Jaipur Stakes Entries: Mott's Casa Creed sojourn aboard ends ... comes to defend title

Taking to the Belmont grass on Saturday, this 13-horse field promises to make for a superb betting race for punters. Trainer Bill Mott has an ace entered! See who's who below ...
Taking to the Belmont grass on Saturday, this 13-horse field promises to make for a superb betting race for punters. Trainer Bill Mott has an ace entered! See who's who below ...

Race 8: 6F (Turf) Jaipur Stakes (G1), $400k, 3+ (Saturday)

It is time for the Jaipur S. to takes its place among the elite Grade 1 sprints on the grass in North America. Steadily, over the years it has gained favor, and the purses have risen, along with the class status. This year’s edition includes a capacity field, and because of that, it partly has the feel of a Breeders’ Cup race. That is a positive because this is a “Win and You’re In” contest for entry into the BC Turf Sprint (G1) What a prize!

Now, let’s find out about this field…


#1 Change of Control (Jky: M. Franco/Trn: M. Lovell):

What a road this 6-yr-old by Fed Biz has travelled … Trainer Michelle Lovell went for the gusto last year on the Belmont Week Friday, and watched her mare score in the Intercontinental S. (G3). She was a short-priced favorite that afternoon, but in ’22 she has primarily competed in “Non-G” events at the Fair Grounds, Keeneland, and most recently, at Churchill. Based on her current level of fitness, plus against a large field, this will be no easy task with Manny Franco in the irons for the 1st time.

Grade: B-


#2 Omaha City (Jky: M. Meneses/Trn: A. Jehaludi):

This colt by Temple City has form that has continued to slide over the past year. At Gulfstream Park in ’21, he was running well against lesser competition. Ramping that up at Kentucky Downs, Aqueduct, Keeneland, and then back at Gulfstream has proved futile. From a small barn, and ridden by a jockey that is not very experienced on the lawn … this is a tough ask.

Grade: C


#3 True Valour (IRE) (Jky: F. Lynch/Trn: G. Motion):

A horse by Kodiac (GB), trained by Graham Motion, the now 8-yr-old switched to turf sprinting back in the fall of 2020. He is “good,” but running against a group like this one is not going to be all that easy, despite having such a strong conditioner at his side. Coming off a trip to Dubai for the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, he took a long rest, and then returned, competing in the King Leatherbury S. $100k at Laurel Park. That win might make some bettors think that he should be ready to fire here. I am not so sure, even with the seasoned Feargal Lynch at the controls.

Grade: B-


#4 Casa Creed (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: B. Mott):

I am extremely doubtful that Bill Mott’s world-traveling sprinter by Jimmy Creed will be 9/2 when it is time to load in the gate on Saturday. In other words, he is going to be slammed at the windows. You have a strong barn that is backed by a New York faithful. The presence of Luis Saez is compelling, and he knows how to hustle a mount home. The defending champion from last year will have to facedown the dreaded “return to the U.S.” letdown that can sometimes plague overseas shippers. I am sure Mott has him ready, but this will not be a cinch against a large field like this one.

Grade: B+


#5 Arrest Me Red (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: W. Ward):

There is much to like when it comes to a Wesley Ward sprinter on the grass. Even though this race is not at Keeneland or Royal Ascot (which is next week), Ward still deserves respect. Last out in the Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs on the Oaks undercard, this colt by Pioneerof the Nile took the prize with a strong move by Irad Ortiz before the top of the lane arrived. If he is sharp as that performance, then he could be an easy winner. He doesn’t have to break alertly, but in a race like this one, it could assist greatly. Probably the one to catch … He does posses a “win” over the Belmont green (last October).

Grade: A-


#6 Greyes Creek (Jky: T. Gaffalione/Trn: P. Lobo):

Here is a long shot pick that could be a “wise guy horse” from the barn of Paulo Lobo. A former member of Chad Brown’s establishment, the folks at Oxo Equine decided that they needed a barn switch. The son of Pioneerof the Nile went from routing on the grass to sprinting, and his 1st race was … last year’s Jaipur S. (G1). That was a tough situation, and afterwards, Lobo decided to send his new charge to the pasture. Coming back to the track at Keeneland for a stiff ALLW Co. contest on the Haggin would end up being the “prep” for this spot. I am not sure routing is his game, and just for good measure, the “blinkers” will be going on for the first time. Most of all, I like the addition of Tyler Gaffalione. He can spring a sprint upset with the best of them. What a boxcar-priced entry this is going to be!

