Barrera Stakes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
May 12, 2018
It’s not the biggest race weekend out there, but there is some action taking place, and out at SA, we will have the 15th running of the Grade 3 Barrera Stakes, which is a long sprint for three year olds that Mb Stables has had a stranglehold on. The trainer looks to win this third Barrera in a row as he closes in on that 500th career graded victory. His last two winners in the race were Give Your All in 2016, and Sonar last year. Give Your All was an interesting winner, as it was really the race that got his career moving. He’d later win the Grade 1 Vosburg, and then run decently in the BC Sprint. Sonar recently won the Fourstardave, so good to see that each of them are continuing to have success. This year we’ll have seven in the race, contesting a smaller graded purse, but this race seems to be more about where one goes from here. Let’s look at the field.
#1- Lg The Menace (Jkk Racing Stables, ridden by V Espinoza)- The gelding by Mordred often goes off as a longshot, but until he gets back in the winners circle, that trend will likely continue. He has won one of eight, but generally runs competitively. The trainer took a shot at the Grade 3 Davis Stakes, but after he tired out in that one, his distance got cut back. His works are full of bullets, but he is going to have to translate those morning runs into a big effort at post time. He’s close, and when he gets that breakthrough, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start a hot streak.
#2- Peculiar Sensation (Mb Stables, ridden by J Talamo)- This is a race that the trainer knows how to win, and Peculiar Sensation has all the looks of the Give Your All, especially. In six races, this gelding has been able to win four of them, and he has never failed to hit the board. He’s run in an ungraded stake, the $100.000 Ocala Sophomore, and now looks to take his career up a notch. The depth of the trainer’s schedule allowed him to never put Peculiar Sensation on another path in hoping for a TC bid, while everyone else in this field took at least one shot at it. Instead, he’s been running this distance, and is well rested and prepared.
#3- Neon Wolf (Smokey Stover, ridden by N Arroyo Jr)- At times in his career, this Condottieri colt has looked like one of the best. At the beginning of the year, he was tops in the $100.000 Mucho Macho Man, and two starts later, he won the CA Cup Derby right here in February. Then, came the KYD prep races, and he simply could not show the same ability to get to the front in any of the three he ran in. With that chase in the books, he returns to the type of the race that saw him be very successful, so this looks tailor made for a rebound, if he has it in him. Hopefully this race is long enough for him, though.
#4- Powerful Suit (Nakamura Stables, ridden by G Franco)- The last time Powerful Suit was on this race track, it was a nightmare. In the Grade 1 SA Derby, he got involved with chasing a rabbit, and tired out quickly. He was just three lengths out with a 1:08 3/5 six furlong fraction, so if he can duplicate that again, or close to it, his chances are promising here. With a couple of Grade 3 victories, he is much better then his last two race lines, and he surely can’t wait to show that to everyone.
#5- Denomination (Fractious, ridden by M E Smith)- After taking his shot at the TC chase, Denomination returned to the seven furlong distance and finished second in the Grade 3 Bay Shore to Bolden last month. Prior to the Fountain Of Youth, he ran second in the Grade 2 San Vincente, so he has been at his best when going this distance, and forgetting the longer races. He likes to come from off the pace, so one can understand why there was hope that he could it done in bigger races.
#6- Psychotic Ruler (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by E A Roman)- After finding success at Saratoga last summer, Psychotic Ruler’s finishes have only gone downhill. The good news for him is that he is guaranteed of his best finish since September in the Barrera, since only seven horses are entered. Give credit to the trainer for continuing to try and hope that Psychotic Ruler would find his form from last year, but it simply never panned out. He doesn’t need to win, but he needs to be competitive here.
#7- Broken Tap (Barcelona Farms, ridden by D Van Dyke)- After running well in some big FL-bred stakes, Broken Tap, like mostly everyone else in this field, tried his luck at the TC chase. It actually started pretty well, with a second place showing at the Grade 3 Lecomte, and then running third at the Fountain Of Youth. He needed to get more to get in the KYD, and the BG Stakes did not go well for him. Now, he drops back to the type of distance he had been running in Florida. Works are very impressive leading into this race.