Will Shootfromthehip Be Awesome Again?

Awesome Again Stakes – Grade I [BC]
1 1/8m   Dirt   Graded Stake
Purse $300.000  For Three Year Olds And Upward.

1  Shootfromthehip    Nakamura Stables   Prat F

To think last year we were marvelling at this wonderful horse as it went head to head with Ginger Haggis through a season that saw him take the KYD and The Haskell and run a fine fourth in the BC Classic. HRP more than anywhere is a place you can go from hero to zero very quickly and after his game win in the San Pasqual Stakes in february he has failed to win again and has become the forgotten horse this year. His last start in the MTH Cup wasnt bad, running a close second, but he would have won that race in a canter last year so he is clearly not the horse he was, or atleast hasnt been so far this season. Can he come back? Well i would love to see this great horse come back to his best today and book a place in the Classic but it may be hope rather than common sense.

2  Black Mojo    Mb Stables    Saez L

Second in the BEL and The Haskell and third in the BC Classic as a three year old if ever there was an under rated horse at HRP then this is it. As a four year old he won The Foster Handicap and of course took the BC Classic in the gamest of fashions but it was his inconsistency through the year that saw him overlooked as horse of the year as he also ran tenth and fifth in the SA Handicap and the CT Classic too. This season he has managed to lose the lows and has been if anything better than last winning the CT Classic rather easily and finishing very close to the winner in both the Gold Cup and The Pacific Classic. Mb Stables has a pretty good idea of the routine for this gelding now and he looks to have him peaking once again at the right time.

3  Worst Case Scenario   Mb Stables    Campbell J M

Of course there am i enthusing about two great champions drawn one and two and then we come to the very real possibility that one of the three year olds will sweep them aside as they so often do. So is this the three year old to do it? Well he was good but not outstanding against his own generation but when faced with weight for age for the first time he ran a very soldi third in the WO Mile on the grass last time out. Back to the dirt today he worked faster than both Shootfromthehip and Black Mojo on this surface just a few days ago so with the three pound weight allowance must be right in the reckoning.
4  Black Adder    Mb Stables    Walcott R W

Look no further here is the winner! He has everything a grade one winner needs at HRP. A three year old with ony six races under his belt, claimed for just $12.500, beaten in a maiden claimer on debut and the son of two deactivated parents. Say that out loud and it sounds pretty bad but look at his works and you see a grade one winner and lets face it it wouldnt be the first time such a horse has won a grade one at HRP. So is he a legitimate entry for the champion trainer or is he a rabbit for Black Mojo? The jockey choice says he can’t win but that may just be another plus!

5  Call Your Doctor    Crocker Ggs    Roman E A

A lightly raced four year old he has come a long way this season winning an allowance in January and most recently winning the grade two Eclipse and then running a close fifth in the Pacific Classic. He finished in front of Black Mojo and just behind Benzar in that race so clearly has a chance here from a good draw and he may be one that is sliding under the radar.

6  Fox News    D J C Racing Stables   Lanerie C J

This horse has looked better over less than a mile but his trainer seems determined to win a decent staying race with him so he takes his chance here. His win in the Jerkens Memorial last time was out of the top drawer but that was over seven furlongs and he has yet to really prove he can win in the top grade over further. You can’t write him off and his trainers faith in his ability is un ending which you have to take seriously but the risks are there for all to see if you decide to lump your handicapping money on him.

7  Benzar                 TwinTowersRacing   Cancel E

Ran far better than i expected in the Pacific Classic last time when fourth beaten just a half length and leading with two furlongs to run. This may turn out to be hs best trip and he is hitting form at the right time after a win in the SD Handicap just prior to his PC run. He may be a four year old improving at the right time and they can be pretty competitive as the weight allowance for three year olds starts to shrink.

8  Ride Or Die    Delta Farms    Arroyo N Jr

The shock winner of the Wood Memorial he ran a stinker from a wide gate in the KYD but put the record straight in the Preakness when running a very good third. His career seems blighted by difficult draws and he gets another one today so tactics may prove a big part in how he runs but running over his best trip and working pretty fast we may see him trying to get on pace. If he gets near the front in a sensible pace he would have a good chance but i have a feeling the lead may be contested today and that may be his undoing.

9  Conan The Barbarian   Night Rider Stables   Garcia Mar

Considering he was pretty well beaten in a  couple of cheap allowances in the Spring and won a claimer in the summer he did pretty well in the Pacific Classic to end up beaten just three lengths. A nice sort but he looks out classed today from a widish draw so cannot be my choice.

10  Regret Nothing    Estero Farms    Chirinos R

This three year old was a lively KYD chance after winning the TAM Derby and finishing third in the Bg Stakes but gate 19 gave him a very hard task in the big one and he couldn’t follow through on the promise. Having said that he went to the stalk and was in the race for a long time at a furious pace but in the end weakened out to ninth but was ony beaten five lengths. That run had miler written all over it but after some fast turf works his trainer took him to the grass for the PEN Mile where he again went onto the pace only to end up second beaten a couple of lengths. Poor runs in the BEL Derby and the DMR Mile have led his trainer to bring him back to the dirt and at his best he would have to be given a chance. My only worry for him is his wide draw and his suspect stamina.

11  Tekkers    Maxmillion Farm    Baze T C

He was mighty impressive in the Seagram Cup Stakes coming home an easy three length winner but in his other efforts against higher grade company he has run well but generally comes up a bit short. He is entitled to be here after only being two lengths back in the Gold Cup and the Suburban Handicap but this is a very tough field and he has a difficult draw to overcome before he runs a lifetime best. A win wouldnt be a total surprise but against these it does look unlikely.

12  On Deck    Night Rider Stables   Juarez A J Jr

Made it three wins in a row with a game effort in the Elgin Stakes but that is a long way from the sort of class of this race and he would have to show plenty of improvement to take this win. As a six year old he may be past improving but the stable has got a few of these older horses to come good in big races so i wouldnt put it past them. An on pace type the draw shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as he doesnt waste too much getting onto the speed.

SUMMARY

As much as i would like to see Shhotfromthehip and Black Mojo fight out the finish i suspect it may be the three year olds who will fill the top two places atleast. Black Adder is my choice just because of the sheer silliness of how HRP works this time of year but given a decent trip Fox News could be a big contender too.



Categories: Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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