Brandon A. Quick | Sat 30/09/2017 - 11:17 EDT

Awesome Again Stakes 2017 Predictions

Awesome Again Stakes 2017 Predictions

Awesome Again Stakes 2017

With the defection of Dortmund, seven runners will contest the 6th running of the Awesome Again in what can only be described as a nice group of second-tier BC hopefuls.

Baffert's leading duo of Arrogate and Collected will stay in the barn, but stablemate Cupid will suit up as the 2/1 morning line favorite. Cupid is the only runner in the field to have won his last start and is a grade 1 winner at ten furlongs. Interestingly, Baffert will also saddle the well-traveled Mubtaahij, who last ran in March finishing a respectable fourth in the Dubai World Cup.

As usual, Baffert will be showing up to a west coast stakes race well-heeled. 

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Whether Cupid assumes the early lead or resorts to stalking tactics, he is the controlling speed in this race despite the presence of the speedy Midnight Storm. What's less clear, is what eto make of Cupid after the colt's somewhat lackluster win August 23 win in a minor stakes race at Del Mar. Cupid may have simply bounced, following his huge win the Gold Cup after eight months on the bench. Either way, it's tough to be too critical of a win regardless of how it was earned. Cupid and Midnight Storm should mix it up for the first six or seven furlongs with Curlin Rules close in tow. 

If this pace scenario develops, the Awesome Again could set up for the late punch of Mubtaahij or Breaking Lucky. The former could need a race after spending six months idle, so I'll side with Breaking Lucky to do the closing in this event. Breaking Lucky doesn't win often (3/21 lifetime), but should be right in the thick of the hunt for the exacta, tri and super placements. 

Getting down to brass tacks, this race is Cupid's to lose. However, if we see another dull effort from Cupid, I can see Midnight Storm doing some damage on the front end. Midnight Storm is making his second start off the layoff which is a 24% angle for trainer Phil D'Amato. Midnight Storm appears to be in a pattern of Beyer Speed regression over his last three starts, but could be ready to return to top form. If that happens, this race could get very intereting in the lane between Cupid, Midnight Storm and Breaking Lucky. 

Awesome Again Stakes Entries

  1. Win the Space (15/1)
  2. Dortmund (8/1) SCRATCHED
  3. Midnight Storm (3/1)
  4. Curlin Rules (6/1)
  5. Breaking Lucky (5/1) 
  6. Mubtaahij (4/1)
  7. Donworth (6/1)
  8. Cupid (2/1) 

Awesome Again Stakes Picks

  • #8 Cupid
  • #3 Midnight Storm
  • #5 Breaking Lucky
  • #6 Mubtaahij

Breeders' Cup Qualifiers Update

With a busy Saturday, September 30 on tap, other BC qualifying races include a pair of stakes at Belmont Park - the Vosburgh (BC Sprint qualifier) and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (BC Turf qualifier). Like Arrogate and Collected, Breeders' Cup Classic favorite Gun Runner is training up to the race. Gun Runner capped an impressive summer with a dominating win in the Woodward Stakes. 

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