Gran Z Steals the Show in Awesome Again Stakes

Awesome Again Stakes (Grade 1) (BC)- $300.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
September 26, 2020

In the 18th running of the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes, Gran Z was not seen as one of the top threats to win the race, though he still was the fourth most frequently picked horse in the pick ‘em. At odds just over 8/1, he would still be a very good wager for anyone who wanted to support him. Now, by beating the likes of Tactical, Splash Mountain, and the “now” horse, Crack Dab, Gran Z will be heading to the BC Classic just as long as the trainer, Maxmillion Farm elects to send him there, and we don’t see why he would not. This is the first time that Maxmillion has won the Awesome Again Stakes, and that feat is also true for jockey A Beschizza. Congratulations to them! The race was won in a time of 1:47.74, a middle of the road time winning time for the race. Let’s take a look at it!

(½ Mile- :47.43)- The old veteran, Air Show, flies out to the early lead for Mb Stables and looks like he might open up a three length or more advantage on the field down the front stretch before he eventually gets reeled in. As he backs off of that, he gets some company in the front by the Fractious-owned For The Boys. They are side by side after a half mile, over a couple big names in the next two positions. Splash Mountain, from John Henry, is third, and a length and a half behind the top two. Right to his outside is Tactical, from Mb Stables. To the inside of those two on the rail is Asgar’s So Profound. After them, there is a gap of two lengths, with a group of four running next to one another. In the second lane of this group is our eventual winner, Maxmillion Farm’s Gran Z. Champion In Action (Night Rider Stables) is to his inside, and on Gran Z’s outside, it is Charlemagnes Command (Serenity Stables) and Royal Assembly (Nakamura Stables). Nearby to them is Unfold (Fractious). The post time favorite, Crack Dab (Gdp Inc) and L A Raw (D J C Racing Stables) are the trailers.

(¾ Mile- 1:10.92)- Towards the end of the backstretch, For The Boys begins to creep ahead of Air Show with every stride as the latter may have been getting leg weary already. Tactical, Splash Mountain, and So Profound are holding their positions and feeling the presence of Royal Assembly, who was advancing along the outside. Gran Z remained in the middle of the field with approximately four lengths to make up on the leaders. Further back, we are not seeing any noteworthy moves, so let us move on!

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- With Air Show no longer able to keep up with him, For The Boys is able to run by himself on the front end while rounding the turn, and he has a length and a half lead over the new second place horse, Tactical. Fans of that horse had to be happy with where he was at this point. So Profound was having a steady run in third, but about to concede that position to the outside running Royal Assembly. For the moment, Air Show was between them. Gran Z was sixth, but had cut a length in the lead, and had enough daylight, so it appeared, to maintain his lane for the stretch. Splash Mountain, stunningly, had been dropping through the field. Others were still waiting to make a move, if they had it in them to do so.

(Finish- 1:47.74)- For The Boys is still looking good as the field moves down the stretch, and with a furlong to go, it looked like he might just hang on. Tactical was only making slight progress, and that was also true for Royal Assembly on the outside. On the rail, So Profound was running well, too, but was not gaining quickly enough. At this time, it would be Gran Z that would be responsive with some run. He would still have about two lengths to make up with under a furlong to go, but he was up to the challenge, splitting For The Boys and Tactical to get the win. For The Boys tired very late, and this almost cost him second, but he prevails over Tactical, Royal Assembly, and the tough luck So Profound in the tight photo for second. It was another length to Unfold then two disappointing horses, Splash Mountain and Crack Dab. Rounding out the order, it is Champion In Action, Charlemagnes Command, L A Raw, and the gassed Air Show.

About The Winner- Gran Z, trained by Maxmillion Farm and ridden to victory by A Beschizza, is a four year old El Gran Latro, and is out of the late Mrs Z. He was bred in Florida by Oquinn Farm as a first quarter two year old, and acquired by Maxmillion in private sales via Jader Stable for $50.000 in July 2018. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 18 starts, his third stake win, and second graded win. His career earnings are now $599.700.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Gran Z Maxmillion Farm Beschizza A 8.40   11/2 1:47.74  
  For The Boys Fractious Gaffalione T 19.00   2hd 1:47.88  
  Tactical Mb Stables Juarez N 4.50   3hd 1:47.91  
  Royal Assembly Nakamura Stables Mena M 10.45   4no 1:47.94  
  So Profound Asgar Centeno D E 16.10   51 1:47.96  
  Unfold Fractious Tunon M 22.55   6nk 1:48.17  
  Crack Dab Gdp Inc Stein J 2.95   71/2 1:48.23  
  Splash Mountain John Henry Bejarano R 6.45   8nk 1:48.34  
  Champion In Action Night Rider Stables Pennington F 19.55   9nk 1:48.39  
  Charlemagnes Command Serenity Stables Sanchez M J 7.30   101 1:48.44  
  L A Raw D J C Racing Stables Contreras L 22.45   11no 1:48.78  
  Air Show Mb Stables Court J K 17.35   12 1:48.79  

Track: Fast

Time: :472  1:104  1:351  1:473

$2 Mutuel Prices:

6 – Gran Z 18.80 11.50 6.00
1 – For The Boys   25.00 24.70
10 – Tactical     5.20

$1 Exacta: 6 – 1 Paid 176.00

$1 Trifecta: 6 – 1 – 10 Paid 1,563.10

Scratched: Torque Converter

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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