2015 Spiral Stakes Preview

The Road to the Kentucky Derby continues on Saturday with the Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes. From this point forward, the race will be referred to as the Spiral Stakes to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from setting in.

A field of 12 horses was drawn for the Spiral Stakes, but #6 Imperia will be scratched per trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. That still leaves a solid field of 11 three year olds going one mile and one eighth on Turfway’s synthetic track for a purse of $550,000.

The horses are also running for up to 50 points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard to ensure their spot in the Kentucky Derby. The winner will receive 50 points, the second place finisher will receive 20 points, third place will receive 10 points, and fourth place will receive 5 points.

Post time for the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes is scheduled for 6:28 PM Eastern Time on Saturday and is the 11th of 12 races on the program. Free past performances for the Spiral Stakes can be found here.

1. Royal Son (7-2 Morning Line) – This son of Tiznow was impressive in the local prep race for the Spiral Stakes. The blinkers were put on and he had no trouble going gate-to-wire to win by 5 1/4 in the John Battaglia Memorial. The pace will be hotter in this race, but his rail slot gives him a chance to control how fast it goes. Definitely has a chance here.

2. Big Family (30-1 ML) – He has made his first four starts in Florida. He won his debut at Gulfstream Park West in November by 6 1/4 lengths. He subsequently was entered in back-to-back stakes races, but failed to make much impact in either race, but did finish third in the Hutcheson (second of the two races). His last race was an optional claimer where he was second by 12 lengths to the now injured Khozan. He is going to need to step up big time to have a chance here.

3. Watchyourownbobber (20-1 ML) – This guy began his career at Arlington Park with a fourth place finish before moving to turf for his next four races. He finished third and fourth in his next two races in Kentucky before breaking his maiden in his fourth race at Gulfstream by three-quarters of a length. He was claimed out of that race and subsequently made it back-to-back wins. He figures to be part of the pace scenario given that he won his two races on the front end. He may hang around for third or fourth if the pace is slow enough.

4. Wireless Future (12-1 ML) – He started his career at Churchill with a sixth place finish before moving to the Fair Grounds and the turf course. He was third next out followed by a maiden breaking score in his third race. He made it back-to-back wins with another score on turf in an optional claimer $50,000. Last out his race was taken off the turf, but he had no trouble winning by 7 lengths to make it three straight wins. If he can rate in this race, he could add value to the underneath exotics in this race.

5. Another Lemon Drop (6-1 ML) – He opened with back-to-back starts on turf with a fourth place and a win in his second start. A move to dirt in his next three produced mixed results: a third in an optional claimer, a win in an optional claimer over a sloppy track, and an even fourth place finish in the Grade 3 Lecomte at the Fair Grounds. A move back to turf las time produced a second place finish by half a length in the Black Gold Stakes. He is certainly interesting given his turf performances and could make some noise here.

6. Imperia (4-1 ML) – Scratched.

7. Magic of Believing (20-1 ML) – It took him five starts to break his maiden, but he did so at Oaklawn Park going a mile and a sixteenth. Last time out in an Allowance non-winners of two race, he made a strong rally in the lane to win by a head and make it two straight wins. He will need to make a substantial leap forward to challenge in this spot.

8. Task Force Glory (30-1 ML) – He needed five starts on turf before he won his first race, but he also had three second place finishes in his first four starts. After breaking his maiden he was third in an allowance race at Gulfstream and most recently ran sixth in the John Battaglia Memorial here at Turfway. He will need a lot to break his way to win the Spiral Stakes.

9. Conquest Typhoon (5-1 ML) – Here is one of the more battle tested horses in the race. He made his debut at Woodbine in a stakes race where he finished second by a length and a half. He finished second in his second race before breaking his maiden in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths in his third race. He later ran in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and finished fourth before capturing a Grade 3 at Del Mar. His last race was the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate where he finished third by 2 3/4 lengths as the 9/5 favorite. That race came off a two and a half month layoff and he should be ready to roll here.

10. Firespike (20-1 ML) – Yet another exiting the John Battaglia Memorial, he finished fifth beaten 21 lengths. Prior to that race he won two stakes races down in Florida at the Ocala Training Center and Gulfstream Park West. He needs a better effort to hit the board here.

11. Metaboss (4-1 ML) – One of the favorites in the Spiral Stakes, he has shown immense promise since going two turns. He finished third in his debut down the hill at Santa Anita and then was fourth in an off the turf stakes race at Santa Anita. His first start around two turns at Del Mar resulted in a second place finish before breaking his maiden going a mile and an eighth at Santa Anita. His last race was the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby where he swung out wide and roared past his foes to win by 2 1/2 lengths. A similar setup seems likely here and he will be rolling late.

12. Dubai Sky (8-1 ML) – He began his career at Saratoga with a third place finish by 4 3/4 lengths at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. He followed that up with a one length victory at Belmont before getting a 3 month break. He came off the bench to win by 2 lengths at Gulfstream in an optional claimer and then made it three wins in a row with a victory by a head in the Kittens Joy at Gulfstream. That race was nearly 2 months ago, but there is clearly talent for him when right. Tough to ignore here.


For the most part, this race appears to favor the favorites. #11 Metaboss will get a good setup with some speed ahead of him while #12 Dubai Sky is clearly talented and dangerous at 8-1 on the morning line. #1 Royal Son will be able to get the lead from the rail, but do not discount #9 Conquest Typhoon in his second start off the layoff. #5 Another Lemon Drop is interesting here and #4 Wireless Future could add some value to the exotics.

1. Metaboss

2. Dubai Sky

3. Conquest Typhoon

4. Wireless Future

Come back on Saturday evening for a recap of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes.

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