Natalma Stakes – Grade I [BC]
1 Mile Turf Stake Purse $250.000 Filly 2 Year Olds.
1st Casting Couch Cutie Arindel Gutierrez Mario
6 weeks ago this filly was beating just two home when beaten 5 lengths in a maiden over this sort of trip, today she made all to qualify for the BC in a grade one. Such is HRP, one day you have a promising two year old, the next a world beater. The improvement curve for this one was there for all to see with her works falling from a 1.36 and 2 at the end of July to a 1.35 and 2 at the beginning of this month. Those sort of works say ignore what happened before and start counting the money and sure enough she came good today. Leading from the gate she had to do it the hard way setting a good enough pace and surprisingly holding on in the fight to the line albeit by the shortest margin.
This was a great spot by Arindel who picked her up in a $50 maiden claimer back in July when she had had three runs and hadn’t even made the first four. She will carry the stable colors in the BC now and if she gets some luck she may be BC winner number one for the emerging trainer.
2nd Gaeilic Wonder Smokey Stover Tunon M
She was the next best worker in the race but i thought she would catch the winner even after she was snagged back from a closer position after the first quarter. It looked like it was that tactical decision that lost her the race as she flew home and only just failed to catch the winner. She will have enough points to get into the BC after this and her trainer will be relishing the though of a rematch.
3rd Stargazing Aer Stables Ryan S
As is the norm at HRP these days just four lengths covered the 12 runners so its not unusual to say third beaten a head and that’s where this one ended up. Stalking the lead she had every chance but just battled in the end. The horses pretty much finished in works order but out of the first three this filly was the one that batted above herself and i feel there is a little more to come from her.
4th Lucky Insist Rock Creek Hernandez B J Jr
I thought this filly might run a race and run a race she did closing hard from the back to end up fourth beaten a length. I feel that if her trainer can get her a little closer to the early pace she could well win a big one but as she has had rotten luck with draws she will need some good fortune to go with anything the trainer can do.