Bing Crosby Stakes 2021 Entries: C Z Rocket goes west

Peter Miller's C Z Rocket comes to SoCal, and jockey Florent Geroux is in-town to ride. See what their chances look like in this preview of the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes.
Peter Miller's C Z Rocket comes to SoCal, and jockey Florent Geroux is in-town to ride. See what their chances look like in this preview of the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes.

6F (Dirt), Bing Crosby Stakes, (G1) Purse $300k, 3+

The 76th Bing Crosby Stakes is a Grade 1 affair that pits some of the best dirt sprinters in the country against one another. It will test those who like to go forward quickly, as well as those that like to hang back and strike. On the line, besides the prestigiousness of winning this caliber of race, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” points are up for grabs that can be directly applied for entry into the Sprint Division for males. Over the past 10 years, winners have included the likes of Smiling Tiger, Big Macher, Wild Dude, Lord Nelson, Ransom the Moon (back-to-back), Cistron, and last year’s victor, Collusion Illusion. Who will join this group, as they try to etch their names and their connections, into the Del Mar recordbook?

Now, let’s find out about this field…


#1 Shooters Shoot (Jky: T. McCarthy/Trn: P. Eurton):

This Peter Eurton-trainee is heading into this G1 for a barn that could use a solid “win” at this point. Eurton is 1/9, so far, and when he gets hot, everyone should look out. The son of Competitive Edge is not without experience in this type of race. Last out, he finished 2nd in the Triple Bend (G2), behind Magic On Tap. He is going to have to do much better than that in this spot. Trevor McCarthy came to SoCal from Maryland just for chances like these. Even with 4 workouts under his belt, that still might not be enough in this class war.

Grade: C+


#2 Vertical Threat (Jky: J. Bravo/Trn: R. Baltas):

Trainer Richard Baltas has a few wins already at the DMR Meet, and he is going to roll the dice, hoping that his 4-yr-old colt can be ready from the long layoff. I am not sure that is possible given the Mark Glatt contingent in here, plus Miller’s sprinter. Slam Dunk Racing and MyRacehorse are excellent ownership groups, but Tapiture or no Tapiture bloodlines, this is a big ask for “Jersey” … wait … now, “SoCal” Joe Bravo. Maybe needs a race …

Grade: C


#3 C Z Rocket (Jky: F. Geroux/Trn: P. Miller):

If the 7-yr-old son of City Zip can run to his full potential, then he has a very good chance of winning this Grade I contest. What gives pause is that last race in Texas at Lone Star Park. The Steve Sexton Mile (G3) Night was an absolute mess. Rain pelted the track, and Maker’s Mo Mosa was clearly the best horse. Bettors still backed Miller (race time fave), but some ‘cappers questioned the stretch out in distance. His conditioner heard those pleas (not really), and has decided to get back to a distance that suits. Miller is going the “extra mile,” having Florent Geroux hop a flight to Del Mar, and he knows the sprinter well. It will not be an easy win by any means, but I like his chances against Team Glatt

Grade: A-


#4 Law Abidin Citizen (Jky: W. Barnett/Trn: M. Glatt):

Here is one of several Mark Glatt-trainees that are drawing in. A California fixture that was here before in the “Bing,” the gelding out of Twirling Candy is a veteran of races like the Pat O’Brien (G2) and the Daytona (G3). Last year, he hit the board in this G1 contest. It is hard to measure right now where he fits because his last race was in a 75k at Pleasanton. Trainer Glatt got him a win, but it was only by a neck. Hardly a resounding victory … I cannot say I am too familiar with jockey Wayne Barnett, and his riding ability. Seems like this is a filler for Glatt, who runs a classy stable …

Grade: C+


#5 Quick Tempo (Jky: U. Rispoli/Trn: C. Davis):

If there is a sleeper pick among these runners, then it belongs to Chris Davis’ colt who happens to be the offspring of Tapizar. His trainer has brought him along steadily, and I liked him very much in the Nyquist125k on the BC undercard last November. That was a “key” race in my mind because though he blew the lead, it was against Chad Brown’s Highly Motivated. Shipping into places like Woodbine, Parx, Keeneland, Fair Grounds, and Prairie Meadows all add up to flexibility and solid experience. I am not saying he has this one in the bag. It is going to take a best-out effort. But Davis is a sound conditioner, and he does have Umberto Rispoli on board. Look at those recent works at Arlington! Wow! Is that right on 27 June? .34 @3F? What a blazin’ fast ride that must have been for the exercise rider! Interesting angle here … I wouldn’t sleep on this one.

Grade: B+


#6 Collusion Illusion (Jky: T. Baze/Trn: M. Glatt):

Another Twirling Candy offspring comes into this race, and it is none other than the defending champion. Mark Glatt’s most celebrated runner in his barn hasn’t been seen since the Malibu (G1) back in December. He was 3rd that day, finishing well-behind Express Train, and the winner, Charlatan. I would like to think that Glatt has his older colt primed for this sprint. But the layoff is more than a concern. In last year’s race, he was arriving with a pair of wins in the cycle. So, it is tough to gauge his level of fitness. I like the MyRacehorse model, and would expect him to be a player in here. For the win> Not sure … at this point …

Grade: B


#7 Eight Rings (Jky: A. Cedillo/Trn: B. Baffert):

The topic of Bob Baffert and his troubles continues to spin and spin and spin … He did earn a victory in being able to run at NYRA tracks, but I think most people are already rather tired of the Medina Spirit business. Speaking instead of racing, Baffert’s home base in California is alive and well. He sends this Empire Maker colt into an interesting spot. Last out, the runner was not too good in the Triple Bend (G2), and it was a clear miss. Since he only ran 2x in 2020, there is not much form to go on. This is Baffert we are speaking of, and clearly Madaket and Coolmore Stud still believe in his prowess. Abel Cedillo is going to get the call, and his DMR Meet is going about average. I wouldn’t say he is a top rider like Prat. Maybe he can get it done, but we will see. I am non-plussed by this Baffert runner.  

Grade: B-


#8 Dr. Schivel (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: M. Glatt):

The final Glatt entry (that is 3, yes …), is this fairly new member of his stable. Well-bred out of Violence (former Baffert runner), he could be an interesting player in this spot. Unheralded … I should think … When he was under trainer Luis Mendez’s care last year at this time, many thought he could be a 2021 Derby Trail runner. After all, he won the DMR Futurity (G1), which is perceived as a portal to the beyond. Instead, the Red Baron ownership folks sent him to Glatt, and he summarily went to the pasture. Now, after winning by a neck in his 2021 debut at Santa Anita in an OC62.5k race, Glatt thinks he is ready for the big time. Sprinting may be what he wants to do, but this is going to take a major effort. Flavien Prat is an aggressive rider, and that makes him dangerous aboard this one. Could be a gamer … maybe even more inviting than the other pair of stablemates.

Grade: B


#9 Brickyard Ride (Jky: J. Hernandez/Trn: C. Lewis):

I never cared for Craig Lewis’ 4-yr-old colt who was the short-priced favorite in the Kona Gold (G3) at Santa Anita back in April. He lost that day to Cezanne, and then came back in an ALLW70k, losing there too. It is hard to know which “Brick” will show on Saturday. He is an accomplished specialist at this distance, and gets Juan Hernandez in the saddle once more. Lewis doesn’t run many at such a high-level, so it will be interesting to see if he has this one ready to turn and burn. I am against … I think that frontend win last time out in a 100k was just too easy of a win. This time around will be much harder.

Grade: B-


Join us Saturday for all of our Del Mar selections, where “Surf Meets the Turf!”