Saturday July 27, 2019 Saratoga Race Course Race: 9 (5:44 PM EST Post) Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes Mitole really needs no introduction as he has been taking the sport by storm of late. The son of Eskendereya has rattled seven straight, clear cut wins including back to back Grade: 1’s in his last two. This bay colt has recorded splits and final times that are off the charts good and consistent. Note the last seven speed figures as well as they range from 103 to 108. No way I try to beat him until he start showing some kinks in his armor…………………….The speedy Strike Power is clearly at his best game (sprinting) in this spot. After this big chestnut toyed with mid level optionals two back, he blew out of the gate, set a hot early pace and only one of the best horses in training today (Catalina Cruiser) was able to gun him down late. The slight cut back in distance should only help him here. Don’t worry about his one try over this surface being a bad one, his rider that day was on some kind of kamikaze mission as he forced this horse to run a :21.1 opening quarter mile. Between this horse, and the top pick, there might an interesting battle for early supremacy…………………………… Those of you who know me know I like Imperial Hint. This now six year old “little guy” is a running fool while winning 12 of 21 career starts. The problem is, after three straight defeats, are his best days behind him? I mean, his form *is\* showing a noticeable downward trend………………………..Honorable Mentions: Diamond Oops might quietly be sitting on a big one at what will probably be some long odds too. This son of Lookin’ at Lucky has cycled back into top form and looked good coming from behind to take down a Grade: 3 at Gulfstream last time out. With a plethora of speed to his inside, stretch runners like him are always dangerous in these kinds situations………………….If Belmont surface lover Firenze Fire couldn’t handle Mitole at Belmont Park, how will he handle him at ‘Toga? I don’t know… but he has run well, including back to back “trips” speed figures in his last two, so he deserves a “mention”…………….Mr. Crow looks overmatched in this spot but I did notice he is 2 for 4 at ‘Toga and 2 for 10 everywhere else. Race: 10 (6:18 PM EST Post) Bowling Green Stakes These marathon turf races are getting tougher and tougher to figure as the same group appears in the entry box and they take turns beating each other, with the winner (like normal) being the one who gets the best trip. I don’t know about you, but I’m treading lightly in this WIDE open contest. That said, I’m taking Yo Primo, who is another in a looooong line of runners Chad Brown brings in from other parts of the world, for several reasons. First off, you get the “fresh face” angle. Now tack on first time Lasix angle, the fact he is 5 for 9 in his home country of Chile (including four Group: 1 wins), he’s been lighting up stop watches in the mornings since his arrival, and note the final times of his last two starts/wins. 10 furlongs in 1:56.3? 12 furlongs in 2:24 flat? Those are stone cold racehorse times and if he duplicates either of those races in this spot, he’ll be long gone in the stretch………………..Arklow just missed in the Grade: 1 Man O’ War and in the Grade: 2 Belmont Derby in his last two. This stretch runner from the Brad Cox barn should be coming late once again here………………….13 time and multiple Graded Stakes winner Bigger Picture is a threat in just about any turf race he runs in. Still another who should be coming late………………….Honorable Mentions (and there are several due to the depth of this field): Zulu Alpha has won five of his last 10 races and just missed in the Grade: 1 United Nations at Monmouth last time out. This six year old gelding made a brazen, three wide move on the turn but was gunned down in deep stretch by a long-shot winner. Could be tough with a better timed move by his (new) rider……………….I love Sadler’s Joy heroic, late running moves. He habitually comes from 8, 10, 12 sometimes 14 lengths out of it early but always makes it interesting late. Although he’ll be making his first start in almost nine months it must be noted he has run big off layoffs several times in the past…………………….Channel Maker won this race last year and likes this turf course but is a little too inconsistent for my liking……………………..Did Highland Sky’s late running, wide tripped, close up third in his last signal some kind of return to form?.........................Argonne has won three straight vs. lesser. Steps up and stretches out but, with so many late runners in this field, he could be a menace late if left alone on an uncontested early lead. Race: 11 (6:51 PM EST Post) Jim Dandy Stakes Global Campaign is three for four in his career and was nothing short of brilliant in winning the Peter Pan Stakes last time out. This son of Curlin stalked a strong early pace, took over at the quarter pole, opened up on the field at that point and held sway late, beating eventual Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston in the process. Note the internal and final fractions of that race as they included a :48.2 middle half mile and a :12.1 final furlong. Having not run in two months, he should be a fresh horse and trainer Stanley Hough, who is no babe in the woods, should have him ready to fire……………………..I’m not sure if it was the 12 furlongs or the fact that Preakness winner War Of Will, who has had a tough campaign thus far in 2019, is showing signs of fatigue, to explain his disappointing effort in the Belmont Stakes last time out. Either way, although it might prove futile, I’m going to try to beat him here. One last thing, he has physically looked like a million bucks training for about the last week or 10 days……………….Tacitus is a gorgeous and well bred son of Tapit who possesses a good late run, one that he has used to win the Wood Memorial, finish third in the Derby and second in the (nightmare tripped) Belmont Stakes. This gray colt sports a record of 6-3-1-1 in his career and is a must use in any exotics betting scenario…………………………..Honorable Mentions: After winning the inaugural Oaklawn Park Invitational while getting the last furlong in about :12 seconds flat, Laughing Fox quietly made of the most impressive mid race moves I’ve seen all year in the Preakness Stakes, totally outrunning his almost 22-1 odds in the process. This $375,000 son of Union Rags was near last and some 25 lengths off the early pace that day but methodically starting “picking off” horses one by one down the backside, swung wide on the turn for home and finished full of run to check in fifth. Note, at the end of the day, he was beaten less than four lengths. Making up some 21 lengths, especially in classic race, deserves attention…………………..Although running a very, very respectable fourth, Tax found the 12 furlongs of the Belmont Stakes a little too much to handle. Colt by Arch cuts back to a more reasonable distance here and could be a menace………………………..Mihos is not as bad as his last race or two would indicate. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Race: 8 (8:30 PM EST Post) Bing Crosby Stakes Cistron blew the doors off of his competition in his return to the dirt while wiring the field in the Kona Gold two starts back. I know that this five year old, by the ridiculously fast The Factor, blew a three length lead at the top of the stretch in his last but it must be noted he set a supersonic early pace that day and that race was also at seven furlongs. Logically, the cut back to six furlongs plays right into his lap. Big work last week should have him “revved up” for this………………..Recruiting Ready has taken on some crack sprinters back on the East Coast, including the super-fast World Of Trouble and (getting beat by a half a length to) Catalina Cruiser his last time out. He will meet no such rivals here and figures bang up here, especially if he can adapt to the vastly different West Coast race tracks…………………. Jalen Journey won three straight vs. lesser before being nailed on the wire by Diamond Oops in the Grade: 3 Smile Sprint at Gulfstream last time out. It’ll be interesting to see if he can hold his form with a trainer change and a move to the West Coast………………..Honorable Mentions: Chief Cicatriz is a win machine as his 10 for 15 career record would indicate. However, this six year old son of Munnings will be swimming in much deeper waters here………………………Air Strike pulled a 12-1 upset when running down my top pick last time out. This son of Street Sense was 0 for his last 5 heading into that race and, although he might run well in this spot, I doubt he does it again. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 45-128 = 35% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** Trainer Shug McGaughey said Code of Honor who will bypass the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes, will train up to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 24. Owned by William S. Farish, Code of Honor was a recent winner of the Grade 3 Dwyer, following his second-place result in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. “I haven't decided, still on the fence,” McGaughey said. “He's made great progress here in the last few days and I'm probably leaning more towards the Travers as opposed to running in both, just to give him more time in between races.” **** Omaha Beach recorded his first work at Del Mar after being sidelined due to an entrapped epiglottis. The handsome son of War Front went three furlongs in :36 3/5 Tuesday with Alex Solis aboard "Everything's healed up and he's back in good shape," trainer Richard Mandella said. "Had a very nice first work today, :36 and a little change, and he galloped out (four furlongs) in :49. We scoped him afterwards and the throat looked good, so we couldn't be happier." Del Mar's Aug. 25 Shared Belief Stakes, run at a mile for 3-year-olds, is a possible comeback spot for Omaha Beach.
