Kent Stakes (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
DEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
July 14, 2018
A field of eight will be going to the starting gate at DEL on Saturday for the 13th running of the Grade 3 Kent Stakes, a turf event for three year olds. At one time, there was a $500.000 purse associated with this race, but we can at least be glad that it is not as small as the $150.000 that it went for in 2014. The winners share of the purse was split between two trainers last year, as Maxmillion Farm’s Devil Six and Mb Stables’ Ingrained finished in a dead heat. Both found their way to the BC Mile later in the year, and both cashed a check. Devil Six would finish fourth, and as for Ingrained, he was the winner! Mb Stables also won the race in 2016 with I Have Arrived. Let’s meet the field for this race! Due to some time constraints, I am not able to get as in depth with this preview as I would prefer.
#1- Nuclear Energy (Aer Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- Lightly raced in his career with just four career starts. His last two races have been on the grass, and each have ended up with him picked up the win. He has yet to take on the big boys, but this is actually a good field for someone making the type of jump in which he is. Speed figures are not as high as I would like to see, but that can change.
#2- Block Message (Tiratzo, ridden by A Centeno)- Named after one of the most aggravating parts of the game, Block Message has been successful in his career with four wins in nine starts, and that includes the $100.000 Sophomore Turf at TAM in March. Since then, he’s run in races pretty similar to this one with the exception of each of them being on soft turf. Hopefully, we should be able to see him on firm turf here.
#3- Citation (Blushing Meadows, ridden by D E Centeno)- This gelding will also make his graded stake debut after winning an allowance last month. That was his second career win in six starts, and it may have been the work that followed up that race that convinced the trainer to give him this chance. The allowance was a long twelve furlong affair, so hopefully, this race will be long enough for him.
#4- Snow Jinx (Gdp Inc, ridden by R Bejarano)- There are a few in here that are making their graded debut, and out of them, Snow Jinx is my favorite. He has also been lightly raced, making just five starts, but has gone to the winners circle after three of them. The highlight of those victories was the $100.000 Rainbow Stakes at SA last month. I like the consistent speed figures that he has registered, and his experience at this specific distance.
#5- Bonsai Artist (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This gelding will be making his, well I am starting to become a broken record now in saying this, but it is his first graded run as well. This is his first race for the trainer, being picked up for a buck from Smokey Stover last month. The trainer will be hoping his luck continues with him, that luck which began when he won the shake to get him! Three wins in seven career starts, and he is working well heading into this.
#6- Black Mackee (Joshua Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- Former trainer John Henry took one graded shot with him when Black Mackee was a two year old, and it did not go that well. That’s been the story for Black Mackee, as he actually has plenty of stake experience, he has simply been unable to hit the board in any of them. Otherwise, his results are better, which include the win in his last start, an allowance. Against a field with many graded newbies, Black Mackee has no excuses here to not at least hit the board if he wants to show he is a stake horse.
#7- Rifleman (EasyMoney Stables, ridden M G Pino)- With Rifleman, there is absolutely no shortage of stake experience. He has been a regular participant at this level, and has a pair of Grade 3 wins from earlier in the year, when he won the Dania Beach and the Palm Beach, each at GP. After a couple non-wins, he was dropped into the $100.000 Rainbow Stakes for his last start, where interestingly, he was second to Snow Jinx. They will each be big threats here as well.
#8- Running Your Mouth (Mb Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- The trainer will look for his third consecutive win in this race, and will look to accomplish it with a horse that he recently acquired. $150.000 was the price tag that sent him to Mb from Pan Farms in late June. After a two year old season that finished with promise, Running Your Mouth has not been that effective so far this year. He couldn’t ask to be in a better barn to try and get that turned around.