OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes comes our way this Saturday, April 2 from Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. Three year olds will be after the winner's share of the $500,000 purse and the 85 qualifying points (50 for the winner) toward the Kentucky Derby in May when they take to Turfway Park's All Weather Track and race 1 1/8 miles.
An overflow field of 12 plus two Alternate Entries will give it a go in the Spiral Stakes - race 10 on Turfway Park's Saturday card. Post time is 5:43 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all 14 possible combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
2016 Spiral Stakes Race Preview
Airoforce 3-1 - Mark Casse trained colt has been very good in his career - three wins and a second place finish in five career starts. Last time out however was his only off-the-board finish - a disappointing tenth, 40 lengths behind as favorite in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds February 20. Before that was a nice win in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November, a second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a win in the Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes in October. Airoforce looks for a strong bounce back and to re-affirm his place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Albin Jiminez has been tabbed to ride the morning line favorite from gate 10.
Azar 5-1 - has seven career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher with two wins and three third place finishes. He won the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in September and had a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park three weeks later before a disappointing thirteenth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He has looked better in two starts since - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out at Gulfstream February 28 followed a second in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes on that track January 30. Azar will need a good performance to qualify for the Derby and will be after that result Saturday. Manuel Franco gets the call on the morning line second choice from gate 12.
Jensen 6-1 - has two wins and two second place finishes in four career starts -all at Fair Grounds. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a $50,000 Allowance Optional Claiming score February 25, a second in a similar race January 30 and a maiden score January 10. He has been good against lesser competition so far and hopes for a similar fate in his step up with Florent Geroux in the irons from post 3.
Kasseopia 6-1 - Graham Motion trained British bred colt had a win in three starts at home - that coming September 4 by an impressive nine lengths. He has two North American starts - a respectable second place finish in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes in October at Woodbine and an OK third last time out in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 13. Kasseopia hopes to build on three good results as he chases his first graded stakes score Saturday with Alan Garcia guiding him from gate 8.
Ralis 6-1 - has eight career starts for trainer Doug O'Neill with two wins and a second place finish. Last time out was an ugly tenth in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 19 after a fourteenth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a sixth in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes October 3 at Belmont Park, a good win in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes September 7 and a second in the minor Graduation at Del Mar August 5. Ralis has been wildly inconsistent, has looked very good at times in his eight starts but has failed to place in his last three starts overall. Corey Nakatani will try to change Ralis's fortunes around Saturday from post 11.
Don't Be So Salty 8-1 - has three wins and a third place finish in eight career starts for trainer Gary Contessa. He won the minor Display Stakes three starts back at Woodbine November 29 after a seventh in the minor Awad Stakes at Belmont Park in October and an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Dixie Bourbon Stakes in October. Last time out was a ninth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream February 27 which followed a fourth after being DQd from second in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes January 30. Don't Be So Salty has placed in just one of his last five starts overall and hopes for a major breakthough this weekend with Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle from gate 4.
Oscar Nominated 10-1 - Michael Maker trained colt has two wins and two second place finishes in six career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut off a career best effort - a win in the minor Black Gold Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds February 27. Before that were consecutive runner-up finishes - the minor Keith Gee Memorial at Fair Grounds January 31 and an Allowance in November. Oscar Nominated has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and could be a factor with Robby Albarado guiding him from post 5.
Surgical Strike 12-1 - has two wins, a second and a third place finish in eight career starts for trainer Ben Colebrook. Last time out was a good win in the minor John Battaglia Memorial - a local prep for this race at Turfway Park March 12 after a third in the minor WEBN Stakes on that track February 20 and off-the-board finishes in two stakes races including a fourth in his only graded stakes action - the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream January 2. Surgical Strike will be after his second straight stakes score and first ever graded stakes win with Orlando Mojica in the irons from gate 2 in Surgical Strike's dirt debut.
Two Step Time 15-1 - has placed in five of six career starts for trainer Michael Maker - three wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a good win in the minor Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston February 27 which followed a second in the minor OBS Championship Stakes at Ocala Training Center January 26 and a Starter Optional Claiming score at Turfway Park January 2. Two Step Time has looked decent ahead of this week as he steps into graded stakes company for the first time. Mitchell Murrill rides from gate 6.
Swagger Jagger 20-1 - has eight career starts for trainer Michael Maker with two wins and a third place finish. Last time out was an ugly ninth in the minor John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park March 12 after a fourth in the minor OBS Championship at Ocala Training Center January 26, a good win in the minor Pulpit Stakes in November at Turfway Park West and a maiden score in October. He looked good at the end of last year but has failed to place in his two starts of 2016. Francisco Torres will try to change all for that from post 9.
Strike Up the Band 20-1 - Michael Maker trained gelding has three wins in six career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut after a fourth in the minor John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park March 12 and consecutive wins - a Starter Stakes February 15 and a Starter Optional Claiming January 15. Strike Up the Band hopes for his first stakes win Saturday with Corey Lanerie in the reins from post 7.
That Makes Sense 30-1 - has five career starts for trainer D Wayne Lukas with a win, a second and a third place finish. He makes his stakes debut off an eighth in an Allowance at Oaklawn Park March 4 and a first, a second and a third place finish in MSW races to start his year on that same track. That Makes Sense takes a major step up in so-so form with Colby Hernandez aboard from the rail .
Crescent Drive - Alternate Entry Tom Amoss trained colt has placed in all four career starts - a win, a second and two third place finishes. He may make his graded stakes debut off a pair of third place finishes - the minor Texas Heritage Stakes at Sam Houston February 27 and the minor Display Stakes at Woodbine in November and a maiden score in October. Crescent Drive may take a huge step up in competition Saturday.
Diplodocus - Alternate Entry Richard Baltas trained colt has one win in five career starts with four off-the-board finishes. Last time out was a fifth in his stakes debut - the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 13 after another fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita January 24, a maiden score on that same track January 2 and a couple of unflattering results to start his career. Diplodocus hasn't been great so far and may be after a major breakthrough Saturday.
2016 Spiral Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 10 on Turfway Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:43 PM.
||That Makes Sense
||Don't Be So Salty
||Two Step Time
||Strike Up the Band