The Suburban Is A Classic Contest Of Tactics and Ability

The Suburban – Grade II
 BEL Race #3 1 1/4m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $400.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.

1   Sunderland Til I Die   TwinTowersRacing   Velazquez J R

Bred by the owner this one has been pretty consistent in his career and run some decent races at the highest level. It is pretty surprising that he has only won three with just one ungraded stakes race to his name considering his efforts in such races as The Travers and the PA Derby as a three year old and the OP Mile as a four year old. The important thing for me here is that he just recorded a 1.36 and 1 mile work, his fastest ever by some margin and that suggests to me that he is traveling up his improvement curve. This is a tough field but i feel he may be a very lively outsider.

2   Stolen   D J C Racing Stables   Franco M

The trainer has hit a decent run of form and in this horse was carried along on that wave in his last run when he won The Brooklyn with a huge late run from the clouds. This is another who is recording career best works so i would expect a big run from him today. He has won twice and been placed twice from this draw so there are plenty of reasons that he could trouble some of the bigger names in this race.

3   Combat Wombat   Maxmillion Farm   Bridgmohan S X

Talking of big names this one is one of the biggest having won 11 races for over 3.5K in purse money. Twice a grade one winner and a runner up in the BC Classic his win in the PIM Special last time was absolutely huge and sets him up here as the likely favorite. The trainer may look to bounce him out of the gate and try and make all again, a tactic which earned him a 104 speed rating last time but the opposition will be wary of that this time so it wont be so easy.

4   Sensei   Mb Stables   Jaramillo E

This one has always promised slightly more than he has delivered but on his day he is as good as anything so his chances are very real indeed. Switched back to dirt after being campaigned by Saratoga Stud on the grass his new owner has got 3 decent efforts out of him but he still hasn’t shown the sort of consistency i would like to see to make him a top choice in this race.

5   Puppet Master   Spankys Barn   Van Dyke D

Won the grade one Carter Handicap over seven furlongs and then ran second to Stolen in the Brooklyn over 12 furlongs proving the usual theory that a good horse at HRP can run over any trip especially when going shorter. He finished strongly that day and one feels that this trip which falls nicely in the middle of his last two trips may turn out to be perfect. Rain or shine he is a solid bet and after a recent 1.36 and 1 work you have to take him very seriously.

6   Space Commander   Nakamura Stables   Wilson E J

It has to be said that this six year old has struggled to get back to his triple grade one successful form or his nose second in the BC Classic but it was less than a year ago that he won the grade one Whitney so we shouldn’t write him off just yet. He has certainly struggled this year and is not the horse he was but sometimes these old warriors can get a bit inconsistent with age and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him fighting for the win at the end.

7   Tempestuous   Mb Stables   Saez L

One feels that this one would be a superstar any other stable but in the great Mb’s stable he is a bit overlooked. His works are very good, especially his most recent and after winning the Alysheba two back he ran a very solid third in the Gold Cup over this trip last time. He is certainly on the up and will be many people’s choice but i am more interested to see if he challenges Combat Wombat for the lead after you remember his huge run in the SA Handicap where he ran like a greyhound for 9 furlongs and had such a big lead he held on in the final furlong to win by two lengths. It will certainly be interesting if they both break fast, which one will slip into the stalk? Will we get another 45 second first half?

8   Champion In Action   Night Rider Stables   Castellano J J

This seven year old is also a grade one winner over this trip and though he is drawn a little wide and his last effort wasn’t his best i would still expect him to be a big factor in this race. He is likely to go back from here and if we get a cut throat pace he may well come late and wide to see them off. If he is your choice there isn’t any real negatives but this is a really good field and he will need things to go his way to win.

9   Safer Dab   Gdp Inc   Murrill M

Fairly lightly raced compared to most in this race he must be labelled as an up and comer as he is yet to win any sort of stakes race. Having said that he was pretty solid in the Op Handicap two back and very nearly won a very competitive allowance at CD last time so there is clearly ability there if things go his way.

10   Antonym   Mb Stables   Cedillo A

The third of three from the stable he is the one that will be a better chance if the rains come. An eight year old veteran of 55 races he has won 23 of them for over 1K in prize money and whilst most of them have come in claimers or the free track he has won a grade two and a grade three for Mb after they claimed him last February. His works aren’t far off the best of these and with three runners it will be interesting where the stable puts him on the tactical front. lets not forget this one made all to win the CT Classic last year so with the outside speed push could he be the one to challenge Combat Wombat for the early lead?


A great race indeed with a few established superstars and some that are clearly moving quickly up their improvement curve.
Tactics will probably be the difference here and it may pay to think a little outside the box if the race engine implodes as it has a tendency of doing. With that in mind i am going for Stolen and Sunderland Till I Die to provide some good odds and a bit of sport.

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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