I have decided to stay in the Southern hemisphere with it’s summer weather to avoid returning to that “freezer” called Michigan. I looked the schedule over and picked out Victoria, Australia and the G1 New Market Handicap, a 6 furlong Turf Sprint open to all horses 4 years old and up. Doing a quick accounting of my Hilton Rewards points showed I could make it happen if I could only get from New Zealand to Victoria. After I made a call to the home offices of the BTB, I convinced them to spring for the cost of a ticket for a boat ride across the Tasman Sea. Next time I may make my own travel plans as these were obviously not first rate accommodations. But alas, I have arrived here in Australia and will soak up as much of the sun as humanly possible while trying to forget about the Michigan winter. The weather forecast for race day is 77 degrees with a slight chance of a shower.
The field assembled for the race looks to be pretty stout, with 9 Graded winners and 4 more with listed stakes victories. The key word to remember for this race is FAST, there is a ton of early speed as well as some top quality closing speed. Not sure if a track record will be set or not but the ground work has certainly been laid here for it to happen. The field will be comprised of nine 5 year olds and 5 four year olds, 7 Horses, 6 Geldings and 1 Mare. KING KAMEHAMEHA is the sire for 2 of the runners here, while SEEKING THE GOLD appears in 3 of the pedigrees and STORM CAT in a pair. The KSPARROW racing operation will have 2 jockeys wearing their silks.
THE POST PARADE:
1 – EXOTIC APPEAL (10-1) MTK76 Stables
SAVABEEL x DYNAFORMER x AWESOME AGAIN 23-6-5-4
This 5 year old New Zealand bred Gelding is the 3rd of 5 foals from the stakes placed Mare EXOTIC DESIGN and his her only Graded winner. On New Years Day finished third in the Bbors Budda Belly Turf Dash to open the year. Prior to that won the G3 Zeppelin Cap in December. Has posted a top SP# of 111 in a NW5L 60k Allowance last March. Has a ton of early speed and likes to challenge the early fractions, drawing the rail here can only be a boost to his effort. If he gets caught up in traffic it could spoil his day.
2 – BE LOSIN’ MY WAY (14-1) CORZA Stables
KENDARGENT x EL PRADO x TOUCH GOLD 25-9-2-3
French bred Light Grey 5 year old is the 3rd of 5 colts out of the stakes winning Mare LONGASICANCDALIGHT is the most experienced racer in the field with 25 starts. In January at Washington, won the Calderazzo Turf Sprint. Has posted his best SP# of 105 twice last year. With 5 gate to wire victories look for him to charge out of the gates quickly. The inside post can’t hurt his chances but may need to a perfect ride from K Ledwith who won in his only previous ride.
3 – KAMIKAZE KITTY (9-1) KIDDMAN Stables
KING KAMEHAMEHA x SEA THE STARS x STORM CAT 13-10-1-0
The winningest horse in the race with 10 victories is this 4 year old Japanese bred out of the stakes winning Mare KANSAS CITY KITTY the first of her 3 progeny and only graded winner. Comes in on a 2 race win streak, having gone gate to wire in both the Doc Holliday and the Kawika Nine Turf Sprints. Has put out a 110 SP# twice in his career. Won the G3 Green Ham Stakes last April. An explosive starter and early runner. The only knock here is the 2 stumbles in last 2 graded starts.
4 – TSUTOMU (21-1) VKSTABLES Racing
KING KAMEHAMEHA x LURE x SUMMER SQUALL 10-5-0-1
The Japanese Scratch Bred 4 year old Gelding has shown to have a finishing kick in these sprint races. Has won 4 out of 7 starts since under going the snip. Won last 2 outings, the Barbs Ice Cream Turf Sprint with a 110 SP# and the Wonder Lawn Turf Challenge at 5 and 5.5 f respectively. He will be making his first start against graded company. The handicapper has him as 1 of the 3 long shots in the race, but will he be able to make a late charge in this one.
5 – ZOO BONES (7-1) KSPARROW Stables
ZOUSTAR x CITY ZIP x STORM CAT 24-6-5-2
5 year old Australian bred Gelding is the 5th of 8 foals from the Mare BONEZIP RIP and the only graded winner. This million dollar earner has posted 5 of his 6 victories on the off turf, including the G1 KING KONG SPRINT in December ripping out 115 SP#. Has just 2 wins in 8 races since the operation. Last out was sixth in the G2 Cool Lightning Stakes the only non win over an off turf in his career. Has made 7 starts at the graded level. J Sands has had 5 previous unsuccessful mounts. His best chance may be if the rain comes down.
6 – SPEAKER BEAUCHAMP (9-1) TEES Stables
MR SPEAKER x WISEMAN’S FERRY x SPEIGHTSTOWN 16-9-3-0
The first of 4 offspring from the allowance winning Mare BEAUCHAMP WONDER, he is her only graded winner. The 5 year old Gelding from Kentucky will have M Zeus in the irons who was on board for his last win in the G1 Longchamp Sprint. Posted his top SP# of 109 while running 4th in the G1 Breeders Bowl Turf Sprint in December which ended a 4 race win streak. Has shown the ability to come from off the pace in even shorter sprints so I don’t expect him to challenge for the lead.