With the Kentucky Derby now just three weeks away, our highlighted race of the week will be the last prep race for the Derby in the Grade: 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We will also be looking at the Oaklawn Handicap, a Grade: 2, $750,000 nine furlong contest also for four year olds and up. Elsewhere, we will take a look at three Graded Stakes races at Keeneland Race Course. The Ben Ali Stakes for four year olds and up, the Jenny Wiley Stakes, an 8 ½ furlong test for four year olds and up fillies and mares on the turf and the Lexington Stakes for three year olds who are desperately trying for some last minute Kentucky Derby points in hopes that a win or a good showing will catapult them into this year’s “Run for the Roses”. Lastly, on Sunday we will be examining the Grade: 1, $750,000 Apple Blossom back at Oaklawn Park, another 8 ½ furlong race for four year olds and up fillies and mares. Saturday, April 13, 2019 Keeneland Race Course Race: 7 (4:24 PM EST Post) Ben Ali Stakes If you look up “racehorse rounding back into top form” in the dictionary you might see a picture of Flameaway. The one time Kentucky Derby threat ran a very good third in the Grade: 3 Mineshaft off a nearly six month break two starts back. I really like the way this $400,000 son of Scat Daddy won his last, as he took pace pressure every step of the way while wiring the field. That last race, back to back excellent works since and this being his third start off the layoff, all point to another good effort upcoming. Lastly, I don’t see him having any problems in what is projected to be an off track on Saturday.…………………….Based off his last two races, a win and a fast closing third, both at Laurel Park, Bonus Points also seems to be in peak form right now. The Todd Pletcher trainee draws a good post for his running style and should be coming late in this spot……………………… I know Solomini is quite popular but I’m not a big fan of his. In fact, I believe he is one of the most overrated horses in quite some time…maybe since Keen Ice. Yes, he’s a Grade: 1 winner and yes, he’s hit the board in 9 of 11 career starts but two facts stand out about him to me. 1) He’s won one race since that Grade: 1 win (a span of 16 months) and that was against $40,000 optional claimers and 2) the fact still remains he is 2 for 11 lifetime. This son of Curlin will likely be over bet in this spot. ………….Honorable Mentions: Third Day is a $575,000 son of the corvette looking Bernardini who did well to finish third in the aforementioned Mineshaft Handicap in his last. This handsome colt was trapped behind a slow pace yet finished just a neck behind Flameaway in that race and his one and only race in the slop was an impressive win. Bottom line here is, he could better this rating especially if the track does come up wet…………………The cleverly named Nun the Less looks better suited for the synthetics but note he is 2 for 2 on off tracks. Merits a longshot look if the rains come…………….First Mondays, a $450,000 son of Curlin who missed the break in his last, and Just Whistle, who was a good third in the Peter Pan Stakes last year, both could run well here and neither would be a huge surprise. Race: 9 (5:34 PM EST Post) Stonestreet Lexington Anothertwistafate rattled off three super impressive, large margined wins over the synthetics this year but looked just as good, if not better, in his neck loss last time out in the Sunland Park Derby on the dirt. This $360,000 son of Scat Daddy sat just off screaming early fractions (:45.3, 1:09.3, 1:34.3) before “running on” to just miss the win. Note the :24 second flat internal fraction as it’s the sign of a quality runner. If this handsome, smooth strided colt, who ripped a sensational half mile work for this (:46.4) last week runs well enough here to make it into the Derby (he’s on the threshold on points), no one better go to sleep on him as he appears to have big time talent and would pose an enormous threat………………….Based off his close up, on the board finishes in the Sham, Southwest and Louisiana Derby, Sueno clearly looks next best………………….I really liked Zenden’s Tampa Bay Derby effort at 20-1 in his last. This son of Fed Biz normally assumes a stalking position early on in his races but in the Tampa Bay Derby, this horse blew the gate and ripped off super fast fractions (:22.3, 45.4 and 1:09.3). He understandably tired late but I thought he did extremely well to finish fourth and was only be beaten by four lengths to the likes of Tacitus and Win Win Win. Looks best of the rest here………………..Honorable Mentions: Call me stubborn, but I’m STILL not giving up on the late running Roiland, who has a habit of running well at double digit odds………………Anyone have any idea what to do with Harvey Wallbanger, who wins the Holy Bull at 30-1 then comes back and completely tanks in the Florida Derby? Because I sure don’t. He’s a tough horse to play with such inconsistencies…………If you are hunting a longshot in this race, take a good look at Shang, who is a neck shy of being unbeaten in five starts vs. lesser. Although he obviously will be taking a huge step up in class, it should be noted he ran the last 2 ½ furlongs of his last race in an excellent :30.1, his speed figures are climbing, he handles the wet track very well and the #1 post at this meet is winning at 18% thus far. Race: 10 (6:12 PM EST Post) Jenny Wiley Stakes Rushing Fall is a very special filly. This gorgeous, $320,000 daughter of More Than Ready is 6 for 7 in her career, has already captured two Grade: 1 wins and, had it not been for a questionable ride when losing her one race by a neck, she could be unbeaten. There is nothing not to like about her as she can handle the distance, is adaptable to any pace scenario, handles any “give” in the turf and is 3 for 3 at Keeneland. If you are looking to beat her, which might prove futile, you can use the angle that this will be her first start in exactly 6 months but that’s not enough for me……………………I like Rymska. She is a big, all black (very rare) five year old mare who is 7 for 13 in her career. This multiple Graded Stakes winner could not have looked any better in taking down the Hillsborough at Gulfstream in her last and you get the third start off the layoff angle. Easily looks next best here…………………Bellavais has been gradually improving since October. $485,000 mare by Tapit finished very well in her last and won her previous time out, both at Gulfstream Park. It appears she too can handle a soft turf course and has been on the board in 10 of 15 career races…………….Honorable Mentions: Onthemoonagain is a French invader who has fared very well in all four U.S. starts. Chad Brown trainee could better this rating with the right pace scenario……………Got Stormy came back running off a long layoff when whipping high level optionals. Steps up but that race could set her up for a good effort here……………….The longshot horse in this race is Princess Warrior, who looks overmatched on paper but note her two races on off turf courses were both very good. Oaklawn Park Race: 9 (6:22 PM EST Post) Oaklawn Handicap After back to back big efforts at “big balloons,” Rated R Superstar has methodically worked his way back into what appears to be top form. Although his rider is ice cold right now, he does like this track and seems to be ok if it rains as expected. …my best guess in an extremely wide open horse race…………………….Giant Expectations disappointed as the 8/5 favorite in the Essex in his last. This 6 year old by Giant Frost chased Battle of Midway and McKinzie two back and wasn’t embarrassed by any stretch, so you know he has ability. It’s the consistency I question as he hasn’t won a horse race of any kind in 16 months. That said he looks next best…………….Quip was up against it when he had to chase the absolutely streaking right now Prince Lucky in his first race back off a long layoff. This good looking son of Distorted Humor did well to finish third in that race and should be tighter for this…………………Honorable Mentions: Tenfold’s claim to fame is running Justify to three quarters of a length in the 2018 Preakness Stakes. This son of Curlin was a very close up fourth in his first race since, handles the slop just fine and should improve off his 2019 debut. Figures close………………Lone Sailor figures to do his normal “drop way back early but come with big run late only to fall short late” routine. Logically, the faster the pace, the better his chances are and the pace figures to be honest in this race……………..Keep an eye on Chris and Dave here too if it rains. Although he seems overmatched, he is 4 for 6 on wet tracks…………..I got to spend several minutes up close and personal with Lookin’ at Lee last year at Saratoga before the Travers. He is a very nice looking, well made horse, but he just hasn’t run to those looks as his 3 for 21 career record would indicate. Race: 11 (7:43 PM EST Post) Arkansas Derby There are a lot of “moving parts” with the big, almost perfectly strided, Improbable, so this race should tell the tale of where we stand with him. His last race, The Rebel, didn’t answer any questions for me. In fact, it seems to have posed more. Let’s start with why he was run down in deep stretch by Long Range Toddy. Was it because he was “parking lot” wide, off a boneheaded ride by DVD, throughout the entire race and, with that being his first race in 10 weeks, maybe he understandably tired late? I don’t know, like I’ve said before, Baffert is the master at sending them out ready, regardless of the situation. Was it the City Zip breeding that is causing the dreaded distance limitation? I don’t know that yet either being he romped, not once but twice, at 8 ½ furlongs before. Whatever the answers are, I know this much….Baffert is not sitting on his hands with this gorgeous colt. I don’t blame him one bit for making a rider change (from DVD to Jose Ortiz) and he is adding blinkers in this spot as well. I absolutely LOVED his last work where, with blinkers on, he sat just off his work mate, passed him on the turn for home and was "reaching out" soooooooooo beautifully down the lane I mumbled “wow” while stopping the clock in either 1:13.3 or 1:14 flat depending on what racing publication you read. This might prove futile, but I am sticking with him until he proves otherwise. That said, this race is a “do or die” for him. He will need to step up right now, in this spot to remain a serious Derby threat………………………….Horse Racing is a lot like other sports in the sense that the best baseball/basketball/football team doesn’t always win, but more of who gets hot heading into the playoffs. In this case, it’s who is getting good at just the right time and, aside from Tacitus and perhaps Vekoma, is there another horse in the country who is getting good right now more that Omaha Beach? After losing a couple of heart breaking, maiden races earlier in his career, this very handsome, very well bred colt (by War Front out of a mare super sire from years ago Seeking the Gold) ran a hole in the wind in the slop to finally break his maiden two starts back. He won by 9 that day and stopped the clock in a blistering 1:21 flat for seven panels. His next and last start was in a division of the Rebel, where he assumed command early, fended off a few others early in the race and then dug in and fended off none other than Two Year Old Colt Champion Game Winner in a thrilling stretch run. The Rebel proved two things. 1) He can handle the route distance and 2) he has the guts of a tight rope walker. Back to back bullet works since the Rebel signal he is holding form and possibly getting better. Big Money Mike gets the leg up……………….The aforementioned Long Range Toddy is a stretch runner who is 7-4-1-1 in his career has never finished more than two lengths behind the winner in his three career defeats. That, readers, is consistency. He draws the extreme outside post which could actually help him in this spot and I love his work pattern since his Rebel upset (8-1) win……………….Honorable Mentions: Although Galilean was passed in the stretch of the Rebel by Long Range Toddy, I still like this very handsome, $600,000 son of Uncle Mo. After annihilating Cal-Breds in his two prior races, this colt, who has a very efficient and smooth stride, did very well to finish third, beaten by less than three lengths in his first try vs. open company and outside the state of California as well. Bottom line here is, he is no easy throw out……………………...Country House is another late runner who, on the surface, looks to be struggling a bit outside the friendly confines of Gulfstream Park but a closer look shows he had legitimate excuses both times. He broke slowly (again) and chased a streaking War of Will two back and, after you guessed it, breaking slowly again, he was ridiculously wide in the Louisiana Derby. That said, this son of Lookin’ at Lucky could be a menace with a clean break and what is projected to be a hot early pace………………….Gray Attempt has won 4 of 6 in his career and is 2 for 3 on this oval plus he recorded a monster work in the mud last week (5F- :58.3). The problem I’m seeing with him is a mile or a mile a sixteenth looks to be “all of it.” In other words, on paper he looks better suited to sprinting. Sunday, April 14, 2019 Oaklawn Park Race: 8 (4:42 PM EST Post) Apple Blossom This year’s renewal of the Apple Blossom features a rematch from the Azeri Stakes with two of the best older females in the land in Elate and Midnight Bisou and this race figures to be a doozy. Midnight Bisou, who I liked since early last year, got the better of it last time and I’m sticking to my guns that she has a world