VA Derby May Have a Familiar Look About It

VA Derby – Grade III
CNL Race #2 1 1/8m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $500.000 For Three Year Olds.

A great purse and a good opportunity for some of the less well known three-year-olds to make a very nice paycheck. Here is how the seven runners line up:

1 Train Wreck Maxmillion Farm Jaramillo E 122 —

The SAR Derby saw this one dead heat for third with Regulatory and with very similar draws today it should again be close. I guess the one thing against this horse that was recently bought for $275.000 is that he closed in the SAR Derby, and you would expect a similar run today from the inside gate and over a shorter trip may not be to his liking. Just 5 months before the trainer paid the big bucks, they could’ve claimed him in a $15.000 claimer but so ordinary was his form that he went unclaimed that day. Such is HRP, one day a claimer the next failing by a whisker to land the SAR Derby.
So, it will be down to the turf king to negotiate the draw with his running style, but the beauty of the game is we can play the video game and click the instructions or better still leave it up to the AI and race engine to turn him into a front runner. Whatever happens on that last effort he must have every chance.

2 Energizer Party Mb Stables Wilson E J 122 —

You would expect Mb to have more than one runner, so this is the first of two and another that tells the story of recent seasons. the winner of the Rebel on the dirt and then close up in the SUN Derby he has since switched to the turf and lo and behold he seems to be just as good on either surface. He just lasted home in the Secretariat last time and has the perfect draw for another stalking effort, probably following his stable mate and making it difficult for anything in behind. As always from this stable a winning chance.

3 Starship Haggis TwinTowersRacing Bridgmohan S X 122 —

Now I know I say that this stable can produce miracle results and very often they do but they really have thrown one in here that it is impossible to give a chance of winning to. He has only beaten two horses home in his last three efforts in much lower level and even though they were on dirt, and he won one of his races on the turf that surely can’t be the sort of form to win this race. But then again…………

4 Solar Coast Smokey Stover Toledo Je 122 —

A good winner of the Pennine Ridge and then a gallant third in the BEL Derby it remains a mystery as to what happened in the Secretariat last time out. Was it the trainer playing with the buttons or the race engine deciding? Whichever it was the horse went very fast fractions over the mile and died like a Threshold runner in a stakes race. I am sure he is better than that last run but even at his best he may find one or two won’t in this race.

5 Kylo Ren Luz International Luzzi L J 122 —

Spot the Star Wars fan here as this home bred tackles a race that he may need the force to win. He has won three races but has never run in a route race winning his last two over five furlongs in overnight company. We have no idea about his ability over this trip but I suspect the trip won’t really make a difference, but his overall ability may. He is a nice sort and why not have a go, stranger things have happened at HRP.

6 Regulatory Mb Stables Pennington F 122 —

Seemed to find the trip a shade too far in the SAR Derby after making the running but very often the way they run on the viewer does not represent their ability to see out a trip. Either way this trip should be ideal and of course with two on pace runners in the field from the stable you would expect the race engine to set them up in first and second and dictate the pace. It’s a story that’s been played out many times and I suspect the betting market will reflect the chances of it happening again.

7 Brooklyn Winning Link Stables Hernandez C J 122 —

After a brave win in the Snow Chief he has struggled a little with the rise in grade in his last two. In all likelihood the race engine sends him to the back today and that may be the end of his chances unless Smokeys runner goes off like a startled greyhound again. There are scenario’s where this one can run over the top of them late but there are more that say he ends up running up behind the pace getters.


I have seen this sort of race play out so many time that I strongly suspect we will see one of two versions here. One the first version Regulatory leads and Energizer Party stalk and they finish one two. In the other the lead is challenged by Solar Coast and Train Wreck gets over the top of them late. Make your choice and place your bets accordingly.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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