San Francisco Mile – Grade III
1 Mile Turf Stake Purse $250.000 Open 3 Year Olds And Up.
Well this race lived up to both its history and the HRP trends but there were a few important lessons to be learned and digested as we all strive to become more successful players. First of all a three year old won, yes it was a three year old that had only won a maiden, yes it was drawn 12 and made all the running and yes it had been beaten by its own age group in ungraded stakes races…..but. This wasn’t a terrible three year old that only won because of the weight advantage, well not entirely. With a 1.34 and 3 work for the turf mile previous to the race and a 7Lb weight pull he was clearly potentially the best in the race and whilst his form may not have been top level he had run well enough in a short career to show plenty of potential.
Four year olds filled the next three places which to an extent added to my own thoughts that the weight allowances had been slightly tweaked to give older horses a better chance. I think with a more normal weight allowance of maybe 3 or 4Lbs we may see the older horses getting more success than in previous years.
So two lessons learned but there was a few more. The three year old filly had carried 121Lbs to victory in the CAC Oaks but under just 112Lbs today could not match that winning time and ended up second last despite working 1.35 flat for the turf mile. What does this tell us, well it seems whilst older horses may have a better chance against younger horses but the fillies and mares still suffer the disadvantages that HRP seems to have put on them when racing the boys. A filly winning the KYD…well sadly i don’t think so.
Finally we see just four lengths first to last with that last horse being Greek Maestro who on works and form shouldn’t have been able to get within a furlong of the best of these. What does this tell us…well at stakes level at least nothing has changed to simulate the differences between horses and we will continue to see fields so close that form is hard to read in the basic sense.
So here is how they finished in a race that at least gave us some of the answers it promised:
1st High Planker Smokey Stover Velazquez J R
A promising sort who looks destined for success as the three year olds move to all aged stakes racing. Bred by the owner he was gelded at the start of the year and has always shown a liking for the green stuff, a trait he seems to get from his Mother. The wide gate helped him get to the front but he never cleared the field but was only one out on the outside of Time Warrior. Holding a slender lead throughout he just kept digging and found enough to hold on by a half length.
2nd Hollywood Capo Nakamura Stables Ryan S
A Slow start saw him way out the back very quickly and he soon got trapped behind the second tier of fast starters who were a couple off the front two. Pushing and praying he finally found a run but the short straight made it almost impossible to make up ground. He was flying at the end but failed by a half length to catch the winner.
3rd Chaos Broke Out Nakamura Stables Carrasco V R
Suffered much the same fate as his stable companion moving wider and wider to try and get a run. Momentarily blocked when a gap came he kept on well enough for third just a length behind.
4th Time Warrior Paradise Stable Espinoza V
The old warrior was once again sent up on the pace just as he had done so successfully in the Appleton. Running almost identical splits he couldn’t quite make the lead though and did not have enough break on the closer’s to hold on. Another creditable run from yet another bad draw i am sure once he gets a fair crack of the whip he will be back in the winners enclosure.