Just a mere five weeks ago, all eyes were on Kentucky as 20 colts lined up in the gates to take their shot at a six-million-dollar purse and a chance at sim racing stardom. Godbless This Mess sat well off the pace early as he was behind eleven other horses until about the halfway point when he started to work on making his comeback. He ended up winning by a little over two lengths to take the first leg of the sim Triple Crown. Two weeks and a trip to Maryland later, Godbless This Mess would find himself struggling to make the same comeback that he did in Kentucky and his bid for a sim Triple Crown would come up 2 lengths short of 15/1 shot El Malquerido who sat near the front and really never looked at the back end of Godbless This Mess through the entire race. El Maiquerido came into the race as the 2nd longshot behind 5th place finisher Den Not Don who came in at 18/1. That then leads us here to New York where, instead of a sim Triple Crown, we will have a sim trifecta as neither Godbless This Mess or El Maiquerido are entered into this weekend’s race. 14 horses and 14 trainers will look at taking their portion of this year’s sim Triple Crown as we go a mile and a half on the fast dirt this weekend. The field looks very competitive with the longest shot being 15/1 and the favorite sitting at just 7/1. With no odds on favorite separating themselves from the rest of the field, it will be very interesting to see who ends up taking the race today. Before we get to the race however, we must meet our field. So without further delay, I present to you the field for the 2018 New Yorker.
Name Owner Sire Odds
(1) Royale Bushwhacker canyongait Awesome Again 10/1
This 3-year-old gelding doesn’t have a win outside of allowance competition. However, in three graded starts, he has yet to fail to hit the board. This raises more questions than answers for many as he remains in New York after the Wooden Indian Derby Lock Prep. His last race was two months ago right here in New York where he failed to take the Derby prep race coming up just short. After starting his career rough, with a 4th place finish, he managed a 2nd place finish in a maiden race before taking his third race with a nice 89 speed figure as a 2-year-old. He would go on to win a conditioned allowance race in his last start as a two-year-old before making the jump to the Graded ranks three races back. In his first ever Graded III race, he managed to sit near the back of the pack before coming up just 3 lengths short in the 3rd place finish. He would follow that up with another 3rd place finish in the Grade II Moises Alou Cap. He would, as mentioned before, again come in 3rd in his first ever Grade I attempt last time out. Speeds have been on a steady increase with the increase in distance and he ran his best ever speed figure of 105 last time out. Will the increase in distance finally give him the ground he is looking for to find the winners circle? Will the jump in distance be too much to handle? There are more questions than answers coming out of his stable this week. Can he give a firm answer to those questions?
(2) Zap It Out basspatrol Ghostzapper 7/1
The three-year-old colt Zap It Out will make his first start since the Bluegrass Derby just a mere month ago. After taking the Florida Derby to secure his spot in Kentucky back in March, this boy just didn’t have enough in the tank as he managed just a 7th place finish in the 20 horse Bluegrass Derby last time out. It was probably for this reason that he skipped the Middle Jewel and headed right for the Belmont this weekend. After a promising start in a maiden race back in July of 2017, he failed to hit the board in two straight listed stakes races. Hoping to raise his confidence, a conditioned allowance was attempted as his last race as a two-year-old and it would prove to start a three race win streak that included a listed stakes and the aforementioned Florida Derby Grade I win. His career best speed figure of 109 came on a good track back in the Florida Derby where he ran a 109 speed figure. The jump in distance didn’t help the speed figure for the Bluegrass Derby as he managed just a 101 speed at the 10-furlong distance. The big question with him will be with the jump once again in distance. He will be going nearly a half mile more than his career best speed figure distance. Will the jump in distance lead once again to a middle of the pack finish, or were there just too many horses in the way of a comeback in Kentucky? That question will be answered this weekend in New York.
