The Lewis Stakes- Grade III
SA Race 5 1 1/16M Dirt
Purse $150.000 for
Three Year Olds
Maybe the least prestigious of the weekends Derby preps due to it having the smallest purse but it is still worth the same number of points. The field is certainly less accomplished than the Withers and the Holy Bull but it still should be hotly contested. Let’s go through the field and see who will emerge one step closer to Derby qualification.
1 Along For The Ride, trained by John Henry
Has only managed to finish first in 1 of 8 starts although he did have very solid efforts in some of the top 2 year old events. However his last three races have been disappointing and it looks like he has not been able to improve on his early times. In his last race he went off the heavy favorite and after setting reasonable fractions faded to last. John Henry obviously saw something he liked as he plunked down $90.000 to purchase him after that effort so we will see if he can get him back on track.
2 Caydens Camel, trained by D J C Racing Stables
In the money in all 6 of his career starts which have mostly been NY bred affairs. Will be making his first start for his new connections who coughed up $250.000 after his most recent effort, a 3rd in the Great White Way. Seems to be working well leading up to this and with a nice inside draw should be a contender for top honors.
3 Having A Blast, trained by Mb Stables
Well it would not be a prep race if we did not have 3 entries from our leading trainer and Mb has not disappointed. Our first entry from the stable has yet to win a race but we all know Mb has used this strategy successfully in the past. This guy’s works are as good as any in the field and while I like to stick to my real life experience of not picking maidens against winners it would not be a major surprise if he won.
4 Blood Red Moon, trained by Toppedout
Has done most of his racing on the free track circuit as he has only earned $3.000 from his 6 starts. Did record an impressive 93 speed rating in his last race but that was on the turf. His only public works are at four furlongs so that does not give us a whole lot of information. I will need to see him be competitive against this kind of competition before recommending.
5 Controlled Lion, trained by Our Athletes
One of three entrants in the field that was bred by LionKing Stables he was purchased by his current owner for $20.000 as an unraced 2 year old. Broke his maiden in his second start and followed that up with a stakes win. Has since raced fairly well in a couple of Grade 2 affairs and has been given a couple of months to get ready for the Derby drive. Works generally seem to be in line and since he has a better post than his recent races I think he can be a factor.
6 Wicked Orange, trained by Allinthegate
Only 1 lifetime win but was able to qualify for the BC Juvenile on the strength of several in the money finishes in graded events. His most recent effort was a hard charging 2nd in the Grade 1 LA Futurity in what was a very strong field. Has most recently done his racing from off the pace which is a change from his early days when he was a front runner. His most recent speed rating of 97 makes him a major player today and my choice for top honors.
7 Worst Case Scenario, trained by Mb Stables
Our second entry from the top stable is a lightly raced colt making his fourth lifetime start. He has gone 2 for 3 thus far and looks to be steadily improving. He is very well conformed and seems to have the perfect HRP racing style of being just a few lengths off the lead. I believe he is the stables best hope for a win today but since he has not faced this level of competition yet will not be my pick
8 Reach For A Latte, trained by Saratoga Stud
Purchased for $250.000 after a 5th place finish in The Springboard Mile where he found himself wide from the far outside. Drew the extreme outside post again in his first start for his new owners and was unable to overcome it finishing a well beaten 9th. Draws a little bit better here but still not ideal so will need to try and avoid being shuffled all the way back again. Works put him right there with everybody else so working out the trip will be the key.
9 Meteorologist, trained by Mb Stables
The final entrant from Mb is a recent $35.000 claim. Since we know there is not much of a class system to speak of the move from claimer to stake is not that concerning especially when Mb is behind it. His works are some of the fastest in the field so have to think he stands a chance but with his poor conform and outside post I do not think the sun will shine on him today.
10 Leprechaun Kid Q, trained by Establo Pichon
Has spent his most recent time racing on the turf which is where his only win has come. His works seem a tad slower than most others and most of his speed ratings are also well below. Combine all of that with a bad post and a 9% jockey and he will be a longshot to hit the board.
11 Walkin Broomstick, trained by Smokey Stover
The second LionKing bred colt in the race was a $60.000 purchase after his debut. Has paid nice dividends for his new owner earning close to $200.000 in 7 starts. His most recent effort was a wire to wire win in an ON bred stake where he earned a 95 speed rating. His works are top of the line but we all know how difficult it is to win from these outside posts so I am thinking a minor share is his destiny.
12 Lucky Phooey, trained by LionKing Stables
The third LionKing bred is the only one he has decided to hold onto and I know it is not due to a lack of offers. His excellent conform has led to a lot of optimism from his trainer and that was nearly rewarded when he was a very close 3rd in the Springboard Mile. However in that race he was drawn to the inside and worked out a pretty nice trip which will be much more difficult to accomplish from out here. Has never been the fastest worker and my hunch is he will be better with the added distance but I just don’t see him being able to pull it off from the parking lot.
I think we will see Blood Red Moon and Meteorologist out in front early being tracked by Caydens Camel and Worst Case Scenario with the rest of the field tightly bunched behind. I do not think the pace will be that fast unless someone has something up their sleeve but if Nakatani can keep Wicked Orange close enough I think he can get home.