Old warrior Hover Craft still in the reckoningWednesday, September 15, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
Despite his many racing years, the Jason DaCosta-conditioned Hover Craft continues to defy his age by being competitive at the top class and should do the same here when he lines up in the $1-million Kenneth Mattis OD Memorial Trophy feature event at Caymanas Park today.
The 11-year-old bay gelding Hover Craft has raced 11 times this year holding two victories, two seconds and three thirds with earnings of $1,084,750.
Hover Craft last raced on August 28 over one mile (1,600m) at the top level and came home in fifth place behind stable companion King Arthur. However, Hover Craft was just a short head in second place behind Crimson over this distance of nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) on July 31 at the top level. Now stepping down the ladder at the Overnight Allowance level to contest this trophy race, Hover Craft is going to again give of his best, with winning being a strong possibility.
The Kenneth Mattis is the 10th and final event on the card with a post time of 5:15 pm. First race is at 12 noon.
Hover Craft's two wins have come over this distance. In high claiming on March 21, Hover Craft easily won the race by 17 ¼ lengths, beating Drone Strike and Chinamax in a time of 1:58.0. Then on May 15, Hover Craft, at the Overnight Allowance level, won by three lengths ahead of Marquesas and Big Bang in a time of 1:58.0.
However, his second place behind Crimson at the top level, the raced finished in 1:57.1 and that effort is more than enough to win here. Hover Craft carries top weight of 57.0kgs (126 lb) with Anthony Thomas in the saddle.
Roy Rogers, Legality, Money Monster and Marquesas should be competitive here and are well-equipped as well to take down this trophy.
Roy Rogers was outsprinted on August 25 when travelling five furlongs (1000m) round, finishing in seventh place behind Victory Turn, Drummer Boy and Nevada. That was not his preferred distance and that August 25 effort can be treated as a pipe opener for this trophy race. Roy Rogers will enjoy this trip and, if he is left unmolested on the lead, he has the grit and determination to hold off his late-running rivals.
The ever-consistent Legality, running over this distance on July 12, finished second by two lengths behind Eroy. The race was done in 1:56.2 and Legality was timed at 1:56.4. If Legality can reproduce that effort, then he should win this one. Legality seems to be thereabouts in his races without that final touch necessary to claim victory, however, today's run provides his best chance of changing that routine.
Money Monster went sprinting on last over five furlongs straight on September 4. The four-year-old bay gelding came from behind rivals to finish second by 3 ¼ lengths to Loose Ball in a quick 0:58.3. Money Monster is going to relish the milder pace of this trophy contest and should play a prominent role throughout the race.
Marquesas has been missing from competition from May of this year. Marquesas was beaten three lengths by Hover Craft when they met over this distance on March 21, but coming off another rest period and having been timely prepared can significantly influence the outcome.
Ones to watch:
Race 1) Diosa de Oro/Code of Honor/Royal Vibes
Race 2) Double Diva/Sudden flight/Taurus Boy
Race 3) Bay Commander/Isotope/Devine Lexie
Race 4) K D Rocket/Primal Fear/Silent Seeker
Race 5) Zi Beast/Cat's Rigger/Fortuneonehundred
Race 6) Stevie The Great/Duke of Spring/Sniper Man
Race 7) Yetagain/De Inevitable/Nuclear Emma
Race 8) Ring Charmer/Beautiful Bran/Tiz Dancer
Race 9) Morse Code/Paraiso/Nakamura
Race 10) Hover Craft/Roy Rogers/Legality