The Dinner Party Stakes (Grade 2)- $250.000 Purse
PIM- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Turf
May 21, 2022
When The Dinner Party Stakes goes to post, the crowd will be anticipating the start of the PRK even more as this will be the final race of the undercard before the second jewel of the triple crown gets started. The menu for the Dinner Party shows us a field of seven horses, and there is a good amount of variety in their resumes coming into the race. That’s just fine, there is plenty of room at the table for all of them! The race debuted as The Dixie Stakes in 2005, and since then has seen its purse fluctuate between $150.000 and $400.000 during that time, but $250.000 has been the most common amount. This is the first year that the race will be known as The Dinner Party. Past winners of the race include Columbia River, Bronze Sabre, and two times by Seven Years. Last year, Nakamura Stables won the race with Hollywood Hero. She’d go one to have a strong 2021 but 2022 has been slower paced for her. Let’s take a look at the field of seven!
#1- Telladifferentstory (Nakamura Stables, ridden by V R Carrasco)- Starting on the rail, we have a five-year-old gelding who used to be a regular at this level, but since winning the Grade 2 Smith in November, he has not been in a stake again. It’s not as if he has been running poorly since then, either, making three starts in open allowance, and winning one of them. So, here he is again, getting a chance to run against the best which is an opportunity that many of us probably would have kept giving him.
#2- Bright Carat (Black N Gold Stable, ridden by D E Centeno)- Puts his five race winning streak on the line here at The Dinner Party. It is a streak that began in October of last year, when he ran in the silks of Fractious in a $20.000 claimer. Black N Gold Stable picked him out of that race, and they have done nothing but win together. They’ve all been in optional claimers, with three coming at TUP and the other at TAM, but he has earned his chance to see what he can do at this level.
#3- Twenty Twenty (Threshold, ridden by T Gaffalione)- One of two three year old males in the race, and that will come with a five pound weight allowance. Twenty Twenty had a successful two year old season, highlighted by winning the $500.000 KD Juvenile and punching his ticket into the BC Juvenile Turf. That did not go well for him, and since then, he has not earned a penny which is certainly frustrating for the trainer, given that early potential shown. Maybe the weight allowance helps him, but if nothing else, he just needs to earn something here.
#4- Molecule (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- We get ourselves a filly sitting at the table with the boys, and with that she will have a ten pound weight allowance over the older males, and five pounds over the other three year olds. That can be pretty massive with the game, and it’s good to see at least one trainer looking to capitalize. Molecule is pretty similar to Twenty Twenty in that she had a great two year old season, made it to the BC, and has not earned a cent since. She certainly looks like she should be getting better results, so maybe carrying so much less weight will be the ticket to at least cashing a check.
#5- Bnegn And Eggs (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J R Velazquez)- A lightly raced five year old horse that has only made nine career starts. Almost makes you think he should get some kind of weight allowance too, but there will be none. He didn’t race much for Drabfantasy, and when TwinTowersRacing picked him up in a January 2022 private sale, and raced him later in the month, it ended a 15-month layoff. He hasn’t made a penny this year in overnights but is bumped up in competition anyway. I’ll have to see a big race from him at this level before I can pick him.
#6- Louisiana Chicken (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by A Cedillo)- Just when you thought Bnegn And Eggs has not raced much for a five year old, you get Louisiana Chicken, who’s only made four starts. He didn’t do any racing until last year, and made two starts for Tacaro Farm before arriving with Maxmillion Farm. His current trainer thought very highly of him, thrusting him directly into the Connally BC Turf, a Grade 3, where he finished fourth. Still unproven, and if nothing else, we have Eggs and Chicken for our Dinner Party.
#7- Droopy (Aer Stables, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- It’s been a while since I’ve seen a horse saddled by this trainer in a race I have covered, but the Marry Me Mandy gelding shows that he still has quality in his barn. Droopy was picked up for $22.000 in private sales in January and has won two out of three, with his most recent victory being in the $100.000 Woodhaven at AQU. He is a three year old, so he gets that five pound weight allowance, which will certainly help the cause.