The 19th Running of the G2 Day Mile
May 7, 2022
CD Race #6 Post Time 16:00
3YOs 122 Lbs
Track Record-1:33.90 (Hollywood Eclipse-2021)
Stakes Record-1:34.52 (Lunar Blaze-2016)
The race formerly known as the “Derby Trial”, the G2 Day Mile, will be run for the 19th time at HRP on Saturday, and the gate will be full of twelve sophomores that have signed-on (excluding two on the also-eligible list). Years ago, this one was run a week before the RL KYD and you would usually see the winner wheel right back in the main event. Times have changed and this flat-mile contest will be run for the 8th time under the current name and on the Derby undercard. Amazingly, no HRP trainer has won this race more than once and only two jockeys have taken a pair of these; S.X. Bridgmohan (2009, 2014) and J.R. Velazquez (2016, 2019).
This year’s field is an interesting mix of horses with some being sprinters that are stretching-out and others coming off of the KYD prep trail. This is one of the more interesting betting races on the card, so let’s meet the runners for the G2 Day Mile:
#1 Uranus (Smokey Stover/A. Cedillo): Gelding began his career with back-to-back wins before 3rd and 9th-placed finishes against G1 foes where he was beaten a total of three lengths. Looked to be Derby-bound after G3 win and G2 near-miss, but floundered in the slop down at GP. That last effort can be excused due to the track, and there is no doubt that this guy is talented enough to win this. Rail draw only adds to his ample appeal.
#2 Tiz Chai (Gdp Inc/L. Saez): Speaking of floundering in the mud at GP, this guy struggled-home 11th in his bid to make the main event. Again, we’ll excuse that effort and trust the form that he displayed in the first two starts of his sophomore campaign. Expect him to be closer to the pace from the get-go and is drawn well to suit his style. Nothing wrong with the work tab and expect to see his best on Saturday.
#3 Speightstown (Nakamura Stables/V.R. Carrasco): Privately purchased for $150.000 after the maiden-breaker, he’s put in three useful runs since. Hasn’t won for the new barn, but guessing one of the game’s master tacticians has a much better handle on who this guy is and what he wants to do. Comes here off of back-to-back stakes’ placings and looks to be trending towards a career best.
#4 Valvano (Royalty Stables/C.J. Hernandez): All-or-nothing sort is a two-time stakes winner, including a G3. Trainer made some obvious mistakes with his adds but he’s been more consistent since they got his equipment figured out. Tries the mile for a third time and needs to show he really wants to go this far to get any more opportunities.
#5 Blamethespeedparty (Martyparty/E. Jaramillo): Been on the same schedule as the horse drawn just to his inside, this one is due after a couple of tough near-misses. Gets a significant upgrade with this pilot and may be ready to deliver his best effort. Only a matter of time until he catches a break, he could be a live one at decent odds.
#6 Neoconservative (Mo Mentum Farm/J. Pyfer): Serious, serious racehorse here. Only a couple of lengths kept him out of the Derby, this one just shows up and runs his eyeballs out. Broke the maiden going the flat mile and looks to be the one to beat from this middle-of-the-gate draw. Definite win contender.
#7 Puissance de La Mer (Big Guns Stable/V. Espinoza): Colt will only be making his 5th lifetime start, but he’s already displayed plenty of talent in his first four efforts. Ran huge to get the show in G1 at KEE where he was only beaten three-quarters of a length for all of it. If he keeps improving with each race, this is one that could be any kind by the end of the year. Big chance.
#8 Rogue Commando (Mb Stables/R.M. Hernandez): First of a couple for the big barn, this one was acquired for $150.000 after bridging his juvenile and sophomore campaign with a pair of wins. Had to settle for the place in a pair of G2’s before being left with too much to do down at OP in a G1. Cuts back to a trip he’s handled before and expect him to make his presence felt. Another that is in here with a big chance.
#9 Bladamiro (Arindel/G. Boulanger): Homebred gelding only has the picture from his maiden win, but he’s been close in every race. Only beaten a length when 6th in OP G1 and he was making-up serious ground when the wire came. He’ll need to improve off of that effort to best these, but that feels well within his scope. Ignore at your own peril.
#10 Hot Dog (South Shore Stables/T. Gaffalione): Gelding is a G3 winner at this same trip. Was right there in SA G2 before throwing two subpar performances. Work tab says those were just unfortunate events as he’s working as well as any horse in the field. Will need to bring his best, but there’s talent here.
#11 Custom Continental (Our Athletes/J.R. Velazquez): Sold for $250.000 following sophomore debut, he faltered in a G2 before recouping some of that investment with a pace-pressing victory in a NM-bred stake. Will have to work out a trip from out here, but he’s seen fields like this since he was a baby and has a G1 on his page from last season. If the new barn has unlocked his secrets, he’s as talented as anyone in the field. Contender.
#12 Aladdins Genie (Mb Stables/M. Franco): Last-out G3 winner is stretching back out to a mile for this one. This one-turn mile shouldn’t be a problem as he’s G2-placed at 7f and 8.5f. The draw wasn’t kind to him, but he has shown that he can run his race from anywhere so, at least, he has options. He’s another that is fully capable of winning this, but this post makes that a bit tougher.
#13 (AE) The Good Dinosaur (Angelos Stable): A winner in four of his last five, this one will need someone to scratch to run. If he gets in, expect to see his number early as he likes to step on the gas when the gates open. He’ll get tested for class, but he’s in fine form.
#14 (AE) Dragons Teeth (Alydar Stables): Maiden-winner jumped straight to a G3 and will need a couple of defections to run. His win did come at AQU going this same one-turn mile trip. May look to drop back and try to swoop them all if he draws in.
Final Analysis: 1-8-6 as the rail draw proves too advantageous for a horse that is maybe the most talented in the group. Those three may be the most likely winners, but this is anyone’s race. Good luck to all of those involved in the G2 Day Mile!