Who said Deep Closers Can’t Win as Brooklyn Swoops to Take VA Derby?

VA Derby – Grade III
1 1/8 Mile Turf Stake Purse $500.000 Open 3 Year Olds.

This was an odd race with 6 of the 7 runners separated by a length or so. The fact that Starship Haggis was so close to the winner may suggest the form of the race isn’t too strong but at the end of the day form has very little meaning at HRP and it is results that matter, here is how the top four earned their pay checks:

1st Brooklyn Winning Link Stables Ferrer J C

What this one needed with its deep closing style was someone or something to make sure the pace was strong enough. Thankfully Mb Stables or the race engine decided to use the wide drawn runner as a front runner and to force what was a good strong speed which gave the closers their chance. Interestingly the last time this one won was in the Snow Chief where it was drawn wide and came with a strong late run off a solid pace and that is a pattern that is emerging with the wide gates. A fast pace and the wide gate closers come into it and a slow pace the wide gate speed push comes into it. The trouble is the control of that pace is down to other instructions or the race engine so it can be a bit of a gamble, a gamble that paid off today for Winning Link Stables.
This was a great win for the horse and the stable and whilst this gelding may not be at the top of his division, he has now won nearly $500.000 in just eleven starts.

2nd Kylo Ren Luz International Luzzi L J

I didn’t give this one much of a chance as it had never run a route and nine of his last ten races have been over five furlongs. However, as I have said I don’t know how many times, trip means very little at HRP and this sprinter ran like a horse that has always been a router and only failed by a nose to secure the win. I really don’t know if this is a stakes class router, but today he was wide all the way and probably ran ten furlongs so he looked every bit of one; his next race will be very interesting.

3rd Train Wreck Maxmillion Farm Jaramillo E

You would think a horse that nearly won the SAR Derby last time out would be able to win a race that looked on paper a much weaker contest. However, I was worried that this trip may be on the short side and though he was right in the fight at the end he lost out in the photo finish to others that just had more pace at the end.

4th Energizer Party Mb Stables Wilson E J

Classic strategy here with one stable runner going forward and one going back, but the strong pace was just too strong for either and in the end, this was the best finisher staying on into fourth. The pace was much quicker in the Secretariat last time on this track over the mile so I was a bit Surprised that this one didn’t quicken up better, but he never really got into the battle although it has to be noted that he was held up by his own weakening stable mate at a crucial time.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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