Chai Morning Captures Thrilling PRK

The PRK (Grade 1)- $1,500.000 Purse
PIM- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and Three Sixteenths on the Dirt
May 16, 2020

As the horses left the starting gate for the PRK, most of us would breathe a deep sigh of relief. It was soothing to see a normal start for the second jewel of the TC, and now everyone could relax and enjoy the race. The focus now could be on Royal Assembly, as he looked to finally become the first horse to win both the KYD and the PRK. He would start the race a lot differently this time, running at the front of the field. However, others in this field that ran in the KYD were looking to redeem themselves from their effort two weeks ago, as Anoush Command and Chai Morning were two of the more highly regarded horses doing so. Others would lean towards horses that did not race in the KYD, and with two strong ones being saddled by Mb Stables, both Graveyard and Immoral were commonly picked in the multiple prediction contests that were held for the race. The race would be entertaining, with Anoush Command being on the lead for much of the race, but he would not be able to hold on. Instead, an excellent rail trip for Chai Morning would be the story of the day as the Aer Stables trained gelding scored the big victory! Aer Stables is a first time winning trainer of the PRK, and it’s the second TC win of his career. S X Bridgmohan is the winning jockey and it is the first time he has been aboard the winner of any of the TC races, not only the PRK. Congratulations to them! The time of the race was 1:54.86, a middle of the road such time for the race in its history. Let’s take a look at it!

(½ Mile- :47.06)- The beginning of the race sees a much more normal start then had the KYD, and it was very good to see it. Initially, it was the two horses out of Nakamura Stables with the quickest advantage, as both Royal Assembly and Geronimo started well. However, it would eventually be Anoush Command, from Fractious, taking the early lead and this was somewhat unexpected. Royal Assembly never let him get away from him, and those two would battle for the lead until Night Creature, out of Aer Stables, joined them to make it a threesome up front. Meanwhile, Geronimo seemed to be restrained after his initial start and found himself in fifth now, a half length behind Mb Stables’ Graveyard, one of the top choices for the race. On the rail, our eventual winner from Aer Stables, Chai Morning was in a great spot in the early going, sitting three lengths from the lead, and being right behind his stablemate. To his outside was the Mb Stables-trained, Immoral. After a length, we had the next group of three, which was led slightly by Laffin Hero, from Alydar Stables. To his inside was Tiratzo’s Steak And Potatoes and John Henry’s Mexican Swagger. Angelsinheaven, after a slow break, led the trailing group for Angelos Stable. Also back there were Sars (Aer Stables), Boardwalk (Fractious), and Socrates (Mb Stables).

(3/4 Mile- 1:10.71)- At the front, Anoush Command is looking pretty good, but you had to be concerned about him a little, too. Even though the fractions were reasonable, he could become a sitting duck. He was inching away ever so slightly from both Royal Assembly and Geronimo as they approached the final turn, and at this point it was looking like we would once again not have a repeat KYD-PRK winner. Meanwhile, Graveyeard seemed to be having a very comfortable trip in his lane, and at this point, you had to be excited about him if that’s who you had money on. Geronimo was not tiring, but not looking like he was going to have more in the tank, either. Chai Morning would hold his own on the rail, but as they got closer to the turn, he was going to have to do more, and with that, he moved down to the lane that would put him right behind Anoush Command. Immoral was actually quite moral to allow this happen as he ran to his outside. Each of Mexican Swagger, Steak And Potatoes, and Laffin Hero would simply hold their lanes, but there was movement behind them. It was time for the closers to get ready to run, and Sars would pick his lane to move to the outside of Steak And Potatoes while Angelsinheaven took the fourth lane, something that would be clear for him until he reached the approximate position of where Graveyard was running.

