SA Sprint Championship (Grade 2)- $200.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 30, 2023
After winning the Grade 2 True North in June, On Schedule has finished closer to the back of the field than he had the front in his next three races, all of which are hotly contested graded races. A deeper look into those results seemed to suggest that he may have just had bad luck with how clustered together finishes can be in virtual racing. With trainer Mb Stables utilizing a different tactic for his gelding, On Schedule made it work, coming from behind to grab the victory. He was not one of our picks, but still ended up the second choice of the bettors. Congratulations to Mb Stables on his third win in the race, and first since Con Artist in 2018. Jockey J R Velazquez had a strong day overall on this SA card, making the most of his trip west from AQU, and wins this stake for the first time. The race was won in a time of 1:08.64, which is among the better such times in the race’s history. Let’s take a look at it!
(1/4 Mile- :22.22)- A few horses try to grab the early, but only one can do so, and here that will be Fit To Fight, for Spb Racing. After a quarter mile, he ends up pulling away by a length but has three stalkers right behind him. Maxmillion Farm’s Top Of The Crop has a slight edge amongst the trio, with Arindel’s Range Rover next while in the four wide front but while California Sun remains on the rail for Royalty Stables. Nearby to them are both Bigmouth Raj (Night Rider Stables) and High Time (Maxmillion Farm). It’s another length to Plan To Wheel (Fractious), who holds an edge on Gnome Guitar (Nakamura Stables) and Enigmatic (Tinkey). Trailing, but only about four lengths from the front, is the eventual race winner from Mb Stables, On Schedule.
(1/2 Mile- :45.03, Top of Stretch, 1.6F To Go)- Fit To Fight continues to lead the way as they finish the backstretch portion and move around the turn. His lead is a length, and he has been able to put away all but one of the stalkers that had been close behind him. The one that is still there is Top Of The Crop, and he was holding steady. California Sun is still third for now, with Bigmouth Raj moving into the fourth position by passing Range Rover. Plan To Wheel and High Time are next, and making some progress along the rail would be On Schedule. He was still about three and a half lengths from the front but did have a clear lane. Gnome Guitar and Enigmatic are now at the back.
(Finish- 1:08.64)- With a furlong to go, Fit To Fight looked good, and as they got a little closer to the wire, it really didn’t seem like On Schedule was about to win this race. He had been running well on the rail, passing a few within the pack itself, but to catch Fit To Fight seemed to be a pretty tough task. Somehow, in the dying moments of this race, On Schedule simply exploded with run, something that he apparently didn’t show in his last three races, but he was determined to not miss out again. Very quickly, he was even with Fit To Fight, and even though that one was still running well, he could not answer this new challenge. The win goes to On Schedule, almost by a length with Fit To Fight taking second. It was very tight for third, with Bigmouth Raj getting the head bob on Plan To Wheel, with the hard closing Gnome Guitar getting in the photo as well, as will Top Of The Crop. The rest of the running order will read California Sun, Range Rover, Enigmatic, and High Time.
About The Winner- On Schedule, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by J R Velazquez, is a five-year-old gelding by Worst Case Scenario, and is out of Say It Out Loud. He was bred in California as a third quarter two-year-old by Mb Stables, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his seventh in 20 starts, and his fourth stake win, all of which are graded. His career earnings are now $733.900.
Time: :221 :45 :563 1:083
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 7 – 8 Paid 42.70
$1 Trifecta: 7 – 8 – 5 Paid 1,508.00
Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES