Appalachian (Grade 2)- $400.000 Purse
KEE- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile on the Turf
April 9, 2022
For the first time in its history, the Appalachian will see a $400.000 purse. Not too shabby for a race that debuted in 2004 as an ungraded stake and a $100.000 purse. For the last four years, it ran for $200.000, but now that amount has doubled. That did not lead to more entries, however, as it only drew a field of six, tying it with 2018 as the smallest Appalachian field in the last ten years. Those in the field will not mind as it increases their chances for a nice payday. The 2021 race was won by Arindel’s Rosehunt. She’s had hit and miss success since then, but her Appalachian victory remains her career highlight. Now, let’s look at this field of six.
#1- Im Ugly For Sure (Bigchief Stables, ridden by J S Rocco Jr)- Sounds like this one has some self confidence issues, and I was expecting to see a horrible conformation when I looked. Sure, it has a couple flaws, but there are much uglier out there. As for her ability, her career his just starting to get rolling, with two wins in five career starts. Was victorious in the Blue Norther Stakes on New Years Eve, and must have had a long hangover from that because she’s only made one start since.
#2- Demanding Commander (Hippyheart, ridden by F T Alvarado)- Showed tremendous potential last year by winning the Grade 1 Spinaway at SAR. But, you haven’t seen her in any KYO preps this year, because she was never able to build on that race. She was entered in the Frizette, and even ran in the BC Juvenile Fillies, but picked up double digit finishes in each of them. Fortunately for Hippyheart, the filly has adapted well to the turf, winning each of her two starts. Ran in the Grade 3 FL Oaks last month and won by six lengths on yielding turf. There’s a 50% chance of precipitation right now.
#3- Tequa (Arindel, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Arindel has done very well with this filly, leading her to wins in four of her six career starts, including an ungraded stake victory at MTH as a two year old. She has continued her progression into this season, and won the Grade 3 Sweet Life Stakes in February. This is her first start since. It will be a test, as for the first time, she will run more than six and a half furlongs. Her works at a mile are strong, but she needs to knock off some tough company in her first crack at it.
#4- Believe In Miracles (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- We’ve seen this filly pop up in a couple KYO preps, most recently the Davona Dale at GP, where she did not run well. She also did run into Demanding Commander in the Spinaway back in September. Where we have not seen a lot of her is on the grass, but the one time she did, she was solid, placing fourth in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo last fall at BEL. She’s also, as of now, scheduled to lose the blinkers that she’s run with off and on. I like her here, I’m counting on her to run as well as, if not better, than she did in the Miss Grillo. If only she didn’t have that one right next to her in the gate.
#5- I Love Me (Mb Stables, ridden by C J Hernandez)- Well, we have a horse with self confidence issues (Im Ugly For Sure) and now this one who might be a little too confident. She’s backed that up, though, by winning the biggest race possible for a horse in this division last year: capturing the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf. That win came after winning the Natalma, so she has certainly made a great impression. This year, she struggled in the Texas Turf Mile, run when it was all the rage to race fillies against the boys, but did win the Herecomesthebride Stakes right after it. Since she’s been nothing but great against fillies, she can’t be ignored here.
#6- State Caviar (Smokey Stover, ridden by E Jaramillo)- When I Love Me was running in the Texas Turf Mile, and struggling, State Caviar was having the opposite of that, adapting well to running against the boys, and winning the race. She was five lengths better than I Love Me there, but I as I look at these two, I think that was a case of I Love Me not showing up, and think she will be better, so I am not going to get carried away with State Caviar over it. Despite that win, she was dropped into an optional claimer three weeks ago, and struggled on soft turf, massively. It may rain here again.
Prediction (dry): 5-4-6-2
Prediction (wet): 2-5-3-4