KD Turf Cup (Grade 3)- $1,000.000 Purse
KD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
September 7, 2019
On June 13th, an optional claimer was run at BEL. There was one horse put into the race with the claiming tag, that of $25.000, and there were two trainers that attempted to put a claim on the horse. This is not a rags to riches story. Raj Action Packed had a successful career, and had been a graded winner in his prime. The thought with prior trainer Night Rider Stables may have been that Raj Action Packed was no longer able to compete at high levels, and was willing to part ways. Six weeks prior, he was in a similar race, but with a $40.000 claiming tag, and no one picked him up. This time there were two interested, and Arindel was the winner of the shake. Whoever the other trainer was probably had mixed emotions about this result. Since the claim, Raj Action Packed has two stake wins, but nothing compared to this, taking the $1,000.000 KD Turf Cup. Congratulations to Arindel, the first year trainer on his first win here, and to jockey T Gaffalione, also a first time winner. The race was won in a time of 2:24.51, a new stake record. Here’s a look at it!
(½ Mile- :47.83)- Lunar Blaze, from the outside, gets off to a quick lead for trainer John Henry, but the pace is sensible, unlike another twelve furlong race that ran on Saturday. He is all by himself with a two and a half length lead over a four wide group battling for second. Nolespan Racing’s B N Broadway is officially credited with second here, being a head in front of Equivocal (Smokey Stover) and Soviet Warrior (Mb Stables) to his inside, and The Fog (Rampage Stable) to his outside. At first, it looked like The Fog might run with Lunar Blaze, but would be restrained. Behind them, there is another group of four, from inside to outside being, Laffin Jamie (High Voltage), People Doubted (Aml Racing), Winter Solstice (Maxmillion Farm), and Maniaco del Controll (Threshold). The eventual winner, Arindel’s Raj Action Packed, is next, running in the second lane, and trailing Lunar Blaze by about six lengths. Penitentiary (D J C Racing Stables) runs to his outside while the trailers are Hefner (Mb Stables) and Oh Awesome One (TwinTowersRacing).
(3/4 Mile- 1:11.82)- On the lead, it’s still Lunar Blaze. The veteran has still his uncontested two length lead as the field moves down the backstretch. There is not a lot of changeover going on behind him, but watching Raj Action Packed was interesting here because he did look to advance his position. There was a four wide group ahead of him, and he impressively threads the needle here, squeezing between Laffin Jamie, and the horse that ultimately finishes second, People Doubted. He cuts two lengths into his deficit to the leader as well, here.
(Top Of Stretch, 2F To Go)- Moving around this long turn, there figured to be a lot of activity. Lunar Blaze began this run with his lead in tact, but as they ran through it, that advantage would shrink. Soviet Warrior was the most ambitious out of the four wide group that had been just behind him. A little further back, People Doubted moved a lane over made a push towards the front. Liking that idea was Raj Action Packed, and he also moved over to do the same thing. By the time they hit the top of the stretch, Lunar Blaze had begun to drop out of it, being passed by all three of those horses. People Doubted was looking the best here, and took over the race lead while running in the fourth lane. However, Raj Action Packed was continuing to run right with him. Soviet Warrior remained a threat, and these three looked as though they would have a good battle between them in the stretch. Equivocal and Laffin Jamie were hanging in there, but not responding to the pushes of other advancing rivals. Penitentiary was coming on well and gaining ground as he now moved over to the inside. Maniaco del Controll and B N Broadway continued to run in the middle of the field, but were left behind by People Doubted and Raj Action Packed, two horses that were running with them at the beginning of the race. The rest of the field was running out of time, and it would take an incredible move at this point to become a contender.
(Finish- 2:24.51)- For most of the stretch run, People Doubted maintained his lead over Raj Action Packed, it seemed as though he just had to keep that up to get the win. However, in the final furlong, Raj Action Packed closed in on him more and more, and took over the lead as the wire approached, prevailing by half a length and getting the huge win for Arindel! People Doubted ran a strong second. Soviet Warrior could not keep up with them, and was beaten by two lengths, but he still a length on the rest of the field. Penitentiary’s inside move gets him fourth, edging out Laffin Jamie then Lunar Blaze. Maniaco del Controll ran consistently, but it was not good enough, making me wonder if a more forward instruction early could really benefit him. The rest of the order would be Equivocal, Winter Solstice, Oh Awesome One, Hefner, B N Broadway, and The Fog.
About The Winner- Raj Action Packed, trained by Arindel, and ridden to victory by T Gaffalione, is a six year old gelding by the late Iron Chito, and is out of Black Heart. He was bred in New York by Night Rider Stables as a first quarter two year old, and acquired by Arindel via a $25.000 claim this June. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his seventh in 34 starts, his third stake win, and his second graded win (the first one came all the way back in November 2016). His career earnings are now $1,366.540.
Time: :474 1:114 2:001 2:242
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 6 – 5 Paid 1,460.30
$1 Trifecta: 6 – 5 – 4 Paid 1,307.20
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES