Elkhorn – Grade II
KEE Race #1 1 1/2m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $250.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 My Plucky Hambletonian Stable Nakatani C S
A claimer back in his three year old days he started to show improvement late in his three year old season and that continued into his four year old campaign. Sold for just $60.000 after a good third in the Miami Mile he then won four in a row for his current owner culminating in the grade two Henry Championship. So far his year he has shown even more improvement finishing a strong fourth in the San Gabriel and then winning the San Marcos Last time out. His works have been strong and he loves this sort of marathon trip so i can see him running well from the inside gate.
2 Blue Eight Blushing Meadows Maldonado E
This five year old has been contesting graded stakes races since his two year old days although his results have been a bit up and down. Second in both the Cigar Handicap and Foster Handicap in the past he has recently been campaigned on turf and despite a 1.34 and 2 mile work ran well down the field from a good draw in the Diarmida. His inconsistency makes him hard to pick but he does have ability and a good run wouldnt surprise.
3 Max Million Maxmillion Farm Beschizza A
This gelding has struggled a little to follow up a big win in the Breeders Stakes and then fine seconds in the Northern Dancer and HOL Turf Cup last year. He looked a winner into the stretch last time out in the San Luis Rey but didn’t quicken up and ended up a close third. That wasnt a bad effort and his works are still very good but he seems to have stopped improving a little. Having said that he has a big chance here and should nearly start favourite.
4 Bayou Quartier Invicta Group Llc Franco G
He would’ve been just a speculative chance here if he hadnt won the San Luis Rey last time out as his form wasnt exactly spectacular before that good win. He loves this trip and is clearly in fine form but performances around his last win and the Sycamore before that suggest he may be inconsistent. If he gets a similar trip than he did last time out he is sure to be in the race down the stretch.
5 Levitical Order Nakamura Stables Saez L
This four year old doesnt look good enough on paper but his works are suggesting improvement and his trainer wouldnt be in this race if he thought he didnt have a chance.
6 First Rebellion Hambletonian Stable Juarez A J Jr
The winner of 13 races he won a couple of competitive open allowances before running a good second in the Diarmida last time out beaten a couple of lengths by the very good Techfluence. He has a great strike rate and a 70% win ratio on the turf so you have to give him a big chance.
8 Sweep The Ravine Hambletonian Stable Boulanger G
Won the Mathis Brothers Mile from Max Million last season so should be right in the mix for this race. His form this year has been a little disappointing with just two seconds in allowances in 4 attempts and i wonder whether he has trained on quite as well as his trainer had hoped. The outside gate makes it even tougher for him and he may be used as a pace maker for his stable mate.
This is a bit of a second division race with one of these looking to break through into Division one. My Plucky looks a good choice here especially as his trainer can manipulate the race to suit him and he would be my first choice in front of MaxMillion and Bayou Quartier.