Team 7 Illusions’ undefeated Gobekli Tepe heads a field of 11 juveniles in the 6 1/2-furlong Grade II SAR Special for a $200.000 purse Sunday at SAR. The filly has taken the unusual path of never running against her 0wn sex, but rather has reeled off three straight wins against the lads, culminating in a courageous victory in the Grade III Sanford locally last month. Her works continue to be strong and continue to reinforce the idea that she can compete with her male counterparts. Generally speaking, fillies are on equal footing with colts early in the juvenile season, and she should be strong enough to add this race to her resume. It remains to be seen if she can stretch her dominance to the BC races.
Mb Stables’ Cardinal Direction scored a close win in the Grade III Bashford Manor at CD in June after being picked up from Smokey Stover for $300.000 a few days before that race. In three starts the gelding has won two and run second in his debut. Both horses share a 92 SRF last and have similar work times. Night Rider Stables sends out Conformity, which ran third to Gobekli Tepe in The Tremont at BEL in June and has a bit of a break since that run. Although yet to win a stakes race, the colt has placed in two stakes and hasn’t seen enough dry weather to register any competitive works. His loss in The Tremont was fast enough to register a 91 SRF, though.
Jive Inc.’s Chiozza broke his maiden in a speedy :57 1/5 at BEL in May and has been sharpening with impressive works since that run. Mb Stables’ second starter in this race is Candlestick which scored a dead heat in the Hoover Stakes at BTP last month, making that the second straight win for the colt. Aer Stables sends out longshot hope Kris Kross, which scored his maiden win at MTH last month in decent time against a large field. Estero Farms’ Cut The Brakes disappointed in the Bashford Manor at a short price generated by his driving win in the KY Juvenile at CD. His record remains at two wins for three starts and he posted a SRF 89. His works for this have only improved, so watch for a rebound here.
D J C Racing Stables’ Not To Be Denied scored his second straight in a WO overnighter last month and has strong works to back up his nomination. After winning at first asking at WO, Smokey Stover’s Tongariro held on for a second in a WO overnight and has very strong works coming in here. Luz International’s Keep A Secret dead heated in a CD maiden in June and has rested with strong works to this race. After Alydar Stables’ Fire Mines scored at first asking at SUN in April, he failed to fire in two stakes races at BEL and WO. His works are stellar, but this race will tell us if he is a morning glory.
SAR Race 3
6 1/2 f for 2 yo The SAR Special Purse: $200.000
Horse Owner Odds SRF
Gobekli Tepe Team 7 Illusions *3-1 92
Cardinal Direction Mb Stables 7-2 92
Conformity Night Rider Stables 4-1 91
Chiozza Jive Inc. 6-1 88
Candlestick Mb Stables 5-1 88
Kris Kross Aer Stables 15-1 84
Cut The Brakes Estero Farms 8-1 89
Not To Be Denied D J C Racing Stables 8-1 85
Tongariro Smokey Stover 10-1 85
Keep A Secret Luz International 12-1 85
Fire Mines Alydar Stables 20-1 85