Twelve to Post in Elkhorn at KEE


1 KEE     Elkhorn (GII)

    $250.000        4yo&Up        1 1/2m Turf        123lbs

They will be going the marathon distance of a mile and a half on the lush KEE lawn Saturday evening, and we look at the field for one of the most prestigious turf races in all the land, the 2020 Elkhorn (GII).

There are some stone-cold tough horses in this race and my top choice is just that… tough as nails.  I gave the nod to Techfluence today, even though he was toppled by a neck in The Pan Am (GII) last out.  He was third on BC Day and you don’t put $3,500.000 in the bank running at MNR.  He has class and a way to get it done.  He’s a 7yo now, and did give up a huge lead at HOU on a soft course, but here… he looks best to me.

I’m on the rail with my second choice and Controlled Power looked fantastic in that win at SA last out.  He has tactical speed, even in these marathon affairs, and that helps eliminate traffic issues.  He’s classy as well… so he may be the one to beat.

I’m going off-course for me and putting Gila River in the third spot.  Rare is it for me to take a horse with no stakes experience in a race like this, but that Alw win at SA was impressive and I think he’s a future star.  The barn has been VERY patient with him and that may pay off in a big way with this one.

There’s a few others with big chances so it should be a great race.   I can’t believe I left Raj Action Packed off of my ticket…  back to the windows.

Here’s The Field –

 Controlled Power  Spankys Barn  Prat F     3/1 123

Looked good rolling to a two length win at today’s distance taking the San Luis Rey (GIII) at SA in his most recent.  Was second at the extended distance in the Connally BC (GIII) as well, so you know he likes these long races.  The rail should help him as will his ability to either sit close to the pace or rally.  He looks ready.

 Jamie Mach  RNP Stables  Hernandez J J     7/1 123

Hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since last summer when he won back to back races in Jun/Jul.  It’s been graded races since then and he has been close in a couple but just can’t seem to get those last couple of lengths made up.  Is today the day?  I’ll look elsewhere but I wouldn’t be surprised either.

 Homme de Guerre  John Henry  Gutierrez Mario     6/1 123

Changed hands back in Aug and has seen nothing but graded foes since thing, taking the DMR Derby (GII) and has a pair of thirds in those races as well.  So you know he has some class and ability, but this is his first time going the extended distance so I’m just not sure if that’s his game.

 Bring The Pain  Mb Stables  Maldonado E    6/1 123

Had back to back wins in the summer waking the Smile Sprint (GIII) in those efforts, but the big barn has been changing plans of late and put him back on the grass and has been extending his distances… three wins in a row, all in Alw company.  So they step up the distance again and step up the class.

 Techfluence  The Sidley Stud  Geroux F      7/2 123

Nice second in the Pan Am (GII) at GP where he did all of the heavy lifting in that one only to settle for the place by a neck.  Fourteen wins from forty-five starts shows that he’s been around and knows how to get his picture taken.  He’s about as classy as you’d want a horse to be and I’d give him a big look here.

 Expert Eye  TwinTowersRacing  Pennington F    10/1 123

Not much out of his last three and didn’t show much i the Pan Am (GII).  Well bred and has shown some ability but this just doesn’t look like the spot for him to get the job done.

 Gila River  Team 7 Illusions  Stein J     7/1 123

Broke maiden two back going a route of ground and then won an Alw race last out going today’s distance.  I don’t think there is any doubt that he loves marathons and the only question to me is can he handle the class hike?  If he can, we may have a new star on the horizon.

 Momentus  Mb Stables  Doyle S      8/1 123

Won the Johns Call at the Spa at today’s distance and was second in the Jerkens at GP, again going the longest way.  His two graded races were something to forget, so he’s another that you just have to wonder if graded races are his best races.

 So Lonely  Diablo Diablo  Garcia Mar     6/1 123

Won the Unusual Heat Turf Classic to kick off his 2020 season, then a third and an eighth last out… so I’m not sure that he’s in his best condition right now.  He shows a brilliant work over the surface, so maybe?  He’s another that I’ll probably skip in the selections but won’t be surprised if he runs big.

 Raj Action Packed  Arindel  Bisono J   3/1 123

Had his two race win streak snapped when fifth in the Pan Am (GII) and he lost a bit of ground in the late going of that one, which is not his style.  I hate the post position here, but the old boy can run.  I think you have to give him a big chance today.

 Just Chillin  Nakamura Stables  Saez G     5/1 123

A $50.010 purchase from the Dec Auction and has been sharp sharp sharp for the new barn.  Won an OptAlw race then just missed in the Muniz Mem Hcp (GII) at FG last out.  He was gaining in the late stages of that one, so again, hate the post, love the horse.  If he can overcome the outside spot, look out.

 Running Bien  Chili King Stables  Leparoux J R    7/1 123

Easy when v. OptAlw types at SA on a wet track in his last out effort, and that was a needed turn-around.  He’s been on a bad streak prior to that and the draw here does him no favors.  He certainly shows a late turn of foot so let’s see if he has something for the  late in this one.

Categories: Grade II

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