5 WO Nearctic Stakes (GII)
$250.000 3yo&Up 6f Turf 3yo 120lbs Older 123lbs
North of the border we go for a full field of turf speedsters and we look at the field for the Nearctic Stakes (GII) going six panels on the lush WO lawn. I’m headed towards the outside posts for my top two selections and took Bajan Mask to get the job done today. He won over this track a few races back and was fourth in another big race here, so the home cookin’ and his speed put him on top with me. Let’s go to the far outside and give Wingman a shot… a big shot. He has a tendency to be around and get minor shares showing seven seconds and eight thirds to only three wins, but he loves the grass, and seems to always be in the hunt. Another that certainly needs to be in the conversation is Shakespearean. The 3yo has been tough in his six starts and certainly looks like a horse that could improve… you know Mb is always tough, so make sure he’s on your tickets.
It’s a nice field and I can see this going any number of ways…
Here’s The Field –
The big barn makes a big move with this one as he’s been known as a route horse winning the Bowling Green (GII) at a mile and three-eights and being a factor in a few marathon races. Today, it’s sprint time, so it will be interesting to see how he likes this. No doubt he loves the grass, so…
Hasn’t won since Apr and that was vs. Alw types. He’s been second in his last pair facing NY-bred stakes company, including a length back finish in the West Point over the SAR inner turf in his most recent. They have jumped around a bit with him, long, short, back long, back short and that was his first turf try… they come back on the turf, so let’s see.
She’s won three in a row since changing from route/mile races back to sprinting. Took the Christicat at BEL in her most recent but you know me and fillies in the boy races… especially a 3yo vs older horses. She’s got her work cut out for her.
Got back on the winning side of things taking an OptAlw race at DMR in his first trip over the green stuff in quite a while. That was his second win of the season as he also took the Pelican at TAM back in Feb. This could be a horse on the improve and may run better than the chance I’ve given him.
Another from the big barn and he’s certainly a turf sprint specialist. This lightly raced 3yo looks like a horse that could be sitting on a big race, closing well to be the runner-up in the Simpson (GII) on the hill at KD last out… I’d give him a big look in this one as he could be tough to keep out of the winner’s circle.
Four wins from five starts and this one just keeps climbing the ladder and getting the job done. Looked good taking the Allied Forces at BEL going today’s distance and that was on the grass as well. Can he take his hot hand to the graded level and get another win? He sure looks ready to burst onto the scene.
Another from the Maxmillion outfit, and certainly makes this a tough one-two punch. His only real blemish was at GP where the “gate goblin” may have gotten him. Other than that he’s been right in the middle of every start including a hard-closing second in the Turf Monster (GIII) at PRX.
Won a pair of Opt Alw races this season, and was third in his first turf try last out in the Simpson (GII) at KD. Got a bit tired in that one, but he drops a couple of pounds, shortens up a sixteenth and his second try on the green stuff. Five wins in twelve starts, so he knows how.
Ten wins and he’s been on the board in seventeen of twenty-four starts, so there’s no doubt that he is all race horse. He had the lead in the Regent over this course last out, so it will be interesting to see how he feels about the extra furlong today.
He won the Connaught Cup (GII) over this course three back, so he’s got a bit of an edge there. Fourth in his last two, the Highland (GI) also over this track and the KD Turf Sprint (GIII) both of those were tiring efforts. He’s going to have to turn it around a bit today, although I expect to see him on the lead.
He’s changed hands a couple of times of late getting tagged in back to back races. Second in his last pair for this barn, an Alw race at MTH on soft sod and then again at DMR where he had the lead but was overtaken in the last few jumps. He’s another that can blaze an early path, but how far does he go?
Classy rascal only has a single win this season, taking down Alw types at SAR, and has fifteen other on-the board finishes in his career. He’s a turf specialist, loves to go fast and certainly could be a huge factor here today. I’d give him a serious look on any/all tickets as I think he’s getting ready to unload a big race.
Was claimed for $18.000 prior to that runner up effort vs. Alw types at MTH, so he looks like a sharp claim. He would need some luck to draw into the field, but could be interesting.
COZMAN 10 / 12 / 5 Willie’s Green Card 5 / 9 / 7
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES