Eddie D Stakes (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Six and a Half Furlongs on the Turf
September 30, 2023
The gate is full to capacity for Saturday’s running of the Eddie D Stakes, a Grade 2 event which is being held for 20th time. In all but one of those years, the race has been held at SA, but in 2010, it was held at HOL. In 2004, it was run for $100.000, and it would stay there for fifteen years before being increased to the present $200.000 level. Looking back at its history, we see one two-time winner, that being Jamfest in 2014 and 2015. Then, we had four winners over the next two years, as both 2016 and 2017 had dead heats for the win. Last year, the winner was Danube, and Wood Duck Stables. He would end up running in the BC Turf Sprint, but did not perform well in that race but it would not stop him from having a steady four-year-old season. Now, let’s take a look at the field of twelve for this year’s race.
#1- Edward Scissorhands (Avenue Z, ridden by P Lopez)- For his prior trainer, this four-year-old colt ran in a handful of ungraded stakes, and ran well in them with one win: the Atlantic Beach from AQU in November 2021. He didn’t race much in 2022, or this year either, and would be sold in the June auction for $50.010. In his first race with Avenue Z, Edward Scissorhands cut up the competition in the $100.000 Hill Stakes at MTH, leading to his graded debut at the start of the month. That didn’t go well, but there’s plenty of time for redemption.
#2- Pearls Before Swine (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Made his graded debut at the start of the month in the Green Flash Handicap, the same race that Edward Scissorhands also made his similar debut in. For Pearls Before Swine, it went much better, as he placed third. He had been in several ungraded stakes as well, and you will see no shortages of places and shows with him, but no wins in any of them. Fun fact: he’s the second highest lifetime earner that’s by Jung, but he’s got a long way to go to catch Individuation.
#3- Valinor (Alydar Stables, ridden by R A Vazquez)- A lightly raced horse that will be making just his eighth career start, and like the two to his inside, it is his graded debut. Valinor has a couple of ungraded starts, but neither were a good effort. What was much better was his performance at the Spa in an N1X allowance that he won following a strong stalking trip. Off of that, it makes sense to give him another stake opportunity, but I’ll be looking elsewhere.
#4- Money Truck (Invicta Group Llc, ridden by J Bravo)- There is no shortage of graded starts with this one, as he has been in quite a few over his 36-race race career. He’s managed seven wins in that time, but it took him a little while for one of those wins to be in a graded race. That eventually came on New Year’s Eve, when he took the top spot in the Grade 3 Mr Prospector, but as of right now, he has not done much else. Not only has Money Truck not won in 2023, five-year-old not even hit the board. This is a tough field to change that form in.
#5- Free Blast (Fractious, ridden by L Saez)- The five-year-old gelding will make his 27th career start, and his seven career wins have been scattered throughout his career. He’s appeared in several different stakes but did not win one of them until this July, when he captured the $100.000 Wicker Stakes at DMR but struggled on short rest following that. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this horse, he is just missing something to excite me about him.
#6- One Man Show (Spankys Barn, ridden by D Van Dyke)- Here’s another horse that ran in the Green Flash Handicap, and for One Man Show, it was the second straight year that he ran in the race. Ran better in that in 2022 than he did last year. Now, also like last year, he runs in the Eddie D Stakes to follow, and he will be looking to better a rather dismal seventh place finish where he was beaten by six lengths. He’s continued to be competitive over the course of this year, but like Free Blast, he doesn’t get me that excited despite his successes.
#7- Royally Haunted (Mb Stables, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Only has made three starts so far, with a debut in May at CT and then breaking his maiden at SAR in July. He stayed at the Spa after that win for an allowance, and had a sharp looking second place finish, so this three-year-old may have a very promising career in store for them. Right now, that’s really where he is, as it’s much like predicting how a two-year-old will do in a stake. I do like his placement, and if it doesn’t work out, the trainer has another one in here that he can root on.
#8- State General (Mb Stables, ridden by E J Zayas)- Much more accomplished than his stablemate, as he has made over $700.000 during his sixteen-race career. A lot of his early success came in running in races for Canadian horses, with an impressive run last summer seeing him run third in the Queens Plate and then third again in the Prince Of Wales. Ultimately, he would win the Lake Ontario Stakes at WO as the year went on. That’s carried on into this year, as he would take the $300.000 Texas Turf in June. Now, you’re probably thinking, “none of them are sprints like this race is.” And you would be correct. That last time he went under a mile was in February 2022. His works are great, but he’ll need to be ready for the wire to come up sooner than usual for him.
#9- Insist On Perfection (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by M Franco)- The last three races for this horse have come on off tracks, so it should not be a surprise that there is a 67% chance of rain, as of press time at SA. Overall, on wet tracks, he’s hit the board seven out of nine times with three wins, but he does perfectly fine when it is dry as well. His last win came three back, at the $100.000 Chamberlain Bridge Stakes at LS, but he has not been able to win any of the graded races he has been in. Figures to be in the mix here, and I can see him getting a piece of this purse.
#10- Command Class (Sccj Stables, ridden by T Gaffalione)- Picked up by the trainer in private sales in August of last year, and most of the starts for Command Class while in the silks of Sccj Stables have been running long. This included a stretch of graded races where his best finish was second in the Grade 3 DeMille Stakes in December. Last month, he ran in a sprint for the first time in a long time and was second in an optional claimer. Now, Command Class gets the opportunity at the graded level while sprinting and he has been working in well in preparation for this.
#11- Indian Summer (Diablo Diablo, ridden by E Maldonado)- At this time last year, he was about as hot as you could get, and may be the only horse in the game to win a race with the exact same name of his. Indian Summer’s Indian Summer win led him into the BC Juvenile Turf Sprint, where he ended up running second. Despite that, he would not sprint again until June of this year as the trainer prioritized TC preps for him. He had his moments there but seemed to like his chance to sprint once again. I’m glad to see him going this distance again, and it will be bad news for everyone else if he can find that form, he had last fall.
#12- Fiddlestyck (Chili King Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- It took this horse quite some time to break his maiden, but in all of his missed opportunities, he was still hitting the board, with a run of seconditis. Once he learned how to win, he’s gotten a lot more used to it and has now won three of his last four. That’s a stretch that culminated in his last race, winning the Grade 2 Simpson at KD, and its $1,000.000 purse, with a 101 SRF. That’s a result that is going to make him the favorite here in my opinion, as I like both his present form, and that big victory, plus the fact that this isn’t a horse that has been splitting his time being sprinting and routing. He is a pure sprinter, and everyone else needs to beat him at his game, rather than vice versa.