The Azeri – Grade II
1 1/16 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $350.000 Filly & Mare 4 Year Olds And Up.
Well this race lived up to the hype but there were a few surprised along the way. It was no surprise that Dirty Storm led the race in its early stages however it was a little surprising that she did so off such a modest pace. It was no surprise that a mare that trounced The Pegasus World Cup field with a blistering display of front running, this time chose to run the stalk. It was a surprise to see Dirty Storm who was sent out as leader and ended up six lengths back in fifth finish alongside the 2021 HRP horse of the year, in fact it was a result that you wouldn’t have believed possible if you hadn’t seen it for yourself.
The one thing that was no surprise was that once again TwinTowers turned up for the big time with a mare that had been soundly beaten by Naples last time and in fact exacted an 8 length turn around in form in the space of 40 days.
In a game when NOTHING is really known until they pass the line and very little is known after that we were treated to a race that gave us a winner that was bred by a trainer that played for 3 seasons with just ten starts and never saw a winner !
The story just gets better here is how they ran :
1st Wbf No Regrets TwinTowersRacing Lezcano J
Breaking into a stalk from the six box was the start of this ones glory run because a slow start from that gate would’ve certainly finished her race. The pace was just steady and she held the perfect spot playing cat and mouse with Fashionable. After a half mile she had settled into the stalk, one off,and held Fashionable tight against the rail. The winning of the race came between the four furlong from home mark and the three as Fashionable bobbed around behind the weakening leader and this mare just kept going straight and stole a length. Down the stretch she drifted right out but just kept finding enough to hold the challenger who was gaining inch by inch. In the end she had just under a half length to spare and pushed her purse total over the 2K mark.
This seven year old certainly deserves more notoriety than she gets but her wins tend to pop up rather than her ever running up a sequence so she always seems to be under the radar.
2nd Fashionable Mb Stables Hernandez C J
I was surprised that the trainer didn’t send this filly after her remarkable Pegasus win but i had a feeling the top trainers would over think things. Having said that stalking an average pace on the rail should’ve been the perfect trip but for some reason between the four and three furlong pole the AI seemed to lose the ability to make a decision and the horse bobbed from the 3 out to the rail and back again even though there were gaps in both positions. That gave the winner a length and that was enough as this mare kept running hard to the line but just could not get to the winner.
3rd Tenrikyo Smokey Stover Maldonado E
A good effort to be third it may have saved her from retirement for another race or two but she never looked like getting nearer the first two.
4th Toothless Night Rider Stables Castellano J J
Ran a great race making ground from the rail but once again could not get near enough to mount a serious challenge. She beat the horse of the year, she finished fourth in the hottest fillies and mares race of the year and yet her trainer still lost $34 which pretty much sums things up for her.