(3) Minimal Sin ravenclaw Sinister Minister 15/1
The three spot Saturday belongs to a 3-year-old colt out of Sinister Minister. He will be looking to hit the board for the first time as a three-year-old when he steps foot on the track this weekend in New York. After a promising career start as a two-year-old garnered him five wins in eight tries, he managed just a 9th place finish in the Breeder’s Bowl Juvenile back in November of last year. He would take a four month break from racing in hopes that the speeds and his racing form would increase. The rest did provide a bump in speed figures as he has run his best two speed figures the last two races, however, it hasn’t led to a ton of success on the track where he has missed the board in two straight Grade I tries. That shouldn’t shake the confidence of this colt however as he has seven of his eleven races against Graded company and that includes a Grade I and Grade II win along with a 3rd place finish in the Grade III Manor of Bashford back in July of last year. It has been nearly ten months since this colt has seen the winners circle. He certainly has the ability to take the win here in New York this weekend. Once again, this will be the longest distance for him in his career, though the jump to 10 furlongs last time out led to his first career speed figure over 100. The form has been a little off in the past few races. Can he regain that form that he had as a two-year-old? If so, he could do damage with this field as he will look to sit well back early before coming on strong late.
(4) The Checkered atw14 Bradester 10/1
The three-year-old colt who comes from a Grade I mother will look to add another Grade I winner to the family when he takes the track this Saturday. After four straight allowance races to start his career in which he managed one win and three third place finishes, this boy finally made the jump into the stakes ranks in November of last year. He hasn’t left them since then and he also managed a Grade III win in his first race as a three-year-old earlier this year. While his last two races haven’t been up to par, he will look to shake off the fact that he has failed to hit the board in each of his last two races after managing to hit the board in eight straight races to start his career. An increase in speed figures have come with increasing distance and if that can continue this weekend, he should have no problem keeping up with the field. However, one problem that we are seeing early is that there are a lot of late runners. Not a single horse we have talked about so far has wanted to run with the lead and he is no different. Will he get caught up in the fact that there will be a lot of runners late? It is going to be a tough field for him to take, but he should be right there with everyone else as we get ready to turn for home this Saturday in New York.
(5) The Art of Failure dumptrump Lord Nelson 10/1
Coming out of the 5 slot today will be the three-year-old colt out of Lord Nelson. His Graded results to date have been more like an EKG which has to be causing his trainers a heart attack. Will the race this weekend be more of a top or bottom on that EKG? After three straight 2nd or 3rd place finishes to start his career, The Art of Failure finally managed to take a maiden race back in August of last year. He then managed to win his second in a row in a conditioned allowance race, and that was all that his trainers needed to see from him to know it was time to jump him up into the stakes ranks. His first attempt didn’t go quite as planned as he managed just a 9th place finish at the end of September. After a slight increase in distance and a 3rd place finish a month later, he took a two month break from racing. With that two-month break, he also made a jump into the route distance of racing and it made all the distance as he ran a career best 100 speed figure and took home a listed stakes in his last race as a two-year-old. It was decided then that his next race would be the Grade 1 Vermont is 4 Lovers in February of this year. After coming out of the gate hot, this boy lost steam and managed just an 8th place finish. A month later he tried the 9-furlong distance again, this time in the Grade II Land’s End where to nearly pulled off a win. That bid for the first graded win came up just short as he finished 2 and ¼ lengths behind the leader for a 2nd place finish. After a 9th place finish in the Grade I Arkansas Juvenile Derby Lock Prep race, he made the jump back down in graded company his last time out where again it was a 9th place finish. He will have his work cut out for him today, but he is making another big jump in distance and we know how that turned out early in his career.
