Pat Day Mile Horses Guide 2022

Jockey Luis Saez is aboard one-half of a Pletcher uncoupled entry in the Pat Day Mile S. on the Kentucky Derby undercard ... see who it is below ... horse-by-horse guides are here for all the major Saturday stakes races!
Jockey Luis Saez is aboard one-half of a Pletcher uncoupled entry in the Pat Day Mile S. on the Kentucky Derby undercard ... see who it is below ... horse-by-horse guides are here for all the major Saturday stakes races!

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Race 7: 1 Mile (Dirt) Pat Day Mile Stakes (G2), Purse $500k, 3 (Saturday)

Formerly known as the Derby Trail Stakes, the renamed Grade 2 Pat Day Mile represents an important fallback position for 3-yr-olds who were just not swift enough during “Prep Season.” Named for the celebrated jockey, it opens the 1st Leg of .20 Pick 6 … a can’t miss for bettors! This is a 1-turn mile, which provides an interesting twist. Redemption can be sweet, since many of the winners that come out of this race go on to further their careers in other major “Graded” Co. races. Some of the recent winners include, an excellent horse named Rushie, and last year’s victor, Jackie’s Warrior. Day was a jockey, but not just any ordinary one. His splendid record, and the character that he exhibited made him one of the best in the sport. Who will etch their name below his in 2022? 

Now, let’s find out about this field…

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#1 Major General (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: T. Pletcher):

With a 2nd Place showing in the Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland last time, bettors will be looking for this high-priced WinStar and Siena Farm runner to improve going 1-turn on the dirt. He is in-form, gets Irad Ortiz aboard, and comes from as strong a barn as there is in all the land. Losing the lead to Cox’s Tawny Port is a tick to the negative … I would look elsewhere on top.

Grade: B

 

#2 Trademark (Jky: R. Bejarano/Trn: V. Oliver):

Trainer Vicky Oliver has had her share of strong runners over the years, but it would be impressive to see her win in this spot. A participant in the Blue Grass S. (G2), the gelding by Upstart had major trouble getting on track. What does he have going for him is his last win … it was at Churchill Downs last November. Oliver’s go-to ride is aboard … Rafael Bejarano, but even that may not be even remotely enough.

Grade: C+

 

#3 Pappacap (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: M. Casse):

A “seasoned” runner along the Derby Trail dating back to last year, HOF trainer Mark Casse thought this son of Gun Runner had a shot to get to Race 12 on the “First Saturday in May.” It didn’t happen … but not for a lack of trying. Casse shipped him to the West Coast, and the Gulf Coast, with stops from Del Mar to Gulfstream Park. The best news at this point is the cutback in distance to 1 mile, and the addition of Flavien Prat. Maybe he can bring this homebred to life … maybe …

Grade: B-

 

#4 Ben Diesel (Jky: J. Court/Trn: D. Stewart):

I liked this Dallas Stewart runner when he competed in the opening leg of the Louisiana Series. His Smarty Jones $250k race was a dud, but in his defense, he did have to break from the 13-post. Subsequent efforts at Oaklawn were “ok” … 3rd Southwest S. (G3) … 8th Rebel S. (G2) … 6th Arkansas Derby (G1) … Maybe this is just too tough a league for this Willis Horton-owned router? He has to prove himself, and it has not happened yet.

Grade: C+

 

#5 Jack Christopher (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):

If there is a runner on the Derby undercard that has the most questions associated with how she/he will run, then it is this colt by Munnings that is trained by Chad Brown. The last time we saw him was during his 2-yr-old campaign. Only racing twice, he won both his maiden, then stepped to score in the Champagne S. (G1). An injury sidelined him, and his conditioner had to constantly make new plans. He is one of those promising colts that missed the Derby Trail. Now, he is back at it with Jose Ortiz in the irons. Is he a cinch to win? His works are sharp, but it is just too hard to tell.

