Just Z One Chance For A Crosby Win

Crosby Stakes (Grade 1) (BC)- $300.000 Purse
DMR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
July 28, 2018

The big weekend for the BC Sprint continues in the Grade 1 Crosby, a race with BC points on the line. This race draws a stronger field then does the Vanderbilt at Saratoga due to both those points, and not being a handicap. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that this is a telling weekend in determining the BC path for several in the next few months. Last year, the Crosby was won by Glorious, who nearly picked up a glorious BC win a few months later, as he ran second in the Sprint to Moon Landing. Two years ago it was Ferro, better known now as the sire of Pretty Ferro, the reigning KYD champion. Eleven will go to the gate (make that ten, we’ve had a scratch while I was preparing the preview) for what promises to be an exciting six furlongs of action! Let’s meet the field!

#1- Creepy Palace (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- Starting on the rail, this Mr Creepy colt comes into the race having won his last three. His most recent win came in early June at BEL, when he won the Grade 2 True North, one of three in this race to run there. He also defeated Moon Landing in that race, who is the reigning BC Sprint champion. Tends to line to go to the front, or assume a stalking position, so he should be able to make great use of this starting spot.

#2- Socraties (T Boy Racing, ridden by R H Hamel)- This one is also coming out of the True North, and there was nothing wrong his performance, placing fourth. The toughest thing for him to overcome here will be to have to race without the services of the great F Pennington, who has been his jockey for the last three races. T Boy changed up his adds in his last start as well, substituting the lasix for bute, and that change still seems to be in order here. Regardless, the trainer has gotten excellent value from his $60.000 private sales purchase back in March.

#3- Sonar (Mb Stables, ridden by J Talamo)- As a three year old, this Red Echo gelding experienced a good level of success, winning races such as the Grade 3 Barrera at SA, but found himself at the end of the year running only in open allowances. That is how this year began as well, but when moved back into the graded ranks, he won the Grade 3, $400.000 Fleet Sprint Handicap, for what was his third straight win. Did not back that up in his last start, well, however. Since then, he has had a couple bullet works, so he is prime for a bounce back race though in regards to the trainers entries, I like the other two in here better.

#4- Vino Bambino (Chili King Stables, ridden by J Rosario)- The third of the three in this field that ran in the Grade 2 True North, but unlike the other two, the race was a disappointment for Vino Bambino. Chili King would look for a bounce back effort at the beginning of the month in the Grade 2 BEL Sprint Championship, against a pretty formidable field. It’s likely one of those races that was better in reality then the race line shows, as despite running eighth, he was within a length. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Vino Bambino is capable of a good run here, but while he’s run very well in non-graded events, the graded races have been an achilles’ heel of sorts, for him.

#5- In Captivity (Mb Stables, ridden by D E Centeno)- Somewhat of an unexpected entry when considering that In Captivity has been running long in most of his recent starts. His most recent sprint came back in March at the Grade 3, $100.000 GP Sprint Championship, where he placed fourth. He’s a winner of almost $750.000 in his career, but the majority of that has been going long. He is winless this year, so Mb is looking to find the winning formula for him, and if you look at recent works, after recovering from the jaw drop at how impressive they are, you’ll see exactly why he is here.

#6- Z One Chance (John Henry, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- This one will make his debut for John Henry after being acquired for $500.000 from Serenity Stables. His track record for Serenity was outstanding, with six wins in eleven starts, starting with a maiden win and including victories in the Grade 1 Triple Bend and Grade 2 Palos Verdes. His tenure with the prior trainer concluded with winning on the grass in the Shoemaker Mile. It’s been two months since that race, and there is every reason to believe that the success is going to continue for John Henry. I have covered this horse a handful of times now, and I have become a fan of his. That $500.000 price tag may look like a bargain down the road, and he is my pick to win here.

#7- Insect (Mb Stables, ridden by S X Bridgmohan)- The third of the three entries for Mb Stables in the race, this Insect has had an accomplished career up to this point. After scoring a big win in the Grade 1 Forego at SAR last August, he was able to be a part of the BC Sprint. That didn’t go as well, and it would not be until PRK weekend that he would return to the winners circle while running in a graded stake. Sure, there were smaller wins before that. He handled the MD Sprint slop well, and last month would run second to Saturday Khartoum in the Grade 2 San Carlos at SA. Should be a strong contender here.

#8- Jesse The Bandit (Spankys Barn, ridden by A J Juarez Jr)- Ran in the Crosby last year, and closed well to be an admirable third. That would help him get to the BC Sprint, where he would finish in the middle of the field in what proved to be his final race for Scarletandgraystable. He was auctioned off for $65.010 to LionKing Stable. Following a December win in the Grade 2 San Antonio, Jesse The Bandit has been rather quiet in his accomplishments. He will make his debut here for Spankys Barn after being acquired from Smokey Stover as a part of that stable’s downsizing. I like his works, but I want to see him have a strong run against this company before I can have more confidence in picking him.

#9- Golden Sunset (Maze Stables, ridden by R Chirinos)- Speaking of wanting to see one have a strong run against the elite in the division, that was my frame of mind when watching Golden Sunset run in the San Carlos last month. It was a heavy leap forward for him, but he was impressive in backing up the trainer’s confidence with a third place effort against what has proven to be a strong field. So, where do we go from here with Golden Sunset? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have similar odds as he did last time (39/1), and if that’s the case, take a shot with him. The trainer hopes for their first career graded stake win, and as of press time, would love to get rid of that zero in the 2018 win column.

#10- Saturday Khartoum- Scratched

#11- Lost In Truth (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E A Roman)- On the outside, we have a five year old taking the jump forward from claimers. He has attempted a graded stake once in his career, taking part in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap, and running fourth. An ungraded attempt after that resulted in the same finishing position, as did the open allowance after that. Since then, we’ve seen him in a pair of $50.000 claimers, with one win by a nose, and one second by a nose. A recent work at MTH was one of the best he is turned in of late, so the trainer gives him another crack at graded competition, and does so with a top notch assignment. Looking at his past performances, he likes to put together at least two consecutive finishes of the same finishing position. To keep that streak rolling, he’d need to win here.

Prediction: 6-7-1-5

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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