Just two weeks ago, Kearsney Kid won his first qualifier on his first attempt in the grade and although owner, Sunny Future, has won a Championship race with Rachel Alexander at the end of last season this was a first qualifier win for the owner too.
There was no fluke about it either, this was not a below par field for the grade which he won by any means. The race that day featured both Dakota Celery and auction-topping Rule The Air and he beat them both. Some might say Rule The Air is effective over shorter and since he has run over 1000m to 3200m it is hard to be certain but he has largely been campaigned at longer trips since he changed hands and I suspect he is a top end classic/stayer. It could certainly be argued that Dakota Celery did not get the run of the race that day and might be expected to reverse placings with a little more luck on his side. Since that race he has proved his ability by winning both a Juvenile Classic Qualifier and a Juvenile Stayers Qualifier.
Kearsney Kid and Dakota Celery had the race between them this time and they fought out a close finish and the outcome was again went the way of Sunny Future’s colt. It could just be that the 3200m suits Kearsney Kid better than it does Inx’s charge. This was reflected in Sunny Future‘s post race comment:
“Thanks Inxs. I”ll have to see what happens when I run at your best distance. I think it will be the other way around.”
It is worth pointing out that the final will be over 2850m which could make all the difference, particularly if Dakota Celery gets his favored muddy surface. The latest standings for the final now show Dakota Celery to be a full ten points clear at the top from Kearsney Kid. Jekegr Stables’ Kyser Sohsa who did well to finish third here is two points further back and one point ahead of Karl Khoder’s Rule The Air.
The Juvenile Stayers Qualifier featured no less than three previous winners of stayers qualifiers this season. They were Cepat Kaya’s My Little Diva, Mudflaps’ shrewd auction buy, Tasered and Karl Khoder’s consistent Rock Kingdom, only once out of the money in seven starts. Also in the line-up was the twice raced maiden winner, Sham Wow (IRE) whose owner, Robert The Great, was seeking his first qualifier win.
Unfortunately, Robert The Great will have to wait for another day but it may well be this filly that provides it. She went down narrowly here and ran well enough to suggest she might win one of these in the future. The winner today was Rock Kingdom by a half length. Tasered finished another half length back in third.
This victory sees Karl Khoder’s Rock Kingdom leap to the top of the latest standings for the final of this event, four points ahead of My Little Diva who could manage only fifth today. Mudflaps’ Tasered is just one point further behind in third place.