Bay Of Plenty Sprints Again in Repeat Vosburgh Effort

The Vosburgh (Grade 1) (BC)- $350.000 Purse
BEL- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 29, 2018

It is amazing how fast time is flying and how close we are getting to the BC. This field of ten sprinters will be hoping to fly just as fast to make it into the BC Sprint. The points leaderboard for the race is very close when you look around the bubble area of who is above or just below the potential cutoff line. Therefore, the Vosburgh is a crucial race for more spots in the field other then the automatic qualification spot for the winner. Last year, Team 7 Illusions was the winning trainer, with Bay Of Plenty, and he went onto finish fourth in the BC Sprint. He’d only sprint one more time, though, and has only been going long lately. That is, until now. He’s back, and looking to successfully defend his title. Alpha Ultimo is the only repeat winner of this race, and he did it three times: 2005, 2006, and 2008. Let’s look at the field.

#1- Creepy Palace (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- Scored a three race winning streak earlier this year, that included the Grade 2 True North at BEL in June. That streak was snapped in his last effort, but there was nothing wrong with the performance. Taking on some of the best sprinters in the game, he ran fourth in the Grade 1 Crosby out at DMR. He has 6 BC Sprint points, which has him 16th, and ahead of others who also have six. Doesn’t have to win, but will need some sort of points here in order to solidify his status in the big race.

#2- Hold My Steel (John Henry, ridden by G Boulanger)- The five year old gelding has been a consistent performer this year, and is beginning to hit his best stride right now. Due to this, the trainer runs him on short rest after winning the Grade 3 Bold Venture, as even though he has 7 BC points, and is presently 14th on the list, he won’t be above the cutoff line with the couple points race that are remaining. Similar situation as Creepy Palace, as since it is so close from 9th to 24th on the list, any amount of points is very beneficial.

#3- Gold Sunset (Maze Stables, ridden by V Espinoza)- In late June, he finished 3rd as a nearly 40/1 longshot in the Grade 3 San Carlos Stakes at SA. At the that race was a big jump forward for him, hence his odds. He proved it was not a fluke in his next race, still at 13/1, in the Grade 1 Crosby, giving him 6 points, though putting him on the back end of that large tie of runners with six. Struggled in the Grade 2 O’Brien Stakes last month, but there is no reason to think he cannot bounce back here. Trainer seeks that elusive first graded win.

#4- De Fuego (Defoe, ridden by M E Smith)- This one is in a tough spot, having not won yet in 2018, though in many efforts he was competitive against some of the best in the division, and he has managed to pick up two points along the way. His last race was an optional claimer, likely with the intention of being a confidence booster, as so often works for others, but De Fuego ended up with a similar result: 3rd. He’s near the front often, so still warrants consideration, but hard to put him on top.

#5- Derby Pip (RNP Stables, D E Centeno)- He has been a common sight at the race track this year, as he makes his 12th start of the season, and 38th of his career. The results keep coming, so why stop! Those results of late have mostly been second or fourth place finishes, after two wins very early in the year, with positive showings on both the main track and the turf. It’s been about four weeks since his last start though, so he might be wondering why he has not been racing for so long! 45th on the board with two BC Sprint points.

#6- Captain Lg (Gdp Inc, ridden by I Ortiz)- Interesting race history here as he was passed around in claimers, with new trainers not doing anything different then the previous. Then he arrived at Gdp Inc, who took him off the turf, and likely did a thorough add re-test. The results have been great, as he not only stepped well into allowance company, but won the $100.000 Banjo Picker Sprint for PA-breds. There are no banjos to pick here, but Captain Lg has earned the right to compete here, and while he has no BC Sprint points, he poses a great threat as a spoiler.

#7- Residue (Smokey Stover, ridden R Bejarano)- One of those that the trainer opted to hold on to as he downsized in June, and it’s easy to see why. Until his last start, though, his 2018 was mostly close finishes, with several runner ups, but not able to get that elusive victory. That changed at the Spa, as he won the Grade 1 Forego against some of the best in the division. Due to that victory, Smokey Stover does not need the win here for Residue as his 14 points should have him safely in the BC Sprint, but the purse is always nice! One thing about him though is that I think seven furlongs is a better distance for him then six. He’s still a top threat here.

#8- In Captivity (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Has spent this year going various distances, including as much as ten furlongs in the Grade 1 Gold Cup. In all of those races, he has never failed to pick up a check for his trainer, finishing fourth or better, but there is one result still missing in 2018. The last time In Captivity was in the winners circle was in December of last year, in the Grade 1 Cigar Handicap. The last two races have seen a returned focus on sprinting, and you can’t get any better without a win: second in the Grade 1 Crosby and second in the Grade 1 Forego. This has him with 12 BC Sprint points, placing him seventh on the leaderboard. Based on his results this year, picking him to increase that total seems like a good bet.

#9- Bay Of Plenty (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by J Talamo)- The trainer announced that he intends, at this time, to close down his stable, with action expected to happen in the December auction. For now, he still has plenty left to accomplish, and Bay Of Plenty looks to play a big part in that as he works to defend his Vosburgh title. We know he’s won the race before, so he can again, but it interesting to note that with the exception of the Grade 2 Palos Verdes in February, where he was second, to Z One Chance, he has only been going long. Glad to see him back as a sprinter, though his nine rivals might not share that feeling. Has 4 BC Sprint points, and is 27th on the board.

#10- Roger That (Mb Stables, ridden by P Lopez)- At first glance, Roger That might look to be a little inconsistent, but he really just hasn’t liked going the longer distances. When looking at him as a sprinter exclusively, and dismissing his debut race, he is much better, at a 4-1-2-1 clip. His last race came in late July, running second in an allowance despite the services of the great F Pennington. The one who beat him out that day was the well accomplished Di Pantera. He’ll have a four pound weight advantage on several here, so that will help with the outside post. Though lately, I’m wondering if that’s even an issue anymore. Does not have any BC Sprint points.

Prediction: 8-7-3-1

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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