OBrien Stakes – Grade II [BC]
DMR Race #7 7f Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $250.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
With the three year old weight allowance really starting to kick in now these big BC races start to get really hard to win. The trip is one of those specialist trips and the field is full so who knows what the race engine will do, one thing is for sure there will be more than one hard luck story and a race full of drama. Here is how they line up:
1 Hot Dog South Shore Stables Rispoli U
First and foremost this is a three year old with a great draw and the weight advantage so we immediately have to look at it as a winning chance. A quick look at this ones form tells us his biggest enemy and reason he may not attract a ton of support for this race is his consistency. He won the Sham Stakes and the Day Mile like a very good horse but has looked very ordinary in other big races such as The Preakness and The Stephens. He didn’t finish too far back in the Stephens or more recently the Haskell but it is really hard to settle on him as a win chance with that sort of inconsistency. He seems to be best coming from off the pace so this draw wont help but lets not forget a click of a button could turn him into a daring front runner and his works are quick enough to see that happening. A chance for sure but too risky for me.
2 Audioslave Alydar Stables Alvarado F T
These older warriors are great to see and they are becoming more part of our game now which is a real plus. The draw brings this one right into it and if he can reproduce his win in the Triple Bend from the terrible draw he normally gets he will be all over this field like a rash. His works are sharp and this is the best draw he has had for literally a year so for me this is a big winning chance.
3 Top Of The Crop Maxmillion Farm Gonzalez Ru
The stable is in great form and this one is certainly working like a winner even if his form has been largely disappointing. lightly raced, possibly because he is small and the trainer has been waiting for him to grow, he has run some OK races without setting the world alight. The works give him a big chance, his form not so much so make your choice whether we will see one of those HRP improvement curves in his form and a big priced win of another average effort.
4 That Funky Monkey Threshold Davis D
A grade one winner this one has only had two starts this year so comes here fresh and untried as a five year old. Could be the dark horse here from a nice gate.
5 Winchester John Henry Lezcano J
A grade one winner over this trip is a huge plus and this real tough five year old did that in the Forego last year. He is capable of the sort of speed figures that can win this race and looked as good as ever in winning the Cartier Stakes in May. He was coming off a break when a one paced fifth in the Nerud last time so he should be much sharper for this and would be a winning chance on paper although it is just as easy to make a case for second or third.
6 Farleysgotsaltynuts Asgar Cedillo A
This is one of those four year olds that have hit their improvement curve and is moving up it pretty quickly and a race like this is just the sort of race that we see a breakthrough BC contender. A good winner of the Westchester after improving efforts he then ran his career best in the Nerud, closing hard to run a close second. With the all the way winner that day right next to him he will have a good chance to try and stay just a touch closer today so his race could well depend on how the race engine spaces them through the first quarter and what the pace is like. We don’t know any of that but what we do know is this one has the recent form to win.
7 Street Edge Spankys Barn Maldonado E
This is one of those HRP rags to riches stories that we see so often and keeps us all buying horses. Picked up for $8 from last years auction he had looked just a decent over-nighter for 23 races and now just 6 races later and seven months he is a multiple graded stakes winner. A glance at his form suggests it was a combination of surface and instructions that changed him into a superstar, if only real life racing was that easy, but you can’t look back you can only look forward and this trainer has done everything right so huge congratulations to them. So back to this race and here we have a front runner on a front runners track racing on a front runners engine so the die seems cast and we will just have to see if anything challenges him. If he makes the front there wont be many if any that pass him.
8 General Obvious Mb Stables Bridgmohan S X
This one may have failed terribly in his only grade one but like most from the stable he is working like a grade one winner so must be considered here. A slow start ended his chances in the Crosby last time but if we go back to the race before he was impressive in winning the Aristides in a similar time so it is easy to blame a race engine brain fart in that defeat. Consistent and fast enough he is not the best in this race but he is not the worst either so will have plenty of Disney Dollars riding on him on his trainers reputation alone.
9 Demon Wood Duck Stables Lopez P
Make no mistake this is a very very good three year old who may be drawn out a bit but gets the 4Lb allowance and is working like the wind. He won the grade two San Vicente Stakes over this trip and has added the MD Sprint to that since. Ignore his last run as i don’t think he stayed the trip and this is a winning chance.
10 Plan To Wheel Fractious Elliott S
Hasn’t really strung together the sort of performances that you like to see coming into a race like this but was O in the Crosby last time so isn’t completely without a chance. He has won over the trip but will need luck from this draw to even have a chance of place money.
11 Papa Nature Night Rider Stables Espinoza V
The stable is in good form and you have to take anything they enter seriously. He won a big ticket allowance from a wide draw over this trip so knows how to do it and ran a solid race in the Vanderbilt Handicap last time to be fourth. He would have a chance but on paper it is not as bigger chance as a few inside him.
12 On My Toes The Freakshow Ferrer J C
Last and not least we arrive in the car park to find a consistent three year old who may just be the surprise package in the race. Very often these wide draws can do OK if the pace is hot and i can see this one going back and then flying home late with a 22 second first quarter. That performance of course has nothing to do with this horse and more to do with every other horse and the race engine but taking everything out he is still a consistent type who should give a good account.
Demon may be the best of the three year olds but i rather like the old timers here and will be looking at the veteran Audioslave to do the job here. I think That Funky Monkey may run a big race and you cannot write off the likes of Winchester and Farleysgotsaltynuts along with the horse of the moment Street Edge who would be a great story if he continues his amazing journey.