Derby Day!

Finally its Derby Day! For some reason it seems like this spring Derby prep schedule took forever to get through, but we re finally here.  All year long we have been waiting for a 3yr old to leave his mark, run a huge race, or do something that tells us he is the clear number 1.  It hasn’t happened (in my opinion) yet but lets hope that the derby can clear this division up for us.  That being said, it leaves this Derby as one of the most wide open in recent history, which makes for an exciting betting race.  Truth is, the entire day has great betting opportunities so lets dive in and look at the card.

Race 1  3-5-1

Race 2   3-1-8

Race 3   1-3-10

Race 4  11-10-1

Race 5   10-12-2

Race 6  9-1-5   In the Distaff Mile Tepin will be a huge favorite and a deserving one at that.  If you want to try to beat her, Rainha Da Bateria first time for Chad Brown might be the choice to pull the upset.  Might get some pace to run into, Bureau de Change also looks interesting at 30-1

Race 7  3-1-5 The Churchill Downs Stakes.  I’m leaning towards Calculator here to turn the tables on Salutos Amigos, who doesn’t run as well away from Aqueduct.  I think this 7f to a mile distance is his best trip, should get some pace to run into but if not can be a little closer then my second choice Kobe’s Back who needs a meltdown upfront to get to the wire first.  Limousine Liberal should hang on late after setting the pace.

Race 8  10-9-8 The Humana Distaff looks like it sets up perfectly for Wavell Avenue.  Probably needed the race in the Madison and still didn’t run bad.  Gets Rosario back on her whos had great success with her.  Should be coming late. Birdatthewire goes back to Romans who did great work with her and should also be coming late.

Race 9   10-3-4 The American Turf Going with a longshot here at 15-1, American Patriot has a devastating turn of foot, might not get a hot pace to run at, but has shown he can close into a slower one, getting red hot Geroux to ride is also a bonus.  Converge had a bad trip last out when getting beat by Shakhimat at Keeneland, with a clean trip he will be tough in the stretch

Bonus, all stakes pick 4   3-4-8-10/9-11-13/3-12/15-16-17

Race 10  13-11-9 The Pat Day Mile Lots of interesting plays in this race.  Looks like there will be some speed here so I’m going to play a few horses that have shown they can come from behind.  I land on Star Hill who had an eye catching maiden score at Gulf, and ran a good race against the grain in the Bluegrass.  American Freedom coulnt have looked any better breaking his maiden at Santa Anita on Derby day and should be tough as well.  Fellowship always runs his race and should get up for minor awards.

Race 11 3-12-11  The Woodford Reserve  Bolo has always been a better grass horse then dirt horse.  After they moved him back to the green he has rarely run a bad race.  His race 2 back was a beautiful race and was to far back in his last.  Should get a nice stalking trip and Mike Smith knows him well.  Big Blue Kitten is dangerous as always, because he just doesn’t run a bad race.  Only flaw is the layoff.

Race 12 16-15-17-19-5 The Kentucky Derby  The big daddy is finally here.  As of early wagering I am shocked that my top choice Shagaf is 74-1, but I am not swaying.  Ive liked him all year and his last 2 works over this track have been great.  Hes been galloping beautifully over the track all week.  I don’t think h liked the Mud in the Wood and had some trouble.  Love the move to Rosario here.  Should sit close and make a move on the turn.  Outwork, who won the Wood should get a nice stalking trip as well right behind Danzing Candy, just don’t know if hes good enough to hold them all off.  Mor Spirit has never been worse then second in his career so you know he will run his race.  Seems like a plodder to me without a huge turn of foot, should be around at the end.  Of all the closers, I’m leaning towards Brodys Cause to be running late.

Good Luck everyone!

 

Derby Day!

Kentucky Oaks Day Picks

lewis-bay-the-gazellejpg-1f6cff1bf9194ba3Finally its Oaks day and we have two days of amazing stakes and undercard races.  Its a long day of racing today so for non stakes races we wont be giving full summaries, just picks.  Good Luck today in all your bets!

