Kimura Captures San Francisco Mile in Thriller

San Francisco Mile (Grade 3)- $250.000 Purse
GG- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
April 25, 2020

With the San Francisco Mile being the featured event in the Survivor competition within the forum, we were able to see who many members of the community felt was the best horse in the race. While he was not the only horse that trainers would lean too, the overwhelming choice was Kimura, the three year old gelding from Mb Stables and reigning winner of the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint. Based on form, it seemed like the logical choice, but that is not always the way it plays out. Saturday, Kimura would step up and deliver on the support he was given, even though based on the odds, he was not the post-time favorite. It is the third win in the stake for Mb Stables, and those have all come in the last five years. Aboard the winner was R Bejarano, a two time winner, and back to back winner of the race. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:33.02, one of the better recent times, but middle of the road overall in terms of the history. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :23.07)- Unlike many races, we do not see a strong outside push in this race. This time, it’s in the middle of the field where we see the push forward. Both Edging In, part of Nakamura Stables, and Commanding Runner, owned by Njvets, are strong from the gate and briefly battle before Commanding Runner takes the lead into the opening turn. Dons Carry On, the Nolespan Racing entry, runs third and is in between the horses. Running on the rail in a comfortable stalking position is our eventual winner from Mb Stables, Kimura. The trainer had to be happy with how his horse was positioned early. Command Authority, the actual post time favorite from Nakamura Stables, and second choice of the community with the survivor contest, was not going to let Kimura get away and stayed to his outside. In the middle of the pack, we had Sundays Sauce (Calia Stable), Hollywood Estrella (Estero Farms), and Fuji (Smokey Stover). After a gap of two lengths, the trailers are the three horses that started on the outside, something that is unusual in our game. Dawning Drei (Oquinn Farm), Butter Ball (Chili King Stables), and Batman G (High Voltage) were restrained early.

(½ Mile- :46.08)- Rounding the opening turn and into the backstretch, it’s Commanding Runner out in front with a length advantage. He ran in the third lane, and would have both Edging In and Dons Carry On running behind him and to his inside. Edging In backed off his push for the lead within the turn and settled in to his position a length back. This, very slightly, affected Kimura, since he was staying on the rail, but R Bejarano kept him there without overreacting, and was now two lengths back. Command Authority also backed up to a midpack position while Fuji had other ideas and advanced through the field. He was now the fourth place horse, and running in the fourth lane. The horses that he had been running to the outside of, Sundays Sauce and Hollywood Estrella were content to maintain their positions. Dawning Drei began moving forward somewhat, with Butter Ball beginning to follow him. Batman G remained at the back.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- As soon as we enter the turn, we start to see a lot of action, as horses that were running off the pace are no longer willing to remain behind the leaders. Kimura was one of the first to move, coming off of the rail at turn entry to move into the fourth lane. He had to do this, not only because there was no room on the rail due to Edging In clogging it up, but because the likes Sundays Sauce and Command Authority were coming on strong. At the top of the stretch, you could say that they were lined up much the way a two furlong race would be for two year olds. They were seven wide, all heads apart. In that, it was clear who were the comers and who were the goers. Edging In and Commanding Runner were caught. Dons Carry On joined them, but was lacking enough response for the stretch. Fuji had pulled even with a wide trip. Kimura was in the mix in the fourth lane of this wall of horses, with both Sundays Sauce and Command Authority running to this outside. Behind the wall, Hollywood Estrella was running just as strongly, but needed a lane. Dawning Drei looked to make it eight wide if he could. Butter Ball and Batman G were not far off now, but given how things looked in front of them, it was not going to be friendly for them even if they had the closing kick.

(Finish- 1:33.02)- As we anticipated an intense dash to the finish line, both Kimura and Sundays Sauce emerged as being a little quicker then the rest of the horses involved in the wall. Because of this, a gap opened up for Hollywood Estrella to come on through between them, and his jockey, J R Velazquez, was quick to pounce on that. Kimura and Sundays Sauce where heads apart for a little while before Kimura started becoming just a little bit better. However, Hollywood Estrella was coming with everything he had, and at the wire the two of them were involved in a very tight photo for the top spot. In the end, it would be Kimura winning by a nose over Hollywood Estrella to get the win, and Sundays Sauce was only a neck off the two leaders. Dawning Drei made the most of his eight wide trip in the stretch and came up to grab the fourth place check for his trainer. Butter Ball did all he could to come on late himself to be fifth, narrowly missing Dawning Drei at the wire. Both Fuji and Command Authority were in very close proximity to them. It’s about a length to Edging In, who prevails over Dons Carry On, Batman G, and Commanding Runner. Just three and a half lengths separated first from last.

About The Winner- Kimura, trained by Mb Stables, and ridden to victory by R Bejarano, is a three year old gelding by Sweep The Nebulae, and is out of the late Good Example. He was bred in Texas by Broken Spoke Stable as a yearling, and was acquired by Mb Stables while he was still a yearling in private sales for just $8.000. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth and seven starts, his fourth stake win, and third graded win. His career earnings are now $951.200.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Kimura Mb Stables Bejarano R 5.55   1hd 1:33.02 — 
  Hollywood Estrella Estero Farms Velazquez J R 9.50   21/2 1:33.05 — 
  Sundays Sauce Calia Stable Prat F 4.70   31/2 1:33.15 — 
  Dawning Drei Oquinn Farm Hernandez B J Jr 8.35   4no 1:33.27 — 
  Butter Ball Chili King Stables Wilson E J 11.00   5no 1:33.28 — 
  Fuji Smokey Stover Beschizza A 7.15   6no 1:33.30 — 
  Command Authority Nakamura Stables Bahen S R 3.90   71/2 1:33.32 — 
  Edging In Nakamura Stables Gryder A T 6.55   83/4 1:33.46 — 
  Dons Carry On Nolespan Racing Garcia Mar 41.55   91/4 1:33.62 — 
  Batman G High Voltage Ortiz I Jr 29.60   10no 1:33.70 — 
  Commanding Runner Nj Vets Carmouche K 18.70   11 1:33.71 — 

Track: Firm

Time: :23   :46   1:091  1:33

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Kimura 13.10 7.00 4.20
4 – Hollywood Estrella   10.30 5.60
2 – Sundays Sauce     2.90

$1 Exacta: 1 – 4 Paid 40.30

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 2 Paid 332.60

Scratched: Eggs And Bacon

Winner and Exacta Picked by NS

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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