Midnight Storm can get jump on Bolo, Om in Kilroe Mile

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

March 11th, 2016

Having opined on the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby and $400,000 San Felipe (G2) elsewhere, there is still yet more great stakes action on the Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita cards on Saturday. Here are few horses that have caught my eye perusing the past performances.

Gambles's Ghost -- $200,000 Florida Oaks (G3) (Tam Race 8, 6-1) -- A Grade 3 winner on Polytrack, she's raced just once previously on the grass. However, it was very good performance. Though five lengths inferior to eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Catch a Glimpse in the Natalma (G2) as the favorite, she did edge Caren for second, and that filly won five of six starts in Canada last season including four stakes. Trainer Josie Carroll won at a 20 percent clip last year and is generally solid with layoff types. I like this filly's chances with Johnny V in the irons.

Midnight Storm -- $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) (SA Race 6, 3-1) -- Ended last season on a high note with Espinoza up taking the Seabiscuit H. (G2) at Del Mar. Ran absolutely huge over this course following a much longer layoff in his 2015 debut, and then finished a sharp second in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) before lapsing into a three-race funk. Should be very close to a pace likely to be set by What a View and can get first run on younger rivals Bolo and Om, both of whom might attract a bit more play at the windows. Seemingly the value of this contest.

San Onofre -- $300,000 San Carlos (G2) (SA Race 9, 6-1) -- Not nearly as classy as Wild Dude or Kobe's Back, and certainly don't know what to make of his clunker in the $150,000 California Cup Sprint last time. However, on paper doesn't he appear capable of possibly being the lone speed? Hasn't always lasted all the way after setting or pressing fast splits, but win in the Midnight Lute (G3) two back suggest there are days when he can. The seventh furlong might be asking a lot, but at this price or something close I'm willing to take a shot given the potential pace scenario.

Donworth -- $1 million Santa Anita H. (G1) (SA Race 10, 3-1) -- A nice performance in the San Antonio (G2) in his debut for Doug O'Neill (and his first since last June). One of the more likely candidates to go for the lead here, and there isn't a whole lot of quality competition ready to press him into submission. A son of former Big 'Cap hero Tiznow, the distance should suit. Seemingly has a bright future ahead of him while most of his California-based brethren are well-exposed. Not quite sold on East Coast-based favorite Effinex running to his very best first time over this strip, though he remains the horse to beat.

Jeremy's Legacy -- $75,000 China Doll (SA Race 11, 12-1) -- Looked like a filly that might have appreciated more ground than she got in her first two outings of the year, both at about 6 1/2 furlongs. Indeed, she looked awesome winning her U.S. debut by more than five lengths going a mile at Del Mar last November, but wheeling back in a week to contest the Jimmy Durante (G3) perhaps wasn't the right move in retrospect. Things to offer in a wide-open finale at The Great Race Place.

(Benoit Photos)