The Manhattan – Grade I
BEL Race #8 1 1/4m InTurf Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Mucho Baked Spankys Barn Van Dyke D
These big grade ones become a bit of a mess with the big fields which throw things wide open to a horse who gets a good trip. This on speed runner surpassed everything they had done before to win the Muniz memorial Handicap last time out and could be just the sort to upset the apple cart if things play his way. Having said that this is a tough field and on the balance of form he will have to improve again but i expect him to run well.
2 Xmas Snow Maxmillion Farm Gutierrez
The turf king has persevered with this five year old for a long time now and has certainly found something this year as he was victorious in the Pegasus World Cup Turf and then ran a super third in the Forrester Turf Classic last time. Those two efforts were massive and to be fair much improved on previous efforts so you are either thinking he has improved at age 5 or the draw was very kind to him. Well the draw has been kind again so expect another big effort.
3 Pure Gifts Mb Stables Velazquez J R
A bit of an advert as to how little race to race form means here at the moment he was well beaten behind Xmas Snow in the Pegasus World Cup and then beat that same horse from a tough draw in the Forrester Turf Classic. Clearly a class act and drawn perfectly today you have to give him a favorites chance of winning another big purse for the kings of big purses.
4 Long Term Investment TwinTowersRacing Centeno D E
TwinTowersRacing will be hoping for one of those dirt to turf miracles that can happen here at HRP as he brings this hard as nails dirt router to play with the big boys of the turf. He hasn’t run on turf since being fourth in a maiden so we don’t know much other than he was a nice enough sort on the dirt. Take a gamble or leave alone.
5 So Lonely Diablo Diablo Garcia Mar
Showed how much he loves a test of stamina by taking the Elkhorn in April but was a little disappointing in the Man O War last time from a much better draw so he is hard to weigh up. He will be running on at the end but he will have to run out of his skin to beat the best of these.
6 Chayse Crocker Ggs Franco G
Flew home to be second in the Man O War last time after taking two grade two’s in his first two races of the year. With only twelve starts this is a fast improving gelding who is working like a champ. This midpack draw actually suits more than his draw last time and i feel he is most likely to win given a clear run.
7 Thanks For Nothing D J C Racing Stables Bejarano R
Now if you are looking for a horse that could start a party then its this one. Scraping home in a claimer on boxing Day it seemed his trainer had all but given up on him but that win seemed to spark something in the son of Engine Failure and when he turned five he got the ole HRP boost button pressed and has been huge this season finally getting the monkey off his back in the Man O War last time out. He had been powering home in his three efforts prior but in the grade one he got the splits and the gaps and won pretty easily at the end. On that last run i would have him on top but it can be hard to win two in a row here at HRP.
8 Russian Dictator Gdp Inc Hernandez B J Jr
Another trainer hoping for that ole dirt to turf magic this one wouldn’t be good enough in normal circumstances but who knows.
9 Sunlander Estero Farms Saez L
Getting out in the cheap seats now we find a real honest trier who would need some gaps and splits to come his way to win. The winner of the grade two Twilight last year he ran well to be second in the Kilroe Mile and was powering home in the Forrester Turf Classic last time. His works are sharp but his running style says he will need help from the race engine.
10 Pxg Mb Stables Davis D
In another time i would’ve said a wide drawn runner from Mb Stables would be our rabbit for the day but the trainer has been vocal about rabbits in the last 12 months so i expect this one to take his chances on an even keel. To be brutally honest the only thing that looks good enough are his works and whilst that is often enough i just can’t see him winning from this tough draw.
11 Dead Madness John Henry Tunon M
The BC Turf champion won that race from a terrible draw by going to the front and nearly did the same from a similar draw in the Forrester Turf Classic last time. He looks to be one of those types that is actually suited by the wide gates and there’s no doubt he is the class act in this race. Can he win, well he certainly can as long as nothing goes too hard early on and in he forced into an early speed dual.
12 People Doubted Aml Racing Court J K
This horse has had his fair share of wide draws but like Dead Madness he seems to be one of those that actually thrive on it. He ran very well in the OP Handicap last time but got run down as he tried to make all and one suspects he may do the same again today. He may be the spoiler if he gets eyeball to eyeball with Dead Madness in the first half of this race and whilst he has always been high on ability he also often struggles at the end of his races.
13 Hollywood Niner Nolespan Racing Bisono J
This trainer seems to be able to spot a speck of gold at twenty miles as they so often pull a horse from a claimer and turn them into a stakes winner. This one almost did the same thing when trying to make all in the Man O war after being claimed for $25 in the race before. There may be a speed dual between him, People Doubted and Dead Madness today so he is a very important cog in the wheel of this race. Can he win on all known form…well no, can he win anyway, hell yes.
14 Lets Do It Big Boy RNP Stables Lezcano J
This horse has run some great races for the trainer but gets no favors from the draw today. Its likely he will go back from this draw and he will be trying to find a way through late, he is capable of running a place but that may be the best he can hope for.
This is a very interesting race with three on speed types drawn wide the likelihood of a fast early pace will certainly spice things up even without the old fast instruction. I think Chayse, Thanks For Nothing and Pure Gifts will be looking to take advantage of that and experience has told me never to write off the Turf King and Xmas Snow.