of talent, will continue to get better and have a tremendous year when it’s all said and done. Four year old by Midnight Lute is off to a good start (2 for 2) in winning the Houston Ladies Classic in January and the aforementioned Azeri in March. She “takes her racetrack with her” as she is 7 for 13 in her career while winning on four different ovals in all parts of the country. Lastly, I believe she still holds a fitness edge over main rival Elate as this will be her third start (off the layoff) while Elate will be making her second start in eight months…………………….Elate is clearly the main threat in this spot. Head hunters in New Guinea could see this two time Grade: 1 winner needed her last as it was her first start in eight months. Filly by Medaglia d’ Oro did very well to finish second in the Azeri when beaten by just one length as the even money favorite. When I was at Belmont Park (before heading over to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial) last week, I heard several folks on the backstretch talk about how she may not be coming back the same as last year after, by trainer Bill Mott’s admittance, “a few minor injuries”. I’ll give her a mulligan for the Azeri but like Improbable this weekend, she needs to improve off the Azeri to prove that theory wrong………………….Wonder Gadot is another who probably needed her first race of 2019 when finishing second vs. optional $50,000 claimers on March 8 as it was her first start in over four months. Another daughter of “King of the (sales) Ring” Medaglia d’ Oro, this filly actually won two thirds of the Canadian Triple Crown (beating the boys) last year and still has that very long and flowing stride, which is especially good when on her right handed lead………………..Honorable Mention: Escape Clause is an absolute win machine while registering a mind boggling 20 wins in 30 career starts. Granted, she was beating up on far lesser competition at smaller tracks for most of it but still that’s quite a feat. That said, she did win a Grade: 2 at Santa Anita in January and could not have looked any better while blowing out her rivals at Sunland Park in her last. Mare by Going Commando (how did the Jockey Club miss that name by the way?), who stands for less than $1,000, won by 7+, getting a mile in a track record 1:34 flat. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 22-72 = 31% (My Plays: -$2,314.14) 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces ****Superstar Winx makes her final career start in the Group: 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick. If her win streak continues, this will be her 33rd straight win and 25th Group: 1. The scheduled post time is 11:05 p.m. ET on Friday, April 12th. **** Lady Pauline, a half-sister to Lady Aurelia, was an eye catching, first time out winner last week at Keeneland. Going off at an enormous 1-5 betting favorite, the Stonestreet homebred blew the gate and showed a very impressive speed to win by 9 3/4 lengths, stopping the clock in :51:3 for 4 ½ furlongs. We’ll need to keep an eye on her moving forward. ****In all my years of being involved in this sport, I’m not sure I’ve seen a stronger book of mares to be bred to one first year stallion ever. Justify, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Paris, KY., for $150,000, has the following list of mares booked: (although this is not all of them) A Raving Beauty Multiple G1 winner A Z Warrior G1 winner Afleet Maggi Dam of G1 winner Dream Tree African Jade Dam of G1 winner Lord Nelson Appealing Zophie G1 winner, dam of Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit Bar of Gold Won Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Bella Jolie Dam of champion sprinter Runhappy Birdatthewire G1 winner Blossomed Dam of G1 winner Sippican Harbor Brave Anna G1 winner Bubbler Dam of champion Arrogate Caledonia Road Champion 2-year-old filly Champagne Room Champion 2-year-old filly Charming Dam of champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi, Classic Strike Dam of G1 winner Union Strike Dazzling Song Dam of G1 winner Magnum Moon Diamondsandrubies G1 winner Diva Delite Dam of G1 winner Midnight Bisou Dream Dancing G1 winner D’Wildcat Speed Dam of filly Lady Aurelia Emma’s Encore G1 winner Found won Breeders’ Cup Turf Got Lucky G1 winner Grace Hall G1 winner Grazie Mille Dam of G1 winner Mo Town Groupie Doll Two-time champion female sprinter and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Havre de Grace 2011 Horse of the Year, sold for $10 million Ithinkisawapudycat Dam of G1 winner Sweet Loretta, Khancord Kid Dam of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Bar of Gold Kosmo’s Buddy Dam of G1 winner Knicks Go Mining My Own Dam of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and G1 winner Dullahan Misty For Me G1 winner, dam of Cartier champion 2-year-old colt U S Navy Flag Moonshine Memories G1 winner Morena dam of Belmont Stakes winner Creator Noted and Quoted G1 winner Pretty ‘n’ Smart Dam of G1 winner Cupid Rare Event Dam of G1 winner Improbable Sambuca Classica Dam of champion 2-year-old male Classic Empire Silk and Scarlet Dam of G1 winner Master of Hounds Silky Serenade Dam of G1 winner Restless Rider, So Sharp of G1 winner Sharp Azteca Storm Dixie Dam of Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar Tapestry G1 winner Together Forever: G1 winner Turbulent Descent G1 winner Untouched Talent dam of G1 winner Bodemeister Vale Dori G1 winner Yellow Heat Dam of G1 winner R Heat Lightning Zipessa G1 winner
We will be solely focused on Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. as the two richest races in the country are set to be run. The co-featured races include the $9 million Pegasus World Cup for four year olds and up, and the inaugural running of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, also for four year olds and up. The entire Gulfstream card on Saturday is a blockbuster as they will run nine Stakes races all told and we will be examining six of them. They include: The Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes, which came up very competitive, the Hurricane Bertie, which will feature the 2019 debut of 2018 Female Champion Sprinter winner Shamrock Rose, the La Prevoyante Stakes, a marathon event for fillies and mares, and the Fred W Hooper, another well matched field going a mile on the dirt. Before moving forward, as most of you know, I will do a now and again “Back-Track” segment and talk about what happened last weekend. There was so much talent on display last weekend I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the five horses who were very impressive in their respective races. In no particular order, Dessman, an enormous, roughly 1,250 pound, $750,000 son of Union Rags absolutely waltzed home a 7 ½ length winner in his debut. Albeit a bit green, I loved how he was moving down the lane, his stride is impeccible and he will only get better with experience. As Justify taught us last year, it’s not too late for this gorgeous bay colt to make the Derby. Win Win Win was visually impressive coming from last, circling the field on the outside and blew the doors off his competitors in the Pasco Stakes. The son of Hat Trick won by 7 1/4 lengths. He didn’t just break the track record for seven furlongs while winning for the third time in four starts, he shattered it, getting the distance is 1:20.4 over a notoriously tiring Tampa Bay Downs surface. Americandy was also impressive in breaking his maiden first time out at the Fair Grounds on Saturday. The colt by Candy Ride missed the break and was dead last at first call. He too unleashed a powerful run around “the hook” while going a ridiculous six wide, yet powered away from his rivals in winning by two “going away” lengths. Also at the Fair Grounds, War of Will stalked the early pace, took over at the six furlong marker and cruised to an easy four length win in the Le Comte Stakes. He exudes class and I look forward to what this hybrid grass/dirt runner will do down the road. The highly touted, $500,000 Flor de La Mar was no secret as she went off at 1/5 in her racing debut and lived up to the hype while decimating her rivals in her racing debut. The titanic filly, who outworked Dessman in the mornings, has a big, beautiful, long, loping stride that covers a ton of ground effortlessly, seems to have a really big future. Lastly, crack sprinter X Y Jet got caught in protracted and wicked speed duel (:21 flat and :43.2) and understandably tired badly at the eighth pole. He’ll live to fight another day. Saturday, January 26, 2019 Gulfstream Park Race: 3 (12:30 PM EST Post) Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint Stakes This is a really good race, one where the break will be the key. That said, and even though he was run down in deep stretch by Stormy Liberal in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November, I still think World ofTrouble has a world of talent. Albeit he’s never run on a turf course labeled firm, he’s run huge in all three turf starts. The cut back in distance off his sloppy tracked, colossal margin win in his last should hit him right between the eyes here. A 23% Irad Ortiz Jr. takes the leg up from a scalding hot (12-32= 38%) Jason Servis and with no speed to his inside, he should be able to work out a good trip in this spot……………………..This race sets up very well for 2018 Champion Male Turf Horse Stormy Liberal. The now seven year old, stretch runner figures to “sit the trip” behind the plethora of speed in this spot and make his run down the lane. You can go ahead and throw out that last race on the downhill course at Santa Anita as he was too close to an insanely fast early pace (:42 half mile). The 4 for 4 record at this distance is impressive as is the bullet work (5F- :59.4) last week…a must use in any exotics betting scenarios……………………Pay Any Price is faster than a proverbial speeding bullet as he consistently rattles off sub :22 second first quarters and sub :45 second half miles. The nine year old veteran is an astounding 15 for 25 in his career including being a mind boggling 12 for 17 on this oval. A white hot Paco Lopez (5 for his last 16 through Wednesday of this week) is the perfect (speed) rider for this horse as well. He probably needed his troubled trip last as it was his first start in three months. Lastly, I did find it interesting that he has no published works since Dec. 19………………Honorable Mentions: Am I the only one who is intrigued that Recruiting Ready is making his turf debut against two of the nation’s best turf sprinters? It took me a minute but I think I see it. Note the one and only turf work he shows at Palm Meadows last week as it was tremendous; going 4F in :47.4 with dogs up. Perhaps trainer Stanley Hough, who is no babe in the woods, saw something there………………..My long-shot toss in is Oak Bluffs, who has shown next to nothing in four of his last five outings. But note he is a 16 time winner and this is clearly his favorite surface as his 10-3-5-0 record on this turf course would indicate. (My Play: $1 trifecta box using all five. Cost: $60.00) Race: 7 (2:30 PM EST Post) Hurricane Bertie Stakes Shamrock Rose was super impressive when coming “over the top” to pull off a colossal upset (26-1) in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint in November. That win was her fourth straight to end 2018 and propelled her to an Eclipse Award for Champion Female Sprinter. This good looking daughter of the strapping First Dude, who is 2 for 2 at this distance, handled what appears to be her biggest threat in this race (Blamed) with ease back in October and she has been working very well for her 2019 debut.. She is no slam dunk in this spot as this track goes against the grain of her deep closer running style, but she might pick up where she left off last year …………….....