The Road Kill Mile
Grade I / Group 1*CPU – Purse: $750,000
8 Furlongs | ~1600 Meters | One Mile
Welcome to Sunny California as we get ready for the annual The Road Kill Mile. The turf is firm, the beer is cold, and my losing tickets are piling up around me. Lets meet our entries before I run out of beer money.
Gate 1: Alert The Soldiers 6/1
Soldier of Fortune x Seeking The Gold x Unbridled
Davarto Racing Stables
17: 8-2-1 ………. $1,016,177
Alert The Soldiers entered last summer on a high winning the G1 The Queen Sam in June. He was off his game the following month as he was unable to find his kick and faded badly in the G1 The Suffix. Alert The Soldiers was given a rest then entered into the Breeders’ Bowl Mile where unable to close again was well beaten. He finished 2019 entered the Listed Stake – Duex Bloon Turf Mile on a soggy track and exploded for a career best speed easily winning and bringing his career earnings over the million mark. Another rest and he opens his 5 year old season looking to regain his G1 glory.
Gate 2: Cause Of Magic 15/1
Giant’s Causeway x More Than Ready x Gone West
Slipery1 Racing Stables
21: 7-4-3 ………. $229,831
Cause Of Magic has spent almost his entire career on the dirt. His entire 2 & 3 year old campaigns drifting from sprints to routes but never finding his groove. He was tried in various listed stakes without success, but did finish 2nd in the 7f G2 The Select Bud back in Oct 2018. Early in 2019 he was unable to find form that the trainer desired on the dirt. In May he was given an allowance start at a mile and an eighth on the turf but it was not a convincing start. In October he was moved to a conditioned sprint at just under a mile in which he came second. The next two starts at 7f both conditioned allowance runs on the turf resulted in wins with the last being at the end of January of this year. He is being asked to make a big jump against a top heavy field, but so far the move to turf is to his liking.
Gate 3: The Falcata 9/1
Churchill x Seeking The Gold x Northern Dancer
Lenny Racing Stables
13: 7-1-3 ………. $272,901
An up and comer, Falcata to date is the best horse from sire Churchill in the sim. Bred from proven brood mare Compensation, Lenny brings his talented colt to California searching for Churchill’s first graded winner. He is a confident trainer, and in entering the Road Kill mile he gives Falcata his second graded chance in his young career. The first was back in September in the G1 Canada Mile, but he faded late and was a non-factor. An easy allowance win on a soggy track followed, and then in early December finished 2nd in the Lemonade Turf Mile getting run down at the wire and losing by a head. He celebrated New Years Day with a run in the Nightly The Gordie Turf Stayer, but finished a disappointing third. The Falaca’s last two runs may not have been wins, but the effort and speeds show a horse still improving.
Gate 4: Deep Hit 7/1
Redoute’s Choice x Deep Impact x Storm Cat
Tees Racing Stables
16: 6-5-1 ………. $1,114,290
This son of Redoute’s Choice last tasted victory 10 months ago in the G2 The Firsco Mile, but it hasn’t been for lack of trying. He followed that victory with a 2nd in the Fast Talker Turf Sprint which was his first effort at under a mile in a year. Deep Hit didn’t like the even further drop in distance in the G1 THE MGD Special but rebounded in a big way running well in the G1 The Queen Liz Stakes finishing 2nd to Yo Bo. He was given a few months off to rest and brought back into an allowance run at a mile. In that race he finished 2nd to A.P. Medal. Idle since, Deep Hit enters The Road Kill rested and looking to taste sweet victory again.
Gate 5: My Awesome King 20/1
Awesome Again x King Kamehameha x Dubawi
Stockswami Racing Stables
13: 6-2-0 ………. $1,687,860
The son of Awesome Again began his career with 5 straight wins capped by a dominate run in the Breeders Bowl Juvenile Turf. My Awesome King capped an awesome 2 year old campaign with the 2018 2yo Turf Male of the year award. He began 2019 with Derby fever and did enough to accumulate points to get into the Bluegrass. He had run well in the Sand Castle Derby Lock taking 2nd, but the jump to a mile and a half proved to much and he finished well beaten. Since he has tried to find surface and distance trying to get back to the winners circle. From a mile turf in the G1 Jean Brat, top a sloppy 7f dirt jaunt in the G1 Prince,’s Knight Stakes, and up to a mile and an eighth in the G2 The Usain Bolt back on the turf he wasn’t running well. He had accumulated enough points to get into the Breeders’ Bowl Mile and posted his best ever speed in a 5th place finish. A mile seems to be his sweet spot and he pushes into 2020 hoping to regain his 2018 form.
Gate 6: Yo Bo 7/1
Awesome Again x Kingmambo x Sadlers Wells
Balata Racing Stables
10: 7-1-0 ………. $1,652,340
This 4-year-old is son to one of the sims great celebrities. His mother Botwisted wasn’t much on the track, but between the sheets she is a monster … and that happens to be what she foals. Yo Bo is one of 11 graded winners Botwisted has foaled with every indication he may be the best yet. He had a dominate effort in the G1 The Queen Liz Stakes back in September. He followed that up with one of the finishes of the year in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Dark Beers where a back-stretch duel found him nipping Dubai Cadet by a ¼ length. He came back to earth in early December in the King Kong Mile finishing a disappointing 7th. Now back on the track after getting a rest he will be looking to put his stamp on his legacy as the best Botwisted baby.