Churchill Race 1  3-7-2

Race 2   9-2-1 CONQUEST SERENADE can it right off the pace from the outside and stalk, and her only loss was to one of the Oaks favorites Go Maggie Go.

Race 3   1-4-6

Race 4   5-7-4

Race 5   8-2-3 COMMEND just lost by a head to one of my picks in the grade 2 tomorrow American Patriot, a repeat of that race today makes him super tough.

Race 6   2-5-1 The Grade 1 La Troien has a short field but very long on competitive horses. I don’t see it being a very wide open race, I think Sheer Drama looms boldly over this group.  Curalina would be tough if she has a prep before this race.  Penwith could be dangerous if she gets a lone lead, but I think Sheer Drama will be sitting right off of her, and has a much better kick in the lane.

Race 7  8-5-7 Carina Mia looks like a solid favorite but I cant take her 8/5 in this race.  On the outside, NICKNAME looks tough.  Can sit right off the speed from the outside, is better at this one turn distance and with a few other speed horses to put pressure on the favorite, she could be the one to catch her late.

Race 8   2-1-12  If he didn’t draw the 1 hole, I would have chosen Power Alert on top, I just think the inside forces his hand to go early in a race full of speed. His two worst races have been when he drew the 1.  Also inside is Summation time, but with his style to sit off the pace, he should have a more favorable trip and come running late for Clement.

Race 9   4-7-5 I have been a fan of Eagle for a long time, I think hes been at the mercy of slower paces in small field all winter.  He finally gets some pace to run at, and this long stretch will only help his closing kick.  Also Top Billing has a devastating closing kick and should be rolling late. Noble Bird loves this track and is getting good again.

Race 10  1-3-10 Harmonize has a great turn of foot and where it looks like favorite catch a glimpse might get some pace pressure, Harmonize could be rolling late.  Will save ground and just needs to find a way out turning for home, to be dangerous.  Nodiac is a longshot closer who should also be coming late in the race. Numbers stack up well against these.

Race 11  3-13-8 The Kentucky Oaks lost its superstar when Songbird got sick and couldn’t make the field.  I am leaning towards Lewis Bay in this spot, can be placed wherever Irad Ortiz wants to put her and still come home strong.  Can envision a nice ground saving trip, midpack and then swinging out at the top of the stretch. Land over Sea kept banging her head against Songbird then finally got out from under her shadow and romped in the Fair Grounds Oaks. As a long shot I like Royal Obsession who finished just behind Lewis Bay at Aqueduct.

Good Luck and Check back tomorrow morning for our Derby Day picks!

 

 

Kentucky Oaks Day Picks

Weekend Recap

f5ea4aba55f9476f8f8a4b30062f462e-80326c5d83cd4001ab0ecf89dba39c8f-2Unbelievable weekend of racing just passed with a few horses stamping their tickets to the Derby while other contenders failed to impress. While the derby preps get all the attention, some of the undercard stakes really stole the show.  Of course weather had to play a factor in 2 of the derby preps which might have made for more questions then answers. Lets dive in….

At Aqueduct Saturday we saw a very slow running of the Wood Memorial won by the immensely talented in only his 4th career start over 80-1 maiden Trojan Nation.  Final time was the slowest of any Wood in history and no one came home particularly fast.  Some may not have cared for the muddy track (shagaf?) or maybe it was just a weak group to begin with.  Everyone klnows ive been on Shagaf’s band wagon for a long time and I am still driving that wagon.  I don’t think he liked the mud and I really didn’t care for his trip to much.  Fell to far back, made an eye catching move to get into contention on the turn, but ran up on heels instead of goiong around the tiring speed, and could never really re-rally. I still love his chances going to the derby, as I do with Outwork as well, who has worlds of talent. If I am right about Shagaf I will be rewarded handsomely as his odds are surely to rise.

In the undercard races, Salutos Amigos finally got his Grade 1 win in the Carter, which he rallied widest of all to wear down a stubborn Calculator and Dad’s Caps. A great win for the old veteran and he might be rounding back into form. Lewis Bay won the Gazelle for 3yr old fillies but not gets rewarded with a match up against the dominant Songbird in the Kentucky Oaks.

