Suburban Recap – Super Screener
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Suburban Recap

2015 Suburban Handicap (G2) post race recap

It’s too bad the Suburban Handicap has lost some of it’s luster the previous decade as it used to be one of the marquee races of the year for older horses.  With its $500,000 purse and classic 1 1/4 miles distance, it’s not unrealistic to envision the current G2 fixture returning to elite status again.  With recent winners like Flat Out, Mucho Macho Man, Invasor, Mineshaftand Albert the Great, the Suburban is on it’s way back to a G1 rating.

The 2015 edition was like the recent Gold Cup at Santa Anita in that it featured a wicked pace, multiple moves by horses and a wild photo finish.  Coach Inge used his in advantageous post and broke sharp and went right for the lead.  Longshot Street Babe joined him and those two dueled down the backside and set blazing fractions for a 1 1/4 miles race.  While Coach Ingewas clicking off splits of 22.80, 46.13 and 1:10.13, Tonalist and Effinex looked to be sitting pretty, just relaxing at the back of the pack.

Then a couple of interesting things happened in the middle third of the race.  First, despite setting crazy fractions, Coach Inge was loaded with horse and kicked strongly for home. Second, seasoned Belmont Park veteran and hall of famer John Velazquez made a costly premature move with Tonalist.  As anybody who watches Belmont can tell you, moving too soon on the Belmont backside will cook any horse, no matter how talented they are.  Maybe Velazquez knew how strong Coach Inge was given his relationship with Todd Pletcher, but for whatever the reason, Velazquez moved Tonalist into contention early and attacked Coach Inge before they even straightened out in the stretch.  Meanwhile, Effinex followed Tonalistto get in range but Junior Alvarado waited to engage until they left the turn, saving a bit ofEffinex’s energy.

Coach Inge battled both Tonalist and Effinex down the lane and only gave way very late.Tonalist and Effinex were inseparable to the wire but Effinex won the head bob.  

Looking forward, this may have been Effinex’s day.  He’s a very good horse but we still believeTonalist is a notch above.  It wasn’t Tonalist’s best effort and he didn’t get a great ride but he still shows up every time in big races.

The most interesting horse exiting the race is Coach Inge, who has PPs that look similar toMoreno (and even top handicap horse from the past Albert the Great).  It took him a while to graduate from the maiden ranks and he gradually worked his way up allowance conditions before trying stakes.  Missing out on the rigors of the Triple Crown trail can be the best thing that happens to a horse.  Ever since he’s been placed in stakes company he’s run huge, winning the Brooklyn on Belmont Stakes day and running an eye catching 3rd here.  He certainly has the look of a dangerous horse going forward.

WINNER: Effinex

TRACK BIAS: none

TOUGH TRIP: Coach Inge ran his eyeballs out after setting a brutal pace, Tonalist had a “curious” ride

IMPRESSIVE EFFORT: Effinex had everything fall into place but he got the job done and beat a top horse in Tonalist who always carries elite form, Coach Inge is one to watch in the handicap division, a big win is in his future

SUPER SCREENER PRE-RACE QUALITY RATING: A-

SUPER SCREENER POST-RACE QUALITY RATING: A