The Snow Chief Brings Plenty of Potential to the Table

Snow Chief Stakes
 SA Race #5 1 1/8m Turf Stake
 Purse $150.000 For Three Year Olds Foaled In CA.

1 Grandish Team 7 Illusions Smith M E 122 —

This one was looking like a perpetual bridesmaid after four seconds in a row at maiden level but finally got the monkey of its back in its last start when trouncing a good maiden field over this trip. After four maiden defeats on grass the trainer went to the main track to try and get the elusive win but in hindsight, I think that was an oversight. The reason I say that is that its three turf efforts before the swap were on a wet track and that may have been a big contributor to its defeats. In its last start there was a dry track, grass under its feet and everything fell into place, and I think we saw his true ability shine through. A veteran in the saddle and a veteran at the helm, I think he will be hard to beat.

2 Andromaca Sc Lanciano Espinoza V 117 —

This is a very interesting entry being a filly because she gets a decent weight allowance and is working pretty strongly. Her form may be a shade off the best here but the 5Lbs should make her competitive, and I really liked her last two races where she looked like this trip and surface would be perfect for her. There will be plenty of experts watching how she runs today, and if she wins, then we could be seeing a few more fillies taking on the boys.

3 Hunting Grouse Night Rider Stables Gonzalez Ru 122 —

Like most horses this stable claims, they find improvement or at least compete at a higher level. This is a typical claim for Night Rider, taken cheaply for $8.000, he ran a great race in a competitive Optional Claimer at SA last time and what makes him a very interesting outsider here is that this is his first start on turf. That may not be a plus in real life but very often a first start on a new surface at HRP can bring about a big performance, so I will be keeping an eye on this one.

4 Traveller Royalty Stables Vazquez R A 122 —

Just 4 starts for 2 wins, I really like the performance last time out over this trip at CD where he showed improvement to score a handy two length win in a big-ticket allowance. I also like the fact that along with improving form he has improving works too and I think he may be traveling a little under his oppositions radar in this.

5 Acapulco King Smokey Stover Van Dyke D 122 —

A winner over this course and distance last time, he is typical of a horse from this stable, always competitive and showing good form at the high level. He was disappointing in the Palm Beach after a tight maiden win but was dropped back to overnights for his last two and that would’ve helped with the education. His works are strong and his win last time as good as any of these so hailing from one of the HRP whales we must take his chances very seriously.

6 Command Class Sccj Stables Gutierrez Mario 122 —

Whatever happens with this one I can see him throwing a few nice offspring down the line if he is kept as an entire. His form lines look a bit up and down but with three of his last four runs coming on off tracks it is difficult to read and trust the outcomes of those starts. He is going to be competitive for sure but it’s hard picking out a piece of form that says he can win although on works he is up with the best and his last three starts have all come in graded stakes including a nose second in the De Mille Stakes when last seeing a dry track which may be the thing that sees his best chance of winning this.

7 Visionaire Mb Stables Rispoli U 122 —

Usually, it’s just a matter of spotting the whales and throwing your Disney Dollars on them and that could well be the case after this one took a decent WO allowance last time and is working some of the best times. The form is pretty good but not outstanding, works are as usual better than the form shown so far but the biggest factor seems to be the Mb factor when it comes to stakes racing and that is probably enough to see this one win.

8 Douwe Egberts First Flight Stable Cedillo A 124 —

This one has been pretty inconsistent winning three from seven but throwing some poor efforts in between really good ones. The key here is that this is a stakes quality horse on the dirt taking on turf for the first time and as I said earlier that can sometimes produce a surprising result. His dirt works and a decent run in the Rebel would probably make him close to favorite if this were on the main track but his problem with consistency may have come from the surface and this switch may just be the tonic he needs. He will need to deal with a weight penalty and a wide gate but if he does then watch this space.

9 Brooklyn Winning Link Stables Maldonado E 122 —

We get out into the cheap seats now and we find this handy gelding who probably needs to find some improvement if he is going to win this. Consistent enough he will need some race engine help but if it comes then there is no reason why he won’t still be in it down the stretch.

10 Curtis Loew South Shore Stables Franco C 122 —

I see this so often is stakes races I sometimes have to question the ‘randomness’ of the draw. The horse with the worst form and the worst jockey gets the worst draw which in this one’s case is a real shame, He hasn’t run for nearly 6 months and only has two starts for a maiden win at TUP, not huge pointers for a competitive stakes race but I reckon this one will eventually prove he is good enough at this level even though it seems the system has decided that won’t be today.


A tight race as always it is probably easiest and wisest to just go with the Mb and the Smokey runners as more often than not one of those stables find the best run and the least traffic in a race like this. It is not open and shut case though and there are a few here that have the potential to develop into good stakes horses and it may pay to hunt around for bigger odds. Despite his weight I think Douwe Egberts will run a big race and Command Class, Traveller and Grandish all have claims. I think taking the biggest odds on one of those may be the way to go with an each way bet.

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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