The Mint Million – Grade III
KD Race #3 1m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
1 Mr Scratch Nakamura Stables Landeros C
The three year olds are only getting three pounds here which brings the older horses a bit more into it and this ten race winner who has really found his form recently is right in this. He just made it home in the American Stakes over this trip and from this gate but has looked just a shade better over nine furlongs in his last two. He was impressive in the Texas Turf winning by an easy two lengths and then probably ran a career best when a close fourth n the AP Million finishing really strongly from a tough draw. On those efforts i wonder whether this mile may be a bit sharp for him and if he doesn’t keep up early he could have a difficult trip from the inside stall. If the pace is strong though he will certainly be part of this finish.
2 Rocky Mountain High TwinTowersRacing Beschizza A
If ever there was a trainer with a type then this sort of horse can be found through the TwinTowers barn. Tough, always gives his best over a variety of trips and classes and like his trainer never dodges a fight. So i have said it before he may not be the most obvious top three horse in the race but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him there. I think he is a better sprinter than a router and this trip seems to be certainly on his outside radar but speed may just be the key here and from this draw it should certainly land him in a good spot early on. He proved in his last start when narrowly beaten in the Connaught Cup Stakes that he has the ability.
3 By The Night O Bay Oval Express Farms Dominguez Jo
Difficult to find a way this one wins because whilst he is an honest sort he really hasn’t done enough on the track and his works whilst good, are not as good as some. I am not sure he can keep up with a fast early pace so may find himself slipping back early on and then it will just be a matter of what happens next with the race engine, a 44 second half and who knows.
4 Buffalo G Nakamura Stables Leparoux J R
A solid sort who has won at stakes level over this trip i just wonder whether it may be a little on the short side to really give him a winning chance. He was very good in the MTH Stakes two back beating Hollywood Capo and a reproduction of that certainly puts him right in with a winning chance. He ran in the Farcical Bowling Green last time and was beaten by the stupidity of the AI and the fast instruction so forget that run and concentrate more on his strong third in the San Francisco Mile and excellent win at MTH. A winning chance from a stable with a strong hand in the race.
5 Learned Jake First Flight Stable Hernandez B J Jr
This has all the hallmarks of one of those stupid HRP results and that is taking nothing away from this horse or the trainer. Here is a horse that has never raced outside a sprint race, has only raced once on turf when on debut and has only won at state-bred level. So why am i calling it stupid? Well as a three year old he gets some weight relief and as a virgin over the trip and having only his second start on turf it brings in all the other little anomalies that can happen at HRP. Now having said all that i would like to balance this out with the fact that this is a very nice young horse who is certainly heading in the right direction and i don’t blame the trainer one little bit at taking a crack here, in fact after the race i may be calling them a genius.
6 Money Truck Invicta Group Llc Alvarado J
This one campaigned on turf for his last owner running some decent races in defeat but after he was claimed before his last start he went from a mile on the turf to 12 furlongs on the dirt and duly hacked up in the Birdstone by five lengths. So where would you take a horse who had just done that? Not many would come up with, back to a mile on turf. But here he is and whilst he was a good fifth in the Makers Mark Mile i think it would take a very strong pace and a clear run to see him having enough pace to get into this. Having said that he made all in a clear lead from pillar to post last time so who knows he may be on fast and lead them all the way again here.
7 Distant Volcano Team 7 Illusions Corbett G W
This three year old has a touch of class and may be the best hope for the younger generation here. A fairly accomplished turf sprinter he proved he can see out the mile when very nearly taking the Secretariat last time and that s good form fr a race like this. There is an interesting jockey choice here as G W Corbett gets the reins and they don’t get many chances in stakes races so we will see just how riding winners against the old % system works out for him. A winning chance for sure.
8 Black Card Wood Duck Stables Ruiz Jo
Another three year old but very different from the one inside as this one had looked very good in overnights winning three in a row but was well beaten in the MTH Stakes when upped in grade. The works are good and he certainly has a chance but it is hard to see him beating at least two of the other three year olds.
9 Casper Point Gdp Inc Boulanger G
A solid four year old i do wonder whether he is a bit better on the dirt as his recent work on that surface was very good and his best race day form has looked better on that surface. Having said that he has a consistent record in his nine starts on the grass and if you translate his dirt work to the turf he may just be one of those four year olds who finds a big improvement bump at this time of year.
10 Beach Xaar Fractious Wenc I C
This one has been busy through his career and has always promised a little more than he has delivered since his very good third in this race last year. There has been some ups and downs in his form but he is generally consistent and the mile is a trip he has run some of his best races over. He had been working as well as ever prior to his recent claim and the new owner will be looking for a quick profit here.
11 Droopy Aer Stables Centeno D E
It was a bit of a surprise to see him beaten last time after a fine third in the BEL Derby but his last three starts are those of a good three year old and he will have plenty of supporters in this race. The draw worries me a bit as his running style will require some luck but with some favors from the race engine he would have to be a winning chance.
12 Ptyrannical Arindel Moran D
Drawn in the car park we find the most accomplished in the field and one that has already tasted success at grade one over the mile this season. That win came in the Kilroe Mile and he has contested all the top mile races since and accredited himself very well with two second places in the Makers Mark and the Forbidden Apple last time. A sub 1,34 worker he really does look the stand out in a race like this but this outside draw is a big handicap to overcome and will rely on a combination of the right instructions and a bit of race engine luck.
A competitive race which is a little devoid of the quality we normally find in a 1K race but will certainly take some winning. Of the three year olds Distant Volcano may just be best and of the older horses Ptyrannical and Buffalo G may be the ones. If i had to pick an outsider it may well be Casper Point who could surprise a few.