The Inaugural G3 OP Mile
April 2, 2022
OP Race #1 Post Time 18:25
4YO and Up 122 Lbs
Track Record-1:34.73 (Prince Of Monaco-2015)
The $400.000 G3 OP Mile will be contested for the first time in HRP history on Saturday. A nice addition to the stakes schedule, this contest for older runners should be very popular with the HRP horsemen in the future. This first edition will feature eight runners and all of the eight appear to be in with a chance. Let’s meet the field for the inaugural G3 OP Mile:
#1 Oleg (Arindel/E. Jaramillo): Colt started his 4yo campaign the same way he ended his sophomore year: in the Winner’s Circle. He’s had a nice little mini-break since local G3 score and that should prove beneficial seeing as he ran 12-times last season. This could be a case of a horse getting really good and he looks like he’ll have every opportunity to run his winning streak to three.
#2 Sexy Back (Night Rider Stables/L. Saez): 5yo delivered quite the surprise at odds of 174.90-1 in local G3 score in his latest effort. Don’t expect to see those kinds of odds this time. Runner seems to have a flare for the dramatic as he likes to make his move when the money is on the line, so he’ll need some luck with trip/traffic, but there’s no reason to think he won’t be sitting on go in here.
#3 Splash Mountain (John Henry/A. Cedillo): 7yo is still going strong and commands respect when he shows up on race day. A model of consistency and class, he’s been ITM in 30 of his 44 starts heading into this assignment. About the only knock on him is the fact that he’s “unproven” in two-turn races at this distance….but even that lone chance can be forgiven since it was in the BC…from post 14. Hard to root against this one and he looks like he still has more to give. A warrior in every sense of the word.
#4 Gran Z (Maxmillion Farm/Ru. Gonzalez): 6yo is another that brings his lunch pail to every assignment. Just missed in G1 turf try at astronomical odds but he gets back to his best surface for this. Equally capable on the front end and from off the pace, he just makes his own trip in the afternoons. Not a lot of negatives on any of these so far and he feels like another that is well-meant for this.
#5 Sunderland Til I Die (TwinTowersRacing/D. Davis): 4yo colt became a stakes-winner for the first time in his latest effort and goes for his first graded win here. This season is off to a better start than what we saw from him as a sophomore and he may keep improving as he continues to mature. Going to make him prove that he can beat graded foes, but that has more to do with the competition in here than it does with what we think of him. His time will come.
#6 Eclipse My Knowledge (Nakamura Stables/J.K. Court): 7yo is running strongly as he approaches his 45th career start. SRF fig for his latest seems a little light when you look at how the speed variant looks compared to his two runs prior. He’s going to be on or near the lead most likely and he has proven time and again that he can get to the front and keep going. Another veteran that loves his job and rewards his trainer with good performances.
#7 Tempestuous (Mb Stables/Mar. Garcia): 4yo threw them quite a changeup in the Big Cap and blazed his way to a G1 win. Don’t think we’ll see those tactics this time around, but he has shown that he can compete from just about everywhere. Not sure if there is an HRP “bounce” but he could be a candidate just based on how differently he ran last time. Still, the big barn knows good horses and have to think he’ll be leading him to the paddock with confidence.
#8 Hollywood Revolution (Angelos Stable/T. Gaffalione): 5yo has done a lot of good work in the sprint ranks (he owns a G3 win), but this routing thing hasn’t proven to be his cup of tea just yet. Now, if you watch that ELP victory going a mile last August, you may be able to forgive his 1-17 route record a little more easily. This field is loaded, and we can’t back him, but it wouldn’t be a very big shock if this guy was right in the thick of it when the money is on the line.
Final Analysis: This is an extremely tough race to find someone that you can back with a lot of confidence; not because of the lack of quality, but just the opposite. If the RL version of this race draws as well, it won’t be a G3 for very long. There are bigger races on the weekend, but don’t think there will be a better race. We’ll give Oleg the nod with Splash Mountain and Gran Z rounding out the exacta and tri in the inaugural running of the G3 OP Mile. Good luck everyone!