The Second Leg of The TC Sees the First Three in The KYD Go for It Again

The Preakness – Grade One

$1,500.000

The Preakness is a funny race out of the three TC races simply because it neither gets the glory of being the first or the drama of being the last and yet it is this race where the real TC dreams are made. There is no potential triple crown winner in the BEL without a win in this race and out of the three this can be tough to win for its very own reasons. Like the BEL it is very often the fresh horses that can be a threat but with only one leg behind them many of the KYD runners will be able to handle this race spacing and run their race and that is not always the case by the time we get to the BEL. So, what we have here is a fair race between those that qualified for the KYD and those that just missed out and those that may have had a rough draw or a bad trip in the KYD getting the chance at retribution.

Last year saw Howl To The Hound take that massive step as Fuji Ninja did in 2004 in taking the Preakness to move on to a tilt at the TC bonus but as history tells us neither could keep the momentum and failed in the BEL. The other thing that history tells us is that this is a good race for horses that ran in the KYD and not necessarily the ones that did well. 2020 saw Chai Morning go from 18th in the KYD to a win in the PRK and Hollywood Latte tenth in the KYD the year before and then winning the race. The last horse to win this that didn’t run in the KYD was Indistinguishable in 2018 who missed the KYD after winning the AR Derby. So as you can see it is a pretty balanced form race between KYD qualifiers and those that missed the KYD but had shown classic winning form.

So who will it be this year? Well the KYD was one of the most open races of recent years with the three year old crop coming up pretty even so this could be hard work for us punters. With the obvious draw worries and start worries it will be interesting to see if any of the poor starters from the KYD can get out of the gate this time and do some damage.

I guess the most interesting thing is how the draw has worked out with 5 of the wider runners in the KYD getting the inside 6 draws here and 3 of the inside KYD runners getting wider than gate 8 today, a very interesting selection by the random draw monster. The only horses that seem to have suffered a double whammy are the Mb Stables runners and Ocean Of Wisdom but with those horses for some reason given wide draws a lot of the time i guess they may have got used to it.
So without any more ado here is how they line up for the 2022 Preakness:

1 Distorted Reasoning           Dawson Farms           Murrill M

Form: 00110-1130               Breeding: By Positive Reason out of Distorted Sound, bred by Dawson Farms               Rating: WR 105

A fair two year old he got noticed out of the blocks as a three year old as he took the Pasco Stakes on seasonal debut. That win set him up for a tilt at the TC and he quickly established himself as a leading KYD hope by winning the Risen Star Stakes. In a perfect position early he tracked well through the race coming home a convincing length winner and became somewhat of a stable star for Dawson Farms who has handled this horse beautifully from womb to TC in only their third season at HRP. Drawn wide in the SUN Derby he was sent up to stalk but did a lot of work early and faded late into third a problem he wont be having from this ace draw today. So on he went to the KYD where he got a fair draw in 8 but despite a decent early position he just couldn’t find his way through the field and ended up making ground into sixth. I actually think this one is a bit under rated and whilst the one draw is not terrible if he falls back into midfield he again will have to pick his way through at the right time. To be honest there is nothing anyone can do about blocking, pace and the type of trip he gets so that much is left down to the race engine but he is entitled to run a big race if things go his way.

Overall chances: A decent each way shot and the type that could spice up the handicapping comp.


2        Mickey          South Shore Stables           Gonzalez Ru

Form:       4101-14110                   Breeding: By Proud Chai out of Fine Skeleton, bred by South Shore Stables.           Rating: WR 111