………The aforementioned Blamed sports a very impressive 8-6-2-0 career mark. Filly by Blame wired the field in the Nov 23rd Comely Stakes in her swan song race of 2018. Although this will be her first start since, she has run well off of long breaks several times before…..looks next best………………………….The regally bred Dream Pauline is three for four in her career with all three wins coming on three different surfaces, so you have to like her adaptability. This filly by Tapit out of Grade: 1 Test Stakes winner Dream Rush will be stretching out to seven panels for the first time and stepping up in class as well, but she is another who is training well and you get the third start off the layoff angle…………………Honorable Mentions: If you draw a line through Stormy Embrace’s Breeders’ Cup debacle, you’ll see this five year old mare had a very strong 2018 (7-4-1-2). She has hit the board in 7 of 9 tries at this distance and 7 of 9 on the oval. That, readers, is consistency…..could conceivably better this rating……………………I had a difficult time separating Ms Meshak and Pacific Gale for the fifth slot in my “go to” five horse, trifecta box. I’m going to go with Ms Meshak based on the fact that she is batting .500 on this track and appears to be coming into this in good form while winning back to back races vs. lesser. (My Play: .50 trifecta box using the top five. Cost: $30.00) Race: 8 (3:00 PM EST Post) La Prevoyante Stakes Si Que Es Buena is an Argentinian import who rallied strongly from twelfth position early to finish fourth, beaten by just one length, in her U.S. debut in New York. She came back and overcame a mistimed move by her rider to gamely win a minor Stakes race on this turf course last time out. Although she didn’t break any track records and her speed figures were average at best, she still looks best in this wide open affair………………….Tricky Escape had a three race win streak snapped when probably overmatched in the Grade: 1 Flower Bowl back in October. She bounced back nicely off of that effort when finishing a close second in the Grade: 3 Long Island Stakes while finishing ahead of my top pick at the same time. The Grade: 3 level looks like her comfort zone, so she should be competitive here……………………………. Santa Monica disappointed while showing zilch in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last time out. But this good looking, now six year old mare, had run bang up in all five previous U.S. starts and it would be no surprise if she bounces back and runs big here………………..Honorable Mentions: English Affair finished off 2018 strongly with a close up, third place finish at Keeneland, then overcame a slow pace to take the Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs. Threat if she picks up where she left off………………………..Although Holy Helena has never tried this distance before, she was a fast closing second behind my top pick at 1 3/16ths miles late time out. Filly by the wickedly fast Ghostzapper is 3 for 7 on the turf and has serious “back class” while winning the Queens Plate (Canadian Kentucky Derby) in 2017. (My play: .50 trifecta box, all 5. Cost $30.00) Race: 9 (3:30 PM EST Post) Fred W. Hooper Stakes Coal Front not only bounced back to his winning ways while blasting his rivals in the Grade: 3 “Mr. P” Stakes last time out, but did so by showing a new dimension. This speedy, $575,000 son of Stay Thirsty assumed a stalking position that day, took the lead on “the hook” and scampered away late to win by almost four lengths. I’m not worried he’ll be going a mile in this spot as a) he showed no signs of not being able to handle an extra furlong in the Mr. P and b) this is still a one turn race for this ridgling who is 5 for 7 in his career. It’ll be interesting to see the plan of attack here as we know he has excellent early speed and draws the rail, yet was successful using rating tactics last time out…………………Unbridled Juan won three of his last four in Maryland to close out 2018. Although this will be his first start in some 2 ½ months he does run well fresh and he likes this track as his 4-2-1-1 record over it would indicate………………………After winning 3 of 11 starts and $68,000 in 2017, Aztec Sense came back and had a “perfect” 2018 while winning all eight starts and over $400,000. His speed figures are on par or better than most of these and he mirrors Unbridled Juan in the sense he likes this track (3 for 4 over it) and he runs well fresh……..scary………………Honorable Mentions: Copper Town’s last race was too bad to be true. This good looking son of wide spectrum sire Speightstown blew through maidens and two allowance levels but completely mailed it in last time out in the Cigar Mile. He’s had 56 days off to “regroup” and it won’t surprise me at all if he outruns this rating…………………………My long-shot throw in is Fellowship, who has shown very little in his last several races while going just 1 for 10 in 2018. But he is back on his home track, where he has made over $500,000, and he is going to pop a big race one of these days. (My Play: .50 trifecta using all 5. Cost: $30.00) Race: 11 (4:30 PM EST Post) Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes Yoshida looks the one to beat here as this now five year old is a Grade: 1 winner on the dirt (Woodward Stakes) and on the turf (Churchill Turf Classic)….that’s impressive. Also impressive was his Breeders’ Cup Classic effort. This Bill Mott trainee bobbled at the break and soon found himself near the back of the pack and some 14-15 lengths out of it. He then launched a brazen, six wide run on “the hook” and, although understandably hanging like a cheap suit in deep stretch, he was only beaten by less than two lengths behind Horse of the Year candidate Accelerate. He has worked well since over the notoriously deep track at Payson Park and this distance should be no problem at all. Slight edge in wide open horse race that features three females and several Grade: 1 winners…………………….In taking Yoshida, Catapult scares me. This $350,000 son of Kitten’s Joy had a very good, albeit brief, 2018 highlighted by just missing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile last time out. He won back to back Grade: 2’s prior to that in California and finished both races in very quick final times. I’m not worried this will be his first start since the BC since a) I love his work pattern as he shows three stamina building, six furlong works topped off by solid five furlong works and b) he is still another who seems to run well fresh…..dangerous foe………………….Although Bricks and Mortar will be taking a major league class hike here and stretching out in distance, he is about 1 ½ lengths away from unbeaten in seven starts. This stretch runner by the late super sire Giant’s Causeway finished just inches behind Yoshida the two times they’ve squared off and he shows a monster work (5F- :59.2) at Palm Meadows last week……………………………….Honorable Mentions: If you draw a line through Next Share’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile debacle, you’ll see he’s won three straight including pulling off a major upset in the Grade: 1 Shadwell Turf Mile three starts back. In his current form, he could better this rating………………….A similar thing can be said for Channel Maker, who also showed little in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile but ran bang up in his three previous races, including winning a Grade: 1. ……………………..Delta Prince, who is a half brother to multiple Eclipse Champion, the late Royal Delta, returns to his preferred surface (turf) and has hit the board in 10 of 11 career tries, Aerolithe, a gray mare from Japan who sports a 13-4-5-0 record and gets the “dark horse” label in here and Magic Wand, a four year old filly who set the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and held well in deep stretch, all merit consideration…but you can’t play them all. (My Play: .50 trifecta box using the first five. Cost: $30.00) Race: 12 (5:00PM EST Post) Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes 2018 Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year runner up Accelerate really needs no introduction as his 2018 season was remarkable. The now six year old son of two time champion Lookin’ at Lucky won six of seven starts including an eye popping five Grade: 1’s highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Trainer John Sadler looks to have this chestnut “revved up” for swan song race as he shows three straight bullet works capped off by a visually impressive 5F in :58.4 this past week. …………………………Aside from possibly Enable and Newspaperofrecord, City of Light’s tour de force win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile might have been THE most impressive win I saw throughout the entire Breeders’ Cup weekend. This gorgeous son of Quality Road broke running that day and never looked back. He too has run a hole in the wind in the morning since and he also should be “fully cranked up” here for his farewell race. That said, and even though he is 1 for 1 with a win over Accelerate at it, I don’t think nine furlongs is his best distance. From what I’ve seen his “wheel house” is between seven and eight and a half furlongs and that, readers, could play a part in the outcome. Past that, Castellano appears to be sitting on a keg of dynamite here……………………..I hate to put the drop dead gorgeous Audible this far down, I really do. I expect this $500,000 son of Into Mischief to be major force in the older make division in 2019 as, even though he severely disappointed at 1/5 in his last (prep) race for this, he has an enormous amount of talent. I generally don’t buy trainers excuses for losses but I am completely selling out on what trainer Todd Pletcher said about how “he didn’t handle the sealed/wet track.” Head hunters in New Guinea and lost tribes in the Amazon could see this colt struggling with the surface in that race especially leaving the three eighths pole and around “the hook”. Bottom line here is he is an exotics inclusion for me for sure…………………….Honorable Mentions: Gunnevera was jostled at the start of the Breeders’ Cup Classic but was coming hard, late and was just one length behind Accelerate in a super good effort. This big chestnut by Dialed In was charging hard, late behind Yoshida in the Woodward prior to that, so he is certainly in good form and clearly has ability. I like his work pattern coming into this also as he shows a steady line of stamina building works, signaling to me he might run big once again in this spot…………………..Patternrecognition comes into this razor sharp off three consecutive “coast to coast” scores in his last three, highlighted by taking down the Grade: 1 Cigar Mile in his last. They better not let him cruise on an easy lead or he may prove difficult to catch late…………………Just a few other notes about this race: I wonder which Bravazo will show up on Saturday? The one that got beat narrowly by Justify in the Preakness, you know, the same one who got beat by a neck in the Clark Handicap last time out or the one who lays an egg like in the Pennsylvania Derby back in September? Either way, as tough as he is, as he was the only horse other than Justify to run in all three Triple Crown races, that 2 for 11 record in 2018 just doesn’t do it for me………………………..Tom’s d’Etat has won 6 of 9 starts, including his last four in a row by a combined 22 lengths, vs. far, far lesser and his speed figures aren’t all that bad…………………..Mexican Triple Crown winner Kukulan, who is 14 for 14 in his career and no one has ever been close to beating him, should be fun to watch. His prep race was visually impressive to watch but his final time (1:54.4 for this nine furlong distance) and his speed figure that day (70), will get him blown away in this race. (My Play: .50 trifecta box using the first five. Cost: $30.00) By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 4-11 = 36% (My Plays: -$258.05) 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** Four-time Eclipse Award champion Beholder delivered a bay filly by Curlin Jan. 19th at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington. "Beholder had a very nice Curlin filly this afternoon, and we're happy to report both mother and foal are doing really well," said Ned Toffey, general manager at Spendthrift. "We couldn't be prouder of Beholder. She is such a professional and continues to perform beautifully in her second career as a broodmare. We've been very fortunate. The delivery was as normal and straightforward as you could ask for. The filly was born at 4:25 p.m. and "jumped right up" according to Toffey. She is the second foal for Beholder, who had an Uncle Mo colt (named Q B One) last year. Mating plans for Beholder in 2019 have yet to be announced. **** 2018 Two Year old Male Champion Game Winner had his second work of 2019 last Sunday at Santa Anita Park, breezing a half-mile in :48.3 for trainer Bob Baffert. The 3 year old son of Candy Ride is being pointed to the San Felipe Stakes on March 9th as his first start of the season. “He'll get ready pretty quick,” Baffert said. Other notables on the work tab last Sunday: Coliseum, trained by Baffert and most recently finished sixth in the Sham after a bad start, breezed five furlongs from the gate in 1:00.4. Improbable, also trained by Baffert, worked a half in :48 flat. Instagrand, winner of the Best Pal Stakes in August, breezed a half-mile in 47.3. Sham Stakes winner Gunmetal Gray breezed five furlongs in 1:02.4. **** …………Annnnnnnnnd finally in the occasional “This has nothing to do with Horse Racing” section. UPS driver Ryan Arens was on his route shortly before Christmas when he pulled up to a house in Bozeman, Montana, and heard a dog in distress by a pond beyond the house where he was delivering. "This dog was screaming and crying and going crazy," Arens said. With the sun was nearly set, Arens couldn’t see anything. He delivered a package and then drove to the other side of the pond. "I could see the dog trapped about 10-15 feet off of shore, with ice all around it," he said. An older man was in a rowboat on the pond, trying with little success to chip away the ice to reach the dog. "I stripped to my boxers and got the guy out of the boat. Then, I slid the boat out onto the ice, using it to distribute my weight," Arens said. "I shimmed out to where the ice was thin." The ice gave way and Arens fell out of the boat and into the 16-feet-deep water. Since he was already wet and, with the "dog starting to go under," Arens started swimming quickly towards the dog. He grabbed her collar and swam for the ice, sliding the dog across the ice to shore. He pulled himself out of the water and a bystander handed him a blanket. "We took the dog inside the older guy's house and got in the shower together to warm up," he said. About then, the sheriff's department and animal control arrived. Help was on the way, but "I knew someone had to get to her. She wasn't going to make it." Despite his adventure and cuts on his leg, Arens finished his route, delivering 20 more packages. "It was the highlight of my 14-year UPS career." Arebs said afterwards. Arens found out where the dog's owner lived and happened to have a package to deliver to him. As he walked up, he saw the dog, whose name he learned is Sadie, in the guy's pickup. "She was freaking out, and when he let her out she ran to me," he said. "She must have remembered me. It sure made me feel good."
