Sophomore Sprinters Do Battle in The Lang Stakes


12 PIM    The Lang Stakes (GIII)

         $200.000                     3yo          6f  Dirt                        122lbs

The PRK isn’t the only sophomore stakes at PIM and here’s a nice group of 3yo sprinters that will be going 6f in The Lang Stakes (GIII) here at the Hilltop.  I’m taking Aggravated Sky as my top choice.  He may have been over his head in the SA Derby (GI) but I think it was more of a distance thing than class.  He just missed in the Gotham (GIII) and I think he will love the distance here today.  I’ll go right next door to Hang Around for the second spot.  He’s another that will shorten up distance today, has a bit of class and looks like he will be in a better spot to be a major factor.  It’s a nice group and it should be a very competitive race.

Here’s the Field…

 Gothic Heart  SamIam  Bridgmohan S X 122 5/1 

His three race win streak came to an end, barely, as he was headed in the Bay Shore (GIII) where he closed quickly in that narrow loss.  Has been a solid sprinter when kept on the main track (man, does he hate turf) and must be considered a danger here today.  The rail may play right into his style.  This is a tough bunch but he may be up to the task at hand.

 Iron Return  Alydar Stables  Centeno D E 122 4/1

Got back to the winning ways taking down Cal-bred sprinters in the Eddie at SA last out.  He had been facing the TC types prior to that, and did have some success at that level… but he seems to do his best work in the sprints and certainly looks like a major factor.  I’d give him a big shot here today.

 Last Scout  John Henry  Beschizza A 122 7/2 

Nice stakes win last out, even if it was a DH, when closing fast in the Hutcheson Stake at GP.  He’s been on the shelf since Feb, but does have a string of works and seems to fit well in with this group.  A repeat of his last out effort should be enough to put him in the middle of things but does he need a race to be his sharpest?

 Aggravated Sky  Estero Farms  Velazquez J R 122 5/2

Classy colt has been running in tough company and won over this surface at today’s distance when beating NY-bred types in the Bongard.  He was on the TC Trail, just missing in the Gotham (GIII) and then running up-the-track in the SA Derby (GI) but this is a spot that he should be able to use his speed, class and ability to get home with a victory.

 Hang Around  Mb Stables  Court J K 122 3/1

Another that was chasing classy horses and was third in the SUN Derby (GIII) two races back.  I’m a bit baffled by that last out race where he just didn’t do a whole lot vs. OptAlw horses up north of the border.  His best would make him a threat but I’m just not sure he’s giving his best right now. 

 Fracas  Rampage Stable  Rosario J 122 4/1

Just didn’t fire in the FL Derby (GI) and they take him back to a sprint where he seems to flourish.  Nice win (DH) in the Hutcheson down at GP and a repeat of that race would make him a big horse today.  I like his works over the PIM surface, which makes me think they have been aiming at this one with a purpose.

 Iguacu Falls  D J C Racing Stables  Bejarano R 122 5/1

Has struggled vs. graded horses but has been pretty tough in everything else.  Nice third at AQU last out while facing NY-bred stakes company but he is still looking for his first seasonal win as a sophomore.  This is tough company to get the job done, but he could still be in the mix when they turn for home.

 Aussie Steel  Arindel  Gaffalione T 122 6/1

Another that has struggled while facing graded foes but did get the job doe last out taking sAlw horses in PRX.  The post doesn’t do him any favors and I think it’s going to be tough to get in the picture here unless he gets the perfect trip while others suffer through. 

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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