Green Flash Handicap (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
DMR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Five Furlongs on the Turf
August 22, 2020
As a part of the undercard for the Pacific Classic, we will get a chance to see turf sprinters get a chance to race for a pretty good purse. This is a division that often gets overlooked within the game, since the opportunities are not as strong out there for them to accumulate a high amount of earnings. Last year was the first year that the race received a graded designation, as it had run ungraded from 2006 until 2018. The winner last year was Reuleaux, for Mb Stables, a horse that did not race much afterwards and now serves as a stud. Nine go to the gate, including the runner up last year, Jolly Be Native. He seems like he should be the favorite here, but let’s meet all of our runners.
#1- House Party (Martyparty, ridden by A Beschizza)- A winner of four in a row, two being starter allowances before he upgraded himself to the $75.000 Hill Stakes at MTH last month. He knows how to win, doing so in eight of 16 races, though some of them were low claimers. In fact, a year ago, he was running for a $4.000 tag in October. His progress is definitely a reason to party!
#2- Cellmate (Bears Stable, ridden by K J Desormeaux)- He is a winner of three straight, interestingly taking a starter allowance at MTH on the same day that House Party moved out of starter allowances to try a stake. Now, they can’t get away from one another here in the Green Flash. In February, he too ran for a $4.000 claiming tag. I think he is going to get it done here, and if he does, it would be the first graded win for the trainer.
#3- Ragin Cajun (John Henry, ridden by R M Hernandez)- He’s not on a winning streak, and the trainer would love to see him win a little more often. He has done so twice in his two starts, and since John Henry acquired him in private sales for $40.000, he’s been up the track twice. Now, he cuts back on his distance, hoping that can be the answer.
#4- Just A Reserve (Spankys Barn, ridden by D Van Dyke)- This horse has been a steady participant in turf sprints, but has not been showing much this season. There was one solid start in February, but after a four month layoff, he did not run well in the $75.000 Umphrey Turf Sprint Handicap. Though, perhaps he just did not like the soft turf. Capable if he finds his form from last December.
#5- Iskander (Two Hearts One Love, ridden by V R Carrasco)- He’s by Cherokee Sunset. That’s about all the positives I can say on this one. One career race, at MNR, where he was third, ten months ago. Bought for $1.000 two weeks ago. All I can say is anything can happen on HRP.
#6- Tyrian (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by T Gaffalione)- Tried to set the pace from the outside in the Quick Call at SAR in his last start, but fell to sixth. We see that script often, don’t we? Back in April, he had a good outing in the $100.000 Palisades Turf Sprint, a race that he won. It does seem as though he can be one of our better horses in this race and maybe even a slight distance cut to five, instead of five and a half furlongs, will be all it takes.
#7- Jolly Be Native (John Henry, ridden by M Tunon)- There is no one in this field who comes close currently to the achievements of Jolly Be Native. He has earned more than the rest of the field has combined, and with room to spare. That said, this is his 44th career start, so the question is what is he doing recently. In his last start, he won an optional claimer at SAR, and was second in this race last year. Definitely due to win again, and this is a field he can take.
#8- General Ferro (Mb Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- Started off his season by winning the Grade 3 Tropical Turf Stakes at GP, then followed it up with an open allowance win. As a three year old, he was seen in both the BEL Derby and the Arlington Million. What he has not been seen doing lately is sprinting, as the last time he has run under a mile is when he broke his maiden in August 2018. Should still be a contender here as long as he is ready for the finish line to come up when it does.
#9- Zone One (Night Rider Stables, ridden by J Bravo)- Another horse in this field that ran for a very low claiming tag this year. Zone One was picked up for $6.250 back in March, and has one win in three starts with Night Rider. He has not tested him to this degree yet, however, and the speed figures will need to be better than what they have been.