The 17th Running of the G3 San Luis Rey
March 12, 2022 16:30
SA Race #4 $125.000 11/2 Turf
4YOs+ 123 Lbs (plus penalties)
Track Record/Stakes Record-2:22.34 (Perpetual Motion-2008)
The 17th G3 San Luis Rey has drawn a field of eight to travel 12-furlongs on the SA turf and compete for the $125.000 purse. All of the eight entrants will carry the 124-pound minimum on Saturday so it should come down to trip and talent. Here’s the eight horses signed-on for the G3 San Luis Rey:
#1 Spankersville (The Sidley Stud/V. Espinoza): Rail-horse makes his 4yo bow coming off of a 3.5-month respite. Colt had a couple of stakes placings to finish his sophomore campaign and have to believe he should be ready for this assignment. May get a little help getting a pace to run at, and fully expecting him to be hitting his best stride in the latter stages.
#2 Stealth Command (Nakamura Stables/J. Bravo): One of multiple entries in here that have some early foot, 4yo didn’t care for the off-going in his seasonal debut and goes 12-furlongs for the first time in his career on Saturday. Stakes-winner has been close at the graded level going shorter and is well drawn for this assignment. Distance is a legitimate question but shouldn’t be discounted given his talent.
#3 Never Met Me (Mb Stables/Mario Gutierrez): Wire-to-wire winner of a nice SA allowance was impressive in that dress-rehearsal for this. That was his seasonal debut after coming home 8th in the BC. Prior to the BC, he had a very productive 5yo season. Always a pace-presence, he deserves to be respected and looks to be strictly the one to beat.
#4 Big Aspirations (Hippyheart/T.C. Baze): 5yo beagan his season with a 3rd at this same level/trip at GP. Looks to be in a run of pretty good form even if that hasn’t led to very many wins. The question is, can he put it together to win one of these? Has some versatility to his game and will need to get the tactics right if he wants to ace this assignment.
#5 Afterburner (Arindel/Ef. Hernandez): 4yo struggled in his first assignment at level weights with this elder group and will need to improve off of that effort. Did close out his sophomore campaign with a marathon trip stakes victory, so the talent is there. The key may be staying closer early and, if he can do so while staying within himself, fully expect a better effort on Saturday.
#6 Panther High (Mo Mentum Farm/J. Pyfer): Been pretty productive at the starter allowance level, so he’ll take another shot at graded foes here. 5yo is a former listed stake winner so there is talent here. Still, he’ll need to show he can best these types before we can back him.
#7 Unified Minds (TwinTowersRacing/D. Van Dyke): 4yo colts has some upside as this will be only the 6th start of his career. That being said, his best win is a N1X and none of these foes would be eligible at that level. February start was promising form the fact that he was able to shave four lengths off of a seven length deficit in the final quarter. He could hit the board and that would be a pretty good result given his lack of experience.
#8 Secret Dream (Night Rider Stables/U. Rispoli): 5yo has been a check-cashing machine in the PA-bred ranks including a $100.000 stake win. Gets stuck with the wide gate for this, but that shouldn’t disqualify him given the trip. Trainer has a knack for stepping horses up in these spots and this guy fits that profile. Not impossible.
Final Analysis: 3-5-2 is how we see them crossing the wire in the G3 San Luis Rey. Good luck everyone!