Dimension Tries to Repeat in Play the King

Dimension Tries to Repeat in Play the King
Photo: Michael Burns
Dimension won the 2013 Play the King Stakes.

The $200,000 Play the King Stakes (gr. IIT) at Woodbine Aug. 10 came up particularly salty, with a number of top-class turf sprinters entered in the field of 10.

Although Riverside Bloodstock’s 6-year-old gelding Dimension, trained by Conor Murphy, is coming off a ninth-place finish in the Connaught Cup (gr. IIT) after bobbling at the start, the son of Medicean was impressive winning the Play the King last year. He wired his 12-horse field from the outside after a slow break to score by 2 1/4 lengths, missing the course record by three-fifths of a second.

 

He then battled on the lead in the Woodbine Mile (gr. IT) only to tire and finish fifth behind Wise Dan. Although he followed that up with another fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT), he was beaten only three lengths at odds of 24-1.

 

Dimension’s main threat could be the Ian Black-trained Excaper, the horse he defeated in last year’s Play the King. This year, the 5-year-old son of Exchange Rate   captured the seven-furlong Connaught Cup May 31. He then was second, beaten a half-length, in the one-mile King Edward Stakes (gr. IIT), after blowing a thee-length lead in the stretch.

 

But this is such a strong field, it’s difficult to tell who will go off as the favorite. There's grade I winner Winning Prize, who scored in the Frank Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) and Arcadia Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park this year before throwing in a clunker in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) in his last start June 14. Like several of the others, the Neil Drysdale-trained son of Pure Prize will be using the Play the King as a prep for the Woodbine Mile.

 

Another top-class horse to watch is Kaigun, who gave Wise Dan a scare in the Makers46 Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland in April, losing to the two-time Horse of the Year by only three-quarters of a length. He was then fourth behind Wise Dan, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs, second behind Real Solution in the 1 1/8-mile Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and fifth in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park, beaten only  1 1/2 lengths.

 

The best races for the son of Northern Afleet   have come at a mile and farther, so there is a question with him dropping back to seven furlongs, which could be used to sharpen him up for the Woodbine Mile.

 

As if that isn’t enough to make this a tough spot, add the Tom Amoss-trained Global Power, coming off a third in the Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park; Highlander Stakes (gr. IIT) winner Something Extra, who has a ton of early speed; and Lockout, as fast-closing third in the Highlander at six furlongs at Woodbine for Mark Casse.

 

Play the King S. (gr. IIT)

Woodbine , Sunday, August 10, 2014, Race 6
  • 7f
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:33 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWeightTrainer
1Global Power (KY)Jacob Radosevich117Thomas M. Amoss
2Sharp Sensation (KY)Jesse M. Campbell119Reade Baker
3Lockout (KY)Gary Boulanger117Mark E. Casse
4Something Extra (KY)Eurico Rosa Da Silva123Gail Cox
5Dimension (GB)David Moran121Conor Murphy
6Awesome Eclipse (FL)Sheena Ryan117Ravendra B. Raghunath
7Excaper (KY)Emma-Jayne Wilson123Ian Black
8The Brothers War (KY)Alan Garcia117Richard C. Mettee
9Kaigun (ON)Patrick Husbands117Mark E. Casse
10Winning Prize (ARG)Victor Espinoza126Neil D. Drysdale

 

 

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