In Kentucky, The Blue Grass had a big field, but not much quality in my opinion, and to no surprise, besides favorite Zulu running out, it was very form full with Brodys Cause making a wide run and exploding down the lane to win his second Grade 1 on this Lexington track. My Man Sam and Cherry wine also rallied from well back to get the minor awards, all but assuring themselves into the derby.  It didn’t receive a high beyer speed number, but Brody’s Cause couldn’t have looked any better running off like that.

In the Madison stakes, we saw 3 horses who last started in the Breeders Cup last fall and all 3 ran to their class.  Sheer Drama, who was running at a not ideal distance was gritty down the stretch under Joe Bravo and wore down Stopcharginmaria late.  It was a great race from start to finish.  I really thought Clothes Fall Off would run  better but really showed no energy at any point in the race. The Ashland was a 3 horse race on paper. but someone forgot to tell Weep No More who ran by the heavy favorites late in the stretch at 30-1. It looked like favorite Cathryn Sophia didn’t want to go that long, while Rachel’s Valentina ran unbelievable off the layoff to just miss, she might be a play back in the Oaks, if there was no Songbird running there.

Out west,  Exaggerator blew his rivals off their feet in the Santa Anita Derby with a last to first sweeping move on the far turn.  Mor spirit and Danzing Candy had no answers at the top of the stretch with Mor Spirit finishing second by default, with Danzing Candy fading badly down the lane after possibly running off with Mike Smith through very quick fractions on the sloppy track.  I don’t know what to make out of this horse, after last race I thought he didn’t want to go this far and he proved me wrong, but was it the slop that moved him up so much? Mor Spirit didn’t handle it at all and might be live on Derby Day. In the co-feature Songbird did her usual thing and toyed with a bunch of overmatched fillies in the Santa Anita oaks, no doubt she will be a heavy heavy favorite in the Kentucky Oaks come May, she’s just unreal!

Weekend Recap

Rebel thoughts…

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Really liked Cupids race in the Rebel yesterday.  He had a bad start, rushed to the lead and that would usually spell doom for most horses.  After getting the lead, he was able to slow down his second quarter and when Whitmore came running late in the stretch, Cupid dug down and would not let him by.  He showed a lot of heart to finish like he did after a not so ideal beginning.  As for Whitmore, I loved his race and would be who I would chose going forward from the race.  Off the pace, had to chase home a horse who was able to dictate his own pace and didn’t get much pace pressure.  Went a little wide on the turns (because of post, and running style) and was finishing well.  Might have hung a little but definetly ran a lot further then Cupid did.  He might be the play in the Arkansas Derby if there is a little more pace pressure on Cupid.

Rebel thoughts…

Weekend Stakes Thoughts….

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What a great day of racing across the country with Big Cap day at Santa Anita as well at Tamp Bay Derby day at Tampa.  Two minor stakes at Gulfstream but lets start at Tampa for their great Derby card.

Tampa Race 3 is the Challenger stakes. I’m looking at the #1 OUTLASH in this spot.  Two good races at Gulf that got good numbers, has speed but doesn’t need the lead and can get good position breaking from the rail. Think he has more potential and this 1 1/16 trip should suit him perfect.     1-4-7

Tampa race 8 is the Florida Oaks for 3yr old fillies on the turf. I’m going to the try to eat the favorite Ave’s Kitten who hasn’t raced since last October. I’m going to pick SPINAMISS for Todd Pletcher and Castellano.  Loved her allowance win over this course two back and then just missed to Pricedtoperfection who would be favored here if she ran.  Has the edge over the other favorites with a recent race and should be tough here.   7-10-2-4

Tampa Race 10 The Hillsborough stakes looks like Tepin’s race to lose.  She should be very short odds and will be super tough in here.  I am picking against because there is some other speed in here, and she might not be fully cranked up for this with her major goal being the Makers Mark Mile in a few weeks at Keeneland. Also I don’t think she is as good going 1 1/8.  That leads me to BALL DANCER on the outside.  Showed great potential late in ’14 and early ’15 winning the Jenny Wiley. Likes this distance and Chad usually has them ready to run fresh.  The odds will be right for her today. 10-6-3

Tampa Race 11 In the Tampa Bay Derby I really like DESTIN to improve off of his win in the Sam Davis last out.  He likes the track, seems to have figured it all out, and will have a nice pace to run into. I also like RAFTING and ECONOMIC MODEL to complete the exacta and trifecta.  Economic Model could be interesting finally stretching out after two sprint starts. I think Brody’s Cause will need a race and wont be fully cranked for this.

