With a competitive record of three wins and three runner-up effort in six starts this season, Mercedes Benz ( First Class Stable) knows what it takes to be in the hunt in each race he has competed in this season. Would definitely like to repeat off his last Grade III win, and get his pay back on Twin Towers from their meeting in the Haskell.
- OK Derby- Grade III- Purse $400.000
- Remington Park- For Three Year olds
- Mile and One Eighth Distance- Main Track
- September 29th, 2019
Weight- 122 pounds
Field of ten runners for this event with both Seagraves and Fear The Dragon out of Mb Stables being scratched from the event. As mentioned in the outset of this article, we will get to see both Mercedes Benz and Twin Towers ( Smokey Stover ) get to face one another as they did in this season’s Haskell. They should be drawing similar odds at the mutual windows for this affair coming off their one/ two finish from that event. While Twin Towers stayed at the Grade I level and attacked the Travers in his next race finishing sixth, two lengths shy, Mercedes Benz took the opportunity to find a nice fit in the Gr. III Super Derby at LAD going eight and a half panels and closed for a nice victory. Will definitely look to use the added sixteenth of a mile to his advantage here. Both he and Twin Towers will get the returning rider from their last races back in the irons today.
So who looks like possible upsetters in this remaining group of eight? Two that stand out for sure are Mb Stables Queens Plate winner Questionable and this years Gr. I Florida Derby winner Estero Farms’ Phooeys Queen Blue. Questionable has been spotted looking at other affairs over the past couple of month, but has only attempted the Gr. I Pacific Classic in August after his Plate victory. He managed at finishing third some five lengths out with a closing effort in that event. Has been rested now for 40+ days and works have been consistent out west. Might be his time to strike once again. As for Phooeys Queen Blue, while the FL Derby was his last time he visited the winners enclosure, he has been in tough events never the less, and did take part in the Haskell where he closed to within two by the wire. Instructions for this event may just be a little keener and we should see action with him in the final furlong.
Looking over the rest of the six entries for this affair, i would give both Smugglers Blues ( John Henry ) and Man Childe ( Our Athletes ) longshot possibilities as being upsetters of the field. With Smugglers Blues, he gets the extreme outside post so rider Saenz has time to place him where he is comfortable with him early. Add to that the fact that he guided this bay to a victory in the Gr. III IND Derby two starts ago, and as a jockey he is winning at an amazing 41 percent, you would definitely need to make a consideration. As for Man Childe, the thing I like about his last event was the switch to the grass, and he shortened up over the unique KD turf track to just miss by a half a length. I don’t know how many times in real life I have seen a horse use the grass to tighten him up for his next dirt event and it help spring board him to victory. Yes this isn’t RL, but who know. I kind of like his chances. Hernandez has been aboard for the ones that matter.
The final four runners will consist of Parthian King ( Nakamura Stables ) post one, Plucky Thinking ( Gdp Inc ) post five, Waiting On My Moment ( Luz International ) post six, and finally Zee Unit ( Rampage Stables ) in gate number seven. Zee Unit was an entry in the Travers in his most recent and was able to close to within two lengths for seventh. Rosario returns once again and he should be attempting to close once more, and if a hole should open in the stretch, another with potential. Of the other three runners, a slight edge to Parthian King who finished fourth to Zee Unit’s victory in the $100 Curlin. Plucky Thinking did manage to stay on the frontend throughout his most recent Alw64/N1X victory at Belmont Park, but if he attempts that style of running in this event, I’m “Thinking” he will get gobbled up down the lane. Waiting On My Moment I feel will not live up to his name here with the talented field he will need to face. While he has been showing stronger efforts with each race he runs, just might be a step a bit too high.