BC Mile (Grade 1)- $2,000.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
November 2, 2019
Part of the festivities on Saturday will be the 17th running of the BC Mile, and it is a race that looks wide open to me at this point. That is news that everyone in this field would love to hear as the winners share of the $2,000.000 purse could be spent in many different ways. Sometimes the great horses of this particular division can be lost in the shuffle in comparison to others, but I am glad to have enjoyed watching the talents of horses like Seven Years and Sir Tom. Of course, the first ever winner of this race is the great Alpha Ultimo back in 2003. Only one horse has won this race more then once, and interestingly enough it was not done in consecutive years. Jagged Account won the race for Australia Wide in 2005 and 2007. He tried the BC Turf in 2006, and regretted it. The 2018 race was won by Lucky Phooey, for Estero Farms. He’s only raced four times this year, and has not earned much in them. Who will it be this year? You’re guess is as good as mine in this balanced field. Let’s meet them!
#1- Green Rush (Pennsville Farm, ridden by L H Colon)- He’s won just one of his seven races this year, but it was a big one, coming in mid-August in the DMR Mile. That was followed up well with a runner up performance in the Grade 3 Red Bank a couple weeks later, and those races are what got him into this race. Did not fare well in his last race, but he can rebound for that. L H Colon will be the 22nd different jockey to ride him in now 22 races. (Don’t think I glossed over a repeat jockey name in the past performances, anyway).
#2- Going Gone (John Henry, ridden by A A Gallardo)- We last saw him in the Shadwell Turf Mile last month, and in it, he struggled to an eighth place finish. In this field, there are a total of six horses that ran in the Shadwell, including the top three finishers in the race. That result could just be an aberration, because he was otherwise on great form heading into that race. He won both the Shoemaker Mile and the Read Stakes, and was a head away from making it three straight in the WO Mile. Then came the Shadwell. I’m going to forgive that run, even though I did pick him in the Shadwell and he failed me.
#3- Name Drop (Fractious, ridden by A Beschizza)- Made his debut with Fractious in the same Shadwell Turf, and only finished a couple spots ahead of his former stablemate, Going Gone. In his last race with John Henry, he scored a nice win the Fourstardave Handicap, a race at the Spa that punched his ticket into this race. He ran in the BC Mile last year as well, doing so in the silks of Mb Stables, and was sixth that day.
#4- Nowhere Man (Mb Stables, ridden by E Maldonado)- The post position draw saw Mb Stables get the two outside posts, and then one much better spot. I thought I saw that happening to him in the BC Sprint, too. Or was that the BC Classic? How about all of the above. Nowhere Man also ran in the Shadwell, and despite starting in post #12, made a nice late bid to finish second in a photo. At the Spa, he won both the Forbidden Apple and the Baruch Handicap, giving the trainer a great shot to win this race for the second time in three years.
#5- Devilish Luck (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by D E Centeno)- A tough horse to throw a lot of support behind as he comes off of a 14th place finish in the WO Mile. His three races prior to that also saw him finish up the track, and in those four races, he has been beaten by a combined 20 lengths. A win in the Makers Mark Mile from April got him here, but the trainer has a lot of work to do in order to get his form turned around.
#6- Cherra Grans (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Going back to the Shadwell again, and Cherra Grans was the horse that I picked to finish second in the race that day. It seemed like a great pick, as he was coming of back to back places in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes and the Grade 1 WO Mile. He didn’t do much that day, and was ninth. Now, it was one of those Classic HRP tight finishes at the wire, but I think better of horses in those races that were actually doing something at some point instead of being along for the ride. Cherra Grans can be a lot better, and needs to be, obviously, here.
#7- The Hand Youre Dealt (Aer Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- The five year old gelding will be making his debut for Aer in the BC Mile, two and a half weeks after being acquired from Mb Stables in private sales for $100.000. Last year, he ran in this race and finished fourth, and while he started off 2019 running well, he has not been a factor in any of his last three races. Maybe the trainer change will help, but I’ll pass.
#8- Lunar Blaze (John Henry, ridden by J R Velazquez)- After not being a part of BC action last year, Lunar Blaze returns this year for the third time. He has tried both the BC Turf and the BC Mile, and even though he did not earn part of the purse in either of those races, he still ran fairly well. Had a three race winning streak earlier this year, but recent races have been more of what he has become known for: good, close finishes that get a piece of the purse, but not a trophy. This time, he’ll have a better post then his last three, and last four out of five races, and he should be in the mix again.
#9- Dreaming Of Pirates (Estero Farms, ridden by C J Lanerie)- The three year old’s best races came over the summer, taking a $100.000 ungraded stake on the fourth of July before going to AP and winning the Secretariat Stakes in August, edging out City Of Bones at the wire. Unfortunately, we really haven’t seen that again out of him. He only defeated two horses in the WO Mile, and was sixth in the Hill Prince. If he can rekindle his August form, then he can win this race, otherwise he is looking like a midpack runner to me.
#10- Mojave Rattler (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by T Gaffalione)- The beginning of October was kind to Mo Mentum Farm, and Mojave Rattler played a big part of that in winning the Shadwell Turf Mile. As touched upon a few times now, that race sends six to the BC Mile, so it certainly speaks well for Mojave Rattler to have won that. He’ll have to bring that again, because it was a tight pack for that race, so just being a little off can mean a world of a distance. T Gaffalione returns to the saddle and will hope to duplicate that run.
#11- Decision In Five (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Saez)- It has been a strong year for this gelding, earning a piece of the purse in all of his races this year. He will be making his first BC start thanks to winning the WO Mile in September. What stands out to me the most about him is how the trainer has been patient with him, and that has paid off. That trend should continue here, as he will have had about seven weeks of rest for the race. Everyone in this field either last raced on September 14th or October 5th. Now, Decision In Five must find a way to overcome this post.
#12- City Of Bones (John Henry, ridden by R Bejarano)- Took on Decision In Five in the WO Mile, and did not have a good result, only placing ninth. He seemed like he was due for better in that he was coming off a second place performance at the Secretariat Stakes. Rebounded well in his last start the City Of Hope, placing third right here at SA. Many in this field were out at KEE that day. The trainer has three good horses going in this race, but he would be my third choice of the John Henry runners.
#13- Devilish Details (Mb Stables, ridden by M Tunon)- Started the year by winning an allowance, then moved up the latter of accomplishment with an ungraded stake win, and then a graded win, that one being the Grade 2 Wise Dan. He then tried the main track for a little bit, which included the Pacific Classic, where he was seventh, before returning to the grass for the Hill Prince last month, where he finished 3rd. Worked very well here on the 20th.
#14- Arkenstone (Mb Stables, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Joining his stablemate on the outside, Arkenstone looks to return to his form from earlier this year. From February up until finishing second in the BEL Derby, all seemed great for the Keyed Up gelding. His last two races have seen a reversal of fortune with two finishes towards the rear of the field, coming in the Secretariat Stakes and the Northern Dancer BC Turf, the latter of which sent him twelve furlongs. The trainer will get him going again, but his best shot comes with Nowhere Man.