GRADE 1 – SAINT CLOUD GRAND PRIX
Deauville, France welcomes a relatively small but extremely talented field to the Firm Turf course on Saturday for the Grade 1 event. This race will cover the distance of One mile and a half (12 furlongs) or 2400 meters for the continentals. The field has been restricted to 4 years old and older. Amongst the 9 runners here there are 7 graded winners, with 3 of them being G1 winners.
1- STAR WRITER (11-1)
4 year old Irish bred out of the cgk2 barn for kobras. He is the product of SEA THE STARS and the graded placed mare LEADER OF THE PACK. Ended a 3 race winning streak last out finishing 6th in a 16f marathon. Picked up his graded win in April at the G2 San Juan Invitational over 14f in his first graded attempt. Dropping back in distance here after 2 wins at longer. The usual riding strategy has him coming from off the pace.
2- GHOST OF A.P. CARLO (13-1)
4 year old Kentucky bred out of the mightyforego7 barn for mightyforego. He is the product of GHOSTZAPPER and the mare A.P. SEVEN. After taking most of 2018 off has returned to win 5 out 6 races. His only non-win was a 2nd place in the G2 San Juan Invitational with J. Sands in the saddle. Picked up his graded win last out in the G2 Yorkshire Plate over a yielding turf. Last 3 races have been at 14f. Has never challenged for the early lead.
3- HOT AND HERMAN (6-1)
4 year old Australian bred Gelding out of the avasheen barn for ladofmanor. He is the product of ADELAIDE (IRE) and the graded placed mare ROCKAFELLA SKANK. Has only missed the board once in 9 starts since the operation and had all 5 of his wins. Last 7 starts have all been at 12f. Won last time out in the G3 Honey Do which was his first graded race. D. Givins is back in the irons after a 2nd place in March. Has shown no interest in the early lead.
4- ARTISTIC MISSION (7/2)
5 year old Kentucky bred out of the coolk7 barn for coolk. He is the product of NOBLE MISSION and the mare ARTISTIC DANCER. Has 3 graded stakes wins on his record, 2 at the G1 level but all were back in 2017. Last out, ran 2nd in the G1 New Zealand Darby after a 9 month break from graded company and has never failed to finish in the money during that span. Will likely position himself right behind the early leaders.
5- BANDITFRANK (3-1)
5 year old English scratch bred with a lineage of FRANKEL (GB) x NUREYEV x ROBERTO out of the banditfarm barn for bigtrouble. T. Loesch will be holding the reins and he has 3 wins and 2 seconds aboard this horse, all in graded events. Has only failed to hit the board 1 time is his career with 13 finishes either 1st or 2nd. He has won all 3 of his starts this year each at longer distances. He appears to be comfortable stalking or coming from off the pace.
6- OG GONE DEEP (5-1)
4 year old Japanese scratch bred with a lineage of DEEP IMPACT x GONE WEST x NORTHERN DANCER out of the baffer2013 barn for bbaffert. K. Ledwith will get the mount and has 2 unsuccessful prior rides on the turf, but he did have a dirt win. Last out picked up his 2nd graded victory at the G2 Carlsbad Lessons. Seems to have settled in on route distances with last 8 starts between 11-12.5f. Has not been on the early lead in any race but does not stray far from it.
7- COMFORTABLY BUZZED (12-1)
4 year old Kentucky bred Gelding out of the mjk07 barn for mtk76. He is the product of KITTEN’S JOY and the graded placed mare MY ANNABEL LEE. M. Kelly was in the saddle last race where they finished 9th in his first graded attempt at the G1 5-Series. This came after 6 straight in the money trips over 12f, of which 3 came on the main track. He was gelded at the end of the 2017 season. A definite closer they will not make a move for the early lead.
8- BELIEVE MONSUN (5-1)
5 year old Irish scratch bred with a lineage of MAKE BELIEVE (GB) x MONSUN x DANSILI (GB) out of the ddstables9 barn for stockswami. Last 2 starts have been in the money finishes at graded events over longer distances and T. Ace was in the saddle at the G1 Spring Cup over 16f running third. Has only 1 previous race over the 12f distance. The most experienced runner in the field has never been a front runner in his career.
9- HOOD COUNTRY CLUB (7-1)
4 year old Irish bred Filly out of the duke100 barn for theduke88. She is the product of AUSTRALIA and graded stake winning mare CHASING HAMBURG. She ended a 6 race win streak last time out in the G3 Tabitha Bewitched Stakes running 3rd. The winner of the G1 Vicky Oaks will be making her first start with the boys. Her last 7 starts have all been over routes between 12 and 13 furlongs. She has always closed strong from off the early pace.
I have to admit; this is the first race I have ever covered where it looks like none of the entrants want to be on the early lead. So, what does that mean for this field? My feeling is STAR WRITER, ARTISTIC MISSION and OG GONE DEEP will find themselves out in front by default with ML favorite BANDITFRANK in tow. Next question is, will this be a good thing for any of them or does this play right into the hands of the closers. What about the Filly, will she be able to beat the boys coming home down the stretch?