SANTA ANITA

S.A. Race 6 In the Kilroe Mile I really like BAL A BALI to return to his former self.  He has been training lights out after a brief freshening for Mandella and loves this distance.  Overnight rain softened the turf course and he has shown an affinity for it back in Brazil. Will be tough.  BOLO also looks like a tough customer in this spot coming off that great win first time back, worried about a bounce. 3-4-6

S.A. Race 7 The San Felipe might be the deepest Derby prep of the year so far. I’m leaning heavily on EXAGERATOR.  When he hasn’t faced Brody’s Cause or Nyquist he hasn’t lost! I think the 7F prep set him up perfectly for this race and with plenty of speed it will set up his closing kick. 7-2-1

S.A. Race 9 In the San Carlos I’m picking Calculator to go back to back.  Couldn’t have been more impressive in his comeback race and doesn’t have to be as far back as he was there when he missed the break. Will get a good stalking trip inside and if he can get out, will be tough in the stretch. 1-3-8

S.A. Race 10 The Big Cap may have lost some luster with most top US horses going to Dubai, but we are left with an intriguing group of starters here.  I’m leaning towards DONWORTH who I’ve always been very high on.  Should be tighter second start off the layoff and with a start over the track, should have the edge on favorite EFFINEX, who may need a race, first time out since November.  In the last 20 runnings of the big cap, no horse has won making his season debut!

 

Weekend Stakes Thoughts….

Fountain of Youth day picks at Gulfstream

Happy Fountain of Youth day!Mohaymen-The-holy-bull9-credit-lauren-king.jpg

Lots of great racing today down in Hallandale Beach,  13 races, 8 stakes and some full field allowance races make this a handicappers dream.  Everyone is excited for the Fountain of Youth and to see Mohaymens next step on the way to the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby after that.  He should be a short price, but it will be hard to beat him.  Lets dive into this card and try and weed out some winners. With 13 races we are going to breeze through a couple so we aren’t here all day!

Race 1

3-6-7   DUFFLE BAG might be able to control the pace on his own, and if he’s lone speed, then he will be dangerous to catch off his last where he went wire to wire.  NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR looks dangerous, I just don’t like putting horses trying something for the first time on top.  This is his first grass try.

Race 2

3-8-1   OSORNO ran visually very impressive in both his races.  Should be able to clear today and take them wire to wire.  CAPITAL CITY should sit a perfect stalking trip and should be tough to deal with.

Race 3

5-7-10   DIRECT MESSAGE wasn’t going to catch lone leader Gettysburg in his last.  Still ran well and should sit right off the pace today for Albertrani whos at 18% at this meet.  MAJESTO will graduate one of these days, always tries hard might have been a bit to far back in last.  DIG DEEP will try to wire the field from a difficult outside post.

Race 4

5 X Y JET looks almost unbeatable in the Gulfstream Park sprint.  His last 3 races have been breathtaking and he may be second best sprinter in the country behind Runhappy.  The only knock is the connections said its a prep for Dubai, but even at 75% he should be able to dust this group.

Race 5

4-5-2  I know I’m going against the grain here picking LEWIS BAY, to upset CATHRYN SOPHIA, but I just cant take 1/5 on a horse and that’s probably what shell be.  Lewis bay has looked very good in her 3 races and while there are distance questions for Sophia, Lewis Bay has already won going longer and her breeding says she’ll love it.  Also Chad Brown can get them ready off the bench.

