Kid Commander Faces Tough Crowd in Kenner Stakes

Kenner Stakes ($100.000 Purse)
FG- For Four Year Olds and Upward
Five and a Half Furlongs on the Turf
January 22, 2022

A field of eight will go to post for the 16th running of the Kenner Stakes, which is a turf sprint for older horses. Just in time for a big NFL weekend, the race will feature blown coverage and a blitz. Perhaps it will be as entertaining as last year’s race was, when ten horses finished within two lengths of one another. It would also be the last race for the great Lunar Blaze, who had nearly $4,000.000 in career earnings. He was not one of those ten who finished close to the winner, Shattered Pieces. That’s a gelding trained by Rampage Stable who is still active but now races in open allowances instead of stakes. It would be the first time the race was run at five and a half furlongs. Also, historically, the purse has bounced around for the race with amounts ranging from $60.000 to $200.000. Perhaps, it has found its home at $100.000. Let’s meet our field of eight!

#1- Blown Coverage (Angelos Stable, ridden by A Cedillo)- This horse past through the private sales ring a couple times over the last six months, but he’s intercepted the competition twice with victories in his three starts since, highlighted by a 100 SRF at the Grade 3 BEL Turf Sprint. He wasn’t quite as good in his last start, but still a decent effort in a similar race at AQU. He’s been idle for about two months and will begin his six year old season here.

#2- Four Leaf (Angelos Stable, ridden by B J Hernandez Jr)- He was claimed away from Luz International for $20.000, and has gone a perfect 3-for-3 since. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It would if you already read my preview of the Bradley Stakes where Angelos has a horse, Ancient Aliens, that is also 3-for-3 after a claim. I’m a little concerned about his race frequency lately, as his prior start was on two weeks rest, and this will be three weeks later. I’ve often seen that it’s not the second race on short rest that can get a horse, but that third one.

#3- Autumn Blitz (Choppy Inc, ridden by A Beschizza)- Had a good career for Mb Stables, including a five race winning streak beginning in 2020 that ended in 2021. He didn’t race there as much as he could have, and after running fifth in the Grade 3 Troy, he sat idle until the December auction. Debuted for Choppy at the end of last year, and was third in an open allowance. We’ll see if he is ready for better here.

#4- Cover Photo (Axeman, ridden by J Loveberry)- We’ll hit the “like” button for Cover Photo thus far in his career, since he has won half of his ten career races, and has never failed to hit the board. He’s never run in a stake before, so he has certainly earned this opportunity. Recently, he has been seen at PRX, winning his last two races there with F Pennington aboard. If he runs like he did there, then he should make this step up just fine.

#5- Elijah G (Mb Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- It will be the first time this horse hits the track since running sixth in the BC Turf Sprint at DMR. To get there, he was very consistent and while he won twice, his best race was probably when he was second in the Grade 1 Highlander. It’s time for his four year old season to begin, and he should be one of the favorites in this race, and with only eleven races in his career to this point, we might see even better from him this year.

#6- Kid Commander (Allinthegate, ridden by G Saez)- I didn’t expect to see multiple horses in here from the BC Turf Sprint, but Kid Commander not only comes out of that race, but was able to cash a check in it. He finished third in that race, capping off a 2021 where he won a total of four times. Among his wins were the Grade 1 Jaipur and the Grade 2 Woodford. In his last race, with the other Saez aboard, he was second in the AQU Turf Sprint Championship. Never seems to run a bad race, and I don’t expect that to change here.

#7- Inbred (Arindel, ridden by E Jaramillo)- This four year old Manhunt gelding will be looking for his second stake win, with the previous victory being in an ON-bred race in September. When he ran there, he was moved to the turf after running third in a $30.000 claimer, and certainly Arindel is happy he was not claimed. He’s been third in his last three races, including here last month in the Scherer Memorial.

#8- Laffin Funky (Nakamura Stables, ridden by C J Hernandez)- He didn’t race in the BC Turf Sprint last year, but did in 2020. That was the last time he would run for prior trainer Maxmillion Farm. 2021 would only see one victory for the gelding, which came in an optional claimer. For the most part, his season consisted of running in ungraded stakes but were all at least a mile. This will actually be the first time he runs in a sprint since the 2020 BC Turf Sprint.

Prediction: 6-2-5-4

— NS

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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