For want of a better word this one was shafted in the KYD by the draw monster but we will get onto the merits of that run a bit later. After a couple of goes on dirt as a juvenile this one was kept to the turf in the early part of his career mainly due to the fact that he won three in a row on that surface and he has a bit of a turfers conformation. However, after a fourth in the Kittens Joy in February the stable felt that they owed the horse a shot at the TC and took him to the Gotham and back to the dirt. That race saw him force a dead heat with Dwindle and convinced everyone that this was no one trick pony. He went to the AR Derby next and managed to do what many of the colts hadn’t been able to do and topple the filly Shadow police by a very game nose, a win that certainly made him a very strong chance in the KYD. Then came the KYD, where he was handed the 19 gate and his chances were effectively ended. He actually ran a cracker coming from just worse than midfield to make good ground into eighth right alongside Distorted Reasoning only two lengths off the winner. The fact that he gets into the two box today, like a few other KYD failures that came back to win the Preakness, we may find that the draw is worth a bit more than two lengths and he could represent the best winning chance outside the top stables.

Overall chances: Everything points towards this one running big today and he must go down as a winning chance.

3 Come To Poppa         South Shore Stables         Davis D

Form: 01002020-11020           Breeding: By Proud Chai out of Mucho Hyped Up, bred by South Shore Stables.         Rating: WR 105

Well this stable has done terrifically well to get two horses in both the KYD and The Preakness and must’ve been working hard on HRP after the KYD where both horses were given terrible draws in complete contrast to the two perfect ones they have been given today. OK, so we know its all down to luck but South Shore must be shaking their head that they didn’t get this chance in the Derby. Anyway onto this ones chances and it has to be said that out of the two he does look the less likely. Having said that lets not forget, despite some up and down form he was good enough to be beaten a nose in the BC Juvenile last year and did win both the Jerome and the Withers at the start of this year to bring him into the TC picture. He ran well in the Rebel, stalking a good pace but weakening into fifth and then was better in the mud in the FL Derby when beaten by Mr Pancake. He didn’t get a good draw in the KYD and after a slow start was a real no show there ending up 18th and 9 lengths off the winner and i can’t see any good reasons why he can beat his stable companion on that running. But and this is a big but he is capable on his day and gets a great draw today so he isn’t without a chance of causing an upset.

Overall chances: The draw is a big plus and we know he is a big day sort of horse but it is hard to get past his lack of consistency.

4       Gigabyte         Smokey Stover          Jaramillo E

Form: 1321-2321                                Breeding: By Con Artist out of Gigafactory, bred by Smokey Stover.             Rating: WR 113

This is one of the most consistent three year olds in training and gets the perfect draw today to set up a tilt at the TC bonus. There aren’t many KYD winners that don’t win a race in their three year old season before the big day but this one managed to sneak in the back door thanks to placings in the Withers, the Fountain Of Youth and the BG Stakes. Consistency is a big factor at HRP these days because the form can be so up and down thanks to draw and instructions that you have to be good to perform in every race like this one has. In the KYD he was drawn ten and today he gets four so he should be able to run a similar race just in behind the speed and we know there will be nothing trying as hard as him down the stretch.
I suppose the biggest question here is was he the best horse that day or did he just get the best trip? Today may well answer that question but whatever happens it is impossible to leave him out of your top three.

Overall Chances: There are a lot of plus’s here, the draw, the owner, his consistency they all add up to him being a huge chance and it would be great to see a TC challenge two years running.

5         Hot Dog        South Shore Stables          Gaffalione T

Form: 21211300-10001                      Breeding: Proud Chai out of Yonna Donna, bred by South Shore Stables.          Rating: WR 105

Well what a great story this is for the stable, the third runner out of their sire Proud Chai and the third runner in a star studded TC race for a stable that is only in their fourth season. What makes it even more amazing is that with an apparently random draw they have bagged three of the top five gates !
This one was looking pretty good through the early part of his juvenile year picking up a couple of stakes races but that form petered out a little at the end when he was upped in grade in the BC Juvenile Sprint and the KY Jockey Club. In good old HRP style he was a sprinter back then on turf or dirt but the trainer was convinced he would stay and he repaid that confidence in the Sham Stakes at the start of the year. After that the trainer tried to get a third KYD runner by going for the big qualifying races but in each case this one failed and i did wonder whether we would see him back sprinting. However in a never say die effort he came back for the Day Mile and proved once again that he could run a mile by winning that race by a comfortable length.
He comes here fresh which may be a big factor but i do wonder whether a mile is as far as he wants to go.

