It Will Be a Battle of Heads and Noses in BC Sprint

BC Sprint – Grade I
SA Race #12 6f Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $2,000.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.

1 Con Artist Fractious Hernandez

Last 6 races: 221020

Total prize money: $914.840

Beaten just a length when eighth in this race last year he had spent part of last season trying long distance races and was victorious in the Prince of Wales Stakes over twice this trip. As we know at HRP trip doesnt mean as much as real life so it was no surprise to the experienced player when he triumphed in the grade one SA Sprint Championship just a few months later. Like most four year olds he has found it harder giving weight this year but has still managed some very creditable performances and will be a real threat running from a draw which has seen him win two stakes races. I would say one of his best lifetime runs was pretty recently when just missing by a nose in the grade one Forego after finding himself in gate 13. Bought for $750 he will either prove a great investment or leave the trainer licking their wounds.

2 Along For The Ride John Henry Centeno D

Last 6 races: 212232

Total prize money: $665.420

You couldnt get two more closely matched sprinters than this one and Con Artist. Along for the Ride has beaten Con Artist in the Kona Stakes and the SA Sprint Championship but finished behind him in the Triple Bend and the Forego so at 2-2 recently this is one hell of a decider. Interestingly enough this one was bought from Fractious for $250 just before Fractious spent $750 on Con Artist and then this one promptly beat Con Artist last time out. There’s a lesson there.
So who will win this time? To be honest i have no idea but as both of them are drawn well it is sure to be close.

3 Residue John Henry Bejarano R

Last 6 races: 301000

Total Prize Money: $1,279.120 

This is beginning to look like swapsies as this is another that Fractious sold, this time for $200. Favorite for this race last year off the back of two grade one wins in the Vosburgh and the Forego he ran inexplicably badly to finish 13th although in true HRP style was only beaten two lengths. This season has been a bit up and down which can happen with four year olds but he certainly has shown enough to be in this especially from this kind draw.The winner of the grade one CD in May he had a couple of goes on turf before returning to dirt last time to be beaten less than a length in the Vosburgh. There is no doubt he has the class to win this but we have to rely on the best of him turning up in this very even field.

4 Viper Command Aer Stables Sanchez M

Last 6 races: 011001

Total Prize Money: $531.500

This trainer really does complain a lot but there can be no complaints today as this highly thought of three year old gets the perfect draw to attempt to use his bottomless speed. The winner of the grade one Stephens from the front he did the same to make all in the SA Sprint Championship last time out and there seems little doubt that if he gets to the front he will be very hard to beat. The 1.10 flat work and the fact that he gets the weight allowance make him a potent force and possible favorite for this race.

5 Sonar Threshold Espinoza V

Last 6 races: 100000

Total prize money: $992.160

Another one recently purchased this time from John Henry he does have a grade one win in the Carter Handicap to his name but has struggled a little recently. There was a glimmer in The Forego when beaten less than a length into sixth but the trainer will have to find a secret weapon to make this horse go just a bit quicker.

6 Creepy Palace Fractious Van Dyke D

Last 6 races: 142200

Total prize Money: $1,268.220

Its almost comical to see this trainer buy two runners for this race for $1150 and sell two runners for $450, it does make you wonder who their accountant is. This is another however that has a realistic chance of proving that this trainer knew what they were doing and it wouldnt take much for him to make up the neck he needs to find on Residue on their runs in the CD. Third beaten just a neck in this race last year he looks to be right in this but like all the others will need luck in a race that will be won or lost by very little.

7 Cardinal Direction D J C Racing Stables Bridgmohan

Last 6 races: 304130

Total Prize Money: $556.320

Sixth in last years BC Juvenile and third in the FL Derby before failing in the KYD we often see these three year olds search out a different path after a failed attempt at the TC. I was pretty impressed with his win in the Nerud when he ran wide from a bad draw and still won pretty handily. Since then he hasnt been beaten very far but this represents the shortest he has run for a very long time. He certainly has pace but i just feel he may not be quite sharp enough unless there is a cut throat pace and he can get to them at the end,