Saturday August 3, 2019 Saratoga Race Course Race: 5 (3:21 PM EST Post) The Troy Based off his five consecutive, front running wins (including two Grade:1s) and six consecutive “trips” speed figures, World of Trouble is one of the “fastest” horses in training today. I had the pleasure of seeing him up close and personal in the paddock before his Carter Handicap win and he just looks like a running machine. Super speedster draw the rail, a distinct tactical advantage for him, and although he’ll have his work cut out for him on Saturday afternoon, I am not jumping off of him until he otherwise tells me to………………………….Pure Sensation is another speedster who rolls into this race in peak form. The gray gelding by Zensational has rattled off three straight wins thus far in 2019, he handles any footing and recording a 101 BSF on a turf course labeled “soft” is impressive. He and my top pick must not get caught up in protracted speed duel or they could compromise each other’s chances……………………If they do, then look for the stretch runners Wet Your Whistle, who came from way back to win his last three in a row, including a Grade; 1 at Woodbine in his last, Leinster, who also came from behind to beat lesser in his last two, and possibly the unique, almost all white looking, Disco Partner, who albeit is just 2 for his last 9 and might on the down side of his career, to all have a say in the outcome of this one. Race: 8 (5:06 PM EST Post) Test Stakes The Test Stakes is one of my more favorite races of the year as it always draws strong. This year is no different as it pits most of the best fillies in the land against one another. That said, I’ll take Bellafina who, like McKinzie, (see the Whitney analysis in a minute), is best at between seven furlongs and a mile and a sixteenth. I am throwing out her disappointing effort in the Kentucky Oaks as the 8/5 favorite as I don’t think she liked the quirky Churchill surface, nine furlongs is not her best distance and from what I understand, she was in heat that day. This absolutely gorgeous, two time Grade: 1 winning, $800,000 daughter of Quality Road cuts back in distance and is versatile as to where she can beat you from on or off the pace. She is 6 for 9 lifetime, 2 for 2 at seven furlongs and has been training very well at Del Mar of late…………………………Would the real Serengeti Empress please stand up? I mean, I wonder which filly will we see come Saturday, the one who wins by double digit margins, you know, the same one who wired the Kentucky Oaks field, or the who doesn’t run a step and gets beaten by double digit lengths? This daughter of the very handsome Alternation draws the rail so she should come out running but it’s hard to back her with her somewhat inconsistent ways…………………….Royal Charlotte is a gray, stretch running filly by Cairo Prince who is unbeaten in four career starts. She looked sensational coming with a brazen, four or five wide run on the turn and blew by her foes down the lane in winning the Victory Ride Stakes at Belmont last time out…………………….Honorable Mentions: Covfefe ran perhaps ran the best race of the year when shattering the track record at Pimlico two starts back. Good looking filly by Into Mischief won by 8, stop the clock in a supersonic 1:07.3 for 6F and scored a towering 107 BSF that day. I’m not sure, after a disappointing third last time out, if she bounced off such a colossal effort or if she just “freaked” that day and will now return to her normal mid-80’s speed figures. I have to drop her in the ranking right now until I know the answer to that question…………………………….Please Flatter Me has good speed and has won four of six lifetime starts. $12,000 filly, who has earned over $250,000, by Munnings figures to be prominent early on but how well can she hold late?................Your long-shot filly in here is Trenchtown Cat, who has run very well since being switched over to the dirt in her last two. By Discreet Cat, she might be quietly sitting on a big race and surprise a few people in here. Race: 9 (5:46 PM EST Post) Whitney Stakes Like I mentioned in the Test Stakes, I think McKinzie’s “wheelhouse” distance is seven to eight and a half furlongs, but he’s won at nine furlongs before so I’m not that concerned about this distance. I’m coming right back with him here being what happened to him in the Met Mile was ABSOLUTELY criminal. Handsome colt was a little further back early on than what I thought he’d be but came with eye catching rally to put himself into contention nearing the eighth pole. He was blocked and had to alter course THREE TIMES from that point on, just missed winning and beating possible Horse of the Year Candidate Mitole. He continues to post “trips” including a 107 and a 109 in his last two and sports a career record of 11-6-4-0…………………..Off his monster win in the Suburban last time out, (won by 4, scored a 108 BSF) trainer James Jerkens is reaping the rewards of being patient with Preservationist, who will only be making his ninth career start at the age of six in this spot. Big horse by Arch took over mid-way through that race and was visually impressive powering through the lane. He improved his record to 8-5-1-2 that day and shows signs of bigger things to come………………………….Being the only two time winner of the Dubai World Cup, Thunder Snow is now the third leading money winner in history of the sport, anywhere in the world (behind Winx and Arrogate). That’s impressive….so was his run in the Met Mile, where he finished right behind McKinzie. Although this fan favorite has run well in all three trips to NY, this will be his first try at Saratoga. He commands respect regardless………………….Honorable Mentions:Vino Rosso has somewhat struggle in NY over the past year or so yet they ship him to Santa Anita and he runs the best race of his life (105 BSF) in winning the Gold Cup last time out. I don’t get that, why not leave him out there? Anyway, did he just like the surface or has he turned the corner in his career? I think it’s the surface angle but until I have that answer for sure, I have to keep him ranked lower in this race………………: Mononghela always gives a good account of himself as his 24-6-11-2 career mark would indicate. Although it was his first win in over a year, he ran lights out in winning the Philip Iselin at Monmouth last time out. A repeat performance of that race here would make him a contender…………………………Yoshida has the rare distinction of being a Grade; 1 winner on the dirt and turf and he is 1 for 1 on this oval. However, he is 3-0-0-0 this year and hasn’t been close to winning or even hitting the board. His speed figures are in a free fall as well. (104, 97, 91 in his last three.) I can’t play him unless he starts showing some signs of his old self. Mountaineer Park Race: 7 (4:55 PM EST Post) West Virginia Governors Cup Sir Anthony’s claim to fame is knocking off Audible back in December. This chestnut ridgling has run well in four races since including coming from well back to win the Cornhusker Handicap in his last. With a threat of rain in the forecast, note that this son of Mineshaft is 3 for 4 on off tracks……………….Yes, I’m going to try to beat morning line favorite Silver Dust in this spot even though he chased much better (McKinzie etc.) two and three starts back…………………Exclamation Point showed little in the aforementioned Cornhusker. I’m not quite sure what happened that day but he had won five of seven lifetime starts, albeit vs. lesser, heading into that race. …………………….Honorable Mentions: I’m not sure how Sky Promise is 12-1 on the morning line as I was expecting him to open at 6, 7 or 8 to 1. Good looking colt by Sky Mesa has won four of his last five including a couple of Grade: 3’s….could better this rating…………………..Kukulkan is the 2017 Mexican Triple Crown winner who has won 15 of 17 lifetime starts and finished right behind Silver Dust last time out……………..Snapper Sinclair can pop a big one now and again……………………Hawaakom is 0 for 7 this year but relishes a wet track Race: 8 (5:35 PM EST Post) West Virginia Derby I was utterly shocked to see Mr. Money open up at 6/5. Based off his last three powerhouse, Grade: 3 wins in his last three I was expecting him to open at 3/5 or less. Good looking colt by Goldencents towers over this field in talent and speed figures. The icing on the cake here is that bullet drill last week at Churchill (4F- :46.2), which was the best of 95 who worked that distance that day, as it signals to me he is holding form and sitting on yet another big race………………….Although Math Wizard is just 2 for 11 in his career, it must be noted he always fires his best shot and has been “right there” in his last two races in fields that are similar to this one…………………..Albeit one by a DQ, Top Line Growth has won three of his first four starts including finishing well to get second (but put up to first) in the Iowa Derby last time out. Bay gelding by Tapizar should be in the hunt in this spot…………………………..Honorable Mentions: Your long-shot horse in this race is clearly Fluminense, who has run very well in two of three starts this year with an excuse (turf) in his one sub-par effort. 10-1 on the morning line is very generous for this $410,000 son of More Than Ready………………….If you draw a line through Grumps Little Tots’ effort in the Wood Memorial where he was overmatched, you’ll see he’s run well in his other five starts, highlighted by chasing a loose on the lead speedster in the Easy Goer in NY last time out. Colt by Sky Mesa could better this rating………………..Chilly in Charge is also interesting at 15-1 on the morning line. He has improved through each of his first five career starts topped off by beating a restricted Stakes field by a colossal margin last time out……………….I know that Plus Que Parfait is the 7/2 second choice and rightfully so after he ran very respectably in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Derby. This seems like a good spot for him but I don’t like his stride/motion and I’m just not a big fan of his overall. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Race: 5 (7PM EST Post) Sorrento Stakes Once again, these two year old races are tough to figure as these youngster’s forms are extremely volatile. That said, Comical wired maidens at first asking, shipped 3,000 miles and, after being five wide on the turn for home, gutted out a win in Saratoga’s traditional opening day, muddy tracked Schylerville Stakes. It takes a good filly to do something like that as a two year old. She now comes back west to Del Mar, has good speed (if necessary) and draws the rail here, so Leparoux should have options……………….Amalfi Sunrise was visually impressive, and ran off the charts, in her debut on June 23. Filly by Constitution, who has gotten off to a good start at stud, stalked a fast pace, took over on the turn for home and opened up at will in deep stretch. No telling how good she might be…………………..Powerfulattraction came from behind with a brazen, four wide rally at the quarter pole, took command in mid stretch and cruised home a 1 ½ length winner in her quickly run debit at “Los Al” on June 29. Good looking filly gets first time Lasix here and could be a menace late especially with what I am anticipating to be a fast early pace…………………………Honorable Mentions: Shedaresthedevil is another who was impressive rolling past the front runners late and drawing off to win her debut by 3 ½ widening lengths. Still another who could be coming late and it looks as though the longer she goes the better she’ll be…………………………..Shanghai Kelly also won by a wide margin first time out but takes an enormous step up in class here. Race: 8:30 PM EST Post Yellow Ribbon This weekend wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t play, or at least watch, Vasilika, who is an absolute win machine. Although she might have her work cut out for her in this spot, it’s tough to get past her staggering stats which include winning 13 of her last 15 starts, is unbeaten this year, is a multiple Grade: 1 winner and is 2 for 3 on this turf course…………………The clear threat to her here is Beau Recall, who has won three of her last five and, after being a ridiculous six wide on the turn, was making up ground while charging hard late behind the super talented Rushing Fall last time out. This bay mare finished that race is swift 1:32 and, although 0 for 3 on the Del Mar turf course, she merits respect……………………..Elysea’s World possesses a good closing run and finished within shouting distance of Vasilika twice thus far in 2019…………………….Honorable Mentions: Toinette is 4 for 5 on the turf in her career including a pair of Grade: 3 Stakes wins. Daughter of Scat Daddy is clearly talented, I’m just not sure asking her to beat Vasilika (and Beau Recall for that matter) off a 9+ month layoff might be asking too much…………………Valedictorian is dominant early speed in here, is another multiple Grade Stakes winner and is 9 for 19 on the turf. I won’t be shocked if she is still hanging and banging in deep stretch in this spot, especially if she not challenged early…………..your long-shot horse in this race is Storm the Hill, who knocked at the door several times last year and probably needed her close up, third place finish last time out as it was her first start in 6 ½ months. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 46-132 = 35% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** Immediate Impact, a half-sister to champion Arrogate, made a big splash in her debut last Sunday in the first race at Del Mar. The 2-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, trained by Bob Baffert, won by 6 3/4 lengths. Immediate Impact recorded a final time of 1:04.3 for 5 1/2 furlongs. She was sent off as the heavy 1/5 favorite and, according to Baffert, will be headed into Stakes company next time out. Both Immediate Impact and Arrogate are out of Bubbler, a four-time minor stakes winner. Bubbler's other two foals of racing age include recently retired stakes winner Osare (Medaglia d'Oro) and the unraced 3-year-old Boyne Beauty (Giant's Causeway). **** Deep Impact, one of Japan's greatest horses and a champion sire for the past several years, died this past Wednesday. He was 17. The Shadai Stallion Station said in a statement that the horse underwent surgery on his neck last Sunday as part of ongoing treatment. The operation had appeared to have been successful but Deep Impact struggled to stand up the following day and, following x-ray examination, it was found that he had a fracture of the cervical spine and had to be put down. Deep Impact, a son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence won his first seven starts including the Japanese Triple Crown before a narrow defeat (one of only two in a 14 race career) in the Arima Kinen Grand Prix. He has sired over 100 group winners and stood for over $350,000 in 2019.