Overall Chances: On everything we have seen so far we know he can run but i do wonder whether he can see out this trip. Having said that with two other stronger fancies from the same stable in the race it does make you wonder whether he may be used to make this a true test of stamina.

6      Grouse Mountain          Fractious         Bridgmohan S X

Form: 3112401-0010                Breeding: By Nebula Fire out of Pink On The Brink, bred by Greeko Holdem.           Rating: WR 107

This horse has been sold three times which speaks a bit about just how hard he is to train. A very good juvenile he of course won the BC Juvenile in a driving finish by a nose getting through traffic from the one box after a sluggish start. In his first two starts of this year he once again struggled with his running style but then came the San Felipe where his late finish paid dividends off one of those silly suicidal early paces. In the KYD he was given little chance with a late running style from the widest gate and with a slow start.
So here we are, a horse that we know can produce a devastating late burst on a race engine that doesn’t favor closers unless the pace is fast, how the heck do we handicap that! The truth is we can’t all we know is that he has a draw that gives him a chance but there are a lot of other factors that come into play, if they all line up he could well win. Or of course the trainer could risk instructing fast and he could make all and win in a world record time, but lets not go down that road!

Overall Chances: Well on a closing engine he would have much better form figures than he has but the truth is he will need some luck to win today and that is risky when betting your Disney dollars.

7           Ey Mon          Arindel          Saez L

Form: 430-21221 Breeding: By Crossing The Rubicon out of Anamonger, bred by Arindel. Rating WR 104

A pretty average two year old i feel out of all the horses that haven’t been to the KYD he may be the one that slips best under the radar after a much improved start to his three year old season. He first showed some promise when trying to make all in the Battaglia Memorial but getting run down into second and then tried the same tactics in the SUN Derby when again getting run down and finishing second. Individuation beat him pretty impressively that day but i liked the way this one came back in the Lexington where he was ridden with a bit more restraint and ran out a comfortable one length winner. The key here will be where he ends up in transit, he has a good draw to find a sit in behind the speed and i feel if he manages that he could be there at the business end.

Overall Chances: I like what this one has done to date and i like the fact that he is a fresh horse and i feel he may be the best of the fresher horses.If the race engine is kind and finds him a place just behind an even pace then he could easily prove to be the one that upsets the main chances.

8        Individuation        Mb Stables          Franco M

Form: 41-1212                              Breeding: By Jung out of Dawning Earl Grey, bred by Patterson Stables.            Rating: WR 108

It is easy to forget that this horse is trained by the best player the game has seen because by their own high standards they have not been as dominant as they have been is previous years. But the fact remains that no stable knows more about winning TC races than this one and they have here a horse that has only run 6 times in his life and was very close to winning the KYD off a terrible draw. Bought for $300 as a juvenile he was given a long time to mature and was only having his fourth career start when running second in the Rebel. As if that effort wasn’t enough he then came out and slaughtered a good field in the SUN Derby winning by four lengths and looked like he may be another KYD winner for Mb Stables. Sadly he was given the 17 gate in the KYD which made things very tough for him to run his race and he had to be instructed to go much closer to the pace than he probably likes. Having said that when he was two lengths clear at the mile mark it looked like he was going to repeat Howl To The Hounds win the previous year but the effort told inside the final furlong and he went down by a nose.
Still a sticky draw in 8 it is certainly better than 17 and you have to think that where Howl To The Hound won the first two legs of the TC last year this one may win the last two.

Overall Chances: Well on the balance of things this one does look like he can win this, a better draw than the KYD and the chance to sit back a little more should see him pounce through the home turn and take the race. He should start a worthy favorite but the monkeys that run the odds predictor for HRP will probably have him at 30/1.