Race 6

2-4-8   Longshot HOLD HARMLESS is very intriguing. Very impressive maiden breaker and then given some time to rest.  Last 2 works have been really nice for Shug and should sit off and make one run at them.  LIRA Hasn’t done anything wrong in her 3 starts, will be the first to challenge the favorite when theal running begins.  CATCH A GLIMPSE, is a deserving favorite off the Breeders Cup win.  First race back, might need to shake off some rust and might also be prepping for bigger and better. Trying to beat.

Race 7

1-11-9  Maybe GAP YEAR needed her last race, she finished 7th but did only get beaten 1 1/2 lengths. I think she likes settling right off the pace instead of having the lead.  Having the rail, she can get a good position right behind the speed here, should be dangerous if she runs to that Saratoga race.  SPARKLE FACTOR made a great rally in her US debut, might need the race but Clement can have them ready to fire off the bench on the turf.  OFF LIMITS is a first time US runner for Chad Brown who is 23% with this type of runner.

Race 8

8-1-3   HEART TO HEART is super hot right now, last 2 races were so impressive.  Horse he beat came back to win the G1 in his next start, with the 3rd place finisher not far behind.  Not much other speed signed on, can probably set his own pace.  TOWER OS TEXAS hasn’t run since September, but was a very tough customer all summer long at Woodbine.  LONG ON VALUE, is 1-1 on this course, runs well fresh and shows some nice works for this.  Shouldn’t be to far off a slow pace.

.20$ Rainbow 6 ticket  8/5-8/7-9-10-14/5-6-8-9-11/2-6/1-4-10

Race 9

5-8-1   I really like HOPE CROSS in this spot.  Just needs to get a little racing luck and she can finish one of these races off.  Hopefully Bravo can settle her off the pace and find the right seem turning for home.  You don’t want to stop a horse like this’ momentum when she’s making her run.  Same can be said for PARTISIAN POLITICS, these closers usually make their own trouble by being so far back, but if she gets a clean trip she has an explosive turn of foot.  CELESTINE will be a pace benefactor from her rail spot, should have first run on the others.

Race 10

7-14-9   THATCHER STREET has been ultra consistent and just lost to Heart to Heart in his last, who has won 2 in a row.  Should be able to sit right off the pace, and if he’s ready off the lay off will be very tough. TAPITATION is interesting from way outside, great race last out, tough at 10-1. As a longshot, I love THREE ALARM FIRE.  Have always liked this horse, disappointed lately but tries turf, has big turn of foot, needed the last race, should be sharper now, and that last turf work was very good.

Late Pick 4 play   5-7-9-14/5-8-9-11/2/1-4-10   24$

Race 11

11-6-5-8  CONVERGE hasn’t been seen since Oct but he made a 7wide run and just missed in a minor stakes at Belmont.  Must have impressed Castellano and he stays here and leaves last out winner.  URBAN BOURBON, has run some quality races.  Winning 2 back and just missing in a G3 last out.  Small vacation to freshen up and should sit a great trip just off the pace.  Maiden KISMET’S HEELS had trouble in both starts, if he gets a clean trip he can win this.  Longshot SCHOLAR ATHLETE ran wide and closed into a slow pace last out, promising future on turf.

Race 12

2-6-4   I know its going to be hard to beat MOHAYMEN but ZULU might be the one who can do it.  I can picture Awesome Speed and Awesome Banner going out to the lead and Zulu sitting right off the pace and getting jump on MOHAYMEN.  He hasn’t raced on a dry surface yet, but trains great over it.  If he can rate off the speed and get the jump on the big boy, he might be able to shock today.  What can you say about MOHAYMEN? undefeated, gorgeous looks, runs fast.  Deserving favorite.  Out of the two speed horses, I see AWESOME SPEED hanging around longer.

Race 13

4-1-10   BILLYS KITTEN, took monmey first out but didn’t fire.  Chad gave him 7 weeks to get ready for this one and adds blinkers.  Dangerous.  AMERICAN PATRIOT looked awfully good in his only race, rallying to just lose by 3/4 of a length. If CITE can not lose to much ground from the outside post, he will be tough to deal with coming from mid pack.

If you’re playing along with us, good luck today! Spread the word about us!

Fountain of Youth day picks at Gulfstream