2021 Seek Again Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content
By J. Keeler Johnson (TwinSpires.com)
1. Epic Dreamer (12-1) – Graded stakes-placed sprinter/miler has been giving turf a try since transferring to the care of trainer Mark Casse, most recently winning a one-mile handicap race at Tampa Bay Downs by two lengths. The son of Orb finished fast (dashing the final quarter in :22 1/5) and picks up three-time champion jockey Irad Ortiz, so the door is open for an encouraging effort at enticing odds.
2. Tiberius Mercurius (30-1) – Based in California throughout 2020, Tiberius Mercurius didn’t have the best luck when transitioning to Aqueduct for the one-mile Danger’s Hour S., coming home a distant fifth behind fellow Seek Again rivals Delaware and Decorated Invader. Tiberius Mercurius will need a meaningful step forward to turn the tables on Saturday.
3. Tell Your Daddy (10-1) – Well-bred son of Scat Daddy wasn’t badly beaten in the seven-furlong Elusive Quality S. at Belmont last month, finishing fourth by just half a length. But the five-year-old gelding hasn’t cracked the trifecta in five stakes starts and comes in a little light from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective.
4. Danny California (8-1) – Front-running winner of the 1 1/2-mile Miner’s Mark S. at Belmont last September, Danny California will only compete if the Seek Again is transferred from turf to dirt. With dry weather in the forecast, Danny California is expected to scratch.
5. Get Smokin (5-1) – Weakened after dueling for the lead through hot fractions in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland, but previously battled to victory over a quality field in the Tampa Bay (G3). Get Smokin boasts a ton of tactical speed and sprung a gate-to-wire upset over Decorated Invader in the one-mile Hill Prince (G2) at Belmont last fall, so returning to this course and configuration is a positive. They’ll have to catch him to beat him.
6. Delaware (4-1) – The first of two Chad Brown trainees never threatened when eighth behind Get Smokin in the Tampa Bay, but bounced back to win the Danger’s Hour S. with a huge rally from off the pace. The son of European superstar Frankel rocketed the final quarter in :22 3/5 and will be a formidable threat if he repeats the feat on Saturday.
7. Decorated Invader (5-2) – Grade 1-winning juvenile suffered a few high-profile defeats during the second half of 2020, including a narrow loss to Get Smokin in the Hill Prince (G2). Decorated Invader was beaten again in the Danger’s Hour S. to kick off 2021, but we’ll forgive his third-place finish since Decorated Invader was buried in traffic around the far turn and early in the homestretch. He never had a fair chance to advance and can improve with a clean run in the Seek Again.
8. Olympic Runner (10-1) – Narrowly lost the Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park after enduring a wide trip, but failed to seriously challenge in two subsequent starts, including a fifth-place effort in the Elusive Quality. A slow pace may have compromised Olympic Runner in the latter event, considering he earned a strong 110 Brisnet Late Pace rating while charging to finish two lengths away from victory. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez regains the mount, so one could do worse than support Olympic Runner as a live longshot.
9. Yankee Division (9-5) – Capable allowance competitor is entered for the main track only and will scratch if the Seek Again remains on turf as expected.
10. Flavius (2-1) – The second Chad Brown trainee hasn’t been seen since finishing fourth by a length in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. Winner of the Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs last summer, Flavius boasts a solid stretch kick on his best day and looms among the most accomplished runners in the Seek Again field. The challenge will be avoiding a wide trip from the outside post; losing ground could be problematic since Flavius doesn’t boast much of an edge in the Brisnet Speed rating department.