Can HOTH Get Redemption in Met Mile?


  9   BEL   The Metropolitan Hcp (GI)  [BC]

$1,000.000   3yo&Up     1m Dirt       Hcp Weights

Have I ever told your that the Met Mile (GI) is one of my favorite horse races of all times??  Probably 1000 times or more… but here we are again, the mile of all miles, in my opinion, and it’s a stellar field for the 2022 rendition of this classic.  As I go through the entries for this one, I can’t help but think where last year stopped, this year starts, so I am going with Howl Of The Hound as my top pick.  Just one year ago, we watched the TC end here by three quarters of a length… and the classy gelding hasn’t had his picture taken since then.  I’m guessing that all changes today and he gets the job done with this bunch.  I’ll give the big barn and Aerialist a big shot in this one as well.  He’s been very consistent and a horse with six wins and seven runner up finishes from twenty one starts deserves a shot in any field.  I’ll put Junior in the third spot here and would not be surprised if he runs off in this one.  You see horses waiting  the perfect spot to move on to another stratosphere, and this seems to be a horse ready to do just that… even at 7yo.  He should come with some odds, as well, and we all love that.

Best of luck to everyone, so grab a frosty cold one and let’s gather by the rail to take in a great race! 

Here’s The Field –  

   Sexy Back    Night Rider Stables    Carmouche K   121   12/1

Was very competitive leading up to the OP Hcp (GII), his most recent trip to the gate, and boy oh boy was that a forgettable afternoon.  Never lifted a hoof and was twelfth of fourteen…did the bad break gods come to haunt him?  He’s never fast from the gate, so let’s see if he can bounce back from that one. 

   Sunderland Til I Die    TwinTowersRacing    Jaramillo E   118   15/1

Won the Stymie at AQU and was third in the OP Mile (GIII) before tiring badly in the Alysheba (GII) last out.  He’s usually long odds in these races, but can certainly pull an upset or be on the board, so you may want to use him at the windows for insurance. 

   Howl Of The Hound    Mb Stables    Saez L   119   9/2

It stopped here a year ago… the TC dream ended and he’s still looking for his first win since that three-quarter length defeat.  He just missed a head last out when third in the Alysheba (GII) and was runner up in his two prior races to that, both graded affairs.  Can he turn the table on Big Sandy?  I think it could be his day. 

   On The Turning Away    Gdp Inc    Hernandez C J   118   15/1

Had three turf starts and was showing some up-side there, a runner-up effort in the Tripoical Turf (GIII) in SoFla, and was second on the main track last out at FL facing OptAlw types.  I think he will light up the tote if he gets the job done vs. this group. 

   Junior    Maxmillion Farm    Garcia Mar   118   12/1

He’s won four of five while facing high-end claimers and OptAlw types, all of those wins at the six furlong distance, but he’s been on the board in thirty-two of forty-three starts… he doesn’t miss a check very often.  He’s going to need his best, but he’s probably worth putting on those tri tickets. 

   Night Creature    D J C Racing Stables    Franco M   118   8/1

He’s a classy sort and has a mixed bag of results this season… twelfth of fourteen in the Pegasus (GI), then tired to be sixth in the Tom Fool (GIII) at AQU.  Woke up a bit in his last out turf effort, running third in the Forrester (GI) on the KYD undercard… who do we get today?

   Quality Art    Mb Stables    Velazquez J R   119   6/1

Another from the big barn and this is a step up for this lightly raced 4yo gelding, making his tenth start.  Four wins from those trips to the gate, and he scored a stakes win at CD in the Knicks Go on the KYD undercard, and that was at today’s distance.  I think he will be in the picture when they turn for home in this one as well.

   Ronaldo Chop    Night Rider Stables    Zayas E J   119   9/2

He’s been solid in a number of recent races, taking third in the Hooper, won (DH) the Shear Mile and third in the Winchester (GIII), where he was on or setting the pace… his speed could be a big help in this one.  Look for him to be out there setting or pressing the pace again, and it’s just a matter of how far he goes. 

   Buck    Big Jd Racing    Gutierrez Mario   118   7/1

Sold in the Dec Auction for $3.120 and it’s been hot-dang-pork-and-beans since then.  A pair of wins and a trio of runner up finishes, in that order, and he closed to just miss in the Cartier (GIII) at WO in his most recent.  He seems to just be getting better, and I would not ignore him here. 

   Full Brass    Threshold    Moran D   118   15/1

Makes his first start since being taking from the Mar Auction for just $7.140 and they go right after the gusto.  His last win for was a $10.000 tag, so he’d be a great story if can get the win vs. these.  It’s a big big big bite to take. 

   Jigokudani    Spankys Barn    Van Dyke D   118   12/1

He has been 1/2/3 up til that fifth in the Knicks Go where he tired late to be fifth in that one.  If he can run back to that seven panel win at SA, two back, he could cause some waves today.  That was a quick race, so he needs to find some more of the good stuff. 

   Splash Mountain    John Henry    Bridgmohan S X   121   6/1

Classy ol’ rascal has had a time of it in his last duo of starts, a sixth in the OP Mile (GIII) and a seventh in the Alysheba (GII) and he’s still looking for his first win of the season.  He has a resume’ like few in this game… don’t EVER count him out. 

   Aerialist    Mb Stables    Cedillo A   119   4/1

The big barn has a good one here and I’d watch him very closely in this race.  He won big on the WO main vs. Alw company and was only three-quarters of a length back in the CD (GI), so this is a spot where he could kick A$$ and take names.  The key being $$

   Higher Drift    Asgar    Sanchez M J   118   8/1

He was just rolling along, winning the SSM Sprint, then a third in the GP Sprint Championship (GII), but I cannot explain that next-to-last finish in the OP Hcp (GII) other than my dislike for the OP surface.  Let’s hope that was the issue and he makes a better showing for himself today.   

COZMAN  3 / 13 / 5                   Willie’s Green Card    13 / 12 / 1

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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