King Que Niagra Ready for His Close-Up in BC Turf

The 21st Running of the G1 BC Turf

Saturday, November 4, 2023

SA Race #16 $4,000.000

3+ 122/126 Lbs 11/2 (Turf)

Track Record-2:22.34 (Perpetual Motion-2008)

Stakes Record-2:22.58 (Bronze Sabre-2009)

Apologies for the lack of links, but it is darn-near impossible on this laptop’s mousepad.  Luckily, the 21st edition of the G1 BC Turf is not lacking in depth or quality.  14 runners have signed on to chase the $4,000.000 purse in hopes of stating their case as divisional champions.  First among the candidates would be King Que Niagra, who sat this race out last year when the track came up “good”, with his three G1 scores, including back-to-back scores while prepping for this.  Plenty of the others have their own set of credentials; however, they haven’t been as consistent in their efforts.  Let’s meet the contestants for the 2023 G1 BC Turf:

#1 Killer Instinct (Mb Stables/Ru. Silvera 126): Colt has only made three starts on the lawn; however, with a G2 win, as well as a runner-up in a G1 and a close 4th in another G1, he’s found his home.  Been keen to be forwardly placed in his turf tries and this draw definitely plays to his advantage.

#2 Fear Me Not (Mb Stables/J.R. Velazquez 122): Barn’s 2nd colt in here also found a home on the turf after chasing the big money on the main track.  In just four starts on the lawn since July, this guy was a two-time runner-up at this level before an authoritative score at KD in a G3.  Last can be forgiven due to the surface having a ton of give in the ground.

#3 King Que Niagra (D J C Racing Stables/P. Lopez 126): Interestingly, this guy’s three G1 scores in 2023 have all come on “off” surfaces after he scratched out of this spot last year due to rain.  Good news is that he gets the firm turf he wanted last year, but he’s winless in four starts on such surfaces this year.  If he wins, he’s your turf division champion, but this won’t be easy.

#4 Mickey (South Shore Stables/M. Franco 126): 4yo gelding was really sharp to start the season with exacta finishes (including two G1 scores) in five of his first six starts.  Only one runner-up finish in his last three; however, when he’s on his game, his fastball is still good enough in these spots.  

#5 Americas Hope (Nakamura Stables/F.T. Alvarado 126): Colt has taken a G3 and a $225.000 listed stake in seven starts in ’23.  Both wins were in gate-to-wire fashion but there’s plenty of speed in here to keep him company.  If he gets to the front, he could prove very tough to pass once again.

#6 Ptyrannical (Arindel/Mario Gutierrez 126): He has three wins from eight starts this season, but only one other ITM finish.  While he lacks consistency, he doesn’t want for talent.  Has been successful in various ways, it’s just a matter of whether or not he feels like strutting his stuff.

#7 Hammerfest (Smokey Stover/D.E. Centeno 126): 6yo gelding has taken a G1 and a G2 this season, and his only “poor” run came on ground that he won’t have to deal with here.  Most likely gets a nice trip sitting in the stalking-flight, just needs to be ready when the opening presents itself.

#8 Show Me How To Live (Mo Mentum Farm/E.J. Wilson 126): Has three wins from ten starts but no other ITM finishes this season.  Took the G2 at DMR to qualify for this before trying his luck sprinting last out.  Came from well back to punch his ticket, and he should get an honest pace to run into.

#9 Dark Arts (TwinTowersRacing/F. Geroux 126): Been somewhat unlucky as he’s winless in nine starts this season.  He’s been a tough-luck loser on multiple occasions and seems to be pretty honest in delivering his run.  If he and the pilot can get in sync, this guy will be picking them up and laying them down in the stretch-drive.

#10 French Style (Royalty Stables/M. Murrill 126): He’s six for six ITM; however, he’s only bested $75.000 claimers this season.  Last three runs at the graded level haven’t been poor, by any means, but he needs to put it all together if he wants to compete in this spot.

#11 Oh Brother (Spankys Barn/T. Gaffalione 126): Auctioned in June for $45.010, he didn’t fire in the first race for the new connections.  Last two have been much-improved efforts as he was able to snag a SAR G3 before taking a G1 at WO.  Enters full of confidence and have to believe the barn has a good handle on how he likes to do things.

#12 Martinez (Royalty Stables/D. Davis 122): Another 3yo who chased the spring’s big purses on the main track; gelding really found his footing once he moved to the lawn.  He’ll be far back early, and, while he’ll have to dodge traffic as he makes his move, he has a good rapport with the pilot.

#13 Ziccio (Night Rider Stables/J.J. Castellano 126): If you take out the dismal effort at KEE, this gelding has been as consistent as anyone in the field.  Doesn’t have to be too far back, but he doesn’t want to be challenging for the early lead either.  If he can tuck in at some point and settle, he should be ready to roll when it’s time to go.

#14 On Fire (Mb Stables/L. Saez 122): 3yo gelding is a stablemate to the 1 and 2 so he can’t complain too bad about this post.  Luckily, he likes to be taken back and allowed to settle, and, with all of the speed in here, he may be able to save ground fairly quickly.  Possesses a devastating turn-of-foot, so, if he can find a clear path, expect to hear from him late.

#15 (AE) Cascade King (Nakamura Stables/TBD 126): Winless in eight starts for the season, he’s been close a few times at the graded level.  Could be a wild card if he gets in as he hasn’t shown a preferred style.

#16 (AE) Anemoi (Mo Mentum Farm/TBD 126): Man, this is one that probably was one more start away from getting enough points to get into the main body of this.  Seems to be getting really good right now, so, if he draws in, he could definitely spice up the exotics.

Final Analysis: The inside appears to have the upper hand here with speedy, classy individuals in the first three gates.  We’ll go with a closer on top (no, not the 12) and call it 9-2-3-1 in the 21st edition of the G1 BC Turf.  Good luck to everyone in this race and in all of their races on Saturday!

Categories: BC 2023, Grade I, Races, STAKES ARTICLES, THE BREEDERS CUP

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