The G1 Grand Carlos has been skipped over by many top horses who have their focus and training set on the Breeders’ Bowl in a few weeks. Only two horses, in the field of seven, have won a graded race with two others topping out with a listed stake win.
The 12 furlong race is open to 3 year olds and up and set for the inner turf track. Five of the seven runners have won their last race with two of these entering with back-to-back wins. A nice pot of $1.5 million is on the table and up for grabs. The race is open to both sexes and only the men are running in this one. Here’s a look at the contenders:
1. TEAM LEADER 6/1
Four wins and three seconds look good on paper in nine starts this season for Team Leader. He won his last two starts, both in the allowance ranks, with one race notching a 109 speed, equaling his best for the season. He’s tried the listed stakes twice in the first quarter of this season and finished out of the money both times. There’s only one horse that looks to be out on the lead early and I forsee that Team Leader could settle into the second spot. He looks to extend his mini-win streak but jumping into the grade class may proof to be a bit difficult.
2 SIVERT 13/1
Sivert is out of game mare Roentgen, who won 10 races which included a G2 victory. Sivert is the speed rabbit in this race and could break away from the field and build a sizeable lead. He’s wired the field three times this season and has the same number of seconds over seven starts. His top speed was gained back in March with a 107 and he hasn’t broke through the 100-level over his last three starts. He enters off a second in a two mile race and elevates to the graded class after racing allowance all year. His best shot is to run far and fast and hope the rest can’t catch him.
3 LUSINCHI 5/2
Lusinchi has a grade win to his credit which was nailed down last year in the G2 Princess of Whales. That win gained her entry into the Breeders’ Bowl Turf where she finished fourth. The 2018 season has been rough for this scratch bred out of Dalakhani. His best performance, in his first four starts (a mix of grade and allowance) was a well beaten fourth on an off track. Things may have turned to the better as Lusinchi has scored a pair of wins in his last two starts collected in the allowance group. He’s a slow starter and could be the caboose in this field but his confidence level may have sparked with the recent wins, both with 110/111 speeds and he looks to be in good condition for this race.
4 KYMAR SEAYOU 3/1
Seayouinparadise is the game mare to Kymar Seayou and she won five times with a listed stake victory incuded. In addition to this runner, she has mothered one other G1 winner as well as a listed stake winner. Now Kymar Seayou started the year off in good fashion by winning a listed stake with a nice 111 speed, earning him an appearance in the Equinics where he faltered to 9th. He’s been racing grade level ever since and found the winner’s circle in the G2 Longstickgoboom Stakes with a very impressive 114 speed. He may have used up quite a bit of energy in that race as the next outing had him puttering home in 9th. His last start showed some recovery with a 110 speed and finishing third. He looks to be a mid-field runner and I see him in the third or fourth spot. Victory comes if he can launch a stretch drive. Half of his races this year have him running flat in the stretch and he may need some encouragement from the jockey.
5 NATHAN’S DOGS LV 5/2
In addition to Nathan’s Dogs, game mare Dissent has bred one other listed stake winner as she, herself was also a listed stake winner with six wins in her career. Nathan concluded 2017 with a listed stake win in October with a hot 117 speed. He rested for two months before launching the 2018 campaign. That campaign began at the grade level where he ran five times and the best outcome was a pair of thirds. Last month, he was placed back into listed stakes and got to the wire in time to earn the win. He’s a late runner and will be on the hind quarter in the early going. With speed of 110+ in five of six starts this year and ability to make up ground, he stands a legitimate chance in this one.
6 DEEP SPINPACT 6/1
Out of he-mare Rocking the House, who is a three time G1 winner in 2012 with 12 wins over his career. Deep Spinpact has spent the entire year racing with the allowance class and in seven starts has a record of 2-1-1. He is slow leaving the gate and can put things together for a late run, however, in half his races this season he was stubborn and opted not to do so. He’s been located in Japan for almost all his starts this year. He’s been on the dirt and after three poor results was transferred to the turf on 10/2 where he seemed to connect well and galloped to the lead to win by two. Deep Spinpact enters with a somewhat shortened break. He equaled his season best speed of 110, which is encouraging with the move back to turf for the first time in just over a year. The grass could make a big difference and this one comes with a price.
7 LIGHT UP THE DARK 6/1
This is a scratch-bred out of Sea The Stars who has won seven times over his career, five wins are credited to the 2018 season. Winning on the last day of 2017 started a nice four-race win streak in the allowance group that concluded when he entered into and finished third in the G2 San Juan Invitational back in April. Light up the Dark lit things up by winning his first listed stake race a month later drawing to a 4 length victory at two miles. Staying at the marathon distance yielded a pair of thirds over his next three starts. In September, he was cut back in distance to 12 furlongs and would again rally to another listed stake win by 4 lengths. I think we’ll see him running 4th or 5th in the early going which should set him up very well for a nice late run. Not much speed in this race so I don’t think he’ll fall too far back.
A rather intriguing field that could go many ways. Nathan’s Dogs LV has been consistent with the speeds and has lovely late run ability, if he doesn’t get the win, he should be in the top three, but I’m banking on the win.
Light up the Dark did well when trimming in distance in last and look for him to perform nicely at return to this distance.
I’m going with Lusinchi for third as he should have gained some confidence in winning pair of allowance races and should be ready to take on graded again, gets third choice over Deep Spinpact who did well going back to turf at 10f, however, seemed to struggle in 11f races on dirt.