Saturday July 20, 2019 Saratoga Race Course Race: 3 (2:10 PM EST Post) Coaching Club American Oaks Cancelled Monmouth Park Race: 8 (3:29 PM EST Post) Molly Pitcher I’ve been pontificating about Midnight Bisou, and her mega talent, since last year and that seems to be coming to fruition. Off of back to back impressive Grade: 1 wins, and with all due respect to Elate and Monomoy Girl, this big, dark filly is the pro-tem older female division leader and I’m not seeing anything or any horse who will stop her come Saturday………………..Albeit she showed little last time out, throughout her career Pacific Wind has been chasing the likes of Abel Tasman, Marley’s Freedom, Farrell and Come Dancing and has held fairly well. Other than Midnight Bisou, she meets no such rivals in this race…………………Electric Forest has won three of her first five races and seems to have improved through each one, topped off by wiring a Grade: 3 field in her last. Steps up but figures prominent throughout……………………Honorable Mentions:Cosmic Burst is much better than her 0 for 3 record this year would indicate. Consistent filly has hit the board in 12 of 15 career starts…………..Ditto for the speedy Breaking Bread, who has hit the board in 15 of 21 lifetime tries and has been training light out for this. Race: 10 (4:31 PM EST Post) Monmouth Cup After zooming to wins in seven of nine career starts, including the Godolphin Mile in Dubai, Coal Front got hooked in a protracted speed duel in the Met Mile and was overhauled in the stretch by the supremely talented Mitole and equally as talented McKinzie in his last. This $575,000 son of Stay Thirsty takes an enormous drop in class off that effort (from Grade:1 to Grade:3) in this spot, which appears to be exactly what he needs and I’m not expecting any him to have any problems with the distance……………………..Monongahela seems to have a touch of “second-itis” as his 24-6-11-2 career mark would indicate. That said, he clobbered his rivals in the Philip Iselin last time out and ran the best race (speed figure wise) of his career. The Iselin was his Monmouth debut so obviously like the surface………………………Bal Harbour finished fairly close to Monongahela in the Iselin in his last and gets the nod for the show dough based off that fact and his 10 on the board finishes out of 15 career starts……………………Honorable Mentions: Moon Gate Warrior will be making his 47th career start in this spot. This six year old veteran won an astounding nine races last year and is 2 for 2 on this oval….could better this rating…………………….Lemonade Thursday ran a hole in the wind off an almost eight month layoff in his last. So the question is has he comeback from his hiatus a completely different animal and run huge again in this spot? Or does he bounce over the moon? Your call from there………………….I’m still not understanding why the public bets the heck out of War Story just about every time he runs. Perhaps they will back off of him now after a 50 length drubbing in his last. Race: 12 (5:49 PM EST Post) Haskell Invitational If Mucho Gusto duplicates his race in the Affirmed Stakes, where he laid off the early pace, took command at the quarter pole and held sway all the way to the wire, in this spot he probably wins. Trainer Bob Baffert tipped his hand earlier this week by saying that the key for this $625,000 son of Mucho Macho Man was to “relax early.” With a plethora of early speed signed up in this race, that’s the exact tactics it will take to win. Moreover, he is three for four this year with a legitimate excuse (set scorching early fractions and understandably tired late) in his lone defeat. Although eight to eight and half furlongs is this colt’s wheelhouse, I’m not worried about the distance for him. Lastly, for this horse, who sports a 7-5-1-1 career mark, is his works. It looks like Baffert has him “revved up” for this……………………Yes, Maximum Security, who of course won the Kentucky Derby but was controversially DQ-ed, had two legitimate excuses while going down in flames as the 1/20 favorite in the Pegasus last time out. This drop dead gorgeous colt by New Year’s Day broke poorly and ripped an opening half mile in :46.4. But truth be told, he did not look like the same dominant colt we saw in the Florida Derby and in the Kentucky Derby. In fact, all reports indicate he was “lackluster” for several weeks after the Derby and it showed in the Pegasus. He was in deep water leaving the 5/16ths pole as I notice Luis Saez was “asking” him at that point and not getting too much of a response. Is it possible he is “over the top”? Did he just have a bad day? Or are the other three year olds catching up to him? I’m not sure….but I think this race will tell the tale. There was no how, no way he should have lost the Pegasus but he did. I’m not worried about the slow works leading up to this, after all a turtle could have outworked him before the Derby yet he still won (kind of). Listen, if he beats me….he beats me….I’m just having a hard time backing him after what I’ve seen (and heard) since his Derby win…………………….King for a Day has certainly improved from last year. Good looking colt by Uncle Mo opened the year with an authoritative win in a restricted Stakes race at Pimlico and then conquered Maximum Security in the aforementioned Pegasus Stakes to improve to 2 for 2 in 2019. Versatile colt from the Todd Pletcher barn has speed (if necessary) and draws the rail, which in turn should (tactically) make him prominent throughout. Love the fact he has a race/win over this track as well…………………Honorable Mentions: Joevia set a good, solid pace in the Belmont Stakes and, although being overtaken at the eighth pole, he held very well for third, beaten by less than two length in the end. This son of Shanghai Bobby should come out running once again in this spot. I love the cut back in distance as well as the supersonic work last week (5F- :58.2)…..could better this rating………………Couple of long shots to consider include Everfast, who although is just 1 for 12 in his career, does sometimes close like a runaway freight train (see the Preakness Stakes where he came from some 22 lengths behind to grab second behind War of Will at 29-1), and Spun to Run, who although is taking a huge step up class, won his last two very impressively. Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Race: 4 (6:30 PM EST Post) San Diego Handicap I’m not sure who will be a bigger favorite in their respective races Midnight Bisou in the Molly Pitcher or Catalina Cruiser here as this hulking chestnut absolutely lays over this field. After his BC Dirt Mile debacle to end 2018, this son of Union Rags could NOT have looked any better while taking down the True North at Belmont on June 7. The now five year old tracked sizzling fractions, surged to the lead in deep stretch and won by a half length while stopping the clock is swift 1:14.4 for 6 1/2 furlongs. He has worked well since and returns to Del Mar where he is 2 for 2……………………..Dr Dorr seems to have a lost a step or two from early last year as, after rattling off three straight impressive wins, he’s gone 0 for 6 since. The 0 for 4 on this oval is no confidence builder either but he still looks the best of the rest………………………Draft Pick, a $450,000 son of Candy Ride, seems to be getting better with age. This handsome colt is 3-2-0 in his last five races and 10-3-2-2 overall in his career…………………………Core Beliefs, who showed little in his last, has a habit of popping a big race now and again. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 43-124 = 35% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** Osare, a stakes-winning half sister to Arrogate (by Medaglia d’Oro) trained by Jonathan Thomas, has been retired following a poor effort in the July 6 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park. "She chased a fast pace at Delaware," Thomas said. "She's already a stakes winner, but with her pedigree, you want to give her a chance to be Graded Stakes placed. We're going to retire her to be a broodmare”. "She went back to Bridlewood, and they have a lot of time until the breeding season to decide who she will be bred to. With her pedigree and the fact that she is a stakes winner, there's nothing but upside." Thomas also said Catholic Boy, a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt, will ship to Saratoga at the end of the month with the $750,000 Woodward Stakes, slated for Aug. 31, as his next start. "I'll bring him up here in a week or two," said Thomas. "I'm just letting him get over his race down there. He came out of it OK for the most part. The Woodward is still the primary target." ****1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero died earlier this week in Turkey. At 29 years of age, he was the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner. Trained by Mack Miller, Sea Hero broke his maiden in his fourth try on the grass as a two year old, but won the 1992 Champagne Stakes before closing the year with a seventh behind Gilded Time in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Defeated in his first three outings in this three year old year, Sea Hero upset favored Prairie Bayou in the Derby but failed miserably in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. Unplaced in the Jim Dandy Stakes, he did bounced back to take the Midsummer Derby by two lengths. I’m not sure why but they erected a life-size bronze statue of him in the Saratoga paddock. Originally retired to Lane’s End, Sea Hero was responsible for 13 U.S. black-type winners. Sea Hero was sold for $700,000 at the 1999 Keeneland November Sale and continued his stud career in Turkey before being pensioned from stud duties in 2015. **** Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress recorded her first work on the Saratoga main track following the renovation break July 14, going four furlongs in :47.3. Trainer Tom Amoss was pleased with the work and is still pointing the dark bay filly toward the Aug. 3 Test Stakes. "Serengeti Empress had a very good workout today," Amoss said. "It was her first time over the Saratoga course. We went right after the break, which is a very busy time, and there was a lot of traffic throughout her workout. She handled it fine, and she was a pro when it comes to that, so I was very happy with how she did." Amoss was satisfied with how Serengeti Empress was moving over the Saratoga course. "She seems to be herself, and that's good news," Amoss said. "I think the most important thing to point out, and certainly what I observed, was how quiet the rider was on her during the last portion of the work and how well she was moving over the racetrack. We'll see her breeze again before the Test, maybe twice, and we'll take it from there."
