Holy Boss and Yockey’s Warrior Lead Duncan F. Kenner Stakes
A big day of racing at the Fair Grounds Saturday features six stakes races. It starts in race 5 with the 64th running of the Duncan F. Kenner and the two favorites are featured in the 6 furlong sprint with a $75,000 purse. Just six runners will be in the gate and the ‘Boss’ will be the most bet come post time.
Yockeys’s Warrior (9/5) has won his last two races including the Thanksgiving Handicap here when he made early work of the field. He let the front runner blast out and set all the pace as he just tracked them in 3rd and when the real running started down the lane he roasted them closing the final 1/8th in .12 seconds flat. What makes this effort more impressive, the son of Warriors Reward was making his stakes debut in that Nov. 24 race. His trainer Al Stall Jr. had high hopes for him as a 3-year-old as he broke his maiden at the Fairgrounds like a good thing, but couldn’t
repeat that effort and went on a 4 race losing streak. But as a 4-year-old his 2016 racing season was much more impressive as he won 3-of-5 races and is also training well off that win leading into his 2017 debut. His last two races have been his best efforts to date as he’s no longer a run off type as he’s matured to listen to his jock and take back and settle in a very nice breathing pattern. He’s running with his ears pricked, instead of pinning them down and exerting all his energy during the early stages of the race. This is the saltiest field he’s faced in his career and he will have to repeat his last two efforts or better to get the win this afternoon. But Yockey’s Warrior likes the Fair Grounds surface having won twice along with a show in three starts, and he’s also won 3 of 4 starts at this distance.
Holy Boss (7/5) is the deserving favorite off his resume alone. This son of Street Boss has faced the cream of the crop over the past two years. He ran off four straight wins in early 2015 including a win at Pimlico in the Chick Lang Stakes. But he’s failed to win in nine starts since with a pair of places and shows in six starts in 2016. But a big effort is expected right from the gate in his first run at the Fair Grounds. One thing to note is jockey Ricardo Santana was the last jockey to win aboard Holy Boss and trainer Steve Asmussen will instruct him to break quickly and we expect a solid run to the half mile marker before a strong stretch finish in front.
Kenny Schmitt contributed to this article. Follow him on Twitter @FBWinners