Hot Stretch Run Leads to KY Jockey Club Win for Spiced

KY Jockey Club (Grade 2) (KYD)- $400.000 Purse
CD- For Two Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
November 27, 2021

Talented juveniles were on display in the KY Jockey Club, trying to get the winners share of the $400.000 Purse, a record for the stake, as well as the KYD points that come along with it. There were a few horses in this race that ran in the BC, but we also saw several names that did not go that route, playing their hand in statebreds, as well as some up and coming two year olds. Smokey Stover seemed to be particularly stacked for this race, and in the end it would be one of his horses, Spiced, prevailing in a tight three-way photo for the top spot. This is the first time that both Smokey Stover and jockey J R Velazquez won the race. Congratulations to them! The winning time was 1:41.99, a middle of the road time for this race. Let’s take a look!

(¼ Mile- :23.43)- Three horses jump out to the lead, but none would be quicker than the Mb Stables- trained Deserve, who ends up taking a length lead by the time they are done rounding the opening turn. The others who started well include Bo Buys An Island, from Woogaloo, who moves over to the rail, and the second Smokey Stover entry, Suikoden II. Keenness, from Our Athletes, runs fourth after initially running with the stalker group, but showing an interest to move forward a bit. Fifty Lucky is next on the rail for D J C Racing Stables, then comes our eventual winner, Smokey Stover’s Spiced. He has about three lengths to make up on the leader right now. It’s another length to Ocean Of Wisdom (Nakamura Stables) and Croton Road (Fractious). Then, the trailers, Junkyard Dog (Jive Inc), Keyhunt (Arindel), Winstorm (Fractious), and Hot Dog (South Shore Stables), all run together.

(½ Mile- :47.06)- Things tighten up in the backstretch a little more than we might expect to see, ordinarily. At the front, Deserve is still out in front, but Bo Buys An Island is not going to let him be all by himself up there and pulls up to his inside. Suikoden II stalks them in third, then we see the push forward of Croton Road, advancing his position several spots to run alongside Keenness. This set up what was close to a four wide pack now, with Fifty Lucky still on the rail. Hot Dog passed a few as well, and was nearby to these. Also moving forward was Ocean Of Wisdom, passing Spiced in the process. Keyhunt would also pull ahead of him by a nose, leaving Spiced now in the tenth position, but his gap to the leaders only increased by about a length. Junkyard Dog and Winstorm were further back.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- Rounding the turn, both Deserve and Bo Buys An Island are still leading the race, but moving into the top of the stretch both of them look a little vulnerable in the way that the field begins to spread out behind them. It looks like many horses are prepared to make a run now. Fifty Lucky had the best lane after running on the rail for so long as he could now move over and potentially split the two pacesetters. Suikoden II seemed to be the Smokey Stover horse to beat now, as he was four wide and preparing to move by the two leaders as well still while having a bit of an advantage of mostly everyone else. Keenness could potentially go by on his outside, and there was some room for Ocean Of Wisdom on the inside of that one. Croton Road and Hot Dog would have to do it from the outside, but they at least had a clear lane in front of them in the middle of the pack. That really could not be said for Spiced, who was running right behind Keenness and would need an option to present itself for the stretch. Fortunately, it looked like that could happen with the way the field was lined up. Junkyard Dog had some room on the rail if he had the legs underneath him and Winstrom would look to go the widest of them all. Keyhunt was another who would have to wait for something to open up first in order to make a run. Nonetheless, you had the feeling that there would be several passes in the stretch.

(Finish- 1:41.99)- Early in the stretch, Fifty Lucky continued to look good, splitting the two leaders and preparing to run strong to the wire. Suikoden II was gaining on both Deserve and Bo Buys An Island as well. He left some room for Ocean Of Wisdom to come on through, however. Keenness was hanging tough and maybe Junkyard Dog would do well on the rail. Winstrom was full of run on the outside. Spiced, however, did not have it as easy, but you could tell that J R Velazquez had plenty of horse underneath him but wanted to make the right decision about what lane to take. It turned out that he was able to hold his lane after all, as while Spiced had plenty of power in his stride and was advancing, the way the others in front of him were ending up, a small path between Ocean Of Wisdom, and his stablemate, Suikoden II, opened up. Velazquez may have screamed, “teammate” to S X Bridgmohan, because Suikoden II did seem to move to the outside a little more than he needed to. Now, Spiced had his other problem, and that would be catching Fifty Lucky, who was the leader and looking very strong. Plus, Ocean Of Wisdom was running quite well, too. Pushing hard, Spiced gave it his all, and at the wire, he had just enough time to get to Fifty Lucky and Ocean Of Wisdom to secure the victory, leaving them to dead heat for place. Suikoden II gets the fourth place check and was a great teammate. Winstorm, perhaps being closer to the grandstand than to the rail, ends up fifth, over Junkyard Dog who was on the rail. Bo Buys An Island dropped to seventh, edging Keenness, who seemed destined for better. Keyhunt slipped by Deserve, Croton Road, and Hot Dog late.

About The Winner- Spiced, trained by Smokey Stover and ridden to victory J R Velazquez, is a two year old gelding by Con Artist and is out of Just Wonderful. He was bred in Florida as a second quarter two year old by Smokey Stover, the only trainer for which he has ever known. The win is his fourth in six starts, his third stake win, and first graded win. His career earnings are now $653.600.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Spiced Smokey Stover Velazquez J R 5.95   1nk 1:41.99  
  Fifty Lucky D J C Racing Stables Ryan S 12.70   21/4 1:42.04  
  Ocean Of Wisdom Nakamura Stables Carrasco V R 11.85   21/4 1:42.04  
  Suikoden II Smokey Stover Bridgmohan S X 3.65   41/2 1:42.13  
  Winstorm Fractious Jaramillo E 7.10   53/4 1:42.23  
  Junkyard Dog Jive Inc. Moran D 10.65   6nk 1:42.39  
  Bo Buys An Island Woogaloo Talamo J 16.85   7nk 1:42.45  
  Keenness Our Athletes Gaffalione T 42.25   8nk 1:42.51  
  Keyhunt Arindel Garcia Mar 12.80   91/2 1:42.56  
  Deserve Mb Stables Gonzalez Ru 6.55   103/4 1:42.70  
  Croton Road Fractious Cedillo A 14.30   11hd 1:42.85  
  Hot Dog South Shore Stables Geroux F 8.00   12 1:42.88  

Track: Fast

Time: :232  :47   1:104  1:414

$2 Mutuel Prices:

3 – Spiced 13.90 6.70 4.90
1 – Fifty Lucky   6.60 7.40
2 – Ocean Of Wisdom   6.50 8.40

$1 Exacta: 3 – 1 Paid 37.70, 3 – 2 Paid 106.30

$1 Trifecta: 3 – 1 – 2 Paid 683.80, 3 – 2 – 1 Paid 683.80

Scratched: Sly Prayers

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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