Nuclear Energy Wins in Kent Stakes Thriller

Kent Stakes (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
DEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
July 14, 2018

The Kent Stakes always had the potential of being a thrilling race as several horses in the field were making the jump up in class. They had proven themselves worthy to compete at this level, but all were searching to make this jump a success. Nuclear Energy, with only four starts in his career to this point, was one of those horses, and he would prevail in a four-horse photo for the win; coming one year after the race had a dead heat for the win. It is the third straight win for this horse, so this is definitely one that we want to watch as the year goes on. His proud winning trainer is Aer Stables, who gets the win for first time in the stake, narrowly edging out another that he bred, in Block Message. I Ortiz Jr is now a two-time winner of the race, having won in 2016 as well with I Have Arrived. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:45.90, a middle of the road time when looking at other editions of the race. Let’s take a look at it!

(½ Mile- :47.09)- Out of the gate, both Black Mackee, out of Joshua Stables, and Running Your Mouth, for Mb Stables, are sharp and they clear the field by a length rather quickly. They look like they will duel with one another on the lead for a while, but Running Your Mouth backs off into a stalking position as they round the opening turn, allowing Black Mackee to have an uncontested length and a half lead. Behind the second place Running Your Mouth, there’s a group of four who start well, but don’t press the pace. Part of this crowd is the eventual winner, Nuclear Energy, from Aer Stables, with Block Message (Tiratzo) running along side him. Bonsai Artist is in the three wide position for D J C Racing Stables, slightly ahead of those two. Citation (Blushing Meadows) ran with this group as well but started to back out of it into the backstretch. The trailers were Rifleman (EasyMoney Stables) and Snow Jinx (Gdp Inc).

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.51)- Most of the backstretch run was pretty uneventful, but as soon as they approached the turn, Nuclear Energy pressed the button to deploy and looked to fire his way past the frontrunners. This was going to take some time, but he was looking sharp. Block Message also seemed determined to move forward here. At the front, Black Mackee was caught by Running Your Mouth, and these two still had a length and a half lead, but they had to feel the pressure now. Bonsai Artist was running well too, in more of a steady stride at this point, but he had a good lane. Citation was thinking about a four wide move. Rifleman was getting more involved with the field, too, and he had good options for the turn and stretch depending on what Nuclear Energy would do. Snow Jinx was keeping pace with the field, though not pushing forward.

(Top of stretch, 1.5F To Go)- As they made their way around the turn, Running Your Mouth did well in response to the pressure he was feeling from behind, and continued to hold his length advantage. Black Mackee would be unable to keep up, and his sudden collapse may have prevented Nuclear Energy from running as strongly in the turn as he could have. Still, he was in a good position as they moved into the top of the stretch. Running beside him was Block Message, just like he had for most of the race. The two of them were bearing down on the leader, and an exciting finish was setting up. Bonsai Artist was not bad, but unable to have the same push forward as those two. Citation would go five wide. Looking good in the turn as well was Rifleman, who was still only seventh now, but seemed to be following Nuclear Energy and Block Message through the hole, so he loomed as a threat. Snow Jinx tried a wide move, but lacked response.

(Finish- 1:45.90)- With a furlong to go, Running Your Mouth looked like he could hold on, but Nuclear Energy was coming on strong. It almost seemed as though Nuclear Energy was pushing Running Your Mouth up to the rail, and this would allow a wider lane then expected lane for Rifleman to come on through. All the while, Block Message had no traffic to worry about, and ran hard to the wire. In the end, it could have been any of these four that won, but today it is Nuclear Energy, narrowly finishing ahead of Block Message, with Running Your Mouth and Rifleman within a tenth of a second. It was a length and a half to fifth place Citation, who was just ahead of Bonsai Artist and Snow Jinx. A winded Black Mackee rounds out the field.

About The Winner: Nuclear Energy, trained by Aer Stables, and ridden to victory by I Ortiz Jr, is a three year old gelding by the late Iron Mann, and is out of 63 Nova SS. He was bred in New York as a second quarter two year old by Aer Stables, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in five starts, and its first stake win of any sort. His career earnings are now $170.200.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Wt Amt Won Time Cl
  Nuclear Energy Aer Stables Ortiz I Jr 122 120.00 1:45.90
  Block Message Tiratzo Cintron A 122 40.00 1:45.91
  Running Your Mouth Mb Stables Gallardo A A 122 32.00 1:45.94
  Rifleman EasyMoney Stables Albarado R J 122 8.00 1:45.98
  Citation Blushing Meadows Centeno D E 122 1:46.29
  Bonsai Artist D J C Racing Stables Velazquez J R 122 1:46.36
  Snow Jinx Gdp Inc Bejarano R 122 1:46.49
  Black Mackee Joshua Stables Bridgmohan S X 122 1:47.00

Track: Firm

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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