Previews of the United Nations; Ohio Derby and more
Thistledown Race: 9 (5:10 PM EST Post) Ohio Derby Global Campaign was super impressive while winning the Peter Pan at Belmont last time out, his third win in four career tries. This half brother to the mega talented Bolt d’Oro stalked fast fractions (:46 & 1:10) before taking command of that race and finishing nine furlongs in a smoking 1:46.3. The son of Curlin got the last furlong in a strong :12.1 that day and had a legitimate excuse (“grabbed a quarter”) in his one and only loss…………..Narrow margin over fast closing, third place Preakness finisher Owendale. This very handsome son of Into Mischief was a ridiculous seven wide on the turn in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown yet was only beaten by 1 ½ lengths to War of Will. Tack on the visually impressive, monster move on the far turn in winning the Lexington Stakes two back and the bullet work last week (5F- :59.2) and you should have a colt who merits a ton of respect in this spot…………………..It’s pretty clear that the stretch running Long Range Toddy didn’t care for the slop in the Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby (both Grade:1’s) his last two times out. If you draw lines through both of those races, you’ll see that this colt by Take Charge Indy is as consistent as the day is long as his 7-4-1-1 record would indicate. This Steve Asmussen trainee should like this distance, drops in class and should get a fast track, where he does his best running, come Saturday............................Honorable Mentions: Bethlehem Road is 3 for 3 at Parx, including a minor Stakes win, and is proven at a distance of ground. That said, he’ll be taking an enormous class hike and the :32.4 seconds is took him to run the approximately last 2 ½ furlongs in his last won’t cut it in this spot…………………….Math Wizard is versatile but has speed and draws the rail, so I expect him to come out running here. Although he disappointed as the favorite in a weaker field than this last time out, note the “sneaky” good fourth at 64-1 in the Wood Memorial two starts back and his work patterns/times since May couldn’t be much better…………………….Dare Day has the distinction of being the only horse in this field with a race over the track. This obscurely bred gelding annihilated Ohio state bred maidens and Ohio state bred first level allowances foes in his first two starts as well. His speed figures say he’s not completely out of it but the 15-1 morning line odds are probably about right. Monmouth Park Race: 7 (3:33 PM EST Post) Eatontown Stakes Although this race drew just six it is a very well matched field as I’m seeing four or five with a good chance to win it. That said, I’ll gingerly take Valedictorian, who although disappointed last time out, rarely throws in a “clunker” as her 20 of 27 on the board finishes, including 11 wins, would indicate. Note, she is 3 for 4 on the Monmouth turf course and also note the supersonic (:22.3) final quarter mile she ran two races back………………………… Inflexibility is a $340,000 daughter of the late Scat Daddy who probably needed her race at Pimlico on May 18 as she was coming off an over 200 day layoff. This five year old mare was 1 for 6 last year but you should take notice of the company she was keeping as they included Champion Sistercharlie, Santa Monica and A Raving Beauty. She will meet no such rivals here and she should be tighter in this race…………………..My Sistersledge made up 13 lengths in the last 6 ½ furlongs in a minor Stakes race on this very turf course last time out. Although it was against lesser caliber foes, note that race was her first start in 216 days. Five year old mare was 4 for 8 last year, so she likes winning and she also should be tighter for this……………Honorable Mentions: Maid to Remember shipped in from overseas and rallied from dead last after completely missing the break in her U.S. debut to just miss beating an allowance field……..quietly looms a threat in this spot………………The owners paid $5,000 for Dynatail and thus far she’s earned almost 100 times that amount including winning three of her last four. Big step up in class here however. Race: 10 (5:00 PM EST Post) Philip Iselin Stakes Although every single one of them was at Charles Town, Runnin’toluvya has all “1’s” down his entire past performance page. This obscurely bred gelding has won an eye popping 10 in a row, from six to nine furlongs, and 13 of 17 in his career overall. This speedy gray doesn’t necessarily have to have the lead either as he can “sit the trip” as well. Hard to go against a horse who all he does is win and beat his main competition fair and square two races back, even if he is “venturing out” of his comfort zone……………………..Try as he may, Diamond King could not get past my top pick down the lane two starts back. This son of Quality Road always fires his best shot as his 10 of 13 on the board finishes, including five wins state. He goes first time blinkers here, so it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to that……………………….. It’s a good thing I can use his number to bet him because I have no idea how to pronounce Monongahela correctly. Albeit, he is 0 for his last 11 races, he’s run very well in most of them with speed figures that either match or exceed the top two in here. Looks best of the rest and could actually better this rating……………………….Bal Harbour is another who always “shows up”. Note how this son of the sleek looking First Samurai missed the break in his last but was less than three lengths behind Diamond King at the finish. Outside shot here, especially with a clean break. Race: 11 (5:28 PM EST Post) United Nations After winning three of his last four, Focus Group disappointed as the roughly 5/2 favorite in the Grade: 1 Man o’ War last time out. “I can't really explain why he ran so bad (in the Man o' War)," trainer Chad Brown said. "He's been training well. He was in between horses in the back of the pack and got frustrated during the race. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. couldn't get him to settle back there and he wore himself out. He's trained really well since then and I hope we can draw line through it and he can return to his previous form."….exactly Mr. Brown, I’m going to draw a line through that race and, although this is a very competitive spot, I’m coming right back with him here……………………Flip a coin for the place and show spot as Zulu Alpha and Bigger Picture, who are both multiple Graded Stakes winners, are both 2 for 4 this year and took turns beating each other the last two times they met……………………..Honorable Mentions: Channel Cat had legitimate excuses (first start in eight months and then chased Bricks and Mortar in a quickly run Grade: 1) in his first two start this year. Four year old son of English Channel should have no excuses for a good performance in this spot and gets the third start off the layoff angle……………………The globetrotting Monarchs Glen, a son of European super star Frankel, could quietly be sitting on a huge effort. Although he was off the board in his first two U.S. starts against lesser foes, note the final times in both of those races were strong and he was making up ground late in both. Bottom line here is this long shot possibility will be on a couple of my trifecta tickets. Race: 12 (5:57 PM EST Post) Lady’s Secret Stakes Pink Sands is a $625,000 daughter of super sire Tapit who chased far, far better than these in her last two and wasn’t completely embarrassed by any stretch either time. “Shug” adds blinkers here (a move where he wins at 20% clip with)…logical choice………………….Sun Studio beat an allowance field two back and finished just a length behind Pink Sands in her last…………My Miss Lily has been struggling a bit in three starts this year but will also be taking a “plunge” in class in this spot……………..Honorable Mentions: Thanks to a DQ, Breaking Bread is 3 for 3 this year, including a Stakes win on this oval last time out. Steps up in class but could be a menace………………….Coffee Crush has shown improved early speed in her last three races and switches to “speed” rider Paco Lopez. Of course, the elephant in the room with her is how will she handle the surface (turf to dirt) switch?...........................Alberobello was impressive wiring mid level optionals in NY in her last, but what’s up with this being just her eighth career start half way through her four year old season? By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 37-110 = 34% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces: **** Two time Grade 1 winner Diversify has been retired from racing after reinjuring a suspensory ligament, trainer Jonathan Thomas said last Sunday. The 6 year old gelding will remain at Belmont Park while retirement plans are finalized. "He worked yesterday. Cooled out well, came out of the work in good order, but I noticed a little bit of abnormal inflammation in his upper suspensory area," Thomas said. "It's a reoccurrence of an old injury. I'd say at this stage it's minor. (The) horse is sound. It's in the minor stages, but certainly not something you'd want to press on with, especially given what this horse has done." "He's comfortable and sound and happy," Thomas added. "It's kind of one of those injuries where it's at the very beginning, or the very early stages, and probably the only one around the barn that doesn't know he has it is him." Diversify retires with a 10-2-0 record from 16 starts and earnings of $1,989,425. "Rest assured, Mr. Evans and his daughter and his wife (Judith), they've been just an incredible support group for this horse, the ownership," Thomas said, "so I can only imagine that the horse is going to definitely be provided with a very, very good home forever." **** 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Country House will get at least two months off from training and will likely miss the rest of his 3 year old season, trainer Bill Mott said last Saturday night. The news came in an interview with Jerry Bailey on NBC Sports’ live telecast of the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. “He just wasn’t as eager to get into his training as he had been,” Mott said “We just felt like he wasn’t moving as well as he should be. We had him checked out again, and I think the determination is that we probably need to give him more time. Right now, we’d have trouble making the Travers or the Breeders’ Cup, and I don’t believe we’d be able to get him back to the races in as good a shape right now as what we would have to have him to run at that very top level. To give him a fair chance and bring him back as a 4 year old, we’re going to give him a little extra time.” **** 2019 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston has been ruled out of a summer campaign due to a minor left front ankle injury. “He has a minor left front ankle injury and he’s going to do some rehab at the farm. He’s back in Ocala now, he’s going to be off for a little while,” said trainer Mark Casse. “I’m still hopeful we’ll be back in the fall, we’ll play it by ear. The Travers is not going to be an option.” Casse mentioned the Pegasus World Cup Stakes in January as a possible long term goal.
