Pace may help Stryker Phd win Longacres Mile

If Stryker Phd wins tomorrow’s (8/24) 79th running of The Longacres Mile, he’ll likely thank Scat Daddybaby.  Scat knows only one way to run – hell bent for leather – from the instant the gates open.  Blessed with blazing first quarter speed, he’s led 11 of his 12 lifetime races at the first call.  His last 2 first quarter splits were 21.4 & 21.8 respectively.  His speed ratings make him competitive here & his presence ensures an honest pace.

The race is loaded with front running horses and others who prefer to run close to the pace.  This figures to set the table for Stryker who is one of the 3 closers entered (the others being Shooting Jacket & Jebrica).  The scariest of the mid-pack/front running horses is Prohibition, who comes out of a good effort in a 200k stakes at Belmont this past May.  Prohibition has been working well for this & appears ready to go.  Flattering his 4th place (by 2 1/2 lengths) finish in that Belmont Stakes is that all of the three horses to finish ahead of him that day came back to win their next race.

Boyett, a turf runner in mostly claiming races in southern California, comes to this race following a 4th place finish in a minor stakes at DelMar July 23.  Boyett is a former Emerald Downs runner who seemed to turn over a new leaf when switched to the turf upon his arrival in the Golden State in October, 2013.  His speed figures were in the 50’s & 60’s when running on the dirt here but jumped to the 80’s when switched to the turf.  If he can keep the 80’s figures now, when switched back to the dirt, he’ll be dangerous.  Title Contender has been running very well in stakes races at Hastings this year & brings top jockey R W Walcott down here with him to ride. He is an obvious contender.

This year’s field is evenly matched & alot will depend upon the pace of this race.  If the field allows Scat Daddybaby to get a lone lead, with front end rating specialist Gaylyn Mitchell aboard, they may have a hard time catching him.  My guess is the field will stay in touch & the stretch drive will be very interesting indeed.  If Stryker wins this race, he will have earned it.  Both Stryker & top jock Leslie Mawing will need to be at the top of their games.  The race appears to set up for a good closer … and Stryker definately is that.

Good luck and have fun!

– Ron Classen, mytadog@comcast.net

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