(6) Ion My Way drsafbreds Var 10/1
Not only has Ion My Way been involved in the Graded ranks before, he actually has more Grade I races under his belt than other races in his career. The competition that he has faced might bode well for him today, but the struggle is going to be beating that competition which hasn’t been his strong suit in about half a year. The career started with a quick win in a maiden race and 2nd place finish in an open allowance race. From there it was off to the graded ranks where he hasn’t left since May of last year! This guy won his first ever Graded try and followed that up with a solid 2nd place finish in his next race, another Grade III. While he has had mixed results since then, every race he has ran since September of last year has been against Grade I competition and therefore he is certainly battle tested. After a 6th place finish in his first every Grade I attempt, the three-year-old son of Var rattled off two in a row in the Grade I Sparkling Wine Stakes and the Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile. After those two wins, it was a 3 month break for him and since then he hasn’t really regained the form that he left off at. In the four Grade I races since his Breeders Bowl win, he has managed just one 5th place finish, two 7th place finishes, and one 8th place finish. While he did run a career best 102 speed figure in the California Derby Prep race, he followed that up with a 100 sped figure the next time out in the Bluegrass Derby. He will be the first horse that we have met today that has run in both the Bluegrass Derby and the Middle Jewel. How is he going to hold up with his 3rd race in nearly a months’ time? Will he be able to regain his form from his two-year-old campaign with minimal rest, or will it be another rough ride in the New Yorker? The chance is there and he is certainly battle tested. The question remains though, is he too battle tested?
(7) Tap Tap Tapping ramo Tapit 8/1
Skipping the Bluegrass Derby can sometimes pay off for those that are looking to make a strong showing in the Middle Jewel. The three-year-old colt out of Tapit did just that last race after a decent showing in the Sand Castle Derby Prep race. Two races back he managed a career 2nd best 101 speed figure of 101 as he came up short in the prep race. The trainers opted to skip the loaded Bluegrass Derby field in hopes that a rest would give way to a win come the Middle Jewel Stakes. However, that just didn’t work out as he managed just a 6th place finish in the Middle Jewel last time out. He is certainly battle tested much like the rest of the field however as he has managed to hit the board in four out of nine career races in Graded company. After two quick wins to start his career in a maiden race along with a conditioned allowance race, he made the jump to stakes territory where he did manage a 2nd place finish in his first listed stakes try. He followed that up with a 4th place finish in the Grade II Vermont BB Juvenile and a 2nd place finish in the Grade II Hoserhead Juvenile. A month later he made the jump up into the Grade I stakes territory when he took on a field of 13 in the Hopeless Stakes. A 4th place finish followed his start there along with another 4th place finish in the Charcoal Breeder’s Cup Grade III race. He then managed to hit the board for the second time in Graded company when he finished third the the Club Stakes before picking up his first ever Graded win in the It’s a Lot Like Christmas Grade III race. With most of the first half of the field looking to make the trip for way back, look for Tap Tap Tapping to jump straight out towards the front. This may not be a bad place to be with so many late challengers, he might not get pushed a ton early. Time will tell, but running his race might not be a terrible thing Saturday and the odds makers look to agree.
(8) Den Not Don graywolf47 Den’s Legacy 14/1
As we begin the 2nd half of our countdown, we come across the first of two runners to have the “CLM” tag applied to their name. Some trainer’s favorite stories are those horses that drastically improved from their early campaign and this young colt looks to be just that. After a not too shabby 4th place finish in his first ever race, this three-year-old hit the claiming ranks running in three straight claiming races. The last of these claiming races was actually for a $2,500 tag back in June of last year. Yet no one claimed him. Now many are asking why they didn’t take the chance just a year ago in the $2,500 claimer that eventually produced a Grade II winner and is looking to win one of the three Triple Crown races this year. Trainers and owners alike thought they could get more out of this guy and he was eventually entered into an open allowance where he managed just a 6th place finish though speeds did improve. From there he finished 2nd and 1st in two straight conditioned allowance races. After giving it a go in a Grade II The Ransom back in November of last year where he managed a 5h place finish in a 14 horse field, he moved back to the conditioned allowance level where he finished fourth in an NW4L race. Deciding to give the stakes level one more try, the trainer entered him into a listed stakes at 10.5 furlongs and he ended up besting the field by 2 lengths to win his first ever stakes race. He wasn’t done there however as his next race he followed his win up with another win. This time however it was a Grade II win and his career best speed figure of 102 was earned in Louisiana that day as well. While racing since that day hasn’t been great for him, it’s always a fun time when a claimer turns into a Graded winner. That brings us to today. After a really rough Wooden Indian two races back in a Derby Prep race where he managed just an 85 speed figure, he tried again in the Middle Jewel where he ran much better finishing with a 100 speed figure in a 5th place finish. He looks to have just run out of ground a few weeks ago and the step up in distance might be just what the doctor ordered to turn this former claimer into the ever so rare Grade I winner.
