AP Turf Gets Busy in Secretariat Stakes


  2   AP           Secretariat Stakes (GI)

             $500.000    3yo           1m   Turf         121lbs

The gate is should be full as we have a loaded gate and an AE, set to go a flat mile here outside of Chicago in the Secretariat Stakes (GI), to be run on the AP grass course.  It’s the story of big horses in big races with big purses and I usually look for Mb Stables in those… obviously…. same here as I took Kimura as my top choice.  He shows seven wins from nine starts, so isn’t that enough – no?  How about four grades stakes wins including the NMofR (GII) at SAR last out, at today’s distance.  I look for him to continue his domination.  I’ll give the second spot to Show Shocker, as the gelding has been very consistent vs. graded stakes horses… no reason to think differently here.  I think you could throw a blanket over a bunch of others for the third spot, so let’s go with this chalky choice and see how we fare.

Here’s The Field –

   Hammerfest    Smokey Stover    Bisono J   121   8/1  

Won an Alw race at HOU by five back in March, other than that it’s been close-but-no-cigar as he was third in the PEN Mile (GII) and the BEL Derby (GI)… both good paydays, but he needs a bit more to get over the hump.  he’s been coming from off of the pace and the rail could make that tough if there is traffic. 

   King Que Niagra    D J C Racing Stables    Lezcano J   121   5/1 

He’s turned it back around after changing hands for $200.00 as he was failing on the TC Trail.  Since then he won an Alw race, was third in the Pegasus and then got the job done on the BEL lawn taking the Manila.  This is a step up from that, but he’s been giving an hones effort and must be give a serious look here.

   Kimura    Mb Stables    Velazquez J R   121   3/1

Good gosh, he can run.  Seven wins from nine starts and His only recent blip was a fourth in the PEN Mile (GII).  Came back to win the NMofR (GII) at SAR last out, and there’s no reason not to put him right at the top of the list in this one.  I like the return jock… all systems are go.

   Grandstand Jockey    Night Rider Stables    Vazquez R A   121   6/1

He will do it every once in a while, but his last out was a dud.  Last of thirteen in the BEL Derby (GI) but he ran a similar race in the BG Stakes (GII) only to come back and win his next two starts.  When he’s right, he can be real tough… like that win in the PEN Mile (GII) where he faced and beat a few of these.  It’s just a matter of who shows up for work today?

   Show Shocker    Maxmillion Farm    Garcia Mar   121   6/1  

Got the job done last out in the Kent Stakes (GIII) at DEL, cruising home by two lengths.  He’s also had a couple of near misses facing tough turf fields, so you have to give him a big look in this one as well.  He’s only missed one check this year so he can run. 

   Bold Express    Mb Stables    Davis D   121   9/1

Won the American Turf (GII) at CD looking like a world beater, but the last two have been less than thrilling.  Eighth in the PEN Mile (GII) and fourth in the King Edwared (GII), but he’s certainly been a handful in some very tough races, so I wouldn’t ignore him.

   Sweet Sweat    Mb Stables    Tunon M   121   7/1

The third member of the Mb Stables’ three-headed monster, and he raced with  a few of these when fifth in the BEL Derby (GI).  I thought he’d do better that evening, coming off of that win in the Penny Ridge.  Maybe the soft turf isn’t his thing as he’s done poorly in both of his off-track races. 

   Stormbringer    John Henry    Gaffalione T   121   10/1 

Was fourth over this surface last out in the AP Classic (GIII) but did win the Snow Chief at SA prior to that, taking down CA-bred horses.  This is another acid test for him, and he will need his best to be part of the goings-on. 

   Hollywood Estrella    Estero Farms    Gutierrez Mario   121   12/1

Since winning the BC Juv Turf (GI) it’s been a bit of a dry spell, not winning a race since.  He was close in a few graded races, but the last two leave a bit to be desired.  Fifth in the PEN Mile (GII) and tenth in the BEL Derby (GI), both of those facing some of the horses he sees here today.  He needs to find that old form. 

   Ohtani    Sccj Stables    Prat F   121   7/1  

Won the Dixie (GII) taking on older horses, then settled for fourth in the BEL Derby (GI) where he faced a few of those.  He just broke maiden back in Mar, so he’s still a horse on the improve and we have to see if he can match that PIM effort… if so, he could be a handful.

   Appreciate    Mo Mentum Farm    Hernandez R M   121   10/1 

Won the Paradise Creek at BEL back in May but the last two have been a challenge.  He was thirteenth in the Queens Plate and then ran fifth in the NMofR at SAR in his most recent swing of the bat.  The post doesn’t do him any favors and this looks like a tough spot.  

   Fog Machine    Our Athletes    Beschizza A   121   15/1  

Makes a huge step up in class and gets clobbered with the twelve post today.  He won a FLA-bred OptAlw last out, going a flat mile, and did so in fast fashion.  He’s been on the board in eight of nine starts, winning half of those, but this is outside of those races. 

   Sky Dust    Nakamura Stables   —  No Rider  —   121   AE

Would need some luck to draw into the field, being the only AE entered, but I’d kind of like to see him in this race.  He seemed to like the going on the ELP turf, his first grass try.  He was eleventh in the Wood Mem (GII) back in Apr, so the barn likes him. 

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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