career highlight is running second last month at GG. Perhaps this was one of those late entrants, seeing the smaller field. While maidens can and will win races like this, I like to be surprised by them, rather then picking them.
#5- Diamond In The Sea (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- Up until his last race, Diamond In The Sea had been only a sprinter and picked up solid performance at the level in which he was running at. He was then claimed by the King of FL, at FL, for just $6.500 and while their first race together was more of the same, Diamond In The Sea was impressive in taking a starter allowance at just over a mile, at PRX last month. Overall in his career, he’s only been off the board once. He’s never come close to facing what he sees here today, but he’s earned the shot.