9       Thunder Gultch        Broken Spoke Stables        Elliott S

Form: 01-1313                               Breeding: By Snakie out of Laughing Princess, bred by Broken Spoke Stables.       Rating: WR 105

Another with only six starts and it has to be said this one has come a long way since winning an optional Claimer over six furlongs at the start of the year. Stepped up to the mile in the Gotham he made good late ground to be third beaten just a half length and then went on with that form to take the Ruby Stakes next out by a fairly comfortable length. Those efforts just saw him squeeze into the KYD where he once again showed his staying powers with a brilliant third coming out of the pack to chase the first two home.
His run in the KYD certainly confirmed that this is a horse going up a very steep improvement curve very quickly and he may be just a bit overlooked here. Lightly raced he doesn’t have the handy draw he had in the Derby but if he doesn’t go too far back he should get away with nine OK. I like this one a lot, consistent and strong are certainly two traits that wont let him down.

Overall Chances: I overlooked him in the Derby and i feel i am doing the same here. The trainer doesn’t have as many runners as some of the top stables but they are very experienced and have TC and BC wins to their name so i feel that this one may just be the one that jumps up and smacks them in the face.

10         All Take         Alydar Stables           Moran D

Form: 13021-3100                    Breeding: By Niagra out of Takethemoneyand run, bred by Team 7 Illusions.             Rating WR 104

You don’t see many horses by the great Niagra in the top races so it is good to see him represented here. A consistent juvenile he looked ready for the TC chase and duly obliged with a strong third in the Davis Stakes and then a very impressive win in the TAM Derby. I really liked his win at TAM and was disappointed when he got a terrible draw in the Wood Memorial and not surprised to see him a no show in that race. When the draw came out for the KYD i was very excited to see him in the coveted two box and lumped my Disney Dollars on his back looking for a big return. Whether it was the added weight of my investment or whether it is that i am all wrong about him he ran a terrible race in the Derby and never ran an inch.
There are some that will argue that his best chance comes with rain as his best ever run was on an off track in the TAM Derby and they may be right but there is a small part of me that would still like to be right about him.

Overall Chances: Well i could forgive the Wood Memorial but it is hard to excuse the KYD run so this time my Disney Dollars will be going elsewhere……..unless it rains that is.

11       Hilarity           Mb Stables           Centeno D E

Form: 1111400- 304                             Breeding: By Fire N Fury out of Laughter, bred by Mb Stables                             . Rating: WR 104

Well when this horse won on debut in April and then went on a rampage winning four in a row including a grade three, two and one it looked like Mb had found their new TC Challenger and the rest of us started licking our wounds. But compare his first four with the next six and we really do seem to see two different horses. To be fair to him though the form figures look bad his performances have been creditable and i can see why the stable wants to give him another chance here. His three race performances this year have been heavily effected by poor draws and he gets another bad one today so it is hard to see him turning it around although if anyone can it is this trainer. I think it may be best to judge him on his flying late sixth in the Gotham beaten less than a length from a bad draw and a reproduction of that effort from a closer run in transit may just be enough to see him troubling the judge.

Overall Chances: I want to give him a chance, he was just so good in his first four starts that he deserves a big one as a three year old but he has had six chances since and still keeps arriving when the race is over. If he wins we will all say it was obvious, if he loses we will all say we knew he was finished, he has that sort of chance.

12        Ocean Of Wisdom       Nakamura Stables        Carrasco V R

Form: 1102 – 1430                    Breeding: By Hogshead out of Pocono Junction, bred by Nakamura Stables.      Rating WR 108

Well if any horse deserves a break it is this one because if the draw really is as random as it is meant to be this is the unluckiest horse in training. Despite some horrible treatment from the draw monster this year he did manage to get in the KYD and win a couple of qualifiers and actually ran an eye catching race in the Derby that makes me take his chances pretty seriously. A winner from 10 in the Southwest and from 12 in the LA Derby he certainly knows how to win from these wide draws but is totally reliant on the race engine and the cations of others as demonstrated by his fourth in the Rebel and his ninth in the KYD from 11 and 14.
His ninth in the KYD was actually better than it looks on paper he got lost in the mess early on but was making good ground at the end and was only beaten three lengths . This is a winning chance, mark my words, but with the way the draw works he is also equally a losing chance and that where he sits for me in this race as a 50/50 sort of chance and i can’t move one way or the other.

