A field almost evenly split between millionaires and those who want to be millionaires lines up for the $5,000,000 Grade One Sand Castle Fee Duty. The race is run at a mile and one sixteenth over the firm Dubai turf course. Last season’s winner Inevitability is in the gate but he has been winless since that race. Let’s take a look at the field.
#1 Jumping Down is a five year old son of Zabeel who has earned over three million dollars in his career. The 2010 Grade One Sourball Mile winner and Breeders’ Bowl Mile runner-up finished third in this race last year. He earned the second Grade One win of his career two starts back when he took the Parking Ticket at this distance in November. He followed that with a third place finish in the Grade One King Kong Mile in December and has been on the shelf since. His Sourball Mile victory came after being given a similar layoff so we know he fires big when fresh.
#2 Ricciarelli is a five year old son of Pivotal who has earned over three million dollars. Much of those earnings have come at races farther than what he’ll run today. His 2011 graded wins came at a mile and one quarter (Grade Ones Prince of Whales and King Kong Cup) and at a mile and three sixteenths (Grade Two Euro Grand Prix). He’s never actually run a mile and one sixteenth before but is 3-1-0-1 in mile races with his win coming in a January 2011 allowance.
#3 Empire Causeway is the first of our millionaire wannabes. The six year old son of Empire Maker has almost $900,000 in the bank so a strong run here would almost assuredly push him over the top. Empire Causeway earned the first stakes victory of his career at this distance last August and followed that with a victory in the Grade One DiCaprio Handicap. He was second behind Funny Truth in the Grade One King Kong Mile after that but in three races since he has been running unspectacularly.
#4 Tenacious Heat is also looking to earn his millionaire’s stripes in this start. The four year old son of Unusual Heat won the Grade One 2000 Guineas last season and the Grade Two Homelick Challenger, both at one mile. He is undefeated in two starts at today’s distance but his recent form has been spotty. In four starts since the Homelick Challenger he has hit the board only once. He was third in the Grade Two Gas Station Mile in January.
#5 Outback Andy is a five year old millionaire son of Street Cry. He won four stakes races including three grade ones last season, only his second season on the track. He’s undefeated in two starts at a mile and one sixteenth, both wins coming in stakes, but he his last nine starts have all come at a mile. He is exiting a ninth place finish in the Grade One King Kong Mile in December. He was given a similar layoff between his three and four year old year and his first race back was not his best, he improved tremendously in his second start off the layoff.
#6 Infinite Bling is twice a millionaire and the five year old son of Medaglia D’oro looks to add to that in this start. Infinite Bling was seventh in this race last year but rebounded to win the Grade One Woody Ford in his following start. He was perhaps a touch disappointing in his next three starts and trainer lennystc decided to switch Infinite Bling to the dirt. After five somewhat successful runs he returned to the turf on March 3rd with a third place finish in a listed stakes.
#7 The Seven Seas has earned over $2,000,000 in his career. The four year old son of Montjeu is perhaps best known for his 2010 win in the Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile Turf but he is in perhaps the best form of his career right now. He was a strong fourth in the Breeders’ Bowl Mile before winning the Grade Two Leviathan Turf, running second by less than a length in the Grade Two Penn Mile and handily winning the Grade Two Gas Station Mile while earning the biggest last-out sp of any runner in the field of 119. If The Seven Seas has a weakness it is that he has never run past one mile.
#8 Derhamm is a five year old son of Street Sense who has banked $1.8 million. He’s done that the hard way – Derhamm has never won at the Grade One level. He is a multiple graded winner (he has tallied five grade two or three victories in his career). All of his graded victories came at a mile and one eighth or more. The only two victories of his career that have come at shorter distances were in allowance races early in his career. He was second in the Grade One Irish 2000 Guineas as a three year old but the feeling here is that the distance may be too short for Derhamm.
#9 Dynajinsky earned much of his million bucks with a victory in the Grade Two Pennsylvania Handicap in December. That was the third graded score in the career of the four year old son of Dynaformer. One of those victories, the Grade Three Wooden Reserve came at this distance but that race was for two year olds. More recently Dynajinsky has been running farther distances – up to a mile and five eighths. His most recent start was the shortest he has run in nine months. He was ninth in the Grade Two Double M Memorial at a mile and one eighth.
#10 Inevitability tops the earnings list with more than four million dollars in the bank. The six year old son of Dynaformer earned much of that with a win in last year’s edition of the Fee Duty. That was the first and only grade one win in his career. He has not returned to the winner’s circle in seven starts since. After a twelfth place finish in the Breeders’ Bowl Mile he was given over two months off and returned in an allowance at one mile where he was third. He followed that up with a fourth place finish in another allowance. When he won this race last year he was making the second start off a layoff after a lackluster season debut but he will have to show more than he has recently to defend his title.
#11 Funny Truth will go over the two million dollar mark with a strong showing in this race – he needs less than $43,000 to get there. The five year old son of Distorted Humor had a breakout season last year, winning his first stakes, first graded stakes and first grade one all in the second half of the year. After strong seconds in the Grade One Sourball Mile and the Breeders’ Bowl Mile he took the Grade One King Kong Mile with a massive 119sp. He returned to the races in the six furlong Grade One Teleprompter Cap and finished tenth but the feeling here is that the race was too short for him and he should do better in this spot. He’s run twice at this distance and won both times, including once in a stakes race.
#12 South of Sanity is the third son of Dynaformer in this field. This one is a five year old and the only one of the three not to be a millionaire. His biggest victory came in the 2010 Grade Two Jefferson Davis but he’s never won at the grade one level and has not won in a graded race since. He has run some of his best races at a mile and one sixteenth – he’s won twice and finished third from three starts at the distance. The third place finish came in his most recent start where he earned a 111sp, the best he has run in three starts this year.
#13 Boseeksthedeal is a five year old son of Monsun. He was lightly raced at ages two and three but had a very strong four year old season. He earned his first and only stakes win in the Grade Two Bernie Baruch at a mile and one eighth in August before hitting the board in the Grade Two Walnut BB Mile and the Grade One Parking Ticket. He was given some time off after that race and has made two starts this season without winning.
#14 Wall of Gloom is a four year old son of Montjeu who earned the biggest victory of his career in the Grade Two Jefferson Davis last June against three year olds. That was one of five victories on the season for the colt who also took the Gerfly’s Deed Turf Mile and was third in the Grade Two Leviathan Turf in November. He was off until February when he returned to the races with a solid second in a mile and one sixteenth allowace. He has the pedigree to excel as an older runner and his form late last season suggests he is maturing but this is a big step up for this colt.
Good luck to all!