(9) Actuary Ted march2nd Deep Impact 14/1
One of the lesser tested horses in today’s race will be making his first ever Grade I start as he looks to best the rest of the field in race 1 of his Grade I career. While the odds certainly are not in his favor according to the odds board, the distance just might be what this guy needed to get over the hump. After two quick wins early in his career in a maiden and conditioned allowance race, he did pretty rough in his next two starts which were both listed stakes races. It was back down into the allowance ranks from there as he was still not managing to hit the board in two straight tries. One common theme emerged and that was that he was just running out of ground late in making some comebacks. That is why he made a 2 furlong jump five races back in a listed stakes where he managed a first place finish in the Franco Invasion Dirt Route. From there, he has really started to find his form and the increase in distance has certainly helped. His career best speed figure of 101 came last time out at 10.5 furlongs where he managed a 3rd place finish in the Teddys Slew Dirt Route in Florida. His previous race also was a success where he won his second listed stakes, this time at 10.5 furlongs, in the Gold Project Dirt Special. That now leads us to Saturday where he will again make a substantial jump in distance in hopes that he can mount the late comeback that he has become accustomed to. He has just two Graded races under his belt in his career and finished 12th and 5th in those respectively. So while not as battle tested as many others in this field, he does have the distance increases working in his favor. He too will look to sit somewhere mid to end of the pack before making a late push. While there will be a lot of others right there with him, will the others be able to handle the increase in distance like he has? Though a question still remains whether he too will be able to handle the increase in distance.
(10) Crackerjack Ride tfon21 Ride On Curlin 10/1
We reach double digits and the 10th spot provides a doozy in the other horse with a “CLM” tag. $2,500 was paid in a claim on May of 2017 when this guy was placed in a maiden claimer. After winning that maiden claimer, the new owner managed to get the colt to rip off two straight allowance wins before making the first attempt at the Graded Ranks. While he managed just a 5th place finish in the Grade II Midsoil Stake, it didn’t stop the run of three wins in four races as he followed it up with another win in open allowance company this time. It was back to the stakes ranks where he has been for the last 10 races. He has managed to finish in the top three of all listed stakes since then except one where he finished fourth at 5.5 furlongs. He has been entered in two Grade I races in his career, and he did net a 2nd place finish in the Vermont is 4 Lovers back in February of this year. His Derby Prep race didn’t go quite as planned two races back in California where he managed just a 7th place finish and never really threatened. From there he made a 1.5-furlong jump to a 10.5 furlong listed stakes race and managed a third place finish where he just got ran past late. While it was just a 95 speed figure, he was in the race for quite some time. So he will again today make the jump in distance in hopes that a better outcome is to be had. While the speed figures aren’t outstanding, his two best speeds have been in both of his Grade I tries where his career best of 104 came four races back. Can the claim to fame pick up his first graded win? Either way, what a $2,500 claim he was!
(11) Musicfor Thefallen blankpoin6 Maclean’s Music 8/1
Looking for their first win outside above allowance company, we have Musicfor Thefallen. The three-year-old colt started his career on fire winning two of his first three races in maiden and allowance company. From there he made the jump right into Grade I competition where he did manage a 3rd place finish in just his 4th career race. He didn’t fare as well in the Breeder’s Bowl Juvenile where he finished 5th. Another 3rd place finish followed in the Grade I Movieland Futurity back in December of last year. He finished his two-year-old campaign without a Graded win but with two of three Grade I shows. His career best speed figure came two races back in his Derby Prep race in the California Derby where he ran a solid 2nd place finish with a speed figure of 105. He didn’t fare as well in the Bluegrass Derby where he finished 9th and never really challenged after starting the race well back in 18th place. The biggest thing for this colt will be to sit just far enough off the pace to make a decent comeback. If he sit’s too far back, he is going to struggle to catch back up to the leader. We have seen this come into play every time in his last three races. While he has run three straight races with speed figures of 100+, he will be running nearly a half mile more than he did when he ran his career best speed figure of 105. Mom was a Grade I winner. Will her young colt match her career production this Saturday?
