The Pelican Stakes- $100.000 Purse
TAM- For Four Year Olds and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
February 15, 2020
The Pelican Stakes is an ungraded stake that some of the less talked about in the SRF stables have been able to win with regularity. Last year was not one of those years, as it was won by D J C Racing Stables and Erupt, but in the thirteen prior races, we have seen stables like Chain Reaction, Choppy Inc., and Blood Horse Stables take the win. Hambletonian Stable is the most successful trainer in the race’s history, winning it three times, but it’s been a decade since his last win here. We’ll see a some big names in this race, but again, trainers who don’t get mentioned as much here are taking a good shot, too. Let’s meet the field.
#1- Orange Star (Allinthegate, ridden by A Suarez)- We would probably put this trainer somewhere in the middle of those talked about a lot here, and those who don’t get many mentions. Orange Star has spent his career mostly running in allowances, though there was a try at a KYD prep race last year. He never went long again after that! Since then, he’s been fourth a lot, so that’s good for something, and comes here off a win against three other LA-breds.
#2- Capo Moon (Asgar, ridden by Sa Camacho)- This barn consistently puts out winners, and has two high meet titles, stopping the Mb reign with them, but we don’t see his name in graded stakes all that much. Obviously, this is not one either, but that keeps us from recognizing his talents as a trainer. This has mainly been a turf horse, and he’s managed a couple wins, but this time of year, no harm in trying the main track again.
#3- Made To Sin (John Henry, ridden A A Gallardo)- Well, we still do have some power stables here, of course. Made To Sin has won a total of one race in his last 29 starts. A horse that once promising has now become an admirable also-ran. He only hit the board twice in eight starts last year, too. All those nomination fees being paid on this one, something has to give soon. No excuses here to not at least hit the board, but I am tired of picking him.
#4- Duke Of Ellington (Alabarda Stable, ridden by W Alencar)- The boss claimed this one from a fellow writer in his last start, and did so for just $7.500 at the CT bullring. That was quite a drop, so you have to wonder why T Boy soured on him so much. Duke Of Ellington has been in the hands of many trainers over the course of his career, but he is a consistent finisher. He’ll have to run his best, but he could sneak a piece of this.
#5- Swansbrook (Fractious, trained by P Morales)- This one also runs for the first time for a new trainer, but it was a much bigger tag associated with him, $35.000, and it was big barn to big barn, going from Mb Stables to Fractious. He’s run in a few stakes of similar condition within his last five starts, but none of them are one of his four career wins. Been better when sprinting as opposed to going long.
#6- Long Time Ago (Maletto, ridden by G Boulanger)- There was a time when this trainer was on top of the HRP world, but that was what his horse name says. Long Time Ago was also acquired from Mb Stables, with Maletto doing so in the December auction for $52.000. In ten starts, the gelding, who likes to jump out to the lead early, has hit the board nine times, and has always been in the top four. Sprinting isn’t how that has happened as much, though.
#7- Big Tuna (Alydar Stables, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Makes the 22nd start of his career, and will be looking for his second stake win. Two starts ago, after failed attempts at a handful of Grade 3’s, he won a similar stake to this, the $100.000 Gravesend Handicap at AQU, and was sold a couple weeks later. He didn’t like the mud in his debut with Alydar Stables, but won’t have to worry about that here.
#8- Project Zero (Tiratzo, ridden by C H Marquez Jr)- The jockey has been struggling thus far in this meet, and seems like he should turn it around eventually. Project Zero also has been struggling to win, with none since March 2018, a streak spanning twelve races. He has rotated some second place finishes with duds in that timeframe, though. Bouncing around between sprinting and routing but the inconsistency continues.