The PRK (Grade 1)- $1,500.000 Purse
PIM- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and Three Sixteenths on the Dirt
May 19, 2018
Unlike other recaps, I begin writing this one immediately after watching the race live. With no rooting interest, I could be a fan, and as a fan, I wanted Pretty Ferro to win. The game has never had a TC winner, and only once, have we even gone into the BEL with a chance of having a TC winner. I’m sure many others in the game without one of their own in the race were also rooting for him. Pretty Ferro’s trainer, Estero Farms, is a hard worker and someone to root for as well, after all, he even put in valued time in writing for the SRF earlier in the year. There was one horse in this field that I was really worried about, and I mentioned that in the preview. That horse was Indistinguishable. Perhaps, if the game did not have restrictions on trainer entry into a stake, and if Mb Stables could have had a couple more in the KYD, Indistinguishable would have been there, running on three weeks rest after winning the AR Derby. Therefore, he would have had the same two weeks rest as Pretty Ferro did for the PRK. But because of that limitation (and of course this is all conjecture as I cannot read Mb’s mind), Indistinguishable, a very talented horse, was targeted to the PRK immediately after winning the AR Derby. Hey, it happens in the real world, and it happened. Indistinguishable was fresh, and while Pretty Ferro was sharp and did everything he could, perhaps this made a difference in the ever so slight margin of victory. It wasn’t as easy for Pretty Ferro this time, and when he got trapped behind Table Stakes midway through the race, and with Indistinguishable to his outside and preventing the outside move, it didn’t look good. Pretty Ferro was strong once free, but Indistinguishable had enough to hold on for the win. I’m sure this is a sweet win for Mb Stables, and congratulations to him on his second career win in the PRK, and fifth overall TC victory. J R Velazquez is the winning jockey, and he’s had a good history in the race as he picks up his fourth PRK win. The time of the win in the slop was 2:01.13. Here’s how it went down!
(½ Mile- :49.10)- The race begins with Mist Maker, from Crocker Ggs being the quickest of them all and opening up by a length and a half on the field as we moved into the first turn. Behind him, in a three-wide formation was Liverpool Rocket (Estero Farms), Gumshoe (EasyMoney Stables), and Table Stakes (Pan Farms). Rounding the turn, and moving into the backstretch, Mist Maker continued to show the way. Centerpiece (Mb Stables) used his outside line very well in the turn, and now joined that three wide battle for the second position. Lane Frost, from Sanny Village, was next and running on the rail, but would be boxed in if there was any move coming. In the middle of the field, we see both our eventual winner Indistinguishable, from Mb Stables, and Pretty Ferro (Estero Farms) running in the outer most lanes of another four-wide group. A subtle thing happened at this stage in this race, and that was the fact that Indistinguishable was able to be to the outside of Pretty Ferro. So simple, and dare I say it, indistinguishable at this stage, but critical later. This pivotal lane swap was able to occur right out of the gate when Indistinguishable did not start as strongly as Pretty Ferro. Rounding the first turn, Indistinguishable was directly behind the KYD winner, and when Pretty Ferro moved to the inside a lane midway in the turn, Indistinguishable held his line. This cleared the lane for Indistinguishable entering the backstretch, and now, he had the ideal position on his chief rival at this early juncture of the race. Elsewhere in the field, Ride Or Die (Delta Farms) and Performance Artist (Serenity Stables) were on the inside of the eventual top two finishes here. The remaining four raced together at the back: Babalu Time (Night Rider Stables), On The Spot (Mb Stables), Subutai (Easy Money Stables), and the one who got in from the also eligible list thanks to the Zombie City scratch, Declared Expert (T Boy Racing).
(3/4 Mile- 1:14.25)- Mist Maker paces the field down the backstretch, and moving into the turn. His lead would be two as Liverpool Rocket ran in the second position along the rail and not applying any pressure. With a steady stride on the outside, Centerpiece had advanced to the third position as he looked to better his second place finish in the KYD. Gumshoe and Table Stakes ran side by side, with some nearby company in the form of Lane Frost. Right behind them is where everyone’s eyes were concentrated, as Pretty Ferro had traffic trouble looming with Table Stakes blocking the lane while Indistinguishable enjoyed the clear lane on the outside. What seemed to have been a very minor lane shift at the top of the backstretch was now looming large. Pretty Ferro had to hope that Table Stakes, a horse that had not shown much recently, would be able to stay in full stride, or at least hope for another opening to develop. All the while, Indistinguishable had clear sailing. Ride Or Die was running right next to him, and is a lane opened up to the inside of Table Stakes, he would be the one capitalizing on it. Performance Artist still ran towards the rail and was unhurried. At the back, none of Babalu Time, On The Spot, Subutai, or Declared Expert were advancing yet.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- At the front, Mist Maker was still looking pretty good, holding on to a length advancing, but trouble was lurking soon as they hit the top of the stretch for him. He looked like he would have some fight in him, though. Rounding the turn, Table Stakes began to show signs of fatigue, and F Pennington needed to do something to keep Pretty Ferro from running into further trouble. Fortunately for him, he was able to get to outside just in time, and Centerpiece gave him a little bit of room to do it in. Running on the outside, however, Indistinguishable did not have anyone to worry about, and J R Velazquez could focus his TC spoiler on the finish line. He was within a length at this point, and the trainer also had to like that Centerpiece was coming on well in the stretch, too. The horse that had the worst traffic trouble here actually ended up being Ride Or Die, who had to alter his course to be the outside of Table Stakes. This kept the eventual third place finish from being able to be closer to the top two during the stretch run. Liverpool Rocket, Performance Artist, and Lane Frost all seemed to have a chance at this point as well. The lanes that were going to be to the inside of Mist Maker were going to clear and ready for one of them to pounce on it. Gumshoe and Table Stakes were retreating now as On The Spot looked for some room on the rail. Subutai, Babalu Time, and Declared Expert were looking like also-rans at this point.
(Finish- 2:01.13)- In the stretch, we saw two champion racehorses give it everything they had. Indistinguishable had the lane, but he also had a challenger in the form of Pretty Ferro. That extra rest, if it meant anything, would have to show itself now as Indistinguishable sought to hold on. Pretty Ferro, the KYD winner who was especially impressive in the stretch of that race was showing that powerful drive as the wire got closer and closer. With every stride, you could feel the intensity and could imagine what was going through the minds of each of the trainer when they watched this take place. At the end, they seemed to hit the wire together, and with the split second that happens before the final times are posted, I was expecting to see “dead heat”. This is HRP, after all. However, this time a winner could be declared, and that winner is Indistinguishable. Congratulations to him on the remarkable win, and congratulations to Pretty Ferro on his sharp performance. As all that was going on, it might have been easy to miss the strong stretch run of Ride Or Die, who got up for third despite traffic trouble. Centerpiece nips Mist Maker for the fourth place check, and Performance Artist got up for sixth. Lane Frost has a midpack eighth place finish with a clean but uneventful run, but saw On The Spot slip by him for seventh. Rounding out the order of finish: Babalu Time, Liverpool Rocket, Subutai, Table Stakes, Declared Expert, and Gumshoe.
About The Winner: Indistinguishable, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by J R Velazquez, is a three year old colt by Moment Of Madness, is out of In Your Mind. He was bred in California as a yearling by Mb Stables, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 11 starts, and its his third graded win. His career earnings are now $2,459.500.
Time: :49 1:141 1:403 2:01
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 11 – 13 Paid 52.90
$1 Trifecta: 11 – 13 – 6 Paid 716.80
Scratched: Sneaky Little Heist, Zombie City
Exacta picked by NS
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2018, The Triple Crown