8 Z One Chance Mb Stables Velazquez

Last 6 races: 020101

Total prize Money: $1805.540

It gets better because whereas John Henry and Fractious seem to be swapping horses with Fractious coming off pretty badly this one was sold for $200 to Fractious by John Henry and then sold to Mb Stables for $800 after finishing behind most of these in the Forego. Once with Mb Stables he of course then turned that upside down by taking the grade one Vosburgh with a stunning late run from a nasty draw. This whole race has a ‘club’ look about it with horses being swapped about between three stables when if all the stables had just kept their original horses they wouldve had pretty much the same chance they have now without spending a cent.
Anyway back to this one chances and he looks to have a very big chance of yet another BC for Mb Stables even without his stunning win in the Vosburgh. The winner of five grade ones his form does have a little inconsistency about it but thats more to do with how hard it is to be consistent at HRP than his ability.

9 Kiss The Snake Nakamura Stables Beschizza A

Last 6 races: 023111

Total prize Money: $1,365.750

If there is a horse in form then it is this one with his last two wins being at grade one in the Vanderbilt Handicap and the Forego. It has been an interesting road for this one who started off as a successful sprinter then went on to be a graded stakes winning router and has now come back to sprinting with a vengeance. It looks pretty clear that his main game is sprinting although its hard to tell at HRP sometimes but whatever the case he is certainly a horse that is peaking right at the right time.
The trainer has managed to work a path from the nine gate in his last two races and what are the odds that he is running from 9 again today and could win his third grade win from the same gate in as many races.

10 Di Bug John Henry Gallardo A

Last 6 races: 133431

Total prize Money: $754.000

This three year old had a go at the TC and didnt do too badly but after failing to get in the KYD and after being bought by John Henry he has been taken back in trip to sprinting and is proving to be pretty useful. He showed pelnty of speed and was very game from a wide draw when making all and holding on for the dead heat in the Phoenix last time and had been building his form nicely to that. I like a horse that is improving at this of year but this is a tough draw and things will have to go his way.

11 Blowberg Estero Farms Court J K

Last 6 races: 010210

Total prize Money: $597.200

Another familiar tale here with another three year old that went the TC route only to come back to sprinting. He is 4 from 7 in sprints so its certainly more clear cut that he is a sprinter and with a grade one win in the Jerkins Memorial to his name he looks a very good one. He ran very well to be beaten just a length from a tricky draw in the Vosburgh last time and although he gets a tough draw again today he wont have to have much luck to be a real contender here. My only worry for him is the trip and he may find these go a bit quick for him early on but he is another who will be coming on strong at the end.

12 Socotra Island Nynl Stables Desormeaux

Last 6 races: 031330

Total Prize Money: $384.800

Another three year old and while this one hasnt got the grade one winning form of some of these he does boast a very sharp 1.10 flat work just a week ago. He was less than a length behind in the Nerud when third when he had a similarly poor draw so could easily get involved and that work coupled with a weight allowance make him a bit of a dark horse.

13 Peculiar Sensation Mb Stables Gaffalione

Last 6 races: 121301

Total prize Money: $645.880

It very hard to find one in this race that hasnt got a chance and this one dead heated with Di Bug in the Phoenix and was a close third in the Crosby so clearly is another that you cant write off. Add to that the magic of Mb Stables who has two wide drawn runners here and anything can happen. I think his best effort may have been in the True North when winning from a tough draw but there is a long list of good performances that put him right in the mix.

14 Fahrenheit Mb Stables Talamo J

Last 6 races: 012402

Total prize Money: $356.720

Another three year old that had a go at the TC he did actually win the TX Mile before coming to sprinting and although he hasnt won in his last 4 efforts he has got very close beaten just a neck in the Stephens and a head in the Gallant Bob. On paper he looks the third best from Mb Stable but he is working just as well as anything else and it really comes down to which runner gets the luck in a race where there isnt much more than a length between atleast ten of the runners.

SUMMARY

Well there really isnt much to separate these runners and its hard to get these down to horses with the best chance. More interesting to me is the fact that half the field seems to have been swapped between two or three players and it will be fun to see who made the best investment. History tells us thats normally Mb Stables so Z One Chance must start the favorite to win. Aer Stables will be out to prove something with Viper Command and its hard ro write off form horses like Kiss The Snake and Con Artist.

To be honest this writer has no idea who will win this so pick your favorite and good luck.



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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