The 19th Running of the Sensational Star
03/20/2022 SA Race #6 17:10
$100.000 6.5 Furlongs Turf
CA-Bred 4yo+ 123 lbs
Track Record-1:10.91 (Alpha Ultimo-2006)
Stakes Record-1:12.05 (Second Chance-2006)
There will be a full gate for Sunday’s 19th renewal of the Sensational Star at SA. The 6.5-furlong turf sprint is restricted to Cal-bred 4yos+ and all ten will carry 123 pounds as they pursue the $100.000 purse. With the opportunity to race at level weights, this one always figured to draw a strong group and the ten we have signed-on definitely fit that bill. We have multiple graded winners/runners included, so let’s meet the combatants for the Sensational Star:
#1 Southern Fame (Mb Stables/Mario Gutierrez): 6yo’s campaign is off to a much better start after a sub-par 5yo season. Draws the rail here and is a former BC contestant. Have to think he’ll take full advantage of this post and he is definitely a contender.
#2 Sniper (Avenue Z/E. Maldonado): Speed is the main weapon this 6yo horse possesses and have to believe this post is a positive. Took down a G2 on NYD right here at SA and at this trip so, needless to say, this move to the CA-bred ranks is an opportunity to continue his current run of good form. Major player from the jump.
#3 Cartomancist (Spankys Barn/J. Bravo): 6yo gelding has danced a lot of dances in this division and did compete in last year’s BC race in this division. New barn plucked down $40.000 following February’s win in hopes that this guy is ready to string together some strong performances. A tad too inconsistent to back for top honors, he is a threat for the minors.
#4 Bingo (Chili King Stables/U. Rispoli): 5yo appears to be over his head, but he gets a chance to sprint after six attempts (two wins) routing. Extremely lightly-raced, he’ll need to check a few boxes before we can back him here.
#5 Blown Coverage (Angelos Stable/Ru. Gonzalez): Last-out G3 winner is right at home in these sprints over the lawn. That’s two G3 victories in his last four races and, if he can duplicate those performances, he looks to have a major say on Sunday.
#6 Captain Que (Angelos Stable/J.R. Velazquez): 5yo horse is sharp right now and will be going for the biggest win of his career. While that may not be the case for some others in here, he looks to be ready for this opportunity. Lots of speed in his possession, so expect to see him early and he could prove tough to run down.
#7 Need More Cash (Spankys Barn/F. Prat): 4yo hasn’t been facing the toughest groups, but he has been posting positive results. Has to face some really strong competitors at level weight; however, he’s got some upside potential despite the step-up for this.
#8 Controlled Power (Spankys Barn/D. Van Dyke): 8yo has learned some new tricks, it seems. After facing the best of the best in marathon turf contests, he was unclaimed for the $50.000 tag in a last-out victory going this trip. Wish there was more evidence that this is indeed what he wants to do, but have to respect these types every time they line up.
#9 Midnight Runner (Paradise Stable/V. Espinoza): 4yo colt needs a form reversal and fast. All was going well until his last four starts but something has gone awry. Hard to see him beating this group unless he can turn back the clock.
#10 Geronimo (Nakamura Stables/A. Cedillo): Good news first: he’s a confirmed sprinter at a very high level. Now the bad news: he’s only raced once on turf, he’s drawn way out here, and he hasn’t won since last June. Maybe too many unknowns; however, we like him a little bit in this spot. Maybe.
Final Analysis: This is a really strong and competitive group for this level. We’ll go 1-2-5-10 in a loaded renewal of the Sensational Star at SA. Good luck to all involved!