Overall Chances: Could easily win even from this bad draw but will need the race engine on his side.

13     The Martian       Mo Mentum Farm         Van Dyke D

Form: 0212- 24330                           Breeding: By Positive Reason out of Sci Fi, bred by South Beach racing.            Rating: WR 102

If you got graded by effort then this one would get an A- because he always put it in if he doesn’t always win. Sold for $400 after an easy maiden win as a juvenile the new trainer targeted the TC straight away and despite being winless in his three year old campaign ran some very handy efforts. Cashing a check in four qualifiers he failed at the last hurdle to get in the KYD when faced with a wide draw in the Lexington and i feel we can safely ignore that form.
He really isn’t that far off these but even being a length behind them can make the difference between first and last and one does feel his uphill battle is made all the worse by being drawn out wide. He deserves a shot, there is no doubt about that, but it is hard to make a solid case about him winning despite one of the best mile works in the race. I guess we could argue he is fresher than some that took on the KYD, we could say he has beaten some of these in running his placed efforts but it is still hard to give him more than a punchers chance.

Overall Chances: His consistency before his last run make him a rough each way chance but i can’t be fairer than that.

14      Mr Pancake       Arindel       Velazquez J R

Form: 11-0100         Breeding: By Commanding The Storm out of Atomic Tangerine, bred by Arindel.       Rating WR 108

This actually may be the best draw for him which may just give him his best chance of winning, that may be an unusual thing to say but there are a few factors about the race engine that come into play here so hear me out.
After two good wins as a juvenile he looked a solid TC hope for the stable but after failing in the Southwest and The Gotham it looked a long shot that he would get anywhere near the field. Then came the FL Derby and a wide draw. There are some that say the wide gate speed push doesn’t exist anymore but i believe that with a forward instruction it still exists ad he put that to good use in the FL Derby shooting out to an easy lead early on. The key to this race may have been the off track or it may have been the easy lead because he didn’t run away off the front but instead settled into a good rhythm and won unchallenged. Being that that was an off track could make you think, oh well he will only win with rain, but he proved in the KYD that he didn’t need aqua to run a big race. This time drawn three he settled back a bit and found himself losing ground when he should’ve been making it. He eventually got out and finished strongly for a close fifth a length off the first two and in the mess that was for third place.
Now i am thinking that if that FL Derby is repeated and he gets a catapult to the lead and is allowed to relax we may just see him running a huge race, it certainly relies on many factors outside everyone’s control but it is a scenario i can see happening.

Overall Chances: Another i feel that will be overlooked but if things work out for him he could well be at rewarding odds.

AE

15 Sunshine Scooter Broken Spoke Stables – Also Eligible –

Won the Fountain Of Youth but was terrible in the FL Derby and the KYD and would get a wide draw if he ran here effectively giving him little chance.

16 Statuesque Mb Stables – Also Eligible –

A nice enough over nighter and has placed as a juvenile at graded level but would be a longshot if he made the field.

17 Puissance de La Mer Big Guns Stables – Scratch –

18 Neoconservative Mo Mentum Farm – Also Eligible –

Probably the best of the AE’s and yet the least likely to get a run. If for some reason he does make the field you would have to take his chances pretty seriously.


SUMMARY

Well an intriguing race for sure. The fantastic battle between Gigabyte and Individuation in the KYD gets round two and there are plenty of hard luck stories from that race ready to take them on again. These are the picks

Stu’s pick: 8, 14, 4, 2

Odds Monkeys pick: 2, 8, 9, 6

My ten year old daughters picks: 14, 2, 12, 7

Good luck to all !!!



Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES, TC 2022

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