The 8th Running of The Nerud-G2
Saturday, July 2, 2022
BEL Race #3 $250.000 7-Furlongs
4yo+ 123 Lbs
Track Record-1:20.41 (Soy Dinero-2004)
Stakes Record-1:21.12 (Tallmadge Star-2021)
The 8th edition of The Nerud-G2 drew a full field of twelve; however, General Obvious was withdrawn shortly after the post positions were drawn, so eleven will go postward on Saturday at BEL. The $250.000 Nerud is carded as race three at BEL and the eleven older sprinters will be going the 7-furlong trip.
Nine of the eleven runners will be either shortening-up or stretching-out a sixteenth or more; however, the top two from the G2 Triple Bend return here at the same seven-panel trip. Audioslave got the better of When Your Strange in that one at SA, but they face different paths here with the winner last time drawing all the way to the outside and the runner-up drawn perfectly in stall five. Farleysgotsaltynuts is the only horse entering off of consecutive victories and we get multiple horses from both the G2 True North and G1 Manhattan Handicap. Needless to say, the gate is stacked so let’s meet the eleven runners for The Nerud-G2:
#1 Farleysgotsaltynuts (Asgar/A. Cedillo): Two-race winning streak for the rail horse as he shortens-up from the flat mile. G3 win came on a surface rated as “Good”, but the bigger concern is the lack of any sprint wins in three tries. 4yo gelding does draw well for this, and he’s in career form; however, this is not the place to be trying to conquer a demon.
#2 Hint Of Sugar (Arindel/K. Carmouche): Another 4yo gelding that doesn’t own a single sprint victory from five tries, but this guy does have four runner-up efforts while sprinting. Went from maiden-winner to KYD participant in three races last year, he hasn’t quite gotten back to that early form. Little higher on his chances due that last bit of moring work, but, still, others look more appealing.
#3 Thundering Speed (Jokerjoes/R. Eikleberry): 5yo gelding has been a check-cashing machine since changing hands at the end of last summer. Put it all together up at WO in G2, but shortens-up for this assignment. Has shown some early lick in his past sprint attempts, but he may be best-suited sitting just off of the pace for this. He figures to contend for a slice, but feels like it will be of the smaller variety.
#4 Winchester (John Henry/R.M. Hernandez): Bonafide sprinter used a couple of 4th-placed efforts to springboard to G3 win last time out. He’s a former G1 winner at 7-panels, so 5yo has some back-class as well. Probably will have to battle with the three for early position, but he has proven that this is what he wants to do, and he does it at a high level. Contender is getting cranked back up for a strong campaign.
#5 When Your Strange (Maxmillion Farm/Mar. Garcia): 6yo made it interesting in G2 at SA but had to settle for the place. Gelding gets the better of the draw compared to that rival and should have some pace in front of him to provide a target. He’s been ITM all season against graded foes from 6-10 furlongs and fully expect him to produce a run here.
#6 Jigokudani (Spankys Barn/J. Lezcano): Most recently the runner-up in G1 Metropolitan Hcp, his win three back at SA going this trip makes him very competitive here. Interestingly, the last time he tried this cut-back to seven-panels was when he produced that winning effort at SA. Strong workout at this distance signifies all systems go for the top selection.
#7 Street Edge (Spankys Barn/I. Ortiz Jr): 5yo horse started his season with three consecutive victories before two narrow defeats against graded foes leading up to this. Speedball likes to dictate the terms of engagement and doesn’t appear to be hard-pressed from his inside if that is what he chooses to do in here. Stablemate drew just inside, but this guy isn’t a rabbit; he may go to the front, but that is where he’s most dangerous. Respect.
#8 Rock N Rattle (Angelos Stable/J.A. Gomez): Started the season with a G3 tally at AQU, but has struggled to make an impact since. In his defense, “struggled to make an impact” means four consecutive one-length defeats, so it’s not like he’s running terribly. He’ll look to make one run and just needs to get a break with traffic and well-timed ride to be right there in the latter stages.
#9 Aerialist (Mb Stables/J. Talamo): 5yo took back-to-back allowances before just missing at CD and throwing a dud in his latest two. We’ll forgive that latest as he was stuck in the 13-hole, but he doesn’t draw a whole lot better this time. Will be the barn’s sole representative after his stablemate scratched and he has enough early foot to work out a trip from here. Would be a shock if he didn’t fare much, much better this time after last month’s debacle, and he could be very dangerous.
#10 General Obvious (SCRATCHED)
#11 Etf Funds (Angelos Stable/Ru. Silvera): G3 winner was sent-off as the fave in AQU G1, but he would only finish 8th when beaten five lengths. He’s had two nondescript efforts since that debacle in the mud, so can’t argue with anyone on either side of the debate with this guy. Enters with questionable form and gets no favors with this draw. Expect him late, if at all.
#12 Audioslave (Alydar Stables/J.J. Hernandez): Speaking of poor draws, this guy wins a G2 from the 10-hole and gets rewarded with the outside post for this assignment. At least we know he can beat high-quality opposition from out here, but it’s hard to make that a habit at HRP. He’ll need all of his versatility for this battle and the 7yo has proven time and again that he is not a runner to be dismissed. May not win from out here, but he’ll be on all of our tickets.
Final Analysis: 6-4-1-7 in a compelling renewal of The Nerud-G2. Good luck to all of the connections!