Royal North Stakes (Grade 2)- $175.000 Purse
WO- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Turf
July 18, 2020
North of the border on Saturday, we will have a chance to watch the 14th running of the Grade 2 Royal North Stakes, which is a turf sprint for female #three year olds and up. This race will be mostly three year olds, as only three horses are going to try and take on the younger ones while dealing with a five pound weight disadvantage. For the last two years, one thing has held true, and that is Smokey Stover in the winners circle. However, that trainer does not have an entry here, so the crown will be passed to someone else. Royal Kunia, a Good Authority filly, was the winner in 2019, and would go on to run third in the BC Turf Sprint against the boys later in the year. She is still active and winning races, but has not run in a graded stake since the BC. There are ten in this field, and it’s time to take a quick look at them!
#1- Lillehammer (Invicta Group Llc, ridden by L Contreras)- This filly by Grandeur is cutting back on her distance here, after going at least mile in all but one race while in Invicta silks. Her lone win in that stretch was the race she ran shorter, which was a seven furlong race in the Grade 3 Soaring Softly. It is probable that she will run this one in the same manner as she did in that mid May event.
#2- Repercussions (Mb Stables, ridden by K Kimura)- A horse with some excellent pedigree, being by Moment of Madness while also being out Lea. That dam was an outstanding long sprinter on the main track, so it is good to see those bloodlines come to fruition with Repercussions. She has six wins in 13 starts, and made her graded debut in her last start. Let’s see if she can take a step forward here.
#3- Motor City Poet (Threshold, ridden by L Salles)- Picked up in April via a $22.500 claim in April, and was immediately entered into a stake. That would be the $100.000 Mamzelle at CD, and she would place second, just missing the headbob at the wire. It is a result that proved she could run at this level, and while she is still looking for a stake win, she has earned the right to make her graded debut.
#4- Slightly Flawed (Mb Stables, ridden by S R Bahen)- This one has been very successful in terms of picking up wins, with just a slightly flawed five victories in seven starts. Throw out her obligatory struggle in her debut race, and that’s even more impressive. She’s won four in a row, and that includes the $100.000 Mamzelle where she was just a neck ahead of Motor City Poet at the wire. It’s her graded debut as well, and I feel she is going to run a big one.
#5- Trippi Sprinkle (Gdp Inc, ridden by P Husbands)- In her last start, Trippi Sprinkle would run on the grass for the first time, and that was a win in the $100.000 Power By Far for PA-breds. Interestingly, one of the horses that she beat there was the second place Royal Kunia, who won this race last year. Overall, she has won four out of seven, so she knows how to get it done at the end.
#6- Lorraine (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by S Ryan)- This four year old filly has done a lot of running a mile lately, and in the last twelve months, she has only run in a sprint one time. It’s an interesting switch for a horse that did just run in the Grade 1 Just A Game, but ran eighth. She did win the Grade 1 QE II Challenge Cup last fall. Earlier in her career, she did sprint far more often, so it is not as if she hasn’t done it, just that she has not done it much lately.
#7- Abby G (High Voltage, ridden by Alan Garcia)- With a name like this, you know Gustafon Stable was involved somehow, and in this case, Abby G is a private sales purchase for High Voltage. She had raced mainly in CA-bred races, including stakes, but only won one of ten, and inconsistency with adds in noticed. High Voltage has raced her once, and she was fourth in the Memories of Silver in April. Capable, but hard to pick against others with better win rates.
#8- Gummy (High Voltage, ridden by G Boulanger)- This filly will be making her stake debut in the Royal North, but she has earned her opportunity to do so, with three wins in nine starts. When not winning, she’s usually running well, especially since High Voltage turned her into a turf sprinter last fall after picking her up in private sales. Earned a 95 SRF in her last start, and is my favorite of the trainer’s two horses.
#9- Twisted Minds (Mb Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- Here is a very interesting looking horse. She has only made four starts, but won the first three races of her career, being moved up steadily by Mb Stables, culminating in the Grade 2 Monrovia at SA. Last month, she ran here, and for the first time did not visit the winners circle after the race, but represented herself well with a 99 SRF in a 5th place showing at the Grade 1 Highlander Stakes. As a Decima filly, she is even more appealing.
#10- Kalishian (Night Rider Stables, ridden by D Fukumoto)- This will be her first race the trainer, who picked her up via a $35.000 claim last month. The four year old does have graded experience, though, over her 22-race career. None of her seven wins are in one of them, so she’ll have to get just a little bit better. A trainer change can get that done, and Night Rider has had enough time to get a feel for her.