Lord Kanola x Lawman x Invincible Spirit
NYCowboy Racing Stables
5: 2-0-0 ………. $39,780
No folks this is not a misprint. Connections first horse in the race, Tycoon Dew is going off at 496/1 and it is easy to see why. This lightly raced 4 year old enters the race with only a pair of wins both at 3/4’s of a mile or less. Tycoon Dew was beaten soundly at a mile and a 1/16 back in his 2nd ever race over a year and a half ago. His last race in fact was over a year ago in the Big Zak Turf Memorial sprint in which he did not run well. Connections decided a very long break with new training methods might provide a huge jump in class. He is going to need it.
Gate 8: Alwaysseekhimfirst 9/1
Seek Again x Giant’s Causeway x Kris S.
Willyam Racing Stables
15: 6-2-1 ………. $304,372
This talented Floridian has decided that the local scene is not for him, and has taken his act all over the world. He spent his first couple of years racing all over Europe and Asia, but last summer returned to the states entered into the G2 Dell Web Mile’. He ran well closing in the stretch but it was not enough and he finished fourth. Entry in the G1 The Sourball Mile held in October was next as again his closing effort came up short finishing just off the board in fourth. Alwaysseekhimfirst was given the rest of the year off, but was back on the track on February 1st in an open allowance that he won handily. Back on short rest and looking to build on that warm up run this son of Seek Again looks to bring Florida its next G1 champion.
Gate 9: Blossom Song 182/1
Makfi x Daiwa Major x Red Ransom
NYCowboy Racing Stables
10: 3-1-2 ………. $158,990
NYCowboys second entry in The Road Kill Mile, this son of Makfi is also a long shot, but he has experience running against higher competition. Once he broke maiden back in early 2018, Blossom Song has been trying to get his name in lights. He won the mile long West Of The Sea Turf Juvenile in November of 2018 to close out his 2yo season. He only raced twice in 2019 the Mile and an eighth G3 Panhandle Park Derby in January and the mile long G3 The Regal Hill held in June. He was a non-factor in both races, and connections shut him down for the year. He comes back with his stable mate hoping that seasoning and the wonders of chemistry bring home a monster run.
Gate 10: Darkest Fantasy 7/2
Awesome Again x Giant’s Causeway x Gone West
Nextbonus Racing Stables
20: 9-1-5 ………. $717,476
Connections started this son of Awesome Again with a few failed tries on the dirt, but in the subsequent 17 turf starts Darkest Fantasy has missed the board only twice. He has been on a tear winning 6 of his last 7, and the one non-win a 2nd in the G2 The Rennen Mile. He followed that win with easy wins in the Huge Tale Turf Mile, the G2 The Mile Championship and in the Nightly The Gordie Turf Stayer all at a mile. This will be Darkest Fantasy’s first try at the G1 level, however current form has made him the odds makers choice.
Point Of Entry x Sadler’s Wells x Pivotal
3Away Racing Stables
23: 6-4-1 ………. $454,679
Zeus Lightning has had a good racing career to date but is still searching for that elusive first graded win. In October he finished third in the G3 The Farley at a mile and an eight. He followed that with a strong run in the G1 Jolly Summer Camp at a mile and a quarter finishing a strong second. Zeus Lightning was given the rest of the year off and then entered the G2 Marcos Footwear Handicap but finished a disappointing 6th well off the pace. Speaking with owner & trainer 3Away … he commented on the reasoning behind the dropping into a mile race “I don’t know how mine will go, trying to shorten him up to see if that works”. Looking at his race history, almost 2 years ago exactly he ran and won his last run at a mile, a conditioned allowance race. Could surprise.
Gate 12: Shady Ride 10/1
Candy Ride x A.P. Indy x Deputy Minister
Knightmare Racing Stables
17: 8-2-2 ………. $699,440
For the first two years of Shady Ride’s career he plied his trade on the dirt. While he was there he ran in some of the biggest races open to him including the Breeders’ Bowl Juvenile and the Bluegrass Derby. He didn’t run well in either, but still showed some talent and raced another year on the dirt after the Derby. His last dirt outing was in the G2 Double Barreled Mile that saw him fade in the stretch. Connections decided at this point it was time to try something different and his next two outings were turf allowance runs in which he ran exceptionally well. It may be that Shady Ride was just waiting for a change of surface to blossom, and he will get that chance in the rugged Road Kill Mile.
Gate 13: A.P. Medal 7/1
Medal Count x A.P. Indy x Distorted Humor
Haack Racing Stables
18: 7-3-2 ………. $242,304
A.P. Medal broke his maiden on the dirt but was moved to the turf shortly after. He spent his 3-year-old season finding his distance and working through conditioned allowance races. This past year he moved up in class, competing well with a listed stakes record of 3: 1-1-1 all at a mile, and in June finishing just off the board in the G2 The Sparkler Handicap. He capped his year running down Deep Hit to score an allowance victory. The Road Kill will be his first G1 attempt and will be another step up in class, so it will be interesting to see if this son of Medal Count is up to the task.
This is a tough race to handicap, and I have pissed away my bankroll on beer, women and losing tickets. The money I have left will be riding NYCowboy all the way to the bank … boxing Tycoon Dew & Blossom Song over the field counting that he knows something the rest of us don’t.
Good luck to the runners … this is definitely a race to watch.