San Luis Rey Stakes – Grade II
SA Race #4 1 1/2m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $200.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Smokin Nebulae, trained by Drabfantasy
This is a pretty interesting entry being a mare against the colts and the 5 Lbs she gets off the boys could be significant. She loves these extreme trips and has run some cracking races over a good career. She ran in the BC Fillies and Mares Turf as a three year old finishing out of the frame from a poor draw but she got there with a brilliant second in the grade one Taylor and a win in the Eatontown Stakes. Last year she took two graded stakes wins in The Waya and The Long Island handicap but had a fairly light season with only six starts. She looked every bit as good on her seasonal debut in the La Prevoyante Handicap when running on for third under a big weight and she comes here second up and drawn perfectly. A recent sharp work over five furlongs suggests she may be ready to run a huge race.
2 Darth Andredudu, trained by Diablo Diablo
Ran a career best race when closing hard for third in last years BEL Derby and a repeat of that effort would see him go close today. Although he doesnt win too often he has run some super races in defeat and really is due a big win. His seasonal debut saw him running on well to be second in the San Marcos Stakes and he had Max Million behind that day. Strong mile works suggest he is ready for another big effort and from a decent draw today there is no reason he cant get his timing right on this occasion.
3 Max Million, trained by Maxmillion Farm
He looked like an emerging star when taking the Breeders Stakes last year and backed that up with some great efforts afterwards. Second in the Northern Dancer he was also second in the HOL Turf Cup only beaten a head and though he didnt quite fulfill the promise of his Breeders Stakes win he did end up close to the best of the turf routers. He was a little disappointing in the San Marcos on seasonal debut but put the record straight with an easy win in an overnight last month and his works suggest he is back to top form.
4 Bayou Quartier, trained by Invicta Group Llc
Well behind Max Million in the HOL Turf Cup last year he looks to have a little to find with the best of these. He took the grade three Sycamore las year so clearly loves the trip but i would like to see him in slightly easier company.
5 Lets Do It Big Boy, trained by Team 7 Illusions
A lightly raced four year old he is certainly an improving sort and shouldnt be left out of calculations. picked up in a $35.000 claimer he twice placed second in ungraded races before sharing a win in his first start as a four year old in a competitive overnight. His turf works are sharp and he could be one that flies under the radar for this sort of race.
6 Crafty Shenanigans, trained by Mb Stables
Its in some ways ironic that the best breeder on HRP created this autogen and it has turned out better than an awful lot of royally bred horses in the stable. A winner of 3 from 11 he appeared from nowhere last season after winning three overnights in a row to run second in the Read Stakes and then an even better run when beaten just a neck in the grade one secretariat Stakes. A brilliant second in the Pacific Classic saw him go to the BC where he stayed on nicely for fifth in the BC Turf, just three lengths off his stabelmate. A quiet third on seasonal debut wouldve sharpened him up for this and he is working better than ever so you can’t deny he will have a big chance.
7 Discover Decima, trained by Threshold
Bought for just $4.000 he has been a good investment but has yet to break through at this level. He ran pretty well in the Shadwell Turf Mile last year beaten just three lengths in sixth and his subsequent run in the Commonwealth Turf wasnt bad either suggesting he may appreciate this sort of trip. A bit of a dark horse but a strong worker and looks like he may be breaking through into this grade sooner rather than later.
8 Sound Decision, trained by EasyMoney Stables
Placed in lesser grade to win 8 from 18 he finally broke through at stakes level when taking the River City Handicap at the end of last year. His two runs this season suggest his trainer is looking for bigger fish to fry with this gelding and on the evidence of his 4 year old career so far this could be his day. A terrific run from a wide draw saw him only beaten a nose into third in the San Gabriel Stakes on debut and he didn’t run too badly under a big weight in the GP Turf Handicap last time either. Sharp works suggest he is on song he just has to find some way to overcome this draw.
9 G Honkus Brown, trained by Spankys Barn
It couldn’t happen….could it? Well at HRP anything can happen but it would be some sort of performance if this winner of a $5.000 claimer last time can get passed the wide draw and beat some very good routers. The silly thing is that his $5.000 claiming win race time and subsequent works actually look pretty similar to all the others in this race so we could actually see this six year old, 35 race veteran turn up one of the biggest shock wins of the year.
Well on the face of it this should be between Crafty Shenanigans, Max Million and Darth Andedudu but with things as they are it really wouldnt surprise me as much as it should to see Smoking Nebulae or G Honkus Brown win!