Read Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
DMR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
July 19, 2020
The racing at DMR on Sunday will feature the 17th running of the Grade 2 Read Stakes, a nine furlong race on the grass. In it, we will see if last year’s winner, Going Gone, can successfully defend his title. Carrying extra weight didn’t stop him last year, and it looks like he will one of the favorites in this race as well. To do this, he’ll have to beat nine others, but only three of them are three years old. No horse has won the race twice in a row, and as far as trainers are concerned, John Henry would be looking to join Chili King Stables as the only ones to accomplish that feat. In the history of this race, three year olds have only won twice, and have not scored a victory since 2015. Now, let us take a look at our field!
#1- Jam Packed (Running Farms, ridden by F Prat)- Picked up by the trainer in private sales for $50.000 in mid-May, just four days after he earned the win on soft turf at the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap. In his Running Farms debut, he was unable to build on that, finishing dead last, seven lengths back in an optional claimer. Which was the outlier then, the Louisville Handicap or that race? We will see on Sunday.
#2- Catch A Buzz (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by V Espinoza)- The first of two in the field for Maxmillion Farm, and they will be starting side by side. Catch A Buzz appears to be the better of the two options, coming off a successful return to the grass in the Wise Dan, where he ran second. Prior to that, he had gone almost two years since he last ran on the turf. Not a surprise that it would be a success in the Maxmillion barn, and this could be another big step forward for him.
#3- Technic (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by G Franco)- The second horse in this field that was sold by Team 7 Illusions in private sales for $50.000, and it was just two weeks before the Jam Packed transaction. Technic is still unproven, however, having raced just four times and coming here off his maiden win. He is one of the three year olds in this field, so that five pound weight advantage could be very impressive.
#4- Workload (Mb Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Here is the top choice of the three year olds in this field. Workload is more of a known commodity, having attempted a handful for KYD preps during this spring, something that was highlighted by running second in the Grade 3 Southwest. It was back to the grass for him in his last start, and he would win the $100.000 Soldiers Dancer for FL-breds in early June. Could be developing into a very interesting horse in this division.
#5- Baelish (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J J Hernandez)- The colt by Ned Isakoff will be making the 18th start of his career, and hopes for his fourth win. Two of his wins have been in his last three starts, each coming in optional claimers. Between them, he attempted the Grade 1 Man O War and finished well out of it, running ninth. That was his only stake attempt to this point, but even more that, there is a hint of inconsistency in his past performances at the allowance level.
#6- Party At The Zu (Martyparty, ridden by Ru Fuentes)- This is the third of the three year olds in the field. Prior to his last start, he had been a turf sprinter, and showed some talent in doing so, but that was not enough for Martyparty. It was an aggressive move, moving him up in class while increasing his distance, to the $200.000 Snow Chief Stakes, a race he placed second in. Now, he gets another jump to the graded level, where he will have to be at his best.
#7- Going Gone (John Henry, ridden by U Rispoli)- Last year, Going Gone won the Read Stakes, in what was a field of seven also including Decision In Five. It was his last win of 2019, but he was still able to run in the BC Mile, where ended up running a respectable sixth. This year has been successful so far, as he won the Grade 1 Makers Mark Mile at KEE just two starts ago, and did run well after that, placing third in the Shoemaker Mile. He sees a very familiar rival here, but he has a good shot to defend his crown.
#8- Edging In (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- The five year old prepares to make his 19th start in this race. In 2020 thus far, he has won one of his four races, beginning the year off right by winning the Grade 2 San Gabriel at SA. Otherwise, he has been decent and knocking on the door of another big result. Occasionally gets plagued by a dud here and there, but I don’t think that happens on Sunday.
#9- Quarter Bay (South Beach Racing, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- Start #29 will be monumental for this Rene gelding, as it will be his graded stake debut. Early in his career, he ran in a few ungraded stakes, but for the most part, Quarter Bay has run in a variety of different types of overnights. In early January, he was dropped to a low spot, a $7.000 claimer by Fractious, and South Beach was able to pick him up. Once together, he would get him running long, and the results began getting better. He will still be in tough here, but he’s running as well as he ever has.
#10- Decision In Five (Nakamura Stables, ridden by A T Gryder)- He ran in the Read Stakes last year as well, and ended up with a fourth place finish. Over his career, he has had a few run-ins with Going Gone, including having the last two races be the same. Also, Decision In Five did run in the BC Mile. The only time that I see at a quick glance that Decision In Five has beaten Going Gone came in September in the WO Mile that Decision In Five won. That’s the last time he has won a race.