The 3rd Running of The Blame
Saturday, June 4, 2022
CD Race #7 Post Time 14:45
$200.000 11/8 Dirt
4+ 122 Lbs (Plus Penalties)
Track Record-1:46.40 (Jesse James-2012)
Stakes Record-1:47.79 (Rotten Apple-2021)
Saturday afternoon, under the Twin Spires at CD, the 3rd running of The Blame will go off at 14:45 as the 7th race on the card. Run on the main track at 9-furlongs for horses 4-and-up, the fine folks at CD raised the purse of this ungraded event to $200.000; however, we only have a half-dozen in the gate. Five of the six get in without a weight penalty as Shilin Stone Forest will have to give his rivals two pounds. At first glance, this field seems rather soft, but let’s take a closer look at the six runners that will contest The Blame:
#1 Hard To Forgive (D J C Racing Stables/F. Geroux 122): This one was already a stakes winner against NY-bred company when he was bought at auction as a juvenile for $589.840. He would lose his two starts under the new owner before being sold again for $450.000 in a private deal. More losing ensued as he went 0-10 during his sophomore campaign. Colt has won twice as a 4yo and stretches back out for this. Draws the coveted rail, but he’s never been fond of showing early foot. Hard to predict how he fits in this spot, but going to pass on him.
#2 Strong Kommand (Tiratzo/C. Landeros 122): Lost two MSW races to begin his career before being thrown into stakes company. Took a few swings and misses, but finally broke his maiden in a $200.000 CA-bred stake. Ran well enough to be 3rd in a G3 in February of his sophomore season and was sold for $687.000 just five-days later. Fourteen starts later, he still has just the maiden-breaking win. Not doubting that he is due, but he hasn’t really been competitive all that often (just one time within a length of the winner). He may win this, but he will just have to beat me if he does.
#3 Shilin Stone Forest (Night Rider Stables/J. Talamo 124): Highweight has to carry two extra pounds due to his $100.000 handicap win back in August, but he hasn’t won since. 6yo gelding isn’t the most consistent sort, but he does have numerous races on his page that could make him competitive. Looks like he will try to settle somewhere in midpack and just try to grind them down. At least he has shown he can win this type of race, but wish he was more dependable. He should contend for at least a slice of this.
#4 Pookie (Winning Link Stables/C.J. Hernandez 122): 5yo did some good work sprinting to begin his career as a sophomore and started his 4yo campaign with a 6.5-furlong allowance score. Enters here on a 10-race losing streak and has never bested a field going a route of ground in eight tries. Maybe a victim of the engine change, he doesn’t seem to have the same early foot that he had early in his career. Needs a reversal of form, but he’s not alone in that respect. Looking elsewhere.
#5 Charley Buzz (Nakamura Stables/U. Rispoli 122): $150.000 private purchase back in September returned quick dividends when he reappeared in January as a 4yo at SA. After that win, he was a close 3rd in a stake at AQU and an even closer 3rd out at SUN in a stake. Last month’s try at CD left a lot to be desired, but we can forgive him for one poor effort. If that last effort is indeed an outlier, he can be very competitive against this group. Looks to be the main contender.
#6 Crack Dab (Gdp Inc/M. Murrill 122): 4th in the BC Dirt Mile last year, 6yo is still looking for his first victory this season. He has been close against G3 foes and just missed over this strip last month. Although he hasn’t won since a G3 back in March of ’21, he’s faced the toughest competition of anyone in the field and he’s been right there with 5 ITM finishes in his last 7 starts. He doesn’t always win, but the majority of his past efforts would best this group. Going to say the race runs through him and he looks poised to get off of the schneid.
Final Analysis: Plenty of people will be kicking themselves for not entering here as this is a suspect field, at best. We’ll say they hit the wire 6-5 in The Blame. Good luck to everyone involved!