The GP Mile – Grade II
1m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $300.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Hindenburg Tour Nakamura Stables Franco G
The stable cant go far wrong at the moment and this one who like so many of the stable has come from obscurity to success cannot be over looked. A pretty average career last year took a huge turn for the better as the year drew to an end and this one captured two graded stakes in the shadows. The second of those, the grade two San Antonio Stakes saw him beat a competitive field fairly comfortably albeit from a nice draw but he had certainly started to get noticed in the dirt route division. He started the year in the Pegasus World Cup but a wide draw made it difficult to get to his preferred position and he got run out of it in the end. I expect much better today and with the Nak factor he could be a dark horse.
2 Tactical Mb Stables Davis D
A bit of a late bloomer he became the one of the stars of this massive stable long after the TC madness had died down. A strong win in the WV Derby signaled he was ready to move up and he did so by taking the grade one Woodward next up. A good run in the JC Gold Cup preceded an amazing effort in the BC Classic where he started in gate 14 and flew home from the back to very nearly grab the win. He made the transition from three to four seamlessly by taking the Pegasus World Cup and sits in the draw that everyone wants today. He should start favorite and looks the likely winner on paper.
3 Splash Mountain John Henry Gaffalione
the BC Classic winner of 2018 he had a much better year than it looked last year but had to contend with the three year olds and the weight allowance. Behind Tactical on several occasions it was much closer when they met on level weights in the Pegasus World Cup this year when this admirable gelding tried to make all from a horrible draw and only failed by a nose to hold Tactical. This trip may suit this horse more than Tactical as he looked very at home over it in the grade one Cigar Mile Handicap last year despite being a BC Classic winner over the ten furlongs. There are more pointers to this one winning today as he is drawn much better and i would take him to overturn the recent form with the Mb Stables charge.
4 Space Cowboy Nakamura Stables Beschizza
Another one from the Nakamura Stables that could easily be written off but should certainly not be despite and inequality in his form lines. Now a six year old he has always been a tryer but has looked like this sort of level may be beyond him. I liked however the way he won an open allowance on seasonal debut and he is a regular getter of 90 plus’s in the SRF figures. He shouldnt be good enough but with a few favors from the race engine who knows.
5 Cardinal Direction D J C Racing Stables Velazquez J
A KYD runner last year he hated the mud that day and that race is one of the few blots on an otherwise pretty good copybook. The trainer took him back to sprinting after his KYD failure and he did pretty well being fifth in the BC Sprint and the winner of the grade two Nerud. Can he step back up to the mile and win? Well age will have stretched his stamina a little and he certainly has plenty of ability but i guess the trainer will have to do some work with the instructions to get him home and that may leave a little bit too much to chance. He is certainly the quickest horse in the field so you never know.
6 Long Term Investment TwinTowersRacing Tunon M
This four year old only broke his maiden 6 months ago but has now notched up four wins from his last five including the grade three Hooper over this trip last time out. There’s no doubt that this one is on a steep improvement curve but he takes on some of the best in the grade today and will have to improve again. He will be flying late and with some early pace and a clear path he may get involved in the end.
7 Sonador Night Rider Stables Bridgmohan S X
The winner of this race last year he didnt really step up on that effort but did manage another win in the Kelso Handicap. If you look at his form one way he could be a big hope. For example, an excellent fourth in the BC Mile was followed by a barn storming finish in the Cigar Handicap where a wide draw saw him taken way back but in the end he was only beaten two lengths by Splash Mountain. A fair run in the Hooper behind Long Term Investment gives him something to find but he again suffered a poor draw and whilst box 7 isnt ideal it will be better than he has been used to recently.
8 Broken Tap Arindel Zayas E J
Some very fast five furlong works on this track suggest this one is very ready for this and a fair run on seasonal debut will have him spot on. Like a few of these he is yet to prove himself at this level but has been racking up the prize money in state breds and they are difficult races to read when it comes to comparisons. The works are certainly good enough but he will need some luck from this draw and he is at his best from on the pace.
9 Iron Cross Fractious Hernandez R M
This was one of those long time maidens only getting his first win after no less than 12 races. In true HRP style he then won his very next race in a stakes race recording a 104 speed figure! Only at HRP ay. After that you may have expected a long unbeaten record but since then he has failed to win in all levels from allowance to grade one. Sold in November his new trainer managed to drag a hug performance out of him in the Cigar Mile Handicap where he ran third beaten less than a length and this year he has worked a 1.36 and 1 mile, a 1.10 flat 6 furlongs and a 57 and 3 five furlongs. So what do we make of his chances? Well he could get win number three and he could fade to last because as Forrest Gump would say, Iron Cross is like a box of chocolates.
10 So Profound Asgar Juarez N
Very lightly raced for a four year old with just 8 starts but a 50% win rate and a victory in the grade three Toboggan last time suggest he is very close to his best. Add those facts to a 1.36 and 1 mile work and you have a serious chance dented only by a rotten draw. If the track or the race engine dictates and the wide draws get some favors we could see this one and the next one fighting out the finish.
11 Burning Approval Mb Stables Bejarano R
It just goes to show you the complete dominance this stable has on this game when they can put two horses of the caliber of Tactical and Burning Approval in the same race. This one could easily be on an 7 race winning streak as in his last 7 races he has either won or been very close to winning including a huge finish in the BC Dirt Mile which saw him fail by only a half length. The draw of course will be the big question mark but he handled the wide draw in the PA Derby so it may turn out ok for him.
As usual there are 3 or 4 super horses in the field but 90% of the time its something else that wins at HRP. So will it be a form finish or will we see another emerging star and the lights fade out for the current ones?
Well on the form book its hard to see past Splash Mountain, Tactical and Burning Approval so if thats your taste thats your trifecta. If you fancy a HRP special then maybe So profound to beat Iron Cross and Broken Tap.