7 – COOKIE CRUMBLE (11-1) GIVEN Stables
MALIBU MOON x DANZIG x SEEKING THE GOLD 23-8-7-1
Returns to Graded racing for the first time since July. The 5 year old Scratch bred from Kentucky prepped with a win in NW1s 24k allowance in Norway. T Small has 2 previous rides earlier in his career resulting in 2 second place finishes. Last June won the G3 Scandavian 1100 Cup and posted his lifetime high SP# of 111 in the G3 Greenland Stakes while running second. Will not chase the early speed but knows how to get to the line. How will he handle the long trip to the Southern Hemisphere.
8 – IGBO (16-1) DUSTYLA Stables
LEMON DROP KID x TEOFILO x SEEKING THE GOLD 16-9-4-1
The lone Mare in the field is this 5 year old Kentucky Scratch bred making her first start against the boys since a 48k allowance race in 2017, where she finished 2nd. She is 2 for 2 in Graded starts winning the G2 Prancing Ferry with a 110 SP# and the G3 Cvbears Desert Dash. Disappointing 4th in a field of 7 to open the year in the Whisperlite Turf Mare Memorial. Also making the long trip over from Europe. The handicapper has put a nice price on her in this one.
9 – DUKE OF BONEBRING (21-1) KSPARROW Stables
DUKE OF MARMALADE x SEBRING x PINE BLUFF 18-6-3-2
The 2nd Ksparrow entry is this 4 year old South African bred Gelding out of the allowance winning Mare SEABONE BLUFF. Returned from the Gelding surgery 3 weeks back in Victoria in the the G2 Oak Lee Plate finishing 9th. Posted best SP# of 106 in the G2 Ascot Vail. Last win was in September in a 30k Open Allowance over a field of 5. The handicapper has put the long shot moniker on him for this race. I feel a lot of things would have to line up perfect for him in this field.
10 – NO RETREAT (7-1) GCLIFFO Stables
INVINCIBLE SPIRIT x DUBAI MILLENIUM x RAINBOW QUEST 20-9-3-5
The 5 year old Irish Scratch bred has only finished lower the 4th one time in 20 career starts. All 9 of his wins have been gate to wire trips including last out in the Five Grouse Turf Challenge in January at Deauville. Won the G3 Orange Tree where he posted an SP# of 113 for the first of 2 races. Has been 1st or 2nd out of the gates in all of his starts. Has not only shown tremendous early speed but the stamina to hold on through the finish line. Would keep an eye on him, but you better look near the front of the pack.
11 – VISITING STOOPS (13-1) DEELYNETTE Stables
DA STOOPS x HARLAN’S HOLIDAY x MARIA’S MON 15-7-2-2
The 4 year old Kentucky bred Gelding is out of the stakes placed Mare JAMAICA MON the second of her 2 progeny. Horse was switched to the Grass after Gelding at the beginning of the 2018 season and has responded with 7 wins in 10 starts, 2 of the non wins were on off turfs and the other in first Graded start. Has a career top SP# of 114 in winning the Nights Desire Turf Sprint on an off turf. Closed out last year winning the Fager Under Storm Turf Sprint. Likes to rally in the second half of these sprint distances.
12 – BAZJUJIN (23-1) SNAPELODGE Stables
MEDAGLIO D’ORO x SEEKING THE GOLD x CHIEF’S CROWN 10-5-0-2
This 4 year old Australian Light Grey Scratch bred started career winning first 4 starts. SL Ledwith with get third straight mount finishing 3rd last time out in the G2 Cool Lightning Stakes over a good Turf at Queensland. Last win came in September at New Zealand in the Gonzo Turf Sprint. A definite charger from off the pace but the handicapper has put him as the longest shot on the board. Can he return to early career form against this field.
13 – LE CLEZIO (7-1) FERNANDO Stables
DAWN APPROACH x PIVOTAL x DANEHILL 20-9-7-2
The Roan 5 year old Irish bred is 2nd of 4 and only Graded winner produced by the Graded Stakes winning Mare ELEGIDA. Has not finished below 2nd in any of his 3 graded starts. Opened the year with a 2nd in the G1 Pekays Rememberance Stakes. Has posted SP# of 110 in last 2 outings. Last win was in the G3 Hundred Tower Stakes in September. Has had win streaks of 4 (2017) and 3 (2018). This fast closing specialist will try and give the early speed something to be on the lookout for.
14 – SHERPA RAY’S TAP (9/2) ACE Stables
TAPIT x GIANT’S CAUSEWAY x NUREYEV 20-8-5-1
5 year old Kentucky bred Roan is out of the Graded stakes winning Mare RAY’S CAUSEWAY and is the 5th of 8 foals and her only Graded winner. The ML favorite has drawn the outside starting gate. Has won 4 out of 6 since switching to the weeds in May of 2018. Started the season with a win in the G1 Pekays Rememberance Stakes over LE CLEZIO. Has a career best Turf SP# of 117 in winning the G2 King’s Play over 7 furlongs. The only entry with 2 graded wins against open fields. May be hard to keep him from getting to the wire first.