Welcome to New York on this very saturated day of racing. A strong field of contestants will try to overcome and conquer the heavily soaked and puddle ridden track. The field is packed with inner residency lineups, with 5 entrants from the GRSIMSTERS and 3 from the URC. Let’s take a look at the contenders…..
$3,000,000 Grade 1 The Hit Me Handicap (Post Time 3:00pm EST)
3yr Olds and up, Open
9 Furlongs – Sloppy Dirt
Trained by deyoto
This 4yr old gelding, out of Siyouni, has made an impact vs graded company over 2 different surfaces. Narrow loss to rival, BURNISHED STEEL, in latest who he meets again today. Career top effort over the dirt last out, must overcome the bounce possibilities. Do note that he changed tactics in recent and it worked pretty well. Can send to front if needed. Runs into some super tough company here, and would need another career effort to hit the board.
Trained by mtkmojo
Weird line on this one, thought would be more of a price considering he was just beat several lengths by YOU BETTER BELIEVE and DRAKON’S DESTINY in last. Nevertheless, this 5yr old colt by Smart Strike, has been as consistent as they come when it comes to triple digit SP numbers and has some pretty good scores on his record. One of which was the 2-length romp over an off surface in the Charles Town Classic, scoring a tremendous 124 sp. He’s 2-2 in the mud, so that’s an enormous statistic that can’t be overlooked.
Trained by asrstar8
Tracked a slow pace last out for the ¼ length score in the G2 Cornhusker Handicap in most recent. Despite having success in graded company, he’s been overmatched in the previous G1 offerings on paper, losing by a combined 26 lengths in 2 starts. Hopefully seeing a rival that he just beat to his inside will assist this one in bringing his “A” game. This son of Tapit will look to get involved early with hopes of having enough in the tank to fend off the rest of the herd.
Trained by rbokie24
Clearly one of the “mudders” of the group. He’s a 5yr old son of Giant’s Causeway that has been first or second in 11 of 12 attempts on an off course. No doubt this guy will be frolicking at the sight of rain, which should be in abundance. That’s clearly the reason of his favoritism status, considering he’s only hit the board once in his eight attempts at a fast track. All that being said, this is his toughest competition to date and must perform up to the level we’ve seen over the wet surfaces to be in the mix at the end, especially since he’s coming in off a layoff.
Trained by jbcri55
More Than Ready sires this fine looking colt, who has looked solid for the past two years now. He’s been in the money in 2 of his last 3 attempts vs graded company. Faces two familiar foes from The Barry Foster in THE SUMMER MAN, which he finished in front of, and DRAKON’S DESTINY, where he was beaten only a ¼ of a length. At his best when he can sit 3-4 lengths back of leaders and use his late kick to nip them at the wire. Will be first attempt over a sloppy course, so take a good look at him in the paddock.
Trained by lenny6
The 5 million dollar man, and #1 ranked male router in the game! Accounts for three G1 wins since December; The Japan Dirt Cup, 2018 Equinics and Sand Castle Classic. Hasn’t shown his powerful, late running stride in his last two though, which is the reason the oddsmaker is probably knocking him. Has one attempt on an off track, and he won that in strong fashion. Look for him to regain his form here and give this company all they can handle in the lane. Can’t leave off your tickets!
Trained by pincay
Trainer has gotten quite a bit out of this 6yr old colt by Point Given. He has consistent SP’s over 100 and is a G3 winner. The colt has been a little hit or miss though in recent form looking at the sheet. Threw in a complete dud last out, losing by 16 lengths in a listed stakes. On the positive side, he’s run well on off tracks, so that should bring him back to life. Facing his toughest task wont be easy though, and probably should have even higher odds. Siding elsewhere.
Trained by pbcash
The second entrant of the 1-2 punch from the lenny barns is this 4yr old gelding by Bernardini. Couldn’t quite hold on to his speed last out over the sloppy track in KY. But don’t think that is a weakness because he sports 3 wins in his other attempts over an off track. Not a lot of other speed in this group, so look for him to be on, or just off the leaders head from the bell. Possible wire candidate if nobody else goes. Another in here that I would say deserves better ML odds, but what do I know.
Trained by ozzy
Never really fired in his last when beaten by 7.5 lengths in the Movieland Shiny Cup. This 4yr old colt by unlikely sire, Super Ninety Nine, fired two straight, G2 winning efforts prior to that. Likes to run from or near the back of the pack which will cause some trouble here due to the lack of speed in the race and the company he will have with him. Sports no runs over an off track, so that will be the underlining mystery to this one. Can he really outkick Nuka?…….not likely.
Trained by jonesstables1
This End Of Year honors winner is the only female of the bunch. She’s a 5yr old mare by Speightstown that’s been actively searching for off tracks to run in. Sports 6 wins and 3 seconds in 10 races over the mud, and it’s only been in her most recent start, where she missed the board. Perhaps it was the jockey’s fault, he being named after the most loveable loser. Gets a top jockey here and will look to serve her rallying style. The slop is her game, but can she beat the boys in her first attempt? Anyone’s call, but I would assume there will be a few of them in her rear view in the end.
Trained by gunners6
Co-favorite and one with the speed to challenge DRAKON’S DESTINY up front is this 6yr old son of Giant’s Causeway. Winner in 13 of 25 lifetime races and runs his best on or near the lead. Was a step slow from the gate in most recent where he made his first attempt on an off track in the G1 Charles Town Classic, and could only finish 3rdof 14, beaten 4.25 lengths. Still posted a 119SP that day and should be ready to fire in his second over the mud. Definite player!
Trained by mightyforego5
Comes into this contest sharp and on the third start off of a layoff angle. This 4yr old colt by Majestic Warrior, will need to try to incorporate his late kick from a mid-pack position. Very classy horse with some big scores on his resume, but the beat down at the hands of NUKA, loom large. Given nearly 3 months to recoup afterwards. Would not be surprised if this guy shows up big, and he does sport a score over an off track back in February of 2017. Back end exotics likely.
Trained by ddstables10
Another in here with late kick, but his seems to be more hit or miss. As in the name, Carpe Diem sires this 4yr old colt who’s cashed in over 500k lifetime. Only 2 wins since May of 2017. He scored in the G2 South Bend Derby in October but went cold until facing local restricted company three starts back in an allowance race. Seems up against it here and is another with no experience over the wet track. Would be a shocker. Too short of price, looking elsewhere for betting prospects.
Trained by liam2
Frankel sires this multi-millionaire 4yr old colt. Had a pretty good campaign as a three year old, finishing 3rdin the California Derby before winning the sim version of the Preakness. Hit the board only a few times since, but seems ramped up after a sensational victory over allowance company last out. This will be his first start vs graded company since he was running against only 3yr olds. Indeed a tough spot for him to jump this far up the class ladder again. Also, no runs over the mud. Taking a wait and see approach.
When trying to handicap this field, you might as well just choose names from a hat. They are all good runners! But if I must…
Exacta box: 4 – 6 – 8 – 11