Ali – Grade III
KEE Race #1 1 1/8m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $300.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Toxic Personality Arindel Gutierrez R
This eight year old came from relative obscurity last year to take the grade one Clark Handicap but due to his very late arrival on the scene his future looked somewhat limited. Sold for just $150 his new owner brought him back to run a close second in the Pegasus World Cup as an eight year old and we had ourselves one of those HRP stories that happens once in a lifetime in real life but a couple of times a year here. However, as quickly as he arrived on the scene his last run seemed to signal his equally quick exit as he ran a distant tenth in the SA Handicap.
To say anything could happen today is an understatement, since that terrible effort he has run a 1.36 flat mile work and a 1.10 flat work for six furlongs, as good as ever and if we have learned anything recently this new race engine can give us some huge swings in consistency.
We wont know which horse is going to turn up today but if he falls to the back again from gate one the writing may be on the wall very early on.
2 Real One Nakamura Stables Machado L
Another example of the crazy consistency problem with this new engine as this one ran in the SA Handicap as well coming off an impressive win in the grade two San Pasqual Stakes but then running an appalling race to be ninth in that SA Handicap. He too has worked up to his best since so that race looks to be one of those glitches that isn’t a glitch and we should just ignore the form. Drawn two he gets a great chance to recapture the consistent form that brought him through the tail end of last year and into this and he certainly must be among the favorites here in this tight race.
3 Flashy Chai Nakamura Stables Court J K
The trainer will be smiling from ear to ear with the two draws they got here, we often see horses drawn together from the same stable from this apparently random draw maker. This one is very different from his stable mate, a year younger he will have to be pretty forward to beat his older rivals on levels but has been improving after taking a bit of time to clear maidens at three. A gutsy winner in a small handicap last time he doesn’t have the credentials of many of the others but is drawn nicely and may well be on speed which can really help in races like this.
4 Crimson Rioja Mo Mentum Farm Bravo J
i think this one is much better than his form looks recently as he has had a problem with his starts and on this new engine that can result in some pretty inconsistent form. The last time he started well he took an SA Allowance pretty easily and though he has stated badly in his last two he has still made some eye catching late ground. I have this one in my maybe pile because the start will be key for him, either that or a pace that allows him to get over the top late and neither of those things are predictable.
5 Contradiction Aer Stables Hernandez R M
This one has always promised more than just the three wins but when you consider one of those was in the grade one PA Derby and one of his seconds was in the Preakness you have to take his chances very seriously here. He had a long break after a brilliant fourth in the BC Classic and ran a bit flat on his reappearance in the Mineshaft but i am happy to excuse that and he should be much sharper for this race. Of course it is always tough for these top three year olds to make their mark as four year olds so it is impossible to tell what he will do today but anywhere near his best will see him winning.
6 Saturday Khartoum Rousee Rosario J
Another eight year old he too has enjoyed the longevity that seems to be more of a feature of the game these days. His form looked to be slipping at the end of last year but he has been in a bit of a renaissance so far this year with two black type wins and a good fourth from a horrible draw in the New Orleans Handicap last year so it seems things aren’t over for him just yet. He won the Mineshaft that Contradiction was beaten in last time so you have to take his chances seriously if you think that horse has a winning chance.
7 Jolly Rook Angelos Stable Elliott S
A well tried five year old with nine wins to his name, he is another whose form looks less about ability and more about the luck of the start. A winner from the stalk in a small handicap last time he was well beaten after a bad start in the race before after a good win from closer in the Tiznow before that. The draw will do one of two things to him here and he can only win off one of those scenario’s so if you like him to win you have to first rely on the roll of the dice.
8 Strange Magic TwinTowersRacing Sanchez M J
It so often happens that the horse with no chance on paper is given a draw to make sure there are no surprises but this one has one thing in his favor here that stops me from writing him off completely. That difference is TwinTowersRacing who claimed this son of Scott The Great for just $16, has seen a couple fo average runs and then has thrown him in here to take on horses that look on paper far superior. This sounds silly but that formula has made me look a fool a few times so whilst i cant realistically give him a chance it would be no surprise to see him winning.
A tough race to call but the draw could be key here.Contradiction will win if he brings his A game but i think Real One is a safer betting proposition.