Seagram Cup Stakes (Grade 3)- $125.000 Purse
WO- For Three Years Old and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
July 26, 2020
On paper, the Seagram Cup Stakes is just a smaller Grade 3 race. However, it has attracted quite a field with a horse that hit the board in the two TC races this year dropping down, along with the reigning winner of the Apple Blossom trying out the boys. They will go at it against an older star, Brady Is Lady, leaving everyone else to wonder what happened to this “should be” smaller Grade 3. Last year, the race was won by Seagraves, for Mb Stables, and presently with John Henry. He continues to get wins, but has not raced in a stake since September. So, will one of the big names get the win that they have been dropped down for, or will one of the less heralded horses steal the show? Let’s take a look!
#1- Keep A Secret (Nakamura Stables, ridden by S Ryan)- Since being acquired by the trainer in the December 2019 auction, Keep A Secret has been successful, with the highlight being a win in the $200.000 Commentator in May. Off of that, he seemed poised to do well in his true graded debut, (he ran in one previously as a two year old, and was 11th of 11) but would run an absolute dud in the Grade 2 Foster Handicap. Therefore, this race is going to go a long way in figuring out if either the Commentator or the Foster was the outlier in his past performances. Honestly, it seems like it could go either way.
#2- Wolfslayer (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by R M Hernandez)- The five year old mare will take on the boys here in the Seagram, and she might be getting a stronger test then the trainer had envisioned. She won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom in April, but afterwards, she did not run well against her own gender, though in the Phipps, she was asked to race on just 12-days of rest. Now, she has had more time to regroup, and hopes to get back to the winners circle. She has been quite inconsistent during her career.
#3- Bellamango (Wood Duck Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- He has won two of three races thus far in his young career, with the last triumph being an allowance at CD. The trainer felt like taking a shot with him at this level, and surely if that is on your mind, selecting the $125.000 Grade 3 would be a good step forward. Instead, this Decima colt starts between two stars in the gate. Can’t deny that this is a great opportunity for him to prove himself, however.
#4- Sars (Aer Stables, ridden by J Stein)- After running third in the Wood Memorial, the gelding would run in the Preakness and pick up another third place finish, this time being just a quarter length from the win. He followed that up nicely in the BEL, running third one more time. All seemed well, so what would be next? The Haskell? The Travers? No. Our answer is the $125.000 Seagram Cup. I will say I get the logic. The horse has not won since December of last year, so maybe a confidence boost would be useful. His weight advantage on several will be useful. Also, I must say that could still go to the Travers as it is still three weeks away.
#5- Prato Gentile (Sharis Stables, ridden by K Kimura)- The gelding will make the 21st start of his career, and has come to life after being picked up in a $10.500 claimer in February. Sharis Stables immediately put him into allowance company, got positive results, and then it was off to the $100.000 Phet Stakes at LA for CA-breds. He would win that race last month, so takes another step forward here. Speed figures do not jump out at you, especially considering some of those he needs to beat here.
#6- Undefeated Season (Night Rider Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- The five year old Moment Of Madness gelding has had a good track of record of hitting the board over his career, but is also one that could use a return trip to the winners circle. He had a four race winning streak over an eleven month period, all of which were in overnights. Since being moved into stakes, he has run well, but can only boast a couple of a runner ups in ungraded events. Expect him to be a threat, but carrying more weight then other big names could be tough to overcome.
#7- Brady Is A Lady (Sharis Stables, ridden by P Husbands)- In 19 starts, the Buffalo Rising colt has managed four wins, highlighted by the Grade 3 Peter Pan last year. This sent him to races such as the BEL, Dandy, and Travers, and he fared well in them, though not winning. More recently, he was seen in the Commentator against Keep A Secret, and finished fourth. Dropped into an optional claimer for his last start, coming at PRX, and the trainer is hoping that victory will be the confidence booster to get another big win to be excited about.
#8- Ornate (Nakamura Stables, ridden by S R Bahen)- This will be his first race running in the Nakamura silks, as the trainer picked him in private sales for $120.000 two months ago. That came less a week after he won the $100.000 Big Drama, for FL-breds, at GP. After acquiring him, the trainer took his time to figure him out, and will run him long for the first time in a while. Was on great form before the sale, so if he can stretch out like this, there could be bigger things in store for him.