2021 Hill Prince Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. HILLIARD (30-1) – Overmatched in his lone previous try against stakes company, in the Dueling Grounds Derby two back, but got himself right back into contention last out facing a less-imposing group of starter allowance foes. Besides the obvious class concerns, the Temple City gelding has generally proved a more effective performer racing with Lasix, which is not allowed here. Looking elsewhere.

2. SLICKED BACK (8-1) – Two solid runs in the Virginia Derby (G3) and Jockey Club Derby, and note he was only narrowly edged for second by Soldier Rising in the latter at a distance that favored that rival. Appears there is sufficient other pace here, so a trip such as the one he enjoyed at Colonial two back possible. Logical threat, though Cox trainees have been settling for a higher proportion of minor awards than wins this meet.

3. IT CAN BE DONE (20-1) – Three times stakes-placed this year, but all have been against softer fields than this. Slicked Back seemingly the one to fear most out of those that ran in the Virginia Derby, and not sure nine furlongs is this one’s strong suit with other pace in the field.

4. FOUNDER (10-1) – The slow pace of the Saranac (G3) seemingly worked to his disadvantage as he was outkicked late by a group of rivals headed by stablemate Public Sector. That was the second loss in as many tries against that peer on turf this season, and it’s safe to say he’s currently a notch below that one in the pecking order. Perhaps a smaller share if he gets a little more help up front.

5. WAR BOMBER (12-1) – Canadian invader shocked his Toronto Cup foes after exiting a $25K N2L claiming victory. Ability to settle has proven a boon during his three-race win streak. However, on top of apparent class concerns, he faces uncharted waters as far as distance and a new course is concerned.

6. ORIGINAL (15-1) – Was already heading toward a relatively dull effort when he clipped heels (though emerging with no serious injury) in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2). His customary speed might return here over a course we know he favors, and note he held off Public Sector in the Manila S., albeit over a furlong shorter than this. Potentially useful underneath in trifectas and superfectas.

7. HE’SPUREGOLD (20-1) – Certainly outran expectations in the Saranac, finishing only 2 1/2 lengths behind Public Sector as a 25-1 outsider. However, this assignment far more difficult from a class standpoint. Having beaten only New Jersey-breds to this point, he’s hard to endorse for the upset.

8. SIFTING SANDS (8-1) – Excellently-bred colt is starting to live up to his pedigree potential. Although he cut it close in both Saratoga outings, he did win them, and the good news is a price similar to last time could be available for those convinced he can take that next step up in class. Backtracking to his pedigree, he’s a half-brother to the European classic filly Legatissimo, while his dam is a half to the top-class, middle-distance and staying star Fame and Glory.

9. PUBLIC SECTOR (5-2) – With the exception of the Breeders’ Cup dud a year ago, this colt has been a dependable top-two performer every time. Arguably unlucky not to be riding a four-race win streak into this, as Original got away with a slow pace in the shorter Manila S. here on July 4. Seemingly the only drawback is the 4-1-3-0 record over the Belmont turf courses, two of those losses being at even-money or less.

10. NEVER SURPRISED (5-1) – One of the bigger division talents on this circuit last year, he was sidelined for much of this term following an upset loss at Gulfstream in late January. However, proved quite sharp in his comeback in the Saranac, and with a little less rust might have fended off Public Sector. Three bullet drills this month suggest he can be more formidable second off the bench. Dangerous.

11. SOLDIER RISING (3-1) – Hard to fault this French import for either run stateside. Lacked much in the way of serious stakes experience in the Saratoga Derby, yet closed stoutly to miss by only a length to a fellow European at a big price. Last time he ran into Yibir, a serious staying talent in the English three-year-old ranks and bound for the Breeders’ Cup. If nine panels not a touch short for him, he looks in prime position to shake off his recent case of seconditis.