San Carlos Stakes (Grade 2)- $250.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
June 23, 2018
There was no clear favorite for the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes, with several going off at odds of 5/1. Of them, Saturday Khartoum was a slight post-time favorite, and Insect was made the second choice. Ultimately, it would be those two finishing in the top two spots with a far more surprising third place horse, as 39/1 longshot Gold Sunset ran better then mostly everyone thought he would. The proud winning trainer of Saturday Khartoum is Rousee, and it’s always good to be able to watch someone win a race like this that doesn’t win as many as the one who won the last two editions of the stake. Aboard the winner was M E Smith, winning the race for the second time. He also won in 2008 with a horse named LionKing, that was not owned by who you might think it was owned by. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:21.71, a middle of the pack time in comparison to other editions of the race. Here is a look at it!
(1/4 Mile- :22.38)- It’s a great start for those starting outside, as a more assertive push to get to the front seems to occur from those posts. Valiant Phan (Angelos Stable), Commanding Brit (Lemax Farms), and Insect (Mb Stables) are those that are moving forward. Ultimately, it is Valiant Phan taking the lead by about a length and a half over Commanding Brit. Insect settled into the third while having the eventual race winner from Rousee, Saturday Khartoum run along side him. Saturday Khartoum had gotten off to a steady start himself, and ended with a good track position here early on. Not to be left in the dust by those who started on the outside, Benzar (TwinTowersRacing) was fifth, and three lengths back. In the middle of the field, we would find Rodeo (Allinthegate), Gold Sunset (Maze Stables), and Scripted (Mb Stables). Out On A Limb (Jader Stable) and Sonar (Mb Stables) ran toward the back, with the trailer being Hooligans Holiday (Threshold).
(½ Mile- :45.12)- Valiant Phan crosses over to the rail, and runs a steady second quarter of the race, still maintaining the same advantage as they complete the backstretch trip. Insect is still second, while Saturday Khartoum chips into the lead a little bit, and maintains his good spot on the track, in stalking position now of the race leader. Commanding Brit is still in the mix, while Gold Sunset is looking good moving into the turn, pulling up right behind Insect. He’d need a lane to open up, or for Insect to be strong, in order to make this advance work. Rodeo and Scripted were looking for their lanes, while Sonar inched a little closer. Benzar, however, lost a lot of ground during this portion. Hooligans Holiday now gets a partner in the back, with Out On A Limb.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- Valiant Phan is still in front, but it is inevitable now that he is about to be passed. Saturday Khartoum initially looked to make an outside move of Valiant Pham, which pushed Insect and Gold Sunset down a lane. However, M E Smith quickly called an audible, as he so expertly does, and moved him back to the rail since enough room had opened up to pass Valiant Pham on the inside. What that move allowed, though, is an opening for Gold Sunset to develop, which was exactly what he was needing. Insect was still running strong, and for the moment looked to be in better shape then Saturday Khartoum, as he was within half a length from the lead. Rodeo was looking good, but had to go about six wide in order to make a move. Scripted was looking for a lane near the back, and would hope to follow Gold Sunset. Sonar had a lane, but seemed unable to take command of it. Benzar was caught way outside, but did not seem poised to make a move. Out On A Limb and Hooligans Holiday would need a miracle for a lane to open up at this point for them, even if they were capable of making the run.
(Finish- 1:21.71)- Had this been a six furlong race, then we would have had a four way photo for the win. The seventh furlong would be the difference maker, and Saturday Khartoum, a horse with plenty of experience running precisely this distance and having success with it, would be the one to prevail. It was not a powerful stretch drive, but it was a steady, and his position on the rail made all the difference to get the win! You could throw a blanket over the rest of the field at this point. Second to eighth were all within a length of one another. Insect gets the nod in this photo, as he also ran a steady race, holding off Gold Sunset, who just slipped by Valiant Phan to get the third spot. The pacesetter gets the fourth place check for this efforts. Scripted started making his presence known late in the race, and is fifth, just ahead of Rodeo. Out On A Limb did all he could, just moving to the rail and hoping for the best. It wasn’t going to be a winning move, but it was to get the best finish he could. That would be seventh. Benzar was interesting, I thought he was done midway through the race, but he makes a good run here at the end. That puts his outside trip throughout the race in the spotlight a little bit, and makes you wonder if he could have rode the rail the whole race, if it actually may have been him in the winners circle. Sonar, Hooligans Holiday, and Commanding Brit round out the finish.
About The Winner: Saturday Khartoum, trained by Rousee and ridden to victory by M E Smith, is a four year old gelding by Hong Kong Phooey, and is out of Utica Girl. He was bred in Florida as a third quarter two year old by Rousee, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 13 starts, and is his first graded win. His career earnings are now $426.690.
Time: :221 :45 1:091 1:213
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 5 – 8 Paid 39.80
$1 Trifecta: 5 – 8 – 2 Paid 1,400.90
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES