2022 Hill Prince Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content
By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)
1. CELESTIAL CITY (7-2) – Dual graded-placed colt the first of two Janney and Shug runners that book-end the field; class relief from the likes of Annapolis much needed last month and he got the win, albeit narrowly in an N1X allowance over this course; tactical foot much improved since adding blinkers for the Saranac (G3), and in a race lacking much in the way of pace, the ability to stay close could prove crucial; things to like.
2. GRAND SONATA (5-1) – One of the more accomplished runners in the field with a pair of narrow stakes wins at Gulfstream last winter and several credible performances since, including a one-length fourth in the Belmont Derby (G1); although Saratoga Derby (G1) was a downer and his stamina was stretched in the 10 1/2-furlong Dueling Grounds Derby (G3), these conditions should suit better; barn has been on fire in graded stakes this month, including grass triumphs in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) and the local Pilgrim (G2).
3. CONSTITUTIONALLAWYER (15-1) – A longshot in three prior turf attempts, all against N1X allowance company, and unplaced in the latter two of those; like several others here, the hike in class appears a significant hurdle, and barn has lost all of its last 22 attempts in graded stakes.
4. NANTASKET BEACH (30-1) – Has obviously thrived since moving to the turf a couple months ago, but is taking a significant jump in class off a dominating maiden win at Delaware Park that occurred on ground softer than he’s expected to get in this spot; would be a surprise.
5. ST ANTHONY (15-1) – Most significant turf success to date have come in relatively minor stakes on the Northern California circuit; was found wanting as a big longshot in the Del Mar Derby (G2) two back, and it doesn’t appear as if it will be much easier against a similarly tough field.
6. BE BETTER (6-1) – Showed little in the Curlin S. after a pair of overnight wins against easier at Monmouth; hard to fault connections for trying the grass as Uncle Mo is a 14% turf debut sire, while dam is a half to La Jolla (G2) winner Old Time Hockey; whether his strong Brisnet Late Pace ratings will transfer to the new surface remains to be seen, but it’s typically a good asset to have in races like these.
7. MACKINNON (9-2) – One of the country’s best juvenile turf performers last season, he ran below expectations when returned to the grass during the Del Mar meet this summer; has since been transferred to the sport’s leading turf outfit, which could provide a significant boost to his fortunes; tactical foot should help in a race without a significant pace presence, and Brown/Prat combo have shown a flat-bet profit together over the past 60 days, per Brisnet stats.
8. UNANIMOUS CONSENT (6-1) – Failed to menace in the latter stages of the Virginia Derby (G3) while wide despite getting a much better set-up than in the paceless Pennine Ridge (G2); nonetheless, barn has won three of the last seven editions of this race and the colt owns a course win in the Woodhaven S. back in April; figures in the mix.
9. WICKED FAST (15-1) – Few will be inspired following his loss in an N3L claimer two back and his trailing effort in the longer Jockey Club Derby (G3) last time; has since moved into the barn of Mike Maker, who has a reputation for reforming claimers into graded stakes winners, but even this figures to be a tough project and the barn has been rather cold this meet.
10. LIMITED LIABILITY (4-1) – Has so far proven a cut below against graded stakes company, though in some instances, such as the Pennine Ridge and Belmont Derby, being on the lead was the preferred style; there doesn’t appear to be a lot of pace signed on for this race, which figures to hinder a closer like him, whose early foot never really sharpened despite the addition of blinkers a year ago.