(Top of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- Rounding the turn, Anoush Command is still the race leader, but the post time favorite is now feeling the heat. On the outside, Graveyard kept coming and looked like a big threat, but soon we would see the best out of Chai Morning. He would burst through the hole that had nicely set up for him at the beginning of the turn, and handled the turn better then anyone at or near the front would do. Moving into the stretch, Chai Morning had already completed the pass of Graveyard, something that on its own was impressive. On the rail, both Night Creature and Royal Assembly were nearby, but not making a move towards the front, and with many looking to make moves from behind, they did not seem good enough. Geronimo, in the outer lane, was okay, but also would not have enough. Immoral lost a length to Chai Morning, who he had been running with previously. Steak And Potatoes was showing interest, and on the outside, Angelsinheaven was moving forward in a big way, cutting his deficit to four lengths back. The only question for him would be if he would have enough time. Sars was also moving exceptionally well now.

(Finish- 1:54.86)- With a furlong to go, Chai Morning pulls even with Anoush Command, but Anoush Command shows plenty of fight for a while and is determined to not let him get by. Meanwhile, Graveyard is not able to get back the length that he lost to Chai Morning. But here comes Steak And Potatoes looking to get involved, and on the outside the big run from Angelsinheaven is happening. Sars is showing no social distancing as he thunders through the middle of the field. Getting closer to the wire, Chai Morning digs in to find even more, and Anoush Command does not quite have enough to prevail in this fight. Angelsinheaven is making a great bid though, so Aer Stables still had to sweat it out even with Sars pouring it on in the final strides. At the wire, eight of them are within a length of one another, but it is Chai Morning being the best of them all here in the PRK, capturing this coveted second jewel of the TC! Angelsinheaven made a great bid, and takes home the second place spot in a tight photo with fellow closer, Sars. That’s first and third for Aer Stables! Anoush Command ends up in the fourth spot, doing all that he could to hang on in the stretch. Graveyard and Steak And Potatoes officially dead heat for fifth, just barely ahead of Immoral. Geronimo held on with a good looking eighth place run, and perhaps it could have been much better if not for his wide trip throughout. After these eight, it’s a gap of almost three lengths to Mexican Swagger, Night Creature, Royal Assembly and Laffin Hero. Socrates and Boardwalk round out the field.

About The Winner- Chai Morning, trained by Aer Stables, and ridden to victory by S X Bridgmohan, is a three year old gelding by Proud Chai, and is out of Kiss You In The Morn. He was bred in the great breeding state of Pennsylvania by Tiratzo as a yearling, and acquired by Aer Stables in a $32.000 claiming race, which at the time was the third race of his career. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in ten starts, his third stake win, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $1,513.200.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Chai Morning Aer Stables Bridgmohan S X 13.35   11/4 1:54.86  
  Angelsinheaven Angelos Stable Bejarano R 15.90   2no 1:54.94  
  Sars Aer Stables Beschizza A 24.30   3nk 1:54.95  
  Anoush Command Fractious Velazquez J R 2.80   4nk 1:55.00  
  Graveyard Mb Stables Davis D 5.75   5hd 1:55.05  
  Steak And Potatoes Tiratzo Chirinos R 20.65   5hd 1:55.05  
  Immoral Mb Stables Court J K 3.95   71/2 1:55.09  
  Geronimo Nakamura Stables Cedillo A 23.50   81 1:55.19  
  Mexican Swagger John Henry Gaffalione T 71.70   9nk 1:55.58  
  Night Creature Aer Stables Juarez N 9.35   10no 1:55.65  
  Royal Assembly Nakamura Stables Gryder A T 7.35   113/4 1:55.66  
  Laffin Hero Alydar Stables Centeno D E 18.75   121 1:55.81  
  Socrates Mb Stables Franco G 46.85   131 1:56.15  
  Boardwalk Fractious Van Dyke D 80.95   14 1:56.37  

Track: Fast

Time: :47   1:103  1:352  1:544

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Chai Morning 28.70 14.00 10.90
12 – Angelsinheaven   197.50 21.20
2 – Sars     27.20

$1 Exacta: 1 – 12 Paid 114.20

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 12 – 2 Paid 1,703.50

Scratched: Hollywood Revolution, Into Mischief, Rhossili, Stark

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2018-20, THE TRIPLE CROWN

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