Equinics 2018 Krishna Fillies and Mares, 12 Furlongs, Fast Dirt
Race ID : 2049006
As we get into late February, the sap is starting to rise in Vermont’s much vaunted maple trees, and the excitement level among the Equinics residencies is rising too.
This Equinics race commemorates the great Arizona-bred son of CARISMATICO (CHI), KRISHNA, an unraced 10-year-old.
No, wait, it must be for the Hall of Fame inductee from Theatrical Stables of the same exact name.
That top racemare, a product of the eponymous sire of her stable, was a stalwart distance horse, winning several Grade 1 races on dirt and turf from ten furlongs to two miles. She banked $5 million plus, and serves as a worthy Equinics ideal for the aspirations of this year’s fourteen Equinics competitors.
A mile and a half on dirt is, in North America at the very least, a specialty distance, even more so for females. There are not many opportunities for the real-life, top-class distaffer on this continent. Sim breeders can use sires successful in the classic races, but there is still the problem of a late-winter dirt surface affected by recent freeze-thaw cycles in Vermont. Let us greet, then, the representatives of the fourteen residencies who have accepted this challenge.
MIDWEEK runs for Pointblank under the ESR banner. She is herself a sim classic winner, having trounced the boys in the New Yorker last year. She went on to challenge older horses at the end of her season, finishing well beaten in the Breeders Bowl Marathon. But against older mares she was much more impressive, with on the board finishes in the Great Dane and Empire State Stayer. It still looks like it will be tough sledding for her today.
CHARM OF LIZ runs for Hardhead2 and the NWRC. She has enjoyed running amongst her fellow Turkish-breds, with four wins at today’s distance or longer, including local bred stakes. The daughter of Scarface was just mid-pack against Grade 3 foes in the All Nighter, though. It looks as though she was a little closer to the pacemakers in that one, and with a reduction in distance for this graded event, perhaps her best tracking style will resurface for a much improved showing.
KNOWS BEST represents Amir1605 and Elite. The German bred and daughter of Dabirsim has most of her wins on polytrack, but more recently has popped some triple digits at around this distance on dirt. Past efforts indicate she will challenge for the lead, though with this step up in class it may prove a challenge to remain in the trifecta by the end.
HASHTAG PYE, the Tyedye/EWC representative, has really just burst upon the distance-running scene in her past few races. She followed up a November frontrunning allowance win at two miles with the same feat in December’s Saturday Night Girl, that time posting a 113 speed. Her debut this year was a step back in the Pittsburgh Stayer, but a return to December’s form would make a formidable one to catch today.
MEDAGLIA MARCI, for Liam and the GR Simsters, rides in on a four-race streak; more impressively, she has won each race by a wider margin than the last. It’s fair to give the Cape Cross lass the chance here, even though she has not run in a graded event to date, because this is the time in a horse’s career where you have to try the big girls. Oddsmakers have her at 9-1, but I like her a little more than that.
CONNECT THE SPOTS, who runs for Tgerk and MIDAS, has also won four straight, though by almost the exact same four-plus lengths each time. She has taken down some of her competitors in that span when winning the Pittsburgh and the Empire State, and the betting public is figuring her for the favorite. With a light 14-race docket for a 7-year-old, due mostly to a two-year break after her maiden win, and a powerful closing style, she is deserving and dangerous.
EMPTY ETHICS, racing for Flagdown under the Pastures of Green colors, grew into her own at the end of her sophomore season, winning two dirt distance stakes. Her 4-year-old debut was iffy, but if that’s a throwout, there is a lot to like in the strongly bred Honor Code female. Can probably lay behind the speedy ones and be ready for a big run at the first opportunity going home.
GO OUT STRONG (the Blazing Saddles rep for Mtk76) is aptly named as a typical frontrunner. She has run a series of big numbers in allowances and stakes at this distance, but had somewhat more trouble navigating the fourteen furlongs and Graded level of the Empire State two back. Jockey M Kelly stays aboard, but does he understand the filly properly? There is talent here, but one wonders whether it will manifest against some toughies at this juncture.
OLLIE SAND, running for Rbokie24 and URC, the Irish Oaks victor from two years ago, has quite relished her recent change to, first, poly surfaces, and now, in 2018 and for the first time ever, to dirt. Her dirt debut last month was a smashing six-length romp in a West Virginia stakes. There is the back-class factor in her favor, but probably she needs her very best to win gold for URC.
SOFIA VERGARA is pretty, it is true, but as a runner for Haack and Sim Hispano, she has been impressing in this dirt distance division since 2016. She will most likely be making her move from far back, and with graded placings and a life-best speed of 115 at the distance, she should not be discounted for the win.
YANKEE CRYSTAL, the Handshobby filly for the All-Stars, is a win machine at 13 for 18 lifetime, and maybe just peaking as she turns four. Equally at home on turf and dirt, and with enough speed to win at seven furlongs, it seems like a good bet that she could also be adaptable enough to not try to fight off all the other speed today. If not, it may turn into a class test that could be her undoing.
Regally-bred FEELIN’THEFEELIN’ lost out in the Empire State, but prepped for representing Minnesota Testbarn by running in Sweden at eleven furlongs. Canyongate had the touch in that race, as she won easily with a career-best 114 speed. A fourth member of the Jolly jockey clan (P) takes the reins today, so it may help if he can get some tips from his siblings who have already had the ride.
WATCH ME STRUT (Zia runner representing Racing HQ) might have a little more juice for a ten-furlong affair than this longer stretch. A speed-favoring style could be compromising, but a life-best 114 speed counts in her favor. I think her chances are a little longer than her 7-1 odds.
At the extreme outside runs DARK OXBOW for the prolific Lightng99 and my residency, Megalopolis. She has the longest odds of all, but she does run well at the distance. It will be a step up to compete against these, but being by Belmont-placed Oxbow can’t hurt.
Gold – MIDAS
Silver – Minnesota Testbarn
Bronze – All-Stars