Grade: B+


#7 Whatmakessammyrun (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: J. Begg):

Jockey Flavien Prat made a cottage industry of winning turf sprint races in SoCal. He got so good that they forced him to ride blindfolded, and he still beat his competition … Well, that is not true, but the point is … he was impressive. Sterling Racing transferred their colt by We Miss Artie from Mark Glatt to the Begg Barn early last month. The 4-yr-old is not without some nice form, especially when it comes to running against some tough opponents. Having Prat ride their speedster is a plus, but his effort last time out in the Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill left much to be desired.

Grade: B-


#8 Scuttlebuzz (Jky: J. Castellano/Trn: R. Rodriguez):

I have this theory … Javier Castellano has become one of the premier turf sprint jockeys in North America. For years, he was a master of the lawn route, but over time, with some nagging injuries, he has had to recalibrate. His mount in this race is a runner that has seen a resurgence in form. Castellano has piloted him in his past 2 races, which were both off-the-pace scores. The crowning achievement was a victory in the Elusive Quality S. $100k at Belmont at the end of April. He was 16/1 on the tote that day, and will probably drift upwards come Saturday. A top pick … with superb form … Sired by The Factor, you know these types take to the grass quite well.

Grade: A-


#9 Filo Di Arianna (BRZ) (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: M. Casse):

HOF trainer Mark Casse sent his horse by Drosselmeyer into the Shakertown S. (G2) at Keeneland with high hopes. Afterall, the 6-yr-old had a perfect record, dating back to his time running in Brazil. Part-owner Gary Barber has backed some good grass gaiters before, but one has to wonder if this one is up to scratch. Of course, when you have to run against the likes of Ward’s Golden Pal, you are going to lose. His 10th Place ending though … that was not even remotely positive. The best move Casse is making when it comes to preparation is handing the keys to Jose Ortiz. That could make this one a sleeper pick … hmm …

Grade: B-


#10 Smokin’ Jay (Jky: J. Alvarado/Trn: K. Danner):

Here is yet another intriguing runner that could have a shot at blowing up the tote on Saturday. Trained by the excellent Kelsey Danner, the colt by Cairo Prince has completed nicely against other “Non-G” types. This bump in class will not be easy, and Junior Alvarado does not have that much recent success when it comes to riding on the grass. Still, the potential is here, especially considering the connections. A 2nd Place ending at Pimlico in their Turf Sprint S. $100k, speaks to the point that the colt is ready for a tougher assignment. He is going to get it … his best asset is without question, a late turn-of-foot.

Grade: B


#11 Chasing Artie (Jky: J. Velazquez/Trn: S. Joseph):

The Saffie Joseph success story is one that should be shouted from the rooftops. Winning the training title during the Gulfstream Park Championship Meet reflected his hard work and dedication. With this gelding by We Miss Artie, Ken Ramsey made the move to switch his runner from Wesley Ward’s Barn (backstory there ...). Sadly, Ramsey’s wife passed away, the indomitable Sarah. She was the best of the pair in what was a storied partnership. The red and white will be proudly displayed, and with HOF rider John Velazquez in the irons, this one has a shot at double-digit odds. The Turf Sprint S. (G2) attempt at Churchill did not go too well, but Joseph has the ability to make adjustments. One to use for sure …

Grade: B


#12 Gear Jockey (Jky: J. Lezcano/Trn: R. Arnold):

This will be the 1st time that Rusty Arnold’s son of Twirling Candy will be trying the Belmont lawn. Last fall, this sprinter had quite a run going, winning impressively. His recent form looks a bit suspect, and I wonder if he has just lost the edge. Maybe Jose Lezcano can get his mount back on track? He has experience aboard this horse, and that could assist. Yet another alum from the Churchill race, Arnold’s entry is clearly going to have to dig deep.

Grade: C+


#13 Gregorian Chant (GB) (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: P. D’Amato):

Breaking from the extreme outside, Phil D’Amato’s gelding by Gregorian (IRE) is not just a SoCal-based runner. He has shipped to Belmont before. In this race last year, he ended up 7th, and even though that did not befit his odds, it was a tough spot to drawn-in. Joel Rosario rode him to a 3rd Place finish at Churchill in that Turf Sprint (G2). Is there a chance for improvement? For sure … this is a horse being ridden by an Eclipse Award-winning jockey!

Grade: B+


Join us Saturday for all of our Belmont Stakes card selections! Should be a great set of races from NYRA’s home in Elmont, New York! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!