The BG Stakes- Grade II
KEE Race 5 1 1/8M Dirt
Purse $1,000.000 For
Three Year Olds
On a weekend full of big races most eyes will be on the three major Derby preps which this is one of. While all of the fields are good some have suggested this is the deepest of them all with the BC Juvenile winner Gumshoe (now scratched), once thought of super horse Table Stakes, derby qualifier Regret Nothing and a host of other proven stakes runners. Coming up with a winner here is going to be a tough proposition but that is why they pay me the big bucks so let’s take a shot.
1 Living Healthy, trained by First Class Stable
After winning the KY Jockey Club in impressive wire to wire fashion last November many people thought he was one of the early Derby favorites. Since then however he has fallen on tough times starting with when he had to carry 127 pounds in the Mucho Macho Man where he was beaten soundly. He followed that up with two average performances where he finished a length behind the winner despite having good trips. Draws the rail which is always a plus here but will need to find some of his old form to be a threat.
2 What Have You Done, trained by Mb Stables
The first entry from Mb Stables is this colt who has turned heads in the morning but has not quite lived up to it in the afternoon. In his one graded win last September he was able to rally from last due to an incredibly fast pace that was set by his stablemate. He has raced well in his subsequent attempts but seems to come up just a bit short which leads some people to question his desire. This was exemplified best in his last outing where he battled Regret Nothing for the length of the stretch but after putting his nose in front he was unable to maintain the lead and lost by a neck. He certainly has the ability and pedigree to win here if he can put it all together today.
3 Table Stakes, trained by Pan Farms
This gelding was the talk of HRP when after being purchased for $5.000 at auction his virgin breeze went in 102.35 and then he won his maiden by 8 lengths. He followed that up with a dominating victory in the Grade 1 Breeder’s Futurity which stamped him as one of the favorites in the BC Juvenile. Unfortunately for him he drew post 14 there and while still running gamely was only able to secure 5th. Another solid run in the Springboard Mile where he finished 2nd still gave his trainer reason for optimism as the race for the Derby started. His first race of 2018 did not go well though and after that he was sold for $400.000 to his current owner who ran him in the Rebel where he finished up the track. Seems to have gone off form so unless Pan has some tricks up his sleeves will be hard to back.
4 On The Spot, trained by Mb Stables
The second entry from Mb is this lightly raced colt that has only gone to the post four times. Made his stakes debut in the Rebel in his last outing where he finished third after a near perfect trip beating several of today’s rivals in the process. Works fit with the others in here and I believe the trainer likes his chances as he has the services of the preferred jock.
5 Broken Tap, trained by Barcelona Farms
Claimed for the bargain price of $12.500 in his debut race this gelding went on to run in a series of FL state bred races which contributed to his impressive earnings of $463.000. In his first try in open company he ran a very good 2nd to leading Derby contender Motor City as he got a very nice trip up the rail. His last effort was another good run with a 3rd place finish in the Fountain Of Youth which looks even better after 2nd place finisher Performance Artist came back to run a big race in the Florida Derby. With another good draw here, I expect he will get a good trip and be there at the end.
6 Neon Wolf, trained by Smokey Stover
First of two entries from Smokey Stover and the more accomplished of the two. Started off 2018 with an impressive victory in the Mucho Macho Man but then ran a disappointing fifth in the Holy Bull. The trainer decided to wheel him back on short rest in the Ca Cup Derby where he rewarded that decision with a win. Like several others in here his last race was in the Rebel where he was caught wide the whole trip and never threatened. Seems to be a bit inconsistent so if we get his best effort today he will be dangerous.
7 Not Til Monday, trained by Mb Stables
Mb must have greased the racing secretary here as all three of his entries have drawn within the first seven gates. This gelding has finished first or second in all six of his career starts which have largely been in Ca state bred races. The one exception was his last outing where he won the Grade 3 Spiral in what was his stakes debut over a muddy track. Has risen to the occasion every time he has been asked and no reason why he can’t do it again.
8 Regret Nothing, trained by Estero Farms
Gelding spent the majority of his 2-year-old campaign racing on the grass including a win in the Grade 3 Bourbon. The trainer then decided he would try him on the dirt since that is where the money is and entered him in a couple of preps where he ran poorly. After a lot of internal debate, the decision was made to give him one more try with a change in tactics and he responded with a game victory in the Tampa Derby where he stalked a fast pace and was still able to battle back and edge What Have You Done. A recent subpar work gives cause for some concern but will be a player if he is at his best.
9 Simple Request, trained by Saratoga Stud
Another contestant coming out of the recently run Rebel where he finished a good second beating several of today’s competitors. That was his first start for his current owner who purchased him for $130 after a dull performance in the Mucho Macho Man. He has not been able to break through with a stakes win yet but always seems to put in a game effort. Has not worked publicly since his last race so hard to get a feel for how he will bounce back on relatively short rest. Probably needs to take a step forward to win but that is certainly within the realm of possibilities.
10 Storming Cobra, trained by Mo Mentum Farm
11 The Judge, trained by Smokey Stover
Purchased for $85.000 in December he won his first two races for his new owner in wire to wire fashion. That gave the trainer confidence to enter him in the San Felipe where a change in tactics saw him take back and never threaten running seventh all the way around the track. I imagine from this wide post we will see him resort to his old style and be one of the pacesetters here. He seems a step slower than some of the others and combined with the difficult post I view him as a longshot at best.
12 Gumshoe, trained by EasyMoney Stables
13 Erupt, trained by D J C Racing Stables
14 Tyreese, trained by Threshold
Gelding has only won once in eight starts but always puts in a late run and usually gets a piece of the purse. His dead closing style is not usually successful here at HRP though and I know the trainer has worked to try and find a way to keep him a bit closer to the pace. That task will be made more difficult with this post position however has horses out here tend to either go straight to the front or straight to the back. His works are significantly slower than most others in the field and I think he has too much to overcome today.
15 Big Drama, trained by Century Acres Farm
Drawing in from the AE list is this lightly raced colt making his fifth career start. He has won two races in a row, a MSW and a nwx1, but this will be a significant step up in class. The works that show on the form are a bit older and not quite up to par with the field. Would be a major surprise if he were able to best this field from way out here.
Like I said earlier this field is incredibly deep with almost every horse having a chance to make it home first. It will be interesting to see what tactics trainers employ especially from the outside posts as that will probably have a big effect on how the race unfolds. I think Gumshoe and The Judge will probably be out front with Regret Nothing tracking behind and a host of others not much further back. I think Broken Tap may be able to get a perfect trip and break through with a win but I imagine this will be a blanket finish.