What Will the Boys Do in San Felipe Stakes with No Girls to Chase?

San Felipe Stakes – Grade II [KYD]
SA Race #10 1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $400.000 For Three Year Olds.

I realize this will come to a shock to some people but here we have a KYD qualifier with its usual full field with NO FILLIES entered. Who would have thought after all the fuss that we would have a straight forward qualifier with no fillies and no excuses.
I almost feel like i have missed out on something being assigned to this race because selections to date have been fairly easy to predict but here i am faced with twelve colts and geldings and no idea where to find the winner.
The race itself in recent years hasn’t been a great pointer to the KYD winner but in general it turns out a decent horse even if they don’t manage to make their mark in May.

Oh well, here they are see if you agree:

1      Uranus       Smokey Stover          Silvera Ru

The stable is in top gear and gets the ace draw here to work with their son of Neon Wolf who has already got some KYD points in the bag. The winner of four from seven he was really game on seasonal debut when taking the Lewis Stakes rallying after leading early to win by a neck. He gets a great draw to do the same today and he must be the leading hope from a stable that is looking very strong going to the KYD.

2       Hot Dog        South Shore Stables           Alvarado J

This gelded son of Proud Chai went to the BC as a turf sprinter last year but has come out this year as a useful looking dirt router, only at HRP ay! The winner of the Sham Stakes first up as a three he showed that to be no fluke with a closing sixth only a length off the winner in the Holy Bull. He gets the perfect draw today and has the beating of a few of these so he has to go right on the list as great chances.

3      Fionas Miracle        La Canada Racehorses        Bahen S R

This one looked pretty special when he won the Funny Cide last year and whilst he hasn’t won since he has become a useful sort and is making good progress on the KYD trail. He got the dreaded slow start in the BC so it was no surprise to see him as a no show. He got quickly back on the bike after that fall and ran a nice second in the Southwest on seasonal debut closing like a true router from a similar draw. His works are strong and as long as he doesn’t get too far back he should be strong down the stretch and has a decent chance of KYD points.

4       Great State         Our Athletes      Van Dyke D

After two wins on the turf it was a bit of a surprise to see him do so well in the Lewis Stakes and he didn’t just do well he would’ve won in another stride or two. He got to within a neck of Uranus after getting a mile off the pace early on and was running very fast splits at the end and went in to many black books that day. In real life the money would be on here but here at HRP it is very rare for two races to follow each other and run to form so whilst he will be very strongly fancied here i am not sure he is the certainty he looked from that last run.

5       Blasphemy     Mb Stables       Beschizza A

In previous seasons this trainer was sweeping up these KYD qualifiers but this year they have had some stiff opposition. Last years Iroquois winner ran really well in the BC Juvenile making the running until the run for home and ending up just a length behind the winner at the line. Since then however things haven’t gone so well and i do wonder whether he has been struggling to stay this sort of trip especially when put near the speed. I think his best chance today will come from mid pack and he has the draw to do just that so i expect a better run than he showed in the Lecomte.

6     Custom Continental    Our Athletes       Moran D

Very closely matched with Blasphemy on BC and Lecomte running he has come out on top both times, He looked like a special when wining the Pharaoh last year and that probably had something to do with his price tag recently because he hasn’t reproduced that effort in three runs since. A sound third in the Lecomte on seasonal debut suggests he is in the right place but i will need to see more from him today.

7     The Greek      Arindel     Garcia Mar

Showed plenty of speed to take The Notebook as a juvenile he then finished the year off with a solid second in the NY Stallion Series- Great White Way which was enough for the trainer to take the gamble on these qualifying races. He led them up in the Lecomte but faded away and i guess the biggest question for him is not his raw ability but his ability to stay this trip.

8       Grouse Mountain        John Henry     Bridgmohan S X

The BC Juvenile winner, he came from nowhere that day to get up in the last stride and went into the winter as a leading hope for the KYD. His first run in the Sham Stakes was awful but i feel the trainer tried to get him nearer the pace and he really didn’t seem to like it. Back in his role as a deep closer in the Lewis Stakes he finished strongly to be fifth but never got near enough to be a winning chance. HRP has pretty much done away with deep closer’s so it looks like he will always struggle but with luck and at his best he could just blast through them today.

9    Sugar And Spice        Hippyheart          Baird E T

Won his last two in good style and deserves a crack at a race like this. He was strong over the mile in the Allison Derby last time but this draw will make it tough for him to stalk the lead and he may just find it too tough.

10      No More Rattle        Bigchief Stables        Rosario J

Did well at ungraded level last year winning the Lively Shively but that was over a sprint trip so his stamina must be in question today. He wasn’t disgraced in the Southwest but never looked a factor from a similar draw and his trainer will have to find something extra if he is going to win today.

11     Inspector Gadget        Nakamura Stables       Carrasco V R

Moved through his gears nicely as his campaign went along and although he had been successful on turf through his juvenile career he has been campaigned with the KYD in mind in his last two. A good effort to be third in the Sham Stakes he then disappointed in the Withers when fading from the stalk. He was drawn wide in the Withers and it was too hard for him to find his customary lead from there and this draw again today will see him face the same problem. Having said that no two form lines are the same at HRP so you never know but he wont be on my shortlist today.

12       Shamo       Mb Stables           Espinoza V

The last time he won he made all in an optional claimer at SA and i wonder whether that will be his only option from the car park today. Third in both the Jerome and The Withers he is well tried and so far has proved up to the task but this draw makes it really hard to pick him with any confidence. Having said that sometimes the wide draws can slot in and if the luck of the race engine is on his side he is good enough to get some.


I think the wide draw will actually help Grouse Mountain today and as long as he can find a way through i feel he may just bounce back to his BC winning form. Of the others the inside draws will be strong, Uranus should get a nice pozzie up on the speed and will be there at the end and the next three in Hot Dog, Fionas Miracle and Great State all have very strong claims.

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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