Grade: B

 

#6 Tejano Twist (Jky: J. Rocco/Trn: B. Calhoun):

Trainer Bret Calhoun has a well-bred gelding by Practical Joke that is coming back to a place where he won the last time he was in-town. Back in late November, this runner scored a victory at Churchill in a tough $200k “Non-G.” One of his opponents was Johnny Ortiz’s Barber Road … he was just behind Calhoun’s budding star. Calhoun made the call after the Gun Runner S. to make this fellow a sprinter. His last pair of races at the Fair Grounds and Keeneland were a mixed bag. Maybe that last race, the Lafayette $400k, was just too daunting a field to face. Regular man, Joe Rocco, is back aboard. This spot is probably the toughest race this horse has faced … big ask …

Grade: B-

 

#7 Howling Time (Jky: J. Talamo/Trn: D. Romans):

Winding the clock back to the Street Sense S. $200k at Churchill Downs, this short-priced colt by Not This Time was special. He won convincingly with Joe Talamo at the controls. That was really his best race to-date. Since then, he has had a string of poor performances, but that was of course against worthy adversaries like Smile Happy, Classic Causeway, Simplification, and Tawny Port. I do not know what Romans expects coming back to Churchill … maybe his colt is a horse-for-the-course … wait and see on this double-digit price.

Grade: C+

 

#8 Kavod (Jky: M. Murrill/Trn: C. Hartman):

Much respect for this hard-knocking colt by Lea ... Like Stewart’s entry in this race, Chris Hartman entered his runner in each of the Arkansas Series races at Oaklawn. He can be described as the “speed of the speed,” in almost every rendition. Mitch Murrill took over the riding duties in the Arkansas Derby (G1), but it did not improve his chances. The pace along the way was just too hot, and controlling the speed did not happen one iota. I would like to think this colt could pull it off, but I doubt it.  

Grade: B-

 

#9 Trafalgar (Jky: C. Hernandez/Trn: A. Stall):

It is always gratifying to see Al Stall come into Derby Weekend with some shots. Here is a well-bred son of the gentle, Lord Nelson … of Spendthrift fame, who sadly, we lost last year. Stall had this runner competing down at the Fair Grounds, but he had difficulty making the jump from OC50kn1x Co. into races like the Lecomte (G3) and the Risen Star S. (G2). The able-bodied and very talented Colby Hernandez gets the call, and he has the ability to make a huge difference. Interesting sleeper pick at a major price … one to consider for horizontal wagers for sure! Nothing like a horse named for such a celebrated naval battle!

Grade: B

 

#10 Doppleganger (Jky: J. Velazquez/Trn: T. Yakteen):

The former trainee of Bob Baffert missed the money, last time out in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Bettors did not think much of this well-bred colt by Into Mischief against the likes of Secret Oath and eventual winner, Cyberknife. Now, with Tim Yakteen fully at the controls, he is going to try and turn this SF/Starlight/Madaket router back into something that resembles a “miler.” With Johnny V in-tow, it could work out fine … maybe he wins … He is going to have to run a game race, and that is not what happened at Oaklawn last month. Still, a major player …

Grade: B+

 

#11 My Prankster (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: T. Pletcher):

My top pick is probably going to be a runner that was severely compromised with a troubled trip in the Lafayette S. $400k at Keeneland back on 8 April. Luis Saez had the task then of navigating traffic, which seemed worse than what you might find out on I-64. A colt by Into Mischief that once cost the Low Family $600k, he has a strong record that speaks to his solid ability at sprints. If he is ready to go longer, then he can win this race for Todd Pletcher. His fitness is strong, and I like his chances to get back to the winner’s circle. Saez is aggressive, and what a race rider when it counts …

Grade: A-

 

#12 O Captain (Jky: T. Gaffalione/Trn: G. Delgado):

Going to the extreme outside, we find Gustavo Delgado’s colt by Carpe Diem that tried hard against stiff competition in both the FOY (G2) and FLA Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. He was a big price at 88/1 in the former, but came down in the latter, maybe with the help of super jockey Joel Rosario. This time around, his conditioner goes with another accomplished rider in Tyler Gaffalione. The fact of the matter is that even though he gets the benefit of the cutback in distance, he is still going to need to be quick from the gate … showing way more speed than in the past. It is possible, as the numbers back that assertion. Still, it is going to be a tough business. Trust in Tyler, but maybe somewhere else …

Grade: B-

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