Mist Maker Lights Up the Board in The Sword Dancer

The Sword Dancer (Grade 1) (BC)- $1,000.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Inner Turf
August 25, 2018

One of the storylines in the Sword Dancer this year were the quality of dirt horses making the surface change to the turf. They were not complete newbies to the grass, but it was unexpected that the top two runners in the Queens Plate in WO two months prior would run in this race and not, say, The Travers. Pitting these stars: Mist Maker, Turn Ninnie and Sacred Brave against accomplished turf superstars like Clockwork Chai and Taniwha made for a race that was just as, if not more appealing, then the Travers itself. One of those dirt stars would win, and it would be the one that the betting public least thought would be able to have success. Mist Maker went off at odds of 42/1, making him the longest shot on the board. He did not have the greatest of races in the Haskell, but not many thought the change to the turf would be the answer. Only 2.7% of people in the pick ‘em selected him, which interestingly, was the same amount of people who picked second place runner Devilish Luck, as well. Despite the odds, Mist Maker made it happen, and picked up the win for trainer Crocker Ggs and jockey J K Court, each of whom win the race for the first time. Congratulations to them! The time of the victory was 2:24.60, making it the second fastest Sword Dancer ever. Let’s take a look at it now!

(½ Mile- :47.73)- No one is aggressively shot out of the gate, but from the outside My Plucky, from Hambletonian Stable, does a good job of out pacing everyone else, clearing them, and being able to get to the rail prior to going around the opening turn of this three turn event. Call Me Spanish, out of Maxmillion Farm, and Inverted Calibration, from Nakamura also started well, and were able to move over from outer posts as well to be closer to the inside. They would be the top three for a while, but as we moved around the opening turn, Jamie Mach (Gdp Inc) made a push forward along the outside and would become the second place runner by the time they reached the frontstretch the first time. Speeding Zeus, in hoping to sweep my three covered races this week for D J C Racing Stables was with them while along the rail, and about a length back, The Force Awakens (though several in the survivor contest wish it did not awaken) was in a good spot for Diablo Diablo. This concludes the first pack. At the start, there were two definitive packs, the ones that wanted to run hard early, and then another pack, about seven lengths off the lead that wanted to do their running later. Devilish Luck, another D J C Racing Stables runner, was between the packs. After him, we had a four wide group consisting of, from inside to outside: Siberian Prince (Sir Daniel Martin), Sacred Brave (Blushing Meadows), our eventual winner Mist Maker (Crocker Ggs), and Taniwha (Aml Racing). It was another length to Danzigs Canyon (Maxmillion Farm) and Turn Ninnie (TwinTowesRacing). Trailing was the post time favorite, Clockwork Chai (Mb Stables).

(Six Furlongs, 1:11.74)- Not surprisingly, there was not much change in the action over the next two furlongs, and as the field moved into backstretch. My Plucky continued to show the way, leading by about two lengths. Call Me Spanish started to look like he might be the first to take a run at him as the backstretch began. Further back, both Mist Maker and Taniwha made an advance around the turn, and this is likely the most relevant part of the action during this segment. Mist Maker pulled away from the three he was running with, gained a little more then a length, and now could try to take advantage of that opening that had existed in the first half mile between the two packs of horses. Things got interesting over the course of the backstretch run as well, and as they moved into the turn, especially while watching Mist Maker. He continued to advance his position, but did not have the option of making an outside move, because Taniwha was in that lane, and Taniwha was running just as well as him at this point. Therefore, Mist Maker opted to follow The Force Awakens for a bit, but became fortunate when Inverted Calibration moved down a bit, allowing more room to open up, which J K Court was quick to capitalize on. At the top of the final turn, he now had just two and a half lengths to make up. Meanwhile, Taniwha was out about six wide for this turn, and had to battle with Jamie Mach. The Force Awakens was looking good, and caught up to the top two of My Plucky and Call Me Spanish. Devilish Luck also advanced his position nicely while, moving to the inside of The Force Awakens.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- After quite a bit of excitement while round the turn, Call Me Spanish takes over the lead from My Plucky, but this would be short lived as both The Force Awakens and Devilish Luck are gaining on him as well. As they hit the top of the stretch, there is nothing between these three. Meanwhile, those who bet on Mist Maker had to be thrilled, because he just kept moving forward. For as good as the top three was running, Mist Maker continued to advance, and was now within half a length. It seemed inevitable now that he would be taking over the lead. Perhaps Taniwha could keep up with him, as he was just a length and a half back, but as he is known for running his best in the stretch, he could not be ruled out. Though the tiring My Plucky could be ruled out now. Siberian Prince started to hit his best stride now, bringing Sacred Brave with him and they drew even with Speeding Zeus. Both Inverted Calibration and Jamie Mach were falling out of it. Danzings Canyon, Turn Ninnie, and Clockwork Chai were never moving into it.

(Finish: 2:24.60)- In the stretch, Mist Maker methodically pulls away of those who had still been ahead of him, and goes on to light up the board in winning the race by just over a length. Both Devilish Luck and The Force Awakens held on well to finish second and third. Taniwha was fine, but did not have the additional gear needed for the stretch, and settles for fourth. Call Me Spanish tired in the late moments back to fifth. Siberian Prince was at his best late, but that would only be good enough for sixth, and the story for seventh place Sacred Brave was similar. Next came My Plucky, Speeding Zeus, and Turn Ninnie. Clockwork Chai may need another LAD allowance after running a disappointing 11th. Danzings Canyon is next, topping the leg weary Inverted Calibration and Jamie Mach.

About The Winner: Mist Maker, trained by Crocker Ggs and ridden to victory by J K Court, is a three year old colt by Nebulizer, and is out of Pink Success. He was bred in Ontario as a yearling by Crocker Ggs, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in 11 starts, and his second graded victory. His career earnings are now $1,161.000.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Mist Maker Crocker Ggs Court J K 42.00   11 2:24.60 — 
  Devilish Luck D J C Racing Stables Colon L H 17.20   21/2 2:24.88 — 
  The Force Awakens Diablo Diablo Ortiz J L 17.70   31 2:24.99 — 
  Taniwha Aml Racing Gutierrez Mario 3.30   41/2 2:25.27 — 
  Call Me Spanish Maxmillion Farm Bravo J 33.15   5hd 2:25.41 — 
  Siberian Prince Sir Daniel Martin Hernandez B J Jr 7.10   63/4 2:25.44 — 
  Sacred Brave Blushing Meadows Alvarado J 26.35   71 2:25.63 — 
  My Plucky Hambletonian Stable Hernandez R M 20.20   81 2:25.86 — 
  Speeding Zeus D J C Racing Stables Saez L 25.60   91/2 2:26.10 — 
  Turn Ninnie TwinTowersRacing Velazquez J R 13.65   101/2 2:26.23 — 
  Clockwork Chai Mb Stables Pennington F 2.75   11no 2:26.33 — 
  Danzigs Canyon Maxmillion Farm Albarado R J 13.85   121 2:26.34 — 
  Inverted Calibration Nakamura Stables Baze T C 19.65   131/2 2:26.59 — 
  Jamie Mach Gdp Inc Ortiz I Jr 9.80   14 2:26.70 — 

Track: Firm

Time: :473  1:113  2:001  2:243

$2 Mutuel Prices:

5 – Mist Maker 86.00 34.70 45.80
12 – Devilish Luck   21.90 6.70
7 – The Force Awakens     9.30

$1 Exacta: 5 – 12 Paid 477.20

$1 Trifecta: 5 – 12 – 7 Paid 1,536.80

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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