Twilight Derby (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Turf
October 31, 2021
Halloween will give us some exciting stakes action this year as the 16th running of the Twilight Derby takes place at SA. It only draws a field of five, perhaps something that was affected by the race being so close to the BC. Previous years saw it run earlier in October, leaving this year’s race being more of a chance for up and coming three year olds to score a big win, although we do have experienced graded runners in here as well. The 2020 race was won by Winchester, a gelding who continues to have a strong career even though lately he’s become more known as a dirt sprinter. We’ll see him in the BC (expected), so maybe this year’s winner can do the same in 2022. Here’s a look at the field!
#1- Sirzhu (Big Guns Stable, ridden by V Espinoza)- It took this horse seven tries to break his maiden, but it ended up being worth it, since the maiden he won was a $100.000 race at SAR. A few runner ups mixed in kept him profitable and showing potential. Last month, he was second in an optional claimer and will now see what he can do in graded competition. It’s a good test for him.
#2- Mock Galaxy (Jive Inc., ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- This gelding knows how to win, doing so five times in his twelve career starts. There is one stake win there, the $100.000 American Derby against three others in July. Not something that’s going to intimidate the others in here, but a strong result, nonetheless. He could not carry momentum into the DMR Handicap, however. Fifth last month in the Allied Forces.
#3- Ptyrannical (Arindel, ridden by T J Pereira)- Here is the most experienced stake runner in the field, having run in the Holy Bull, FL Derby, and the Grade 1 Mister D during his career, among others. He does not have any wins in those races but was decent in his two races in September, highlighted by running fourth in the Grade 2 DMR Derby. He should have a great chance here.
#4- Cherokee Devil (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by A Cedillo)- It will be the graded debut for this well bred horse by Cherokee Sunset, and he has certainly earned the opportunity. He doesn’t win a lot, but what he has been is a consistent producer, placing second five times in 13 races. He did get his second win, finally, in his last start, in the $125.000 Toronto Cup Stakes, and I like his chances in this race.
#5- Sovereign Leader (Nakamura Stables, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- A lightly raced horse that makes just his sixth career start. He’s hit the board in four of them, with two ending up with him in the winners circle. This is his first graded start, and he did have an ungraded run in July, where he was fourth of four. Likes to go out to or near the lead thus far.