October 2, 2021 18:10
SA Race #9 $300.000 11/8 Dirt
3YOs 121 Lbs 4yo+ 124 Lbs
Track Record-1:46.74 (Imane-2013)
Stakes Record-1:46.83 (Risen Ruler-2012)
It’s another day of BC automatic qualifiers and one of the biggest is the $300.000 G1 Awesome Again going 11/8 on the SA dirt. The winner of this SA staple reserves their spot in the gate for the $6,000.000 G1 BC Classic. In the 18 previous editions, trainers Jerry Garcia Racing (2004, 2005) and Australia Wide (2010, 2011) conditioned two winners each while jockey M. Smith (2006, 2008, 2012) is the only pilot with more than one victory in this event. Here is the field for Saturday’s 19th Running of the $300.000 G1 Awesome Again at SA:
#1 Big Bang Raj (Rock Creek/Mario Gutierrez 124): 4yo colt draws the rail and looks to keep the current run of form going with five straight trifecta finishes; including a win in the G2 Brooklyn. Probably going to need some pace to develop in order to be at his best; however, he looks like a player with this draw and what he’s shown recently on the track. Big chance.
#2 Breath Of The Wild (Smokey Stover/S.R. Bahen 121): One of the most intriguing horses in all of HRP looks to get his graded win. Looked good running on the front end last time and he does get the three-pound allowance from the older guys, but that hasn’t meant much on this iteration of the race engine. Don’t think he’s here just to be here so expect his best.
#3 Antonym (Mb Stables/G. Saez 124): 7yo is the first of three from this barn and he looks to be between his stablemates in ability. Did score on the front-end last out in the G2 CT Classic, but that is a funky place to go 9-furlongs. He’s making his 50th start on Saturday, with over half of them at the free track before the February claim, and the way he is running, you can’t completely dismiss him.
#4 Home Spirit (Night Rider Stables/L. Saez 124): G3 Seagram Cup winner tries his second G1 of the season at this track. G1 Gold Cup run back in May wasn’t terrible as he made up ground late to be 6th, beaten three lengths. Probably another that will need some pace to run at, but think we’ll hear from him down the lane.
#5 Dangerfield (Mo Mentum Farm/P. Lopez 124): First of two for the barn and seems to be the lesser of the two entries. Hard to say that about a G2-winning sprinter, but this trip is definitely more in the wheelhouse of his stablemate. Would be easy to assume he’ll be setting/pushing the pace, but form doesn’t neccessarily suggest that is his best chance.
#6 Freddo Cappuccino (Mo Mentum Farm/R.M. Hernandez 121): Barn’s second entrant has done a lot of winning in a four-race career even though he’s had as many owners as races. Got the job done going 10-furlongs in the $1,000.000 Queens Plate in his latest and no reason to believe the 3yo has reached his ceiling. Engine hasn’t been especially kind to the sophomores vs elders, but have to think this guy is going to keep improving. Top choice.
#7 Tactical (Mb Stables/C.J. Hernandez 124): Not a lot to say that hasn’t already been said about the second of three from this barn. Hasn’t been the biggest beneficiary of the engine tune-up, but this is still one extremely high-quality digital equine athlete. Was a DH winner of the G1 Gold Cup the last time he was in California and no reason to think he runs poorly in this one. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
#8 That Funky Monkey (Maxmillion Farm/V.R. Carrasco 124): G1 Vanderbilt winner forgoes another sprint run to see if he can qualify for G1 BC Classic. Horse definitely had other options on dirt and turf, so interesting to see him try this spot. That being said, this is not a conditioner who takes uneducated chances, so expect him to do some running. Your call.
#9 Fallacious (Nakamura Stables/J.K. Court 124): Purchased via the June auction for $31.120 before making a winning debut for the new barn. That September allowance win at DMR saw him make all the running going 1-mile. Big step up to this level and he’s never beaten a stakes field of any kind. Going to let him prove it before getting on the bamdwagon.
#10 The Captain (Mb Stables/J. Talamo 121): Barn’s third entrant was on a nice three-race winning streak before the G1 Jerkens try. The three route wins suggest he’ll enjoy this trip more than he did the seven furlongs and he does get three pounds from the elders. Still, he doesn’t look like his barn’s best hope so tough to endorse in terms of the top prize.
#11 No More Haggis (YME Stable/V. Espinoza 124): Outside horse is only 1-for-6 this year all against graded company. Was able to take the G3 Tokyo City going 12-furlongs, but that is only time he’s hit the board this season. The trip is well within his scope; however, have to question his ability to best this field drawn way out here. Pass.
Final Analysis: Tough race to find a confident place to land, but we’ll say 6-7-1 in a compelling renewal of the $300.000 G1 Awesome Again at SA. Good luck to all involved!