Showdown at Summer Stakes

Summer Stakes (Grade 1) (BC)- $250.000
WO- For Two Year Olds
One Mile on Turf
September 16, 2018

It never fails that every year the Summer Stakes is one of the most hotly contested two year old races, regardless of surface. As it brings together the most promising of contenders and promises one of them a BC Juvenile Turf bid, it’s a no-brainer race for anyone to consider. Typically, there are quite a few in the Juvenile Turf that stopped by WO in September for the Summer Stakes. Last year, Slip Away would run third in the Juvenile Turf after having won this race. The winner of the Juvenile Turf last year was Siberian Prince, and he ran third in the Summer Stakes in the lead up to it. Five runners from the 2017 Summer Stakes ran in the Juvenile Turf last year, and that trend should continue into this season. Right now, these runners do not have the glowing accolades on their past performances, it’s simply a matter of potential. Let’s meet this field of twelve as they look to become stars in this virtual world!

#1- Cut The Brakes (Estero Farms, ridden by A A Gallardo)- This is one of the few runners in this field that have already won a stake. For Cut The Brakes, that was very early in his career, coming in the KY Juvenile in early May. That’s a nice win, but its often a bit of a crap shoot, with no offense at all meant towards Cut The Brakes. I’m more impressed by his bullet work at the end of August. Give him the rail on top of that, and we have one of our favorites right here.

#2- Piece Of Cake (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- Racing has not been a piece of cake for this one, as in three races, he still has not broken his maiden. Though he has come so close, and been very competitive, that the trainer is going for it here. While I understand why is he entered, I don’t pick maidens against winners even though I know it happens, and that’s not going to change here.

#3- My Guy (Second Chance Farms, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Has spent his young career running exclusively against NY-breds, and finally picked up his first victory in his last start, at a mile and a sixteenth at SAR. With good bloodlines, this is an intriguing up and comer that has just been waiting to start going long. An 87 SRF on soft turf is pretty impressive for a two year old, and I like that he has won at a longer distance.

#4- Command Authority (Joshua Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- The Good Authority colt has won one of two races thus far. The debut race did not go well, but he recovered nicely last nice in a come from behind victory at the Spa. Since that race, it looks like there has been a little improvement in his mile work times, too, which is definitely promising for this race. His conformation is a beauty, and he has just been waiting to show off while running longer.

#5- Power Trip (Nakamura Stables, ridden by J K Court)- After two races running at the fair level, and not winning, Nakamura Stables entered his colt into a race at DMR instead, and he stepped up and picked up the victory. He comes into this race off of that one, and if he is one to run according to this level of competition, then he should be a threat here. Good turf conformation on this one.

#6- Aljezur (First Street Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux)– Scored his first career win at a seven furlong turf event at FE, and looked to carry the momentum into the $100.000 Skidmore at SAR last month. That went well, too, as he placed second on the yielding turf. A work here last week was fine as long as he can picked it up on race day, but there a couple here working more then a half second faster.

#7- Roll Along (Mb Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- The one and only F Pennington provides his services to Mb Stables in this race, so that combination alone should be something to watch. The jockey has not yet won this race, though Mb has won it in the last two even numbered years. As for Roll Along, he’s looked sharp in his last couple works, and comes off a decent run last month at SAR. I prefer one of the trainer’s other runners.

#8- Hefner (Jader Stable, ridden by G Boulanger)- This one has certainly just been waiting to be unleashed at longer distances. He was competitive while sprinting, but came here in July and placed second in a seven furlong race. Next, it was off to Saratoga, where he won at a mile and a sixteenth. His works are pretty stunning, and I can definitely see him having a great career, regardless of his finish here.

#9- Clueless Joe (Allinthegate, ridden by J R Velazquez)- A few days after finishing fourth in an allowance, Clueless Joe paid the ultimate price and was gelded. To me, I didn’t think his run there was that bad, so I get the impression that the trainer has sky high hopes and expectations for this one. Based on his works at PRX, you can certainly see why. If the geld pays off, then he could end up being the class of the field. This is also his first time running on the grass, and in going long.

#10- Magne Bern (Gdp Inc, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- One of three in the field with multiple wins in their career already. For Magne Bern, those were a maiden at LS, and then he followed that up nicely with an allowance triumph at SAR, where he defeated Roll Along. While his conformation could be concerning for a lengthy career, for now, there’s no reason to think he can’t contend.

#11- Into The Light (Mb Stables, ridden by L H Colon)- The trainer gets one of the game’s other elite jockeys for his final entry, and I do like the look of him here. In picking him to win, it seems as though I am taking the #11 in all three of my WO races this weekend to cover, and that seems highly unlikely given the state of the game, but who knows. He’s two for four in his career thus far, and comes off a win in the competitive $100.000 Graduation Stakes for CA-breds. His PRX work coming into this was very impressive, so I am not concerned at all in him getting his distance or liking the grass. I believe in him thoroughly.

#12- Ugly Outcast (Aer Stables, ridden by J Talamo)- With a name like this, it’s only fitting that he has to start from the outside. He’s not the greatest conformed horse you’ll see, but so far in his career it has been working for him, with three good races. He won his debut, then narrowly missed following that up win a win in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor, running second. Transitioned well the to grass in his last start, too. Works are sharp, and the trainer will hope he continues to hold up.

Prediction: 11-1-8-3

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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