The Hirsch Turf Classic – Grade I (P5)
1 1/2 Mile Turf Stake Purse $500.000 Open 3 Year Olds And Up.
1st Raj Action Packed Arindel Zayas E J
There are a few conspiracy theorists that will be having a field day with this win. A new player makes a big deposit and starts winning big races, a new player has been given the ‘secret’ by someone and even the new player isnt a new player at all. But as much as they are all things that will be said you cant get away from the amazing start that Arindel has made to their HRP career and what a stunning turn round this six year old has had. I hold my hand out to Arindel, this is one of the most promising new players we have seen for a long time and rather than listening to the mutterings of the few we should be congratulating them on an amazing start to their HRP career.
Lets start with the trainer, in this their first season they have already picked up three graded stakes and this their first grade one. A fairly skinny 9.6% win ratio does not reflect the speed and skill with which they are learning the game. They have claimed and bought fairly cheap horses and turned them into money makers and whilst that hasnt happened with all their horses the ones that have struck have struck big.
So how about the horse. Well this six year old was a useful type back in 2016/17 wining the Twilight and finishing second in the HOL Derby. As a four year old he struggled a little finishing tenth beaten eight lengths in this very race in 2017. After that Night Rider Stables kept him to the lower grades where he ran consistently but always looked like he was just ticking along to inevitable retirement. On the 13th June he was beaten in an optional claimer and claimed for $25 and just one month later he was finishing third in the grade three AP Handicap for the new owner with no change to adds and the only noticeable change being in running style. Since then he has gone three in a row with both the KD turf Cup and now the grade one Hirsch in his trophy cabinet.
So what changed? Well to be honest i dont think anything has. I just think with no real difference between the class levels all those seconds and thirds he ran in lower grade could’ve been in graded stakes and this win would’ve looked so much more obvious on paper. He has hit a rich strain of form thats sure, but is he better than he was, i really dont think so. He will march on to give this new trainer their first BC runner in the trainers first season, an amazing feat indeed.
2nd Wired Up Rampage Stable Ortiz I Jr
If the run of the winner was meteoric then the run of this runner up was even more so. Stuck out wide and on the pace it seemed only a matter of time before the wide gate speed push did its thing and caused him to weaken out of contention. However running on the pace for the first time in his career he refused to stop running and for a long time down the stretch looked like he was going to win.
This three year old has a form line that typifies the crazy season we are having. Beaten 18 lengths in his last start and nearly winning a grade one less than a month later is all down to the rabbit deployed in the JC Derby. Before that he had been doing just great running well against his own age group but still only recording the two wins. For a horse that only broke his maiden 7 months ago this was a big effort and its clear that there is a big race in him somewhere down the line.
3rd Winter Solstice Maxmillion Farm Garcia Mar
The Forrester Turf Classic winner looked to have the perfect trip just behind just an average pace but when he shoved himself out to make a challenge he just couldnt produce that killer finish. His effort in the KD Turf Cup remains a mystery and this was much closer to the horse we all know.
4th The Force Awakens Diablo Diablo Gutierrez R
The trainer is in great form at the moment and that confidence saw this horse run a great race to be fourth beaten just a length. Once again he gets close in a big race but if anything is to be learned from todays winner it is that every dog has its days and this five year old just may turn it on one day and set up a string of big wins.