Proving his worth once again as a top sophomore runner, Angelos Stable’s Canadian Triple Crown winner took on the grass for the very first time here in the Gr. III Kent Stakes and proved he could handle both surfaces quite well as Stealth Fighter ( *2.00) would fend off Axeman’s Turfway Express (4.70) and Pumpkin Racing’s Five Minute Man (4.15) right down to the wire. While the Canadian events are not ranked amongst the Graded company, this would be Stealth Fighter’s first Graded victory. He has now won five of his nine starts this season and has pushed his career earning to over $1723.000. It obvious this trainer had seen something in this colt back in the June Auction, and it has paid off big time. His efforts returned $6.00, 3.90 and 2.60 on the day.
From the onset of this affair, Stealth Fighter would find himself battling with Turfway Express and Five Minute Man, joined by Sheffler Stables Highlight (5.45) who would be responsible for the open half mile going in 47.76. Highlight would give up the top spot to Turfway Express at the midway point of the backstretch as jockey R A Baze was attempting to get Turfway Express clear of the inside runners going the three quarters in 1:10.80.
As they entered the far turn, Five Minute Man was still battling gamely along the rail, while Stealth Fighter and Highlight were forcing Turfway Express to remain four wide from the rail and run a much longer race then he would have liked.
Hitting the top of the stretch in full stride, Turfway Express was now joined by Five Minute Man in a head to head battle, while Stealth Fighter sat just a quarter of a length back of the duo. Highlight had managed to stay with this group for the opening seven eighths, but it was obvious it had taken its toll on the gallant runner as he was starting to fade. The final three runners of Bayou Star Farm’s Red Ribot (7.00), Ajr Stables Cherry Cake Sailor (14.25) and Maverick Racing’s Astral Prince (6.60) were all looking to make an effort in the late running, sitting within five lengths of the front.
With the mile being posted in 1:34.23, jockey M C Berry knew it was time to put his mount to the front and quickly. He would put Stealth Fighter a neck in front just pass the sixteenth pole and manage to win by a half a length in a final time of 1:46.13, just missing the event record by eight one-hundredths of a second. The complete field was only seperated by seven tenths of a second, attesting to the talent of runners in this years field.
Grabbing the runners up placing, Turfway Express had to reach down for just a little more in the final strides to get up in time ahead of Five Minute Man who battled brilliantly throughout this event. Being forced to run four wide throughout definitely played a factor, but his efforts were up to the challenge and he should find top honors next time out if placed well at the turn. He would contribute to a $20.60 exactor payout and return 4.80 and 3.10.
Definitely having some of the Five Daddy Five blood coursing through his veins, Five Minute Man was in complete control along the rail and would grab the show purse for his efforts on the day. Though he only has one victory in nine starts this season, he definitely is improving with maturity and should be soon finding the winners enclosure once again. HIs efforts returned a $56.20 trifecta on the day, and 2.90 for his show backers.
Charging strongly in the final furlong, Red Ribot would close to within a length of the winner making up two lengths and posting the fastest final furlong time of the group. Seems to just get going at this distance and may need the longer mile and a quarter to find victory. Though it is against older talent, The Gr. III Sycamore may be a nice fit for this son of Speeding Fine.
Rounding out the finishers were Astral Prince (2 back), Highlight (2 back) and finally Cherry Cake Sailor (3 back).
Written by McDuffy, republished with permission of and first published at – SimRacing Form.