The Pan American (Grade 2)- $250.000 Purse
GP- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Inner Turf
March 28, 2020
It is time to go long on the grass, as a loaded field will be taking part in the 16th running of The Pan American. The reigning BC Turf winner, Dead Madness is here, but he will not have it easy as he takes on the likes of Taniwha, Techfluence and plenty more! The purse of $250.000 almost seems too small for the excitement that this race figures to give us! Taniwha was the winner of this race back in 2018, with Techfluence finishing as the runner up. Techfluence will be running in this race for the third time. The winner last year was The Ego Has Landed, but he has not won since. Time now to take a run through the field, because there is plenty more running here then just those headliners mentioned.
#1- Taniwha (Aer Stables, ridden by A Beschizza)- This starts off with the 2018 winner of The Pan American, which was at the time, his third straight win, coming right after he was famously sold off by Yahudi Stables. Early last month, he was sold again after a great career with Aml Racing, and with Aer, he did not get off to a great start on leap day. Perhaps, he just needed some time to get used to his new surroundings. Regardless, he should be one of the top threats in this race.
#2- Expert Eye (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- The trainer has landed into this race looking to win it for the second straight year. This horse, a four year old Commanding colt, has had some difficulty staying in one barn, and that always gets my attention, because you have to wonder if people just keep becoming frustrated with him. This will be his fourth race since returning to TwinTowers, and the results haven’t been there. Now he’ll run half mile longer then he had been hoping that will change.
#3- Revolutionalry Cat (LionKing Stables, ridden by E Maldonado)- Not as heralded as most of his rivals here, and is looking for his first stake win, and third overall. This is another horse that changed hands a lot before running consistently for Greeko Holdem. He was eventually sold to Maxmillion, known for turf prowess, who held him for three months without racing him. That’s an eye opener to me, but his debut for LionKing went well in the Grade 3 TAM Stakes, running second. Think he’d have been better off in a grade 3 again rather then here, but let’s see!
#4- Thanks For Nothing (D J C Racing Stable, ridden by C Landeros)- This gelding has had a very inconsistent career, with a few wins scattered between off the board performances. As such, it is pretty hard to like him in a field this strong, but if he decides today will be one of those good days, then he has a shot. I’ll just sit back and watch it happens if he does, and can’t throw support behind him.
#5- Chaos Itself (Gdp Inc, ridden by B J Hernandez)- With six wins in 17 starts, the problem for Chaos Itself is not an inability to find the winners circle. In fact, he has been hot recently, as a three race winning streak was taken into his last race, the Grade 2 San Marcos. And that is where the problem is. Chaos Itself has not been able to step up when the trainer has entered him into graded competition. He has earned the opportunities, but clearly the trainer wants him to be doing what he seems capable of doing, and running well at this level.
#6- Chayse (Crocker Ggs, ridden by G Franco)- Chayse is a little like Thanks For Nothing, but not quite at that level. He wins with more regularity, but it also seems like it is win or finish near the back. One thing that should be mentioned though is that he seems to step up when I end up getting one of his races to cover. For that to happen again, he needs to follow up a win well, which ironically enough, was in that same San Marcos where he ran into Chaos Itself. Plenty to like with him, but he can also make you pull your hair out.
#7- Dead Madness (John Henry, ridden by M Tunon)- Almost five months ago, Dead Madness and M Tunon teamed up to win the BC Turf. It capped off an amazing year for him that saw him a total of six of nine races which also included the Grade 1 BEL Derby and the Arlington Million. Since then, he has raced twice, and they have each been on this race turf. He tried the Pegasus World Cup Turf and did not fare well, but then bounced back into a third place finish at the Grade 2 Diarmida. He’ll have tough company here, but seems positioned in a good spot to run well. Whether that results in a win is another story.
#8- Captain Cook (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A T Gryder)- This is an up and comer looking to make his mark now against top competition. He’s won four of nine, and that includes his last two. They were an ungraded $75.000 stake, then the Grade 3 Thunder Road out at SA last month. He’s on good form, so this is a great spot to see how he measures up against top horses. I think he will fare well, his works are right there with everyone else in the field, although it has been over 30 days since we last saw him to work publicly.
#9- Prince Of Theories (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- He has had quite a career since arriving at Mb Stables, finishing either first of second in all of his eight starts with him. That started in allowance company, and over time the trainer has elevated the level of competition he has faced. His top performance to date came in late November, where he was second in the Grade 1 HOL Derby. He has only raced once since then, against three others in an open allowance as the trainer passed on races like the Diarmida or San Marcos for him.
#10- Raj Action Packed (Arindel, ridden by T Gaffalione)- It is career start #41 for this seven year old gelding, a horse that has been resurgent with Arindel after being picked up in a $25.000 claimer. With Arindel, he has won five out of nine races, a stretch that saw him win the Hirsch Turf Classic, and run in the BC Turf. He is hot coming in, as well, winning his last two, and that includes the Diarmida, with Gaffalione on board. This is a race that he has never run in before, but could very well pull it off based on that form.
#11- Koda (Estero Farms, ridden by R M Hernandez)- You will have to forgive Koda if he is a little star struck in the gate, starting between Raj Action Packed and Techfluence. For Koda, this is not a horse where you look at the past results and become impressed. There’s nothing wrong with them, but he is making a big jump in class after being picked up by the trainer in private sales for $85.000. That alone shows that Estero had bigger visions then where he had been racing before, and he has been getting him ready for a month to make this start. Pretty impressive for a horse that went almost two and a half years between starts.
#12- Techfluence (The Sidley Stud, ridden by J R Velazquez)- One thing I have learned in covering races is that even if a horse’s form isn’t ideal, when they return to a stake where they have run well, they run well again. For Techfluence, this is his third start in The Pan American, and he has been second and third in the prior starts. His form is fine really, if you throw out the Diarmida, too. He likes to be near the lead but not on it early, so I am a little worried about the outside push factor here with him. Maybe the third time is the charm.