Killer Instinct Makes Case to Be BC Turf Favorite in KD Turf Cup

KD Turf Cup (Grade 2) (BC)- $1,000.000 Purse
KD- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Half on the Turf
September 9, 2023

Last month at CNL, Killer Instinct would make his turf debut in the Grade 1 AP Million in what was his 24th career start. That’s a tough way to do it, but the Fire N Fury colt would open eyes when he nearly pulled it off before settling for second in a photo finish. Naturally, off of that he would another chance on the grass and that would come here for a $1,000.000 purse in the KD Turf Cup. He would look to do it in the same way, jumping out to the lead and opening up a little bit before hoping to hold on in the end. This time, he’d get the job, scoring the win at odds of nearly 17/1. We weren’t as surprised about that here though, as we did make him our second choice for the race. Killer Instinct is trained by Mb Stables, who has now won the race in back-to-back years, and four of the eleven years that it has been in existence. Ru Silvera successfully made the trip from PRX to get his first win in the race. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 2:24.25, and that is a new stake record, beating the old one by a quarter of a second. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/2 Mile- :48.38)- Our eventual winner, Killer Instinct, breaks sharply out of the gate for Mb Stables and is able to get clear of the field as they enter the opening turn. He would hold a length advantage over what was a very tight pack developing right behind him. Iceman, trained by Okm Stables, looked to challenge Killer Instinct momentarily for the top spot, but would not be able to do so and settled for a stalking position in second. This is where a lot of horses started to get jammed together very early in this race. To the inside of Iceman would be Harry Met Meghan (Gdp Inc) and Americas Hope (Nakamura Stables), while Anemoi (Mo Mentum Farm) all of those were within half a length of Iceman, and Sensei (Mb Stables) was as close as he could be behind Iceman without running into him. In the middle of the field, both High Fives (High Voltage) and The Great Goodbye ( were next in line. Further back, it’s three wide between On Fire (Mb Stables), Ptyrannical (Arindel), and Search Engine (Keith Austin Inc) and even they are only 3-4 lengths out of second. Trailing and behind the pack are Martinez (Royalty Stables) and Dark Arts (TwinTowersRacing).

(3/4 Mile- 1:12.48)- Heading down the backstretch, Killer Austin holds the lead and looks comfortable with these two and a half-length leads. Iceman is still leading the rest of the pack, and we do start to see a little more spacing between horses as the race carries on. That’s behind Iceman, however, as he is still a half-length in front of a four wide group consisting of Harry Met Meghan, Americas Hope, and Anemoi. All of them just seemed to be riding along patiently and waiting for their cue to be moved forward. Sensei was right behind them but did move a little closer to the rail. High Fives lost a little ground, and now we see Martinez asked for a little more run as he moves to the outside of The Great Goodbye. On Fire and Ptyrannical were maintaining their pace, though Search Engine lost some ground. At the back, Dark Arts was staying out of trouble.

(Top of Stretch, 2.0F To Go)- Killer Instinct is still out front, and watching him run, you have to think that it is going to take a massive effort from someone behind him to catch him. His lead is still three lengths, and even if someone wanted to make a run from behind him, they were going to have to maneuver a pack that was tightening up again, so traffic issues would be a concern. Killer Instinct, meanwhile, did not have to worry about any of that. For now, it was still Americas Hope, Iceman and Anemoi as the closest rivals, but they’ve all had plenty of opportunity to push forward, and none of them have made any progress. Harry Met Meghan and Sensei were losing some ground, the latter possibly due to the need to check up. On Fire ran on the rail, and The Great Goodbye was in the thick of the pack, but had Martinez going by on the outside, and now Ptyrannical looking to do that same to that one’s outside. Dark Arts would swing out seven wide because there was simply no other option for him at this point, and he did seem to have something left. High Fives, having been part of the pack, and now behind it, looked to be an also ran now, and Search Engine was not able to find the answer for more speed.

(Finish- 2:24.25)- The BC Turf is still two months away, but Killer Instinct’s effort here will need to be remembered. In the stretch, he would never show signs of fatigue, and while the hard closing Dark Arts made a very valiant effort to get him, Killer Instinct was clearly the best in the field. In the BC, the competition will be stronger, but if Killer Instinct can get out on the lead like he did here again and stay out of traffic troubles which ended up being pretty evident in this race for several others, then he will have a good shot to win that one as well. For now, he will celebrate a win by a length over Dark Arts. That one ran a much different race, running from behind, and then having a very wide trip in the stretch. He made it work, showing very good closing kick to get his second, and that’s also something that needs to be remembered in two months. Behind them, we have the pack, and given the way the pack was so tight all race, I’m really not surprised that there ended up being a three-way dead heat for show. Americas Hope, Martinez, and Anemoi were involved there, and On Fire was a head behind from joining in with Iceman very close to them. It was another length to another dead heat that was nearly a four way, with The Great Goodbye and Harry Met Meghan slightly ahead of Sensei and Ptyrannical. That is very indicative of how close the middle of the field here four-year-old, and why the efforts of Killer Instinct and Dark Arts were a little more impressive here. High Fives and Search Engine didn’t have to worry about the pack, as they were way out at the end.

About The Winner- Killer Instinct, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by Ru Silvera, is a four-year-old colt by Fire N Fury and is out of Irrefutable. He was bred in California by Mb Stables as a first quarter two-year-old, and they have been together throughout! Congratulations to the connections! The win is his eighth in 25 starts, his fifth stake win, and third graded win. His career earnings are now $1,727.480.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Killer Instinct Mb Stables Silvera Ru 16.80   11 2:24.25 — 
  Dark Arts TwinTowersRacing Saez L 14.20   21/2 2:24.57 — 
  Americas Hope Nakamura Stables Alvarado F T 8.15   3nk 2:24.67 — 
  Martinez Royalty Stables Velazquez J R 7.20   3nk 2:24.67 — 
  Anemoi Mo Mentum Farm Garcia Mar 30.10   3nk 2:24.67 — 
  On Fire Mb Stables Lopez P 6.80   6hd 2:24.72 — 
  Iceman Okm Stables Castillo I 10.10   71 2:24.76 — 
  The Great Goodbye Husbands P 9.65   8hd 2:25.03 — 
  Harry Met Meghan Gdp Inc Hernandez R M 33.20   9no 2:25.06 — 
  Sensei Mb Stables Gutierrez Mario 8.80   103 2:25.07 — 
  Ptyrannical Arindel Centeno D E 4.30   103 2:25.07 — 
  High Fives High Voltage Davis D 19.20   124 2:25.72 — 
  Search Engine Keith Austin Inc. Corbett G W 7.85   13 2:26.52 — 

Track: Firm

Time: :481  1:122  2:002  2:241

$2 Mutuel Prices:

8 – Killer Instinct 35.60 17.10 9.50
5 – Dark Arts   14.10 7.40
1 – Americas Hope     3.30
10 – Martinez     3.20
12 – Anemoi     9.00

$1 Exacta: 8 – 5 Paid 267.80

$1 Trifecta: 8 – 5 – 1 Paid 476.80, 8 – 5 – 10 Paid 476.80, 8 – 5 – 12 Paid 476.80

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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