Tko Looks Strong in Palos Verdes Stakes at SA

The 18th Running of the G3 Palos Verdes Stakes

January 29, 2022

SA Race #8 17:50 $200.000 6 Furlongs 

4+ 123 Lbs (Plus Penalties)

Track Record-1:07.59 (Alpha Ultimo-2008)

Stakes Record-1:07.64 (Native Son-2008)

Stakes action on the left coast Saturday as older sprinters take to the SA oval for the 6-furlong $200.000 G3 Palos Verdes.  A field of eight will line the gate for the last of three G3 events at SA.  We have an interesting mix signed-on for this assignment, so let’s meet the field for the 18th Running of the G3 Palos Verdes:

#1 When Your Strange (Maxmillion Farm/U. Rispoli 123): 6yo took a handful of swings at the graded level last year but came up short each time.  Was never beaten badly; however, you’d like to see that extra oomph to get one of these.  Has worked well for seasonal bow and expect him to have a say in the outcome.

#2 Tko (Fractious/E. Maldonado 123): G1-winner and multiple GS-winning 3yo makes his first start at 4 after finishing 2021 with a pair of duds.  He has races in his past that would win this race but, sometimes, it takes a while for the 4yos to get on equal terms with the older generations without a break on the scales.  Still, this guy, from a class perspective, is a standout.

#3 Ginger Clean (The Sidley Stud/K.J. Desormeaux 123): Hard-knocking sort has been doing this racing thing for a while and comes here off of back-to-back career bests.  If the 5yo has one more jump in him, he can compete here.  He’s a multiple stake winner; however, this will be the first graded field he has faced.  May need another career-best to challenge these.

#4 Thunder Canyon (Spankys Barn/J.J. Hernandez 123): Last-out winner of a $100.000 stake, this guy likes to hit the gas early.  He’s been in front at the first point of call in four consecutive starts and wired the last group he saw.  This is a logical step up and he looks to be faster than the three drawn to his inside, but he may have to go a tad quicker if he wants the lead here.  If he duplicates that 1:08 and 2 from his latest, he’ll be awfully tough.

#5 Catch Speedy (Nakamura Stables/M.E. Smith 123): 4yo owns two wins from only four sprint tries, so this appears to be his game.  This is a big leap from a $35.000 TUP stake, but you can’t win if you’re not in the gate.  Doesn’t look like he’ll best these, but he should sit a really good trip and may be able to snag a minor prize.

#6 Have Phun (Gdp Inc/K. Frey 123): Got his 2022 off to a winning start against state-bred allowance runners at AQU.  He’s never beaten the likes of these, but he is another that looks like he’ll sit a good trip.  He just needs to answer the class question.

#7 Was Done (Mwn Racing/D. Fukumoto 123): 4yo will be making only the sixth start of his career and brings a two-race winning streak into this.  He hasn’t visited the vet, so a win here could mean something for this guy down the line.  Has enough early foot that he can be on the lead but runs the risk of being the meat of the sandwich in a three-way battle for the lead.  Going to need a career-best, but he’s fast enough early to make things interesting up front.

#8 Laran (Night Rider Stables/T.C. Baze 123): 5yo draws the widest post for his 2022 opener but he should be able to clear all but two of those drawn inside of him.  If he fully engages the other speed, he takes the chance that he’s three-wide in the turn.  That is probably a better position for him than having to be restrained early but it is a tough ask for the former claimer.

Final Analysis: Tko just looks to classy for this bunch but feels like When Your Strange will make him earn it.  We’ll say they finish 2-1-4 in the G3 Palos Verdes.  Good luck everyone!  

Categories: Grade III, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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