Cju and Techfluence Each Go for Second Sky Classic Win

Sky Classic Stakes (Grade 2)- $175.000 Purse
WO- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and Three Eighths on the Turf
August 19, 2018

An exciting duel between the 2016 winner (Cju) and 2017 (Techfluence) winner of the Sky Classic is the highlight of the 13th running of the race. There are seven others in this field who can certainly knock them off, but watching them go head to head will be exciting. A brief look will be provided now (due to time constraints), though the normal quality recap will be provided afterwards.

#1- Dan D Man (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- Attempted one graded stake in his career thus far, and he finished fourth in the FG Handicap. Not a bad looking effort, but afterwards, he only would run in four optional claimers. Only one of them resulted in a win. He’ll be excited to prove himself here.

#2- Running Your Mouth (Mb Stables, ridden by Alan Garcia)- Acquired by Mb from Pan Farms in private sales in June for $150.000, and his first race with his new trainer was successful, placing third in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes. Did win a graded stake early in his career, coming in the DeMille Stakes at DMR back in November.

#3- Criminal Enterprise (Hambletonian Stable, ridden by E R Da Silva)- Turned in to be a steady producer for the trainer after purchasing him in the June 2017 auction for $35.120. He now has 25 races in the books, with six wins. There are some hit and miss stake entries throughout his career, all but one ungraded, and he is still looking to win one of them. Runs into a couple tough foes here.

#4- Techfluence (The Sidley Stud, ridden by P Husbands)- Seemed like he might be unstoppable for a little while last year, especially here, when he put together a three stake winning streak that included the Sky Classic. Ran fourth in the BC Turf, and has won two graded events this year, including the Grade 2 Diarmida. After a couple dirt tries, he’s back where he knows how to have success.

#5- Snake Caves (Joshua Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- Makes his stake debut of any sort in the Sky Classic. He was purchased in May from Smokey Stover after assorted results on the main track. Joshua has changed him, put him on the grass, and he has since gone 2-for-2. Neither were anywhere near what he faces here, but it is a step in the right direction.

#6- Diamond In The Sea (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Lermyte)- Makes the 20th start of his career in this race, and will be hoping to find the form he showed here in the Valedictory last December. It would be done differently, as he returned to the grass in the Nijinsky, and ran a credible fourth. That was a needed boost after a couple of flat performances. He is a bit tough to pick, though.

#7- Calm Havoc (Mb Stables, ridden by J M Campbell)- Ran second in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes here last fall, allowing him to go to the BC Juvenile Turf, where he finished fourth. He was slow to continue that momentum, but his recent streak of two wins in three races, both optional claimers, gets him back to running against the best.

#8- Cju (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by R M Hernandez)- In 2016, Cju picked up a Sky Classic victory. Later that season, he would make his name well known with a second place run in the BC Turf. A solid year last year led to another BC Turf showing, and looks to return this year, but his placement here as opposed to other options could mean the trainer is not completely convinced in him. Won the San Juan Capistrano easily in April, but disappointed in the Whittingham in May, and has not run since.

#9- Themistocles (Hambletonian Stable, ridden by G Boulanger)- While Cju has not raced since May, Themistocles will be making his fourth start since then. Since being purchased in the June auction, Themistocles has been put out there often, and does have two wins. Though neither was against anything close to this level of competition.

Prediction: 4-8-6-5

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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