Triple Bend Stakes – Grade I
SA Race #6 7f Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $400.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Silver Dancer, trained by Night Rider Stables
This six year old really hit his straps after being claimed from his breeder back in 2016 quickly moving from average to top notch. His victories last year included a stunning one length win in the Metropolitan Handicap earning a 104 speed rating in the process. Although he wouldnt win again he placed at the top level and looked stronger than ever on his seasonal debut in the General George when winning by just under a length in a very fast time. Though he ran some great races over a route trip he has looked more at home over 7 or 8 furlongs and this race today along with a nice draw will see him at his very best. Owned and ridden by his trainer this would be a popular winner.
2 Tekkers, trained by Maxmillion Farm
Lightly raced with just 12 runs he has managed to win 5 of them but has yet to break through at this level. Bought for $390.000 after a very impressive all the way win in the Skip Away on seasonal debut he added to that by taking an easy win in a decent open allowance at SA. Though his last two wins have come in races in excess of a mile he did win a PRX allowance over seven furlongs in 1.21 and 1 so clearly acts over this trip too. He is a little bit of an unknown at this level but if there is one that may break through today it may just be this four year old gelding.
3 Palestinian, trained by Nakamura Stables
This five year old has never been far from the best in his 27 race career. Sixth beaten just a length in the 2016 KYD he took the MTH Cup in the same year. Like a good few four year olds he struggled a little last year not being able to win a race but running some decent place efforts most notably when second in the True North over six furlongs. His seasonal reappearance saw him take the Say Florida Sandy over this trip but conditions were in his favor that day and he was well weighted so its hard to know where he sits as he enters his 4th season of racing. He’s a good honest sort but he has never really settled on his best trip, having said that he is two from two at seven furlongs so this indeed may be it.
4 Made To Sin, trained by John Henry
He was a lively TC hope last year after a good win in the Fountain Of Youth and the Holy Bull following a nose second in the BC Juvenile. However he was to go well of the boil through the TC not returning to form until in the IND Derby in July when he was a close third. After such a stellar two year old career and early three year old career he has failed to win in 9 attempts and one has to wonder whether his best form is now behind him. He ran well on his seasonal debut when only beaten a length into fourth in the Grade three Hooper so he clearly retains some level of ability but he will have to be back to his brilliant best to have a chance of the win.
5 Clash Study, trained by Smokey Stover
This one changed hands a few times eventually landing in Smokey Stovers stable where he was pushed towards sprinting with 4 wins in a row over this trip or shorter. He was gradually stepped up in trip until after wins in the WV and PA Derby’s and a great third in the Woodward he was a strong fancy for the BC Classic. Whilst he had answered all the questions about stamina in the lead up to the BC in the race itself he cold only finish tenth and just looked like the mile and a quarter at that level was too far. After a seasonal debut in the San Pasqual over 9 furlongs his trainer has made the decision to take him back in trip, a move which i think may be the right one and i rather like him to burst back onto the scene today.
6 Moon Landing, trained by Mb Stables
Now a six year old this grand old campaigner has won 9 from 34 and has run in the past three years in this very race, The winner of it as a three year old he was second as a four year old and fifth last year which could suggest a decline as he ages but when you look at his BC Sprint efforts we see that he was 4th as a three year old sixth as a four year old and the winner last year completely shooting that theory out of the water. So ignoring any thought of decline it will be interesting to see how he fares in his fourth try at this race. His seasonal debut was only fair when third in a little TAM Allowance but the trainer likes to give them an easy start to a season and that will have sharpened him up for this one. A bit or miss but if he is on his best behaviour today he will take some beating.
7 Devil Water, trained by Pan Farms
So far this nicely bred four year old has failed when taken above ungraded level which is only a concern if you dont look at the graded races he has taken on. Both the Pacific Classic and the JC Gold Cup are over a mile and a quarter and for a horse that has won four of his six races over sprint trips that was always going to be a tough test. At this sort of trip he has been a lot better but still not remarkable but it is only when you look at his recent works that his real chances shine through. He could be the bargain purchase of the race after being taken from LionKing Stables for $65.000 weeks ago.
8 Prince Of Wales, trained by Chili King Stables
Not a bad type of sprinter running his best race last season in the True North when finishing like a train for second. He is quick but i am just not sure he has that touch of class required against some of these very good types. If he gets back and gets some breaks in traffic he will be running on at the end.
9 Z One Chance, trained by Serenity Stables
Lightly raced with only ten starts he took a long time to break his maiden but really hasnt looked back since. He will be fit as a fiddle after his great seasonal debut win in the Palos Verdes Stakes a run that earned him an SRF rating of 101. His works are sharp and he is probably the one with the most upside in this race. My biggest concern is the draw but if he can somehow manage a decent trip he will be thereabouts.
10 Red Matic, trained by Witeout Stables
He caused a little bit of a surprise when taking last seasons grade one Jerkens Memorial but it was to be his last win of the season as he struggled to live up to it. He had a terrible draw in the BC Sprint and did pretty well to be beaten only three lengths in the end and in fact after that Jerkens race in which he was drawn wide as well he faced a similar wide draw in the rest of his starts last year. He must’ve wondered what was going on in the Palos Verdes on seasonal debut as he found the whole field on his right something he hadnt experienced for 8 months but he still got back and finished late just as he had from the wide draws. His biggest issue seems to be positioning as there is no doubt he is a very able sprinter. The seven furlongs will certainly help today and he could just be the one to surprise.
11 Crop Duster, trained by Mb Stables
This is a really interesting entry as he poses several questions from the wide gate. I dont think Mb Stables would use a $600.000 purchase and :57 2/5 worker as just a pace maker so he should run on his merits but its just whether the trainer choses to work with the outside speed push or tries to negate it. Despite a good year last year he was left as one of those talking horses that never quite made it but i did really like his effort in the Malibu on Boxing Day which just happened to be over this trip. He made ground from a long way back in the Pegasus World Cup which didnt tell us much about his chances in this race and it is going to take all the champion trainer’s guile to get this one home today.
A really interesting sprint because it is over seven furlongs which can be a really specialist trip. Clash Study and Crop Duster add a lot of interest and one of them could well win restoring their reputations in the process but i cant get away from Silver Dancer for this over a trip that is perfect for him.