Log In

Neptune's Storm the Pick in Solid San Francisco Mile

by Jerry Shottenkirk

June 14, 2020

The Grade 3 San Francisco Mile (8th race, 6:45 p.m. ET, Sunday) is the feature of Golden Gate Fields’ final day of the season, and the turf headliner should catch the eye of anyone looking for the best races around the country on this particular day.

Restrainedvengence, winner of Golden Gate’s All American Stakes last out, is a slight 5-2 favorite over Neptune’s Storm (3-1), but several others have run well enough to be considered.

Here’s a capsule look at the players, and a $100 bankroll play for the race:

Camino Del Paraiso: Last won when he scored over the Golden Gate Tapeta, but had two good efforts as he ran second in the G3 Thunder Ride and G3 San Luis Rey. Usually runs well on the turf, but wins only five percent of the time on the green (20-1-8-1). Had chances to turn some of those seconds into wins, but did not. Still, he has talent and can loom as a threat to get into the minor awards.

Arch Prince: Won three of his last four, but that and most other damage he’s done as occurred on dirt and All-Weather. His form is good but a lack of noticeable turf success (1 of 16) will make it tough on him. Seems the best would be a piece of the super, possibly the tri if he brings his best. A tough ask on turf.

Majestic Eagle: Doesn’t duck anyone, as he’s been in the Grade 2 and Grade 3 grass stakes, and the best on his form this year was a third in the Grade 2 San Gabriel. Seems to do his best fairly close to the early lead. Strong company has prepared him for this, and an appearance in the exotics would not be a surprise.

Murad Kahn: Textbook stalker when he’s sprinting and closer when he’s going two turns, like in this one. Has a good 7 of 21 record on turf and was a closing second last time he was this distance. While graded stakes placed in the G3 San Simeon two races back, much of his best races have been against upper claiming company.

Simply Breathless: Was in some of the best turf races for fillies and mares in southern California. Gave way in the G1 Gamely last out, but this spot isn’t as strong as that, even with restricted company. Won the Golden Poppy Stakes over this course last year and that marked her first attempt in this country. Classy and should be taken seriously.

Kiwi’s Dream: His best chance would be if this came off the turf. His last grass win came two years ago at Santa Rosa. He’s in good form with wins in three of his last five and has loved the Tapeta. He changes courses and his speed should not be overlooked. Lost the All American Stakes by a head over Tapeta. He’ll be in the good hands of Juan Hernandez, who has rolled up a 30 of 99 (30 percent) season and was aboard this one’s last two tries.

Neptune’s Storm: There’s a huge reason to throw out Neptune’s Storm last one. Everything else on his form is top shelf. Forgive him for his seventh-place finish in the G1 Shoemaker, when he shared a pace of :22, :44 3-5 and 1:08 2-5 in a mile race.
His career took off when he won 4 of 11 races and nearly $600,000 and his last win was in Belmont’s G2 Hill Prince. He has an abundance of talent, can stalk or be on the front end, and looms as the one to beat.

Restrainedvengence: Goes for his third straight, but neither of those wins came on turf. He gutted out a nice win in the Curribot Handicap at Sunland and followed with a hard-fought win over Kiwi’s Dream and Camino Del Paraiso in the All American. He won the Rolling Green over this course land followed with a solid second in the G2 City of Hope at Santa Anita. He can be right there throughout and his best will make him a tough customer.

Suggested plays: $40 win on Neptune’s Storm ($40); $20 exacta box Neptune’s Storm and Restrainedvengence ($40); $10 exactas Neptune’s Storm over Majestic Eagle and Simply Breathless ($20). (Total: $100).