AP Million – Grade I [BC]
AP Race #4 1 1/4m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
1 So Lonely Diablo Diablo Davis D
It is great when you enter these races and find your entry with an inside gate. This four year old is greaty improved this year ending a run of good efforts and a win in the Elkhorn with a great second in the Manhattan last time beaten less than a length by Xmas Snow. So Lonely gets the swing with the draw today so can be expected to get closer to that horse today and he wont have to get too close to give him a chance of winning. If he can find some early pace and stay close early he will be keeping on at the end of this race and gets every chance of a huge prize.
2 Immoral Mb Stables Velazquez J R
No-one knows better than Mb Stables how much of an advantage the three year olds have in the second part of the season here at HRP and no other stable has a bigger habit of winning these 1K races. This gelding was seen as a dirt router by his trainer and took the path the TC after winning the La Futurity as a two year old and the TAM Derby as a three year old. He didn’t go to the KYD after a great third in the SA Derby from a wide gate but was saved for the Preakness where he ended up seventh beaten just one length. Whilst that was a little disappointing i think Mb Stables always knew this one would be just as good on turf, as lets face it surface doesn’t seem to matter to good horses at HRP, so he took him to the BEL Derby last time for a first start on grass. Drawn wide he came from a mile back to win by a length that day and has since been setting the gallops alight with very sharp works. I will go out on a limb here, drawn perfectly he looks like another big ticket winner for the stable.
3 Bobs Ticket Mb Stables Court J K
This one was just better than average up to the point where he got the three year old weight advantage and that little fact turned him into a grade one winner as he took the United Nations very easily. Drawn wide last time out he was soundly beaten in the BEL Derby behind his stable mate and i see no real reason why he can turn that around. I am sure Mb will be looking for him to get in the first three but i can’t see how he can beat Immoral.
4 Cherokee Twins TwinTowersRacing Bejarano R
This stable often sends these types to the big races and very often turns one up in the first three at big odds. Going for the double hack of first run on turf and the three year old weight allowance he may find another little pay check comes his way with this one. Apart from a third in the TX Mile there isn’t much to recommend him but very often form doesn’t mean much these days.
5 Dead Madness John Henry Tunon M
How different it is being a three year old compared to a four year old at HRP. This great champion and BC Turf winner won 6 from 9 last year with over 4K in winnings. This year at four he hasn’t won in 5 starts and has won just $400.
However write him off at your peril. Who can forget his dominant win in the BC Turf last year making all from a horrible gate it looked like he would never be beaten again. Roll forward to this year and though he hasn’t won he was only beaten a nose in the Forrester Turf Classic and a length in the Manhattan so whilst it will be virtually impossible to give the three year olds weight and beat them it is clear he retains much of the class and ability that saw him rise to the top last year.
6 Xmas Snow Maxmillion Farm Gutierrez Mario
The turf king seems to have found the key to this horse this year and that is to give him plenty of time between runs. Three grade one starts this year for two wins and a third he has the beating of most of the older horses here, Can he beat the three year olds though?
Well on works i don’t think he can and his three stats this year have all seen perfect draws and whilst he gets another good draw today its not quite as perfect as it has been. I can certainly see him in the top four i just cannot see how he beats the three’s.
7 Dons Carry On Nolespan Racing Vazquez R A
Nolespan Racing seems to have found Mb’s magic wand this year as this one started the year winning a TUP maiden and has since racked up a grade two win in the Whittingham and a great second in the BEL Derby last time. I must admit i think Immoral is a clear cut winner here and this one finished just as fast as that horse in the BEL Derby so you have to give him some sort of chance to get even more glory in a remarkable season for both horse and trainer.
8 Workload Mb Stables Beschizza A
The third runner for the stable so they can hedge their bets nicely as all three get draws that are good enough to win from. Another that spent his early career running on dirt and aiming for the TC he was switched to turf and as is usually the case made the change without seeming to notice. He won a little state bred stakes before going on to a narrow victory in the Read Stakes but in both cases recorded speed figures of over 100 so whilst i don’t put him in the same class as his stable mates he could very easily get involved in the finish.
9 Gordon Drive Estero Farms Lanerie C J
This one’s form really does cream inconsistent but then he has seemed to run in very type of race this year and has managed grade one success. He went from a closing sprinter to win the Jaipur to a front running router in the BEL Derby and the result was completely opposite so it is hard to see how he can improve on his eighth in the BEL Derby. Having said that he is working just as well as Immoral and as we know these races are either won by Mb or a horse that seems to have little chance on form so he falls nicely into that second category. The trainer will not have entered him to run last so despite a sticky gate i wouldn’t be surprised to see him run well.
10 Champion In Action Night Rider Stables Zayas E J
Another trainer that likes to throw their horses in the deep end this five year old has been very good this year despite not having won a race or raced on turf for a long time. Third in the SA Handicap back in March he was a big disappointment in the Suburban Handicap last time which could’ve prompted the switch to turf for today. Hard to make a case for from a tough draw today.
11 Winchester Maxmillion Farm Garcia Mar
Dead Heated with Bobs Ticket in the Peter Pan but finished well behind that one in the BEL Derby suggesting that on turf he may not be as good. The off track that day may have been a problem though so if you forgive him that he has good progressive form, decent works and is handled by the turf king which is worth a few lengths. May surprise but i am struggling to see him winning.
12 Fuji Smokey Stover Bisono J
There are two stable that have been huge this year and both have their entries in the outside gates for this. Will trainer form help them or perhaps a little motorway down the outside? Whichever it is they will need all the luck to mount their challenges. This one hasn’t had much luck with the draw but nevertheless has been very consistent winning the MTH Stakes and finishing fourth in the United Nations and second in the Nijinsky. His effort in the MTH Stakes was notable because of the off track and i can see him motoring round the outside if the rains comes. Wet he has a chance, dry a place may be the best he can hope for.
13 Tourniquet Mo Mentum Farm Hernandez R M
Can there be any worse luck that entering a four year old that will already need to run the race of his life to get anywhere near the win and then getting drawn thirteen. This is an honest sort whose works are strong but from this draw and giving weight away he will need a special HRP miracle to win.
14 High Command Nakamura Stables Cedillo A
Well if ever there was a time when the Nak factor is needed then it is today with this lightly raced three year old. Drawn in the car park and having hi first run out of overnight company it is hard to see him winning but lets not forget that we are playing a computer game here and though this sprinter who has only won an allowance in a race over a mile has won five from six ad is working pretty much as good as anything else. So could the Nak take this huge prize, well if i close my eyes i can see this horse shooting to the front setting a slow pace whilst all the others watch each other and then kicking in the straight to win…..a dream maybe, but dreams have been known to come true at HRP.
What a great race this is set up to be and it is likely we will see the BC Turf favorite emerge from it when the dust settles. I can’t get past Immoral here, he has the draw, the works and the form to win unless something weird happens with the race engine. If it does then it throws it wide open for one of the other three year olds, which one though is anyone’s guess.