Gran Z Prevails in Interesting Marion Stakes Finish

Marion Stakes- $125.000 Purse
TAM- For Colts and Geldings Three Years Old Foaled in FL
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
December 14, 2019

Steady rain on the west coast of the Florida made the track muddy for our field of four here at TAM for the Marion Stakes. The precipitation would have seemed to have made our pick, Speeding Raujenny, an even better option, but he would go off at long odds and did not get it done. The one that did is a horse that had only won twice heading into the race. Gran Z has been very productive in his career, he just has not won enough. Now, with this win, maybe he can erase that reputation. His trainer is Maxmillion Farm and it his first win in the race. That’s true as well for the jockey, D E Centeno. The time of the win in the mud was 1:25.04. Let’s take a look!

1st- 3- Gran Z (Maxmillion Farm, 15/1)- Our eventual winner got off to a good start, but had no interest in running with the ambitious Strategic Edge out of the gate. Instead, he was content to run alongside the overwhelming post time favorite for the race. That was to start, but midway through the backstretch, he conceded ground to Deceptive Speed as well and was nearly five lengths from the lead moving into the turn. Began advancing towards the exit of the turn, and had three lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. Strategic Edge was hanging in there, but Gran Z kept coming, and while I was distracted by the 2D viewer imagery of Speeding Raujenny and Deceptive Speed morphing into one another, Gran Z showed nice heart in the stretch to prevail. Maxmillion Farm will be hoping to see more of that!

2nd- 4- Strategic Edge (Maletto, 5/2)- As he usually does, Strategic Edge was ready to roll early, and quickly opened up a two length lead, running the opening quarter in :23.45 and half in :47.12. He was not challenged at all in the backstretch. Continued to have a healthy lead into the stretch, and did not give away easily at any point. He kept digging in, and in what proved to be a very close finish in the end, that effort was good enough for second place.

3rd- 1- Speeding Raujenny (Night Rider Stables, 15/1)- Our pick to win was not given much love from the betting public, and he may have had us tossing our programs to the ground given his awful start. He was terrible from the gate, and was six lengths behind Gran Z, let alone the pacesetter, Strategic Edge, after just a quarter mile. The second quarter was no better for him, as his distance to the front remained the same. Decided to start running way too late, but it was interesting to see he and Deceptive Speed morph into one another.

4th- 2- Deceptive Speed (D J C Racing Stables, 2/5)- All of that racing in Florida certainly won over the hearts of those in the grandstands as Deceptive Speed was a ridiculous 1/10 morning line favorite and remained well bet. He started fine, running along side Gran Z. Pushed ahead of that rival in the backstretch, but did not advance on the leader. Closed in on the frontrunners in the stretch, but was probably hindered by Speeding Raujenny running through him.

About The Winner- Gran Z, trained by Maxmillion Farm, and ridden to victory by D E Centeno, is a three year old gelding by El Gran Latro, and is out of Mrs Z. He was bred in Florida by Oquinn Farm as a first quarter two year old, and acquired by Maxmillion, via Jader Stable, in private sales in July 2018 for $50.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his third in 13 starts, and his first stake win. His career earnings are now $249.700.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Gran Z Maxmillion Farm Centeno D E 15.00   1nk 1:25.04  
  Strategic Edge Maletto Spieth S 2.50   21/4 1:25.09  
  Speeding Raujenny Night Rider Stables Gallardo A A 14.65   31/2 1:25.18  
  Deceptive Speed D J C Racing Stables Ferrer J C 0.30   4 1:25.32  

Track: Muddy

Time: :232  :47   1:114  1:25

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Gran Z 32.00 12.80  
4 – Strategic Edge   13.00  

$1 Exacta: 3 – 4 Paid 54.50

Scratched: None

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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