2017 John B. Connally Turf Cup Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas will be the scene of the G3 John B Connally Turf Cup Stakes on Sunday, January 29. Horses four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Sam Houston's turf track and race 1 1/4 miles for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.

A field of eight have been confirmed for the John B. Connally Turf Cup - race 8 on Sam Houston's Sunday schedule. Post time is 3:40 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight entries for this intriguing G3 stakes.

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2017 John B. Connally Turf Cup Entries at Sam Houston

Bigger Picture 9-5 - made his stakes debut six starts back for trainer Michael Maker and finished eighth in the G1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3. Before that were six wins, three seconds and a third place finish including two Allowance Optional Claiming races with the last coming at Belmont Park May 12. He has been up and down lately - an eight last time out in the minor Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes at Gulfstream Park December 3 followed a terrific win in the G2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 12 and a decent second in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 20. Bigger Picture has placed in five of his last eight starts overall with four wins over that span but hasn't been afraid to deliver a dud along the way. He tries to bounce back from an ugly effort and for a second graded stakes score in three starts when he leaves from gate 4 with Jose Ortiz aboard the morning line favorite.

Oscar Nominated 2-1 - Michael Maker trained colt has four wins and four second place finishes in 14 career starts. He finished seventeenth as a longshot in the Kentucky Derby and went on to a fifth in the G3 Penn Mile in June, a second in the G3 American Derby in July and a fifth in the G1 Secretariat Stakes in August. He's been OK since - a second last time out in the minor Tropical Park Derby which followed a fourth in the G2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita November 4 and a win in the minor Dueling Grounds Derby September 11. He made his graded stakes debut April 2 and won the G3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and also won the minor Black Gold Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds February 27. Oscar Nominated has shown form in the past and will chase his second graded stakes score from the outside gate 8 with Florent Geroux guiding the second betting choice.

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Greengrassofyoming 5-2 - had a great start to the summer for trainer Michael Maker - wins in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs in June and in the G3 Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington July 9. He enters off an OK second in the minor Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds December 17, an uncharacteristic eleventh in the G3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 20 and consecutive fourths - in the G3 Kentucky Turf Cup September 10 and in the G1 Arlington Millions July 13. Greengrassofyoming has placed in just one of his last four starts after two straight wins - a tad tough to figure out. He has eight wins, nine seconds and five third place finishes in 40 career starts and enters in so-so form. Robby Albarado will be in the saddle of the third choice from post 5.

Hay Dakota 8-1 - has placed in eight of 12 career starts for trainer Joel Berndt - four wins, a second and three third place finishes. He enters off his worst effort in a while - a seventh in the minor Woodchopper Stakes at Fair Grounds December 31 which followed a terrific win in the G3 Commonwealth Turf Cup at Churchill Downs November 12 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hawthorne October 19. Before that were consecutive thirds including the minor Mystic Lady Stakes in August and two straight wins including an Allowance August 4. Hay Dakota has succeeded at every level so far in his career and will be after a strong bounce back from post 3 Sunday. Denny Velazquez gets the call on this intriguing 8-1 shot.

Phantom Trip 15-1 - Clinton Stuart trained gelding has four wins and a second place finish in 11 career starts and makes his graded stakes debut Sunday. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Jim Thorpe Stakes at Remington Park December 11 which followed an ugly eleventh in the minor Zia Park Derby November 23, a nice win in the minor Oklahoma Classics Cup Stakes October 21, an Allowance score at Remington Park October 13 and another Allowance win September 23. Phantom Trip was very good in the fall and hopes to rediscover at form from gate 6 Sunday. David Cabrera will be in the reins.

Domikate 20-1 - has 20 career starts for trainer Paul Pearson with three wins, six seconds and five third place finishes. He makes his stakes debut Sunday off a second in a Starter Handicap November 26, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming November 18, a Starter Handicap score October 28 and a second in an Allowance October 22 - at Retama Park. Domikate has been decent against lesser competition and hopes that success translates in his huge step up in competition. Rohan Singh rides from the rail.

West Road 20-1 - has just four wins, a second and a third place finish in 22 career starts for trainer M. Brent Davidson. He races in stakes company for the first time having placed in just two of his last five starts overall. Last time out was a seventh in an Allowance November 26 after a Starter Optional Claiming score October 22, a third in a Claiming September 26 and a sixth and an eleventh respectively - all results at Remington Park. West Road hasn't been all that impressive lately but hopes to make a huge statement Sunday from gate 2. Paul Nolan has the mount.

Fall of Troy 30-1 - has two wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts for trainer Darrell Brian Bravenec. He makes his stakes debut Sunday in less-than-spectacular form. Last time out was an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming September 9 after a tenth in an Allowance August 25 - both at Remington Park. He placed in four straight races prior to that including an Allowance at Lone Star in July and a maiden score on that track in June. Fall of Troy was good in the summer and hopes to snap a bit of a skid Sunday from post 7. Jacob Readosevich is scheduled to ride from post 7.

2017 John B. Connally Turf Cup Odds & Entries

Race 8 on Sam Houston's Sunday card with a Post Time of 4:40 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Domikate 20-1 Rohan Singh Paul Pearson
2 West Road 20-1 Paul Nolan M. Davidson
3 Hay Dakota 8-1 Denny Velazquez Joel Berndt
4 Bigger Picture 9-5 Jose Ortiz Michael Maker
5 Greengrassofyoming 5-2 Robby Albarado Michael Maker
6 Phantom Trip 15-1 David Cabrera Clinton Stuart
7 Fall of Troy 30-1 Jacob Radosevich Darrell Bravenec
8 Oscar Nominated 2-1 Florent Geroux Michael Maker

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