Grand Prix American JC ($300.000 Purse)
BEL- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Dirt
September 18, 2021
A field of seven is set to go take to the track in the second running of the Grand Prix American JC, a race that will send them twelve furlongs. This race appeared on the schedule for the first time in 2019, but would not be run last year. RNP Stables was the winning trainer of the race, doing so with the still active Magne Account. The trainer will not have an opportunity here to duplicate that performance. Let’s meet those who do, and their entries.
#1- Added Value (Alabarda Stable, ridden by J L Ortiz)- The best story of the TC Prep season as long time trainer and SRF boss Alabarda Stable found his way into the KYD by winning the FL Derby. He was a longshot in that race, making it a tremendous feat. Since then, things have not gone as well, however, even after the KYD. Most recently, he was up the track in the Grade 2 Dandy at the Spa. No one wants to think the FL Derby may have been a fluke, so a good result here would be nice to see.
#2- Cross The Stars (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by P Lopez)- After being gelded, Cross The Stars went on a stretch of finishing first or second in five straight races, something that was capped off by being the runner up at the LA Derby (LA, not LAD). His last race saw that run end, but he was still a decent fourth in the $120.000 Curlin at SAR. This is his first time running more than nine furlongs.
#3- Torque Converter (Nakamura Stables, ridden by E T Baird)- This is another horse that responded well to being gelded. For Torque Converter, it came the day after Christmas, and he showed no ill effects of it in running fourth in the San Antonio Stakes later that day. He doesn’t always win, though, and is a more reliable horse to finish in the money. A turf try in his last outing did not go well, so it is back to the main track.
#4- Cherokee Twins (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J Lezcano)- It’s been 51 weeks since this horse last won a race, which was an optional claimer. His last nine starts have not only been winless, but have led to only one finish in the top three. Despite this, and as we see often from TwinTowersRacing, that is not a deterrent and he keeps giving him chances. He ran in the Pacific Classic last month, and was fifth. If he can build on that, the trainer’s perseverance could be rewarded.
#5- Talladega (Arindel, ridden by G Boulanger)- Only one in his 18 starts have seen this horse in a stake, and that was simply a $75.000 one from December that he did not fare well in. Otherwise, Talladega has been a productive horse in overnights and has three wins and two places in his last six starts. Something was off with him in his last start, but given his placement here, I figure the trainer knows exactly what happened and that is a throw out.
#6- Bodemister (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by L Contreras)- This gelding by the late Snowmizer how has been a regular participant at the stake level, but the results were not really there in the bigger races he was in. D J C opted to change things up, and that started with a geld in July and then a race at SAR, the $120.000 Birdstone, where the regular sprinter was sent twelve furlongs. He won that race with a 99 SRF so this is a good spot to see if he can finally start winning stakes with more regularity.
#7- Obeah Mon (Night Rider Stables, ridden by E Cancel)- Here is the second horse in the race that comes out of the Pacific Classic. For Obeah Mon, it was not a memorable start, as he finished seven lengths back, and in tenth place. That had to be quite a let down, since he won the Grade 3 Cougar Stakes in the race leading up to it. The competition here is not as strong as the Pacific Classic, so a good race for him to get back up on his feet.