The JC Derby Looks for Some Consistency as Ten Rivals Look to Gain Turf Dominance

The JC Derby – Grade III
AQU Race #12 1 1/2m InTurf Graded Stake
Purse $1,000.000 For Three Year Olds.

The three year old turf division is a bit of an anomaly because most horses at HRP are campaigned on the dirt up until the KYD as that is where all the money is. Once the TC is out of the way we tend to see more turf specialists come along with the likes of the SAR Derby, The BEL Derby and this race all having a massive purse but we don’t tend to see any consistency until later in their careers as a lot of the future turf champions are working through the kinks of adolescence or haven’t even run on the turf yet. So what we tend to end up with is a mish mash of form and a group of horses that are yet to really make their mark, some will become claimers, some will end up back on dirt but one or two just maybe challenging in the BC Turf, this year or next.
So lets have a go at sorting out who’s who in this even looking line up:

1 Tsaraki Moon Nakamura Stables Howell T

His last win came in a two win allowance at GRP which shows once again just how unlike real life HRP can be at times. Since that confidence boosting win he may not have won but he has proven himself up to stakes grade and certainly seems better on turf, at least at this moment in time. Having said that his best effort was when third in the Audubon after leading and weakening inside the distance. With one runner stable runner inside and one outside the temptation may be to set this one alight from the ace draw and set a strong pace for the stable mate and that would certainly be an option if the race engine agree’s.
I am not sure i can give this one a winning chance whatever the tactics are but he may be a tactical wedge to be driven into this field. Having said all that and as a foot note it is worth noting a second improvement in his mile work recently which may just suggest some of that HRP fairy dust has been sprinkled on his saddle cloth.

2 Gendarmerie du Comte Mb Stables Moran D

It is not often a 1K race only has one representative from the champion trainer but this is one that seems to have found some of that fairy dust and looks to be on a rapid climb up his improvement curve. He finished alongside Tsaraki Moon in the Audubon but then ran a lifetime best race to be third in the grade one United Nations while his rival was running a disappointing sixth in ungraded level, you see what i mean by a mish mash of form!
So on that last effort we can only assume a combination of being in Mb Stables barn and maybe the extended trip have catapulted this one up into a grade one contender and with the perfect draw today i expect him to give the trainer another one of those all important 1K wins.

3 The Godfather Smokey Stover Davis D

This is another fine example of HRP form lines as his last win came at another of the games lowest graded tracks when he took a little stakes race at TUP just two races after winning the BC Juvenile! Since then he has gone on to run some top races at the top level making him a big contender here from a decent gate. He tried the dirt and failed miserably in the TAM Derby but then came out for a great second in the Transylvania and has since run four consecutive placings at top level including a strong third in the AP Million last time. He is a dual grade one winner already but like most of those champion two year olds they tend to have a different improvement curve than others as it flattens out rather than keeps going up after juvenile success. A winning chance on class and stable alone but i can’t help thinking a place may be his best hope.

4 Miami My Amy John Henry Beschizza A

I was a little disappointed last time with this one after he took the San Francisco Mile against older horses way back in April. It takes a very good three year old to beat older horses at that time of year but we didn’t see him again for a while until he came out in the BEL Derby. He ran a fair race but may well have needed the run so i liked his chances in the National Museum Of Racing last time out but he was pretty weak at the end after making the early running. His work times look as inconsistent as his racing so it is hard to be sure how he will run but at his best he goes close, at his worst he is nearer last.

5 Puissance de La Mer Big Guns Stables Espinoza V

Won his first two starts on the turf but was then switched to dirt for a crack at the money races. Third in the Bg Stakes he fared pretty well but didn’t crack into the TC reckoning so was brought back to the turf. Two good efforts from terrible draws in the MTH Stakes and the BEL Derby say this one will give a good account from this nice draw today and i think he may be a bit of a dark horse.

6 Singing Strings TwinTowersRacing Sanchez M J

A maiden in four attempts on turf and a maiden winner over seven furlongs on dirt, no chance? Well if you think that you may be new to HRP. After winning his maiden on the tenth attempt at lowly CT he then finished just two lengths behind the winner in the Dandy proving as always to expect the unexpected at HRP. The stable specializes in producing these types to run lifetime best races in big races like this and whilst the evidence that this one can win is very slim indeed it only takes a quick trip up the coded improvement curve and anything can win races like these.

7 The Tonight Show Rock Creek Lezcano J

After a failed attempt in the Lecomt he was quickly brought back to turf and has been pretty good particularly in his last effort in the SAR Derby when flying late from a rotten draw to be fourth. On that effort he would have a huge chance but all the turf form is a bit all over the place at the moment so its hard to rely on that effort. If he can sit a bit closer today there is no reason he can’t be right there at the end.

8 Ziccio Night Rider Stables Herndz Moreno O

The stable specializes in finding them in claimers and winning stakes with them so this is an interesting entry even if it is very hard to see him winning on what he has done so far. As i said earlier this is HRP so anything can happen and it wouldn’t be the first time and ex claimer with no form in the grade won at huge odds.

9 Proud Bo TwinTowersRacing Gonzalez Ru

Ran a decent race in the Shoemaker so wouldn’t be out of this on what he has done but he has found it hard to win at any level. His work times are as good as the best here so though i feel like i am saying this a lot in this race, anything can happen. Tactics from the wide gate will be key.

10 Americas Hope Nakamura Stables McCarthy T

The type of form i am talking about for these turf three year olds is typified by this one who was beaten at TAM then won a PRX Allowance before very nearly winning the grade one SAR Derby. He had a very nice draw that day (the two box) and today gets lumbered with the car park so it is a very different race for him but that last run is probably the best recent form in the race and with a stable mate to help him out i wouldn’t be shocked to see him cope with this gate.


The only way to really go with this race is by using exposed form because no-one really knows what the race engine will do or whether one of these will have a step in their improvement code that will set them apart. On that logic i would be going for Gendarmerie di Comte, The God father and Americas Hope to be fighting out the finish but i couldn’t resist a disney dollar each way on Miami My Amy and Puissance De La Mer.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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