The H Allen Jerkens, Two Miles on the Turf

We don’t run many two-mile races here in the US. Turf, dirt, synthetic, it doesn’t really matter it is a distance we just don’t race at much. We don’t really breed horses to go that far anymore, nor to be durable enough to handle it. Frankly, that distance is a challenge under just about any conditions.

On Saturday at Gulfstream Park, we will get to see one of the few two-mile races here in the US. The H Allen Jerkens is set to be run at two miles on the turf. The race drew a field of ten which nowadays and all things considered isn’t bad.

There are two angles in the race I like to wager on. We’ll look at the field and see how it shakes out and which way I’ll go.

Value Engineering is one of the more experienced and classier runners in here. The seven-year-old gelding, soon to be eight is a proven commodity in turf marathons at the graded stakes level and he won this race last year albeit off the turf and at a mile and 5/8ths. He is second off a layoff and his last three have been subpar. He can win, will likely be one of the favorites, but I see him as a vulnerable shorter price in here.

Twowaycrossing looks overmatched to me. Thing can happen in these rare two-mile affairs but for me this three-year-old would be a surprise.

Swore is one of the two angle horses I like and was and is a major consideration for me. I wind up leaning in another direction but Swore has a lot of upside where others don’t. He is lightly raced and steadily improving and lands in a spot where that seems to be a good fit. He appears to trip out nicely here and I must call him a threat to upset this and win. Tyler Gaffalione helps the cause.

F Five is where I will land. What better way to win a rarely run two-mile race then on the lead on the grass under Luis Saez. Luis likely puts this gelding on the front end, and he just may get one of those walk the dog trips. The price should be fair and square, and his rivals might not have all that strong a kick the last eighth or so. Speed on the lead in a long grass race, that’s the other angle I like and that is where I’ll go here.

Six Minus looks like a rare, overmatched runner from Pletcher. Maybe Todd thinks this distance will suit and or help him. I’m not sold.

I don’t think Knox is a win candidate at all, but I do see the possibility of Jaramillo going after Luis early which would foil my plan or at least put a damper in it. Hopefully he won’t, can’t, or just does not like the grass.

Catch That Party looks like he will be running late but also looks a cut below a few in here.

McLovin is the sole two-mile winner in here. He has some decent races on his resume, and I would not be surprised to see him run well, maybe well enough to get a piece.

Serifos comes from a good barn and has Johnny V up, but he would be a surprise to me. He does not look good or fast enough.

Shawdysshawdyshawdy is second time Maker which does catch the eye and can mean improvement, but he is off form, dealing with layoffs, and I’ll pass on him.

Speed for me with F Five. I’ll look for him to go wire to wire. Value Engineering, Swore, and McLovin will round out my triples and superfectas.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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