Gallant Bob Stakes (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
PRX- For Three Year Olds
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 22, 2018
This week, we had to PRX for some exciting racing, and before we get rolling with the Cotillion or the PA Derby, we will be treated to the 12th running of the Gallant Bob Stakes, a grade 3 event for three year old sprinters. It was not always a graded stake, as it earned the distinction in 2013. The race was won last year by Ekli Stable’s Dark Phooey, but unfortunately he would never win again, and was retired a couple months or so ago. For this year’s edition, we have nine going to the gate, and while it is an accomplished field, we don’t really have that headliner in the field. Now is the time to make some headlines, and doing it right before a couple Grade 1’s go to post is a great way to do it. Let’s meet the field!
#1- Ribot Tilt (John Henry, ridden by F Pennington)- This is the track where it is not unusual to see Mr Pennington, so let’s see if it presents an advantage for his startlingly amazing abilities to show. Early in the year, Ribot Tilt won a LA-bred stake, and has been trying to come up with another stake level victory since then, but so far has been unable to do so, though is always competitive. Solid fourth place effort in the Grade 1 Jerkens Memorial last month for him at SAR, that if it can be duplicated, might be enough to get it done here at the slightly shorter distance. Last time Pennington was on him here, he romped in an allowance.
#2- One Dance (Gdp Inc, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- The highest earner in the field, having amassed just over $450.000 in winnings for his career so far. That is a career that was looking very sharp heading into his last race. Prior to that effort, he scored back to back wins, including the Grade 2 Amsterdam at SAR, a race in which he defeated Peculiar Sensation, Alpha Uno, and Walkin Broomstick. Unfortunately, in the Grade 1 Forego, his race looks flat and uninspired. Was it simply too much for him to be racing at that level against older horses? Perhaps, but I’d prefer to see an effort that looked more competitive then that race line shows. He is still one of the favorites here, for sure.
#3- Snakes On A Game (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by C Landeros)- Broke his maiden in his fourth career start, and liked it so much, he didn’t stop winning, putting forth a five race winning streak that culminated in winning the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at GP in March. Prior to that race, all but his debut race was on the grass. Despite the main track win, he went back to the grass, where had done well until recently, but now it’s back to the main track. If he wins, we probably see him stay on the main track, though who knows!
#4- Psychotic Ruler (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by C J Lanerie)- The year has been a struggle for the psychotic one, with no wins and only one finish on the board in his six starts in 2018. They have not been bad runs, as a couple fourth place finishes were within a length, but its time for this one to step up. Trainer has not backed down from his placement, so he certainly has plenty of faith in what has been an underachiever to this point.
#5- Lg The Menace (Jkk Racing Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- The Mordred gelding has had plenty of opportunities at the stake level, and even ran in some TC preps early in that campaign. His finishes have been near the front, but to this point his only victories were his maiden, and in an allowance, in his 12-start career. The allowance came in his last start, running against PA breds, so if he just needed the confidence booster, that could be it. That is certainly what the trainer is hoping for.
#6- Creep City II (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- Second of two entries by the trainer, this one continues to either win, or finish entirely off the board. Of his twelve starts, he has picked up five wins, but in the other seven starts, he has not been in the top three. Interestingly, he is 0-for-5 in his career going long, which makes him even more impressive as a sprinter. Now, with the TC dreams long behind him, he can focus on doing what he seems to do best.
#7- Peculiar Sensation (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Not sure if the trainer only having one entry in a race means he is extra confident in them or not, but that it is a possible angle here. Peculiar Sensation seemed to be on a roll this year when he won three in a row, culminating in a Grade 3 Barrera triumph at SA. He has remained competitive since that May race, but has not remained hot. Two starts ago, he ran in the Grade 3 Amsterdam where he was defeated by a couple he sees here again, including the winner, One Dance. Peculiar Sensation will be near the front, but maybe not at it, unless you subscribe to the theory of Mb having just one runner means he feels extra good.
#8- Alpha Uno (Estero Farms, ridden by R Bejarano)- So far, only his name may make you think about the great Alpha Ultimo, because the victories are not. That’s harsh, I get it, but Alpha Uno needs to step up and get a win for this trainer to back up the continued placement at this level. His only career win was his maiden, when he defeated three NY-breds at AQU. Off of that, it’s been almost all graded stakes. At times, he has run well, but more of then not he’s a few lengths out of it.
#9- Walkin Broomstick (T Boy Racing, ridden by T J Hebert)- The trainer will look to win their first career graded stake in this race, and Walkin Broomstick has come close to pulling it off before. This one was acquired in the Smokey Stover downsizing effort, and ran very well in ON-bred races while with him. The Amsterdam was nearly that first graded win, where he finished third. Now, he will have the chance to turn the tables on the horse that stymied him there (One Dance), with a win here.