The Gazelle (KYO) (Grade 2)- $300.000 Purse
AQU- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
April 7, 2018
Just five opportunities to accumulate points for the KYO remain, and four of them will be running this weekend so we’ve reached “now or never” time to get those points. The Gazelle is one of three 100 point races that will be contested on Saturday, and it takes place at AQU, drawing a total of eight fillies. This field is actually quite stunning. Did everyone choose to go to one of those other races? Only two horses in this field have over $80.000 in earnings. Only one has more then $105.000. Trainers not in this race should be rooting hard for Diminuendo, the 13th place filly in the KYO points, and the only one who has significant earnings. If she doesn’t get at least those 100 or 50 points, then two newcomers are crack the points leaderboard, and likely head to the Oaks. That’s not to say those with lesser earnings are unworthy, as there are some good looking up and comers in this field. They should be happy, because they have a great shot here. By the way, the chances for an off track are pretty high. Let’s meet the field!
#1- Ghost Havoc (Jive Inc., ridden by C J Lanerie)- The trainer picked this filly up last month in private sales for $120.000, and sent her to run at least a mile for the first time in her last start, the Bourbonette Oaks, and she ran third. That got her four points, and she seemed to not be bothered by the mud that day, so if she sees that again here, there’s little reason to be concerned. Works are steady, and if she can follow up that Bourbonette effort, then she has a great shot.
#2- Jinxed Queen (Gdp Inc, ridden by D E Centeno)- In six starts, this filly has been able to find the winner’s circle, doing so four times, so there is no jinx on her. Those wins have not been at the stake level though, and the highlight is a victory in a $75.000 claimer. She’s tried a stake once, coming on the grass at GP in December, and she finished well up the track. The turf was soft that day, so for her sake hopefully the rain did not play that big of a role in that performance, if the forecast for Saturday here holds up.
#3- Windian (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by J Rosario)- This is a maiden, and I don’t like to spend much time with them in previews. For every time one wins a race like this, dozens and dozens come up short. What we can say about her is that she likes to go out to the lead, but a performance here last month in a statebred maiden only earned an 86 SRF. She’s well bred, being by Cherokee Sunset, but also being out of Grey Wind, a highly successful mare who ran in the BC Fillies and Mares Sprint in 2015. There’s reason to like this filly, but I’ll wait until she wins a race first.
#4- Diminuendo (Smokey Stover, ridden by P Lopez)- Clearly the class of the field. The only question is whether or not the short turn around from her last race, just two weeks, will impact her. Her $254.640 in career earnings are more then double the next highest horse in the field, and she has consistently been running in KYO preps. Her three races this year saw her finish a length from victory on each occasion. This time, she is not running against the type of opposition she has been seeing. No excuses here, should probably be a 2/5 favorite. Won once on a muddy track, but that came a real long time ago. The only question should be, how big is the margin of victory.
#5- Wrapped Around (Mb Stables, ridden by J J Castellano)- This Forever Steel filly is on a three-race streak of finishing second since breaking her maiden at BEL last year. Last month at FG, she looked good in one of those runs, jumping out to a big lead against three others, before only being caught by one of them. It earned her an 86 SRF, which seems a little low for the actual race time. Don’t be surprised though if there is a tactical changeup with her.
#6- Nice Tactical Speed (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by K Carmouche)- Right on cue as we mention tactical speed, we get a filly named that way. So far, she has been lightly raced, and has won once in three career starts. The win came at SA, where she was able to stalk the pace and go on to win by two lengths. In her start after that, she tried to come from well off the pace, and showed good stretch desire, but missed late. I like the potential here, and feel Maxmillion Farm will make the right adjustment, making her the biggest threat to Diminuendo.
#7- Prompt (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by A S Arroyo)- One of two entries that the trainer has in this field, and I like this one a lot more. She’s raced just twice, but is coming into the own right now, winning a start two weeks ago right here in the $100.000 May for NY breds. Her works are looking pretty sharp as well, and this should make her a pretty big threat. I don’t think, however, that Windian is here to serve as a rabbit, as Prompt doesn’t need it.
#8- Fascinating Bottom (Toppedout, ridden by R M Hernandez)- This Copper Bottom filly has won four of 12 starts thus far, and has frequently been seen in ungraded stakes. She’s won two of them, highlighted by the $75.000 Hut Hut in December last year. Her form looked good, but she struggled in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks in her last start, finishing six lengths behind Ghost Havoc. She’ll have to find a way to make that up on her this time, and Ghost Havoc herself is not one of the favorites. She can get a piece of the purse, but likely not the win.