Get your pasta and meatballs ready for this exciting, and surprisingly balanced, field of 8 that will be taking part in this G1 matchup featuring seven 4yr olds and one 7 yr old. The only G1 winner, and millionaire, in the field is the longest shot on the board if that tells you anything. The morning line odds gives us LA GIRONA as the 2-1 favorite and five others packed within 9/2 to 6-1 odds. Let’s talk a little more about the field below.
$750,000 Grade 1 The Jockey’s Weapon (Post Time 3:00pm EST)
3yr Olds and up
12 Furlongs – Turf
#1 TETE BALIUS (6-1) – by Manhattan Cafe, scratch bred to a mare out of (High Chaparral). Makes his first start vs graded company for trainer racelord4. Been very sharp since switching back to turf, seven starts back. Has 5 wins in his last 7 races and posted a career best 117SP last out when just getting up to win in a listed stakes over todays distance. He’s one that will show late pace if there is any speed up front. Question will be can he catch the likes of La Girona. Only time will tell. Maybe?
#2 SPIT ROAST (11-1) – by Galileo, scratch bred to a mare out of (Dynaformer). Took 9 races to finally break his maiden, and it came over dirt. Has 3 wins from 13 races over the grass and is in a tough spot for his stakes bow. Trainer peeps3 does have him coming in following 3 wins in his last 4 races. On the improve but has been facing lesser and his kick wont be enough when facing the likes of these challengers. Pass in here.
#3 DIRECT (11-1) – by Montjeu, scratch bred to a mare out of (Kingmambo). Was given an easy tune-up last out over the course in preparation for this by trainer crackpot. Speedball type that will be firing from the gate in hopes to get the jump on La Girona, but pace himself well enough to hold on at the end. He’s the only returner from last year’s edition, where he again attepted to wire group, but got tired in the stretch, finishing third beaten 7.5 lengths. Has ITM possibilities!
#4 UTHER PENDRAGON (5-1) – by Camelot, scratch bred to a mare out of (Caerleon). Comes in off a 4 length romp in a listed stakes at IND, posting a career best winning SP of 109. He will certainly enjoy the fractions that his opponent to the inside will be setting. Trainer sydneyswan has high hopes for this colt who will be making his first start vs graded company. Likely to be heard from late in the contest, but must not get too far back in the early going. Chance with a pace breakdown.
#5 MONSSOON (5-1) – by Soft Falling Rain, out of allowance winning mare Highflow (High Chaparral). This son of a bargain sire (can be had for 36 bp’s at time of writing) has been the needle in the haystack for trainer mainsequence. Crazy to think that he could have been had for $12,500 when breaking his maiden in a claiming race. Super sharp right now, has won 2 races in a row with the last being the G3 Stockholm International by 1.75 lengths and was widening at the wire. Contender for win!
#6 LA GIRONA (2-1) – by Lemon Drop Kid, out of G1 winning millionaire mare Lacada Point (Giant’s Causeway). Top choice in the morning line has been facing the toughest company when compared to these. Needs to repeat strategies from last out, as he probably will not make the lead which he typically likes to have. Dam was a G1 winner, routing on dirt. Trainer xpansion5 keeps his regular jockey, and he’ll need to be spot on with his rally to fend off the likes of Monssoon and others. Plenty to like, but will be tough. Contender!
#7 ALGODON CON YODO (6-1) – by Tiznow, out of G1 winning millionaire mare Algodon De Azucar (Tapit). One would figure this would be a strong dirt pairing… wrong! ITM in 11 of 17 on turf and dam was a G1 turf route winner. Trainer ottohaack sent him to the G1 Expensive Jalopy off of a poor showing in the G3 Freer Stakes, and it paid off. He launched an impressive rally that day, finishing second to the EOY honor winner Dariel. The short rest will be a bit of a question mark as most have an extra week or two rest leading up to this. Exotic possibility.
#8 FEED THE PAINT (9/2) – by Pivotal, by stakes winning mare Slap That Bass (North Light). Another former claimer, picked up by trainer ianwhipkey2 for $35k back in August of 2016. Hasn’t been worse than 3rd in any of his 7 starts this year. First attempt vs stakes competition last out and didn’t disappoint. Didn’t win, but ran a career best 117SP, and was only beaten by a half length. Looks like he’ll sit mid-pack and hope his kick will best the others. Possible.
Swami Selections: 5 – 6 – 8 – 3