(12) Ghostly Exaggerate dkstables1 Exaggerator 11/1
One of the more lightly raced colts comes into this race off of a two-month rest. His career started with two second place finishes before he broke the maiden in his third career race in August of last year. He followed that up with a win in a conditioned allowance race and made the jump into the Graded ranks. While his first attempt didn’t go great, he did manage a 5th place finish in a 14 horse field. He would follow that up with a solid performance in the Legoland Grade III in what would become his first and only graded win. He then made the trek to Florida for the Grade II Fountain of Ute where he ran 3rd coming from mid-pack. That set him up for a Derby Lock Prep race in the Florida Derby where he sat 6th for the entire race on the good dirt. While it wasn’t the result that they wanted, the three-year-old colt out of Exaggerator ran a career best 102 speed figure in his last race before the two-month layoff. We have seen multiple horses skip either the first or second leg of the Triple crown, but very rarely will one skip both the first and second leg. While he is lightly raced, he is also pretty battle tested in his last three races and his best speed figure has come against the best competition. Will the three-furlong jump in distance provide what this horse needs to break through?
(13) Milton The Monster croissant1 Any Given Saturday 10/1
Milton The Monster will be making his first attempt at a Graded race after rattling off three straight wins in his last three races. After capturing just one win in his first six races as a two-year-old, things were looking pretty down for the three-year-old colt out of Any Given Saturday. However, his three-year-old campaign started off pretty good where he ran a 2nd place race in a conditioned allowance. While he did follow that up with a 7th place finish, his run to three straight wins started his next time out where he managed to win a 14 furlong conditioned allowance for local breds. He then ran his first 100+speed figure of 104 in a conditioned allowance race back in March of this year. He would follow that up with a career best speed figure of 108 in his last race where he bested a listed stakes field in the cornfields of Nebraska. So that now takes him here to New York where speeds have been very high and wins have been plenty for races above 10 furlongs. The rarity for this one is that he wants to take the lead right away and keep it. While he did sit in second for a while in his 2nd to last race, in his three race win streak, he has managed to grab and keep the lead for the entire race twice. Look for him to take the lead once again in this one. If he can grab an early lead and not get challenged too much early, he may set himself up to best the first Grade I field that he will see.
(14) Otto Over Easy kaner12 Mineshaft 9/1
Rounding out the field today, we will have a three-year-old son of Mineshaft. After starting his career on the grass and not finding the board in a maiden race, he led start to finish in his first race on the dirt where he bested another maiden field. He would follow that up with a third place and first place finish in conditioned allowance races before making his first jump into the Graded ranks. That would result in just a 6th place finish and he would jump back down in class to best another conditioned allowance field in his second to last race as a two-year-old. He would jump back up into the Graded ranks where he would earn his first Grade II win in November of 2017 when he won the Ransom in New York. In his three races as a three-year-old, he has yet to hit the board as he has finished 2nd in a listed stakes, before taking the Equinics Derby Lock Prep with a career best speed figure of 104. He wasn’t able to improve upon that speed figure in the Bluegrass Derby, but he did match it where he came up just 3 lengths short of the leader in the 20 horse field. That resulted in a third place finish and he has now had a month to rest up in hopes of taking his second Grade I race in three tries. Look for him to sit near the front of the pack on Saturday, but not take the outright lead. He should challenge late if he doesn’t get passed up by the pace stalkers. He has won half of his races and hit the board in 8/10. He will look to make it six wins in eleven tries this Saturday in New York.
Win- Milton The Monster
Place- Zap It Out
Show- Royale Bushwhacker
Superfecta Special- Actuary Ted