The JC Derby (BC) ($1,000.000 Purse)
BEL- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
September 18, 2021
After not being run last year, the JC Derby returns to the schedule for 2021 to be contested for the second time. It is not a graded race, but it’s $1,000.000 purse certainly carries a ton of incentive for top horses to take part, as will the points for the BC Turf. It’s great to see this race back on the schedule, as we can all remember what happened in this stake back in 2019. If you can’t, let that 1:07 at six furlongs remind you! That race was won by Spiral, who was 25 lengths at that point, but came back to win for Mb Stables! We will thankfully not see that crazy of a pace in this year’s race no matter how fast they end up going here. There will be ten going to post, let’s take a look!
#1- Broad Brush (Mb Stables, ridden by J Rosario)- Starting on the rail, this gelding won the $100.000 Cinema Stakes at SA in May, but has struggled since then. Running here in July at the Grade 1 BEL Derby saw him merely finish 11th, and a month later at the Bruce D Stakes, he only beat one horse. The rail, though? He’s won his last two while starting from there. Maybe it brings out the best in him.
#2- Afterburner (Arindel, ridden by G Boulanger)- This is one of three horses that comes out of the Grade 1 SAR Derby last month, and they will all be starting next to one another. Afterburner ran third in the race, but was within a length of the winner and will have a much better starting spot here. Prior to that, he was fourth here for the BEL Derby. Since moving to the grass, he has shown a lot of improvement, and that trend should continue.
#3- Owens (Mb Stables, ridden by J Lezcano)- Purchased in April for $125.000 in private sales and has managed two wins in his four races running for Mb Stables. The bigger of those wins was in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes in July, but he narrowly did much, much better. Last month in the SAR Derby, he finished second in a photo to race winning stablemate Found Peace. He won’t have to deal with that one here.
#4- Jakarta (Fractious, ridden by A Bocachica)- After finishing third in the BEL Derby, Jakarta went upstate to run in the SAR Derby, but failed to hit the board, placing sixth. Unlike the other two horses coming here off of that, Jakarta has made another start since then, and he went across the country to do so. In the Grade 2 DMR Derby two weeks ago, he placed second, and hopes to build momentum off of that.
#5- Cp Free Niner (Family Racing, ridden by E J Zayas)- This trainer looks for their biggest victory in stable history as they bring in this Niner Forty Niner gelding. He also raced in SAR for his last start, but instead of the SAR Derby, it was the $120.000 Better Talk Now, where he ran third but was within a length. He’s been finishing very well at a mile, so the hope here is that will continue for the additional half mile. He might like this distance, but this is a tough crowd.
#6- Crimson Rioja (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by G W Corbett)- So far, so good for this one on the grass as he has won and finished second in his two turf starts. Last month, that win came in the $100.000 KD Preview Dueling Grounds Derby against three others. Like the one next to him, he has never faced anything like what he will see here. Speed figures are good, though.
#7- Guardian (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by L Contreras)- There may be hope for GRP runners after all, as back in May he ran there and was only third in an allowance. Must not have gotten one of the super jockeys. He actually has great bloodlines, so he is one to be patient with and maybe he is starting to show that now. Was fourth in the DMR Handicap last month, and still has something to prove, though.
#8- Last Way To The Beac (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by E T Baird)- Purchased in private sales back in January for $275.000 after finishing third in the Mucho Macho Man. He has not been back in a stake since, nor has he returned to the winners circle. However, what he has seen is a lot of rain when he races for Maxmillion, and naturally he prefers beach weather. Should see firm turf on Saturday as of now.
#9- 9 One 1 (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by N Juarez)- It took this horse a while to break his maiden, so Maxmillion did what we all do and entered him into an optional claimer at CD and he won that instead! That was also his first race on the grass, coming in April, and he won his only start since then, also an optional claimer, at CD in June. He won’t have the weight allowance he has had for going against older in those races and will have a three month layoff here.
#10- Immookielee (Smokey Stover, ridden by L Glaser)- Back to a horse with graded stake experience now, Immookielee has only raced on the grass for his career and he has managed to win half of his ten starts. He hasn’t actually won one of those stakes that he has been in, but did place fourth, though a distant fourth, at the Grade 1 United Nations. Comes here off an open allowance win at ELP two weeks ago.