Harsh Wins The Azeri in the Slop

The Azeri (Grade 2)- $350.000 Purse
OP- For Fillies and Mares Four Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 14, 2020

Perhaps the biggest development for the Azeri took place before the race even started, as the passing heavy rains through the area led to the scratch of Z Command, the reigning BC Distaff champion. She had two starts on off tracks previously, each when it was muddy, and they were an up the track finish in the KYO though also a win in the Alabama. With her out of the way, the horse that moved into the post that she vacated, Harsh, would prove to be the best on this day. She had won her only other off track start, a Grade 3, and with this result she proves that she likes it wet. The winning trainer is Mb Stables, and he can cross the stake off the ever shrinking list of races he has never won. A Beschizza was aboard and is also a first time winner. Congratulations to them! The race went in a time of 1:47.42. Let’s take a look!

(1/4 Mile- :24.59)- No one seems to be particularly hurried to the lead in the slop, but a solid start by 2017 BC Distaff winner, Viking Vania, sees the Delta Farms entry take the lead by a length over both Spicy Poke, from Estero Farms, and Totally Baroque, from Aer Stables. Each of them are content to stalk early on. Harsh, the eventual winner from Mb Stables, seemed as though she was going to threaten for the lead a little more from the gate, but would be restrained to fourth, and would run three wide, three lengths back. To her inside was Scarlet Horn (Nakamura Stables), and No Signal (Mb Stables). It was about two more lengths to Eye Test (Axeman), and another to Cardi B (Gdp Inc).

(½ Mile- :49.63)- Though are leader was not initially quick, that seemed to change over the second quarter of the race even if it did run a bit slower then the first quarter. At the front, both Viking Vania and Spicy Poke have begun to check out on the rest of the field. They are side by side now, and have opened up a four length gap to the rest of the field. Totally Baroque, who had been alongside Spicy Poke, did not continue that, and was now the middle horse of three wide four back. Harsh was still on the outside of that group while Scarlet Horn was on the rail. No Signal backed off behind them by a length. Eye Test and Cardi B were even further back.

(Top Of Stretch, 2F To Go)- Completing the run down the stretch, and moving through the turn, Spicy Poke is able to outlast Viking Vania, and pulls away from her by a length, a margin which is only about to grow as the new challengers emerge. Harsh was looking great through the turn, and just as they hit the top of the stretch, she moved into the second position, which the deficit to Spicy Poke being two and a half lengths. Mb’s other entry, No Signal, also looked like she’d become a threat at this time, too, moving alongside Totally Baroque, as they all were going by Viking Vania. Further back, Eye Test had six lengths to make up, and was still ahead of Cardi B, and the fading Scarlet Horn.

(Finish- 1:47.42)- Spicy Poke hung in there decently enough, and while it was clear that she was not going to hold off Harsh, it was an effort that still earned her the second position. Harsh ran a great race, helped by being the quickest of those to move forward while in the turn and then being full of run in the stretch. She needed to be, as Spicy Poke did not roll over, but she liked the slop today, and gets the big win to show for it! A hard closing Cardi B got up for third, but started running too late to be able to threaten for more. Totally Baroque gained some ground to get fourth, just slightly ahead of Eye Test. No Signal was in the mix, but seemed destined for better. Finishing well back were Viking Vania and Scarlet Horn.

About The Winner- Harsh, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden by A Beschizza, is a five year old mare by Im Too Confident, and is out of the late Red Double. She was bred in Ontario by Mb Stables, and they have been together throughout! Congratulations to the connections! The win is her ninth in 25 starts, and its her second graded win. Her career earnings are now $643.240.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Harsh Mb Stables Beschizza A 3.35   11/2 1:47.42  
  Spicy Poke Estero Farms Velazquez J R 4.45   21 1:47.55  
  Cardi B Gdp Inc Davis D 3.00   31/2 1:47.75  
  Totally Baroque Aer Stables Bejarano R 11.00   41/4 1:47.86  
  Eye Test Axeman Maldonado E 44.10   51/2 1:47.94  
  No Signal Mb Stables Franco M 3.80   65 1:48.08  
  Viking Vania Delta Farms Gaffalione T 18.25   73/4 1:49.13  
  Scarlet Horn Nakamura Stables Gryder A T 5.50   8 1:49.32  

Track: Sloppy

Time: :242  :493  1:142  1:472

$2 Mutuel Prices:

9 – Harsh 8.70 4.80 2.90
1 – Spicy Poke   5.20 2.90
5 – Cardi B     2.80

$1 Exacta: 9 – 1 Paid 25.60

$1 Trifecta: 9 – 1 – 5 Paid 66.60

Scratched: Z Command

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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