Speedballs Go For Big Money In Vanderbilt


   6   SAR     The Vanderbilt Hcp (GI)

                $350.000    3yo&Up       6f   Dirt        Hcp Weights

It’s a big weekend for the sprinters, big purses on both the east and west coast and we go to The Spa for The Vanderbilt Hcp (GI), a six furlong dash with a nice purse.  I landed on Chip Away in this… That Smile (GIII) win just seems to point him out, and he drops a few pounds off of that victory.  Let’s give the old man a shot here and put In Captivity in the middle of things.  He ran a big race to be two lengths back in the Triple Bend (GII), and that could be good enough with this group. 

Here’s The Field –  

   Papa Nature    Night Rider Stables    Murrill M   119   12/1

Got back to the winning ways taking a high-end Alw race at CD last out.  That was a seven furlongs, but he did it in quick time and went wire to wire.  That was his first start of the ’22 season after a six month vacation, so you may want to watch him today. 

   Binnington    Kopites    Alvarado F T   118   10/1

Won a NY-bred sprint stakes and was third in the Smile Sprint (GIII) at GP, which was enough for the new barn to plunk down $100.000 to private purchase this 3yo gelding.  He was a speed demon up to the Smile start, where he closed a bit… instructions may be interesting for the new silks. 

   Junior    Maxmillion Farm    Hernandez R M   118 8/1

The old feller had won four of five before that eighth place finish in the Met Mile (GI), and he was only four lengths back in that power-house race.  Goes for the gusto again today, and it will be interesting to see if he tries to show a bit more speed in this one. 

   Barbary Appeal    Axeman    Pennington F   119   10/1

The good news is four wins from his last five starts, all Alw wins and all at a sprint distance.  The bad news is his only bad race, a seventh place finish in the Cartier (GIII) at WO, is his only recent stakes effort.  Now the 7yo has fourteen wins and 20 other on-the-board finishes, so you know his best would compete. 

   Fleeting Tiger    Asgar    Lopez P   120   8/1

Three wins from his last four including a stakes at AQU, and a NJ-bred stakes win, then a third vs. same, where the weight may have played a factor in that tiring effort.  Drops six pounds but obviously this is tougher than Jersey-foaled, so he will need his best. 

   Pray For Sunshine    Spankys Barn    Van Dyke D   119   10/1

Tagged out of a $16.000 claimer and came right back to take starterAlw horses at CD where he won (DH) in wire-to-wire fashion.  Sharp barn, so they know what they have and they must like what they see… he could be an upset special. 

   Viking Lucy    Rock Creek    Davis D   118   5/1

Got his second win of the ’22 season last out taking the Auburn at EMD in wire to wire fashion, so they move him up the ladder to see what he’s made of.  He also won on a wet track at GP, taking OptAlw types… he’s got some speed and some chops. 

   Carnoustie    Smokey Stover    Carmouche K   119   9/2

Won the Pelican at TAM and also has a pair of seconds at the Alw level, so he’s having a good year.  Add in a fourth in the Fleet Sprint (GIII), so he’s been in the middle of graded horses.  Fourteen lifetime wins, and seven runner-up efforts, he can haul the mail. 

   In Captivity    Mb Stables    Geroux F   119   5/2

It’s been an up and down season, but two wins including the Inaugural Hcp at SRP where he made a big move on the turn to take the win.  He’s eight now, but obviously he’s not ready for Virtual Old Friends quite yet… the big barn knows where to put him to get checks. 

   Chip Away    South Shore Stables    Leparoux J R   121   7/2

It was a tough ’21 season for this one, no wins from his six starts, but he’s bounced back in a big way this year, winning three of five and not missing a check in any race.  He looked good winning the GP Sprint Championship (GIII) and again last out in the Smile Sprint (GIII) where he got home by two.  Is he a GP horse, or can he get the job done here?

   West Coast Party    Martyparty    Boulanger G   118   12/1

Plucked from a $6.250 claimer and has a second and a win at the Alw level for the new barn… so, it’s off to the big leagues.  He was competitive in graded races as a 2yo, so maybe he’s finding his stride and getting back into form. 

   Blueberry Yum Yum    Rampage Stable    Rosario J   118   8/1

Two wins from four seasonal starts, bot at the OptAlw level and both sprinting, including a two length win at CD last out, so like a few others, they go into the shark infested waters looking for a big purse. 

COZMAN    10 / 9            Willie’s Green Card   10 / 7 / 8

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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