The Haskell – Grade I [BC]
MTH Race #12 1 1/8m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Three Year Olds.
Three year old $1K races are notoriously inconsistent this season but the one thing that has been consistent is Mb Stables ability to win the big purses from any draw with any type of horse and Aer Stables winning TC races with a variety of horses. This is another hugely intriguing contest but i doubt even Sherlock Holmes could predict the outcome so lets take a look at the field and try and sort out what is a race of owners rather than horses.
1 Class Edge Chili King Stables Ortiz I Jr
This one represents the TC form here which would usually be a strong pointer but doesn’t seem to mean much at HRP. Leading up to the KYD he was a huge chance having won the Rebel and the BG Stakes and many thought he would do well even though he had the 20 gate and started in the countryside. I don’t need to say too much about the KYD other than he flew home to finish second which would’ve been a fantastic run had the race not turned out to be a circus. He missed the PRK and went for the BEL next where he got a much better draw and the race was run in a far more sedate fashion. He got well behind in the early stages and had to weave through finishing ninth in the end but closing hard and probably as fast of not faster than most.
His works have been average since which is a little worrying but on form alone he is a class act and like his name seems to have the edge on that score.
2 Black And Red Australia Wide Stein J
On his form which is average at best he wouldn’t even be in the same race as Class Edge in real life but he is working lengths quicker and with the perfect draw and the old maestro behind the mouse he must be seriously considered. On speed in the mud last time out he held on by a nose to win the TX Derby after previously finishing second in five straight at all levels from claimer to graded stakes. I wouldn’t even give him a hope of recognizing a horse in this race without the name of the trainer on his side but that and the perfect draw….well this is HRP.
3 Jolly Rook Angelos Stable Bejarano R
Took a while to break maidens but since he has he has run two nice races at grade three level and has been working strongly. He dead heated with Hollywood World in the Marine last time out but that same horse could only finish a one paced third in the Affirmed last time so the form doesn’t look that strong. He has a chance from a decent draw but doesn’t jump off the page at me.
4 Chai Morning Aer Stables Bridgmohan S X
Here we go again with the TC Form as we see the winner of the Preakness. Another that was strongly fancied in the KYD after victory in the Fountain of Youth and a second in the FL Derby he was beaten 16 lengths in the KYD debacle but bounced back to win the Preakness in game fashion by a quarter length. Like Class Edge his works have been pretty uninspiring since but he does have the sort of form you would expect to see in the finish. Winning two of these types of races seems to go against the code at the moment so he may find it tough but gets a great draw to try and beat the system from.
5 Set In Space Nakamura Stables Cedillo A
A maiden that managed to break through on the sixth attempt last time out he is working faster than both the Preakness winner and the KYD runner up so who knows what we will get served up here. On pure form he shouldn’t even be a contender but the fact that he is by Cherokee Sunset, is trained by Nakamura who has been able to find winners from everywhere this year and is working well make him a chance.
6 Charleys Latte Estero Farms Davis D
I think this one sneaks under the radar a little for a race like this and unlike his better performed rivals that contested the TC with him his works have got faster rather than slower. Since he won the Withers back in February he has been dealt blow after blow by the draw monster but still managed to win the Wood Memorial run well enough in the circus race and then fly home in the BEL to be a close fifth. I think he gets the right jockey and a draw that will give him choices today so with some luck i think he will be my main choice.
7 Russian Capo Aer Stables Beschizza A
Won the Allison Derby back in January but has been overshadowed by his stable mates since and its hard to make a case for him beyond his work times. His best effort was in the Day Mile Stakes where he finished hard for a brilliant third beaten just a half length. If that form had anything to back it up he would have a great chance especially when you put it with his work times but an average effort from a perfect draw in the Winn suggests at the very least inconsistency. A chance like everything else.
8 Royal Assembly Nakamura Stables Gryder A T
Unlike Class Edge and Chai Morning who were TC rivals this ones works have been strong before and since the TC and despite yet another tricky draw he looks to be a great chance especially with the Nak Factor firmly on his side. His tenacity reminds me a lot of Shootfromthehip from the same stable and he has achieved some much against the grain that he deserves a win like this one. The winner of the Circus Derby by an easy two lengths he was disappointing in the Preakness but then bounced back to nearly win the BEL. I think he has the edge on his TC rivals but will have to rely on that ole HRP luck to get his nose in front.
9 Orion Nebula John Henry Centeno D
The winner of the Lewis Stakes and the SA Derby his three failures have all come from wide draws and he is getting no help from the ‘random’ draw again today. Didn’t do too bad in the Circus Derby but didn’t turn up in the BEL so we have to rely on him getting some help from the race engine in order to have a chance here.
10 Take Control Fractious Desormeaux K J
Two runs, one maiden win, the slowest work times in the field, a wide draw and never raced beyond six furlongs………..no chance………but there is always a hope at HRP.:)
11 Spirited Stride Mb Stables Court J K
Another TC runner that sneaks under the radar i would normally say the wide gate would limit its chances but the fact that Mb Stables can seem to get them to win from anywhere with some creepy sixth sense actually does his chances no harm. The winner of the Risen Star he went on to run just a length behind the winner of the LA Derby from a wide gate and from there to the Circus Derby. Drawing well he didn’t chase the pace and made ground through the crowds to end up third. Missing the Preakness he went to the BEL with a tough draw and again ran well beaten just a length into sixth after getting well behind early on. Something will have to keep him closer than the normal wide gate positioning does, whether that’s down to the trainer or the race engine will never be known but if he does get a decent position he could well win.
This is the Preakness, The BEL and the KYD all wrapped up into one so its really interesting to see who will come out on top. I think the Derby winner may be best again but also that Spirited Stride and Charleys Latte could sneak into the big time and may come out on top at rewarding odds. Knowing HRP as i do something will creep into the top three or even win from total obscurity choosing which one that is though will require a pin rather than any logic.