Saturday June 8, 2019 Belmont Park Race: 3 (12:47PM EST Post) Easy Goer After rattling off 6 straight mostly lopsided wins, Alwaysmining came crashing back down to earth in the Preakness. He appears the best horse in this race but the question is, being 7 for 8 at Laurel and 0 for 5 everywhere else, can he win outside of Laurel?............The speedy Majid is razor sharp right now. Although beating up lesser foes, he has won three straight “on the engine” and looks to be the dominant speed once again in this spot………….Outshine showed zilch in the Wood Memorial last time out after coming within 1 ½ lengths of beating probable Belmont Stakes favorite Tacitus two starts back. The last time I called a Todd Pletcher horse (Vino Rosso) overrated, he promptly went out and won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, so why not tempt fate again? At 9/5 on the morning line, I think he is being overrated. Race: 4 (1:22PM EST Post) Just a Game Stakes Pound for pound, Rushing Fall is one of the best horses in training today; no how, no way I play against her………………Got Stormy launched an eye catching move to take over the Churchill Downs Turf Distaff at the quarter pole in her last but was run down late by Beau Recall. Also note she finished right behind Rushing Fall in a Grade: 1 two back…logical contender with a better timed ride by “T-Gaf”…………………Beau Recall is in peak form right now while coming from behind to win 3 of her last 4. The closing half mile in her last race (:24.1 and 24.2) of :48.3 was very good and she should be coming late once again here……...Honorable Mentions: Daddy is a Legend always fires her best shot. Although she is just 1 for her last 8, she has hit the board in 8 of 12 in her career…………..Environs is a French invader who was 3 for 6 in her career before breaking slowly in her last. Even with the bad break, she finished within shouting distance of a couple of horses who run back in this race…..long-shot possibility? Race: 5 (2:01 PM EST Post) Ogden Phipps Stakes One of two (Met Mile) sensational races on the card………..I have to stick with Midnight Bisou here. As expected, she seems to be getting better with age. Yes I know, she was in a complete, full out, life or death drive to hold off an oncoming Escape Clause in the Apple Blossom in her last but it must be noted Escape Clause ran the race of her life that day and is no slouch as her 20 for 31 in her career would indicate. The 55 days off since that race and a big work May 28 (5F- :59.4) both are pluses………………Come Dancing is clearly a super talented mare who has taken her game to the next level thus far in 2019. After annihilating her foes in the Distaff at Aqueduct and the Ruffian at Belmont in her last two, she gets a serious tactical advantage as this speedster draws the rail here. This into Mischief mare should come out running at a distance that is well within her scope……………………For the reasons I stated above, the aforementioned Escape Clause looks best of the rest. Race: 6 (2:41 PM EST Post) Jaipur Invitational I feel the same way about World of Trouble as I do about Rushing Fall. He is quietly one of the “fastest” horses currently in training. Unbeaten this year, 8 for 12 in his career and super versatile as he can win from on or off the pace and on dirt or grass. No how, no way I play against him as he looks to be one of, if not the, best bets of the day……………………….Albeit age might be starting to take its toll on the veteran, almost white Disco Partner, he still must be respected until we know that for sure. The seven year old gelding in 0 for 3 this year and did not look good last time out. That said, 9 of his 11 career wins have come on the Belmont “weeds” and a return to what is obviously his most favorite surface and distance (10-6-3-0 at 6F), could wake him up…………………Play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” with the rest of them as several have a good chance to grab the “show dough”. They include Belvoir Bay, who is in career form right now, Dirty, who took advantage of a ridiculously fast early fractions to beat lesser at Laurel last time out and do not, do not, do not go to sleep on 30-1 shot Diamond Oops, who ran very well in his turf debut while finishing third in a quickly run race. If that’s not enough for you, note the huge rider upgrade/change. I implore you to “watch the board” carefully on this horse. Race: 7 (3:22 PM EST Post) Acorn Stakes Serengeti Empress is the 2019 upset (13-1) winner of the Kentucky Oaks who has speed and draws the rail, which is often a lethal combination. Filly by Alternation has a habit of running “off the screen” but also shows a handful of races where she‘s been beaten by a country mile. She looks best in here but I wouldn’t say she is a mortal lock…………………………I say she doesn’t look like a mortal lock because Guarana could not have looked any better in her debut. Good looking filly, by the wickedly fast Ghostzapper, blew the gate to smithereens in her sloppy tracked debut, opened up eight on the field on the turn and cruised home by a colossal (almost 15 lengths) margin all while scoring a 93 speed figure. Moreover, she came home the last furlong in a solid :06.2 while she was basically in a hammerlock by rider Jose Ortiz, so she could be any kind. Before you run out and bet the mortgage on her, remember she’ll have to go a quarter of a mile further here, is jumping from maidens to a Grade:1 and will most likely get a fast track, three vastly different challenges for her. By the way, does this filly’s situation sound familiar? Another remember Hidden Scroll’s debut? …and we know how he turned out…………………………….Cookie Dough has good speed and shortens up to her optimal distance. Logical contender cutting back to a mile (where she ran the best speed figure of her career), she has hit the board in 7 of 8 tries and “JCC” sees fit to take the mount……………….Honorable Mentions: Ce Ce is intriguing. She came from behind to win her debut, and then ran far and away the highest speed figure (97) of anyone in this field while just missing vs. optionals at Santa Anita. But like Guarana, she takes an enormous step up in class, stretches out and had to ship across the country for this…………….I’m not quite understanding the odds on Queen of Beas (12-1) and Bell’s the One (20-1), who finished within 1 ½ lengths of each other last time out. Both have had excellent starts to their careers and, with both being late runners, they should appreciate the stretch out in distance. Either or both could be a long shot menaces. Race: 8 (4:04PM EST Post) Woody Stephens Stakes Mind Control is having one heck of year while winning two of three (Stakes) races and beating the vaunted Instagrand. He is 2 for 2 at this distance and trainer Greg Sacco has been “beaming” all week long………………………Nitrous presents excellent value at 10-1 as he has come back much improved from last year. This son of Tapit looked sensational while coming “over the top” to win the Bachelor at Oaklawn in his last. Note the speed figures through his last five races (61, 69, 78, 82 and 92) as well………………Complexity makes his long awaited return to the races here. Good looking colt from the Chad Brown barn won the prestigious Champagne Stakes last fall in just his second career start. If that doesn’t signal talent, I’m not sure what does. Anyway, although he’s been training lights out at the notoriously deep Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga, I’m inclined to think he’ll “need one” before running his best. ………….Honorable Mentions: Honest Mischief finished second in his debut before blowing the doors of a maiden field at Keeneland last time out. Handsome son of Into Mischief was visually impressive winning by “ocho” and scoring a titanic 97 speed figure. Take a huge step up in class but he draws the rail and we know he has speed………………If Wendell Frog duplicates his Gold Feveprep race win last time out in this spot, he could be a force………………After all the route races trying to get Hog Street Hustle to the Kentucky Derby, his connections now cut him back to what very well could be his best game (sprinting) as he is 3-2-1-0 in sprints……………Watch the board on Lexitonian also, who is showing me signs of sitting on a big (long shot) race in his third start off a layoff. Race: 9 (4:46 PM EST Post) Met Mile I would have to go back a long way to remember a race this competitive. Sorry Belmont Stakes fans but this race is far and away the best on the entire card: This race is so deep I’m not sure I’d bet it with your money. However, if I did I’d have to take McKinzie for three reasons. One, he ran the best race of his life last time out and he could use that race to “springboard” to even bigger things. Two, trainer Bob Baffert said he is “doing really, really well” right now…gotta listen to Bob now and again. Three, this distance is “right” in his wheelhouse………………..Mitole has been nothing short of phenomenal for a little over a year now. He took down his first of what I’m sure will be many Grade:1s last time out. Colt by Eskendraya can absolutely run like a deer and can beat you from on or off the pace, making his doubly tough. I have zero concerns about him stretching to mile here as the way he finishes his races scream “I can handle more ground”…………………….If you look up “Horse for the Course” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Firenze Fire. I mean, does he love this oval or what? He is 3 for 3 in his career over it and his last two efforts were “off the charts” good. They include winning the Dwyer by 9, while getting a mile in 1:33.3 and scoring a 107 BSF and winning the Run Happy by almost 5, getting 6F in 1:08 flat and scoring a 106 BSF. Stats like that makes me dizzy……………Honorable Mentions: You know this is ridiculously tough horse race when I have to put Coal Front, who has good speed if necessary, the rail and has won 7 of 9 starts, including the Godolphin Mile last time out on the other side of the world, and Thunder Snow, who is the only horse in history to win back to back $10 million Dubai World Cups and has run huge in his one and only try on this surface, this far down……………………Prince Lucky probably didn’t care for the mud last timeout as his prior two races were first rate, “trips” speed figure, wins………………Promises Fulfilled is the “speed of the speed” and will be in front as far as he goes. I just think a mile is a little past his best game (sprinting). Race: 10 (5:36PM EST Post) Manhattan Stakes Halfway through the season, Bricks and Mortar is clearly your Older Male Turf Division leader based off of his 3 for 3 record that include a pair of Grade:1 wins. Although this is a very deep field, I expect that trend to continue…………………Olympico overcame quite a bit in winning his U.S debut on May 4 including shipping over from France, having not run in almost 6 months, a bad start, a slow pace and a soft turf course. Yet through all that, this gray gelding was pulling away impressively down the lane that day…………………Robert Bruce, a winner of 8 of 12 in his career including the Arlington Million, probably needed his 2019 debut. The good looking now 5 year old surged to the lead at the top of the stretch in the Fort Marcy but understandably tired down the lane. He should be tighter for this…………………….Honorable Mentions: Qurbaan has been on the board in 14 of 19 turf races and was “right” behind Bricks and Mortar last time out……………………..I hate to put Raging Bull this far down, especially at 10-1 on the morning line. This handsome colt possesses a good late run, is already a Grade: 1 winner, is 5 for 9 in his career and you get the third start off the layoff angle. Bottom line here is he will be in my exotics plays for sure…………………Channel Maker looked good in pulling off the 7-1 upset in the Grade; 1 Man o’ War in his last, but he does have some consistency issues. Race: 11 (6:37 PM EST Post) Belmont Stakes Analysis by Post-Position order, selections below PP#1- Joevia- has run admirably in Stakes races up and down the East Coast but was drilled in his one and only start in a Graded Stakes race. He’s a nice colt and he has worked well of late, but he looks overmatched. PP#2- Everfast- after the three straight abysmal performances, this son of Take Charge Indy came with an enormous late run to grab second in the Preakness at almost 30-1 three weeks ago. Does he build off of that effort or go back to his 1 for 11 struggling career? I say he goes back to struggling. PP#3- Master Fencer- gave his home country of Japan quite a thrill when rallying from dead last to only be beaten by 4 lengths in the Kentucky Derby while way outrunning his almost 60-1 odds that day. So, where does this “masked,” dark horse go from here? He’s worked ok since the Derby and it doesn’t appear the 12 furlongs will be a problem for him. I say he might run big again but he won’t be 60-1 this time. PP#4- Tax- after running very well in the Remsen, Withers and Wood Memorial, this colt showed nothing in the Derby either. Then again, lots of horses over the years have disappointed in the Derby but have come back to run well. That might be the case here for this gelding but, from what I’m gathering, he has not had a good last few days leading up to this race. If you play him, proceed with caution. PP#5- Bourbon War- after a huge late run to finish second in the Fountain of Youth, this colt disappointed in the Florida Derby and Preakness. The addition of blinkers did nothing for him and he goes back to running without them in this spot. This very well bred colt (by Tapit out of Grade: 1 winner My Conquestadory) looks to have cycled out of form to me. If you are looking to play him, I suppose Mike Smith taking the leg up could be a good reason. PP#6- Spinoff- is still another well bred colt (by Hard Spun out of Grade;1 winner Zaftig) who ran very well in his first four starts but did “nada” in the Derby. He probably needs to run the race of his life to be a contender here and he doesn’t look ready to do that just yet. PP#7- Sir Winston- was charging hard, late in a sizzling fast Peter Pan Stakes, the perennial prep race for Belmont, last time out. By my calculation, this son of Awesome Again ran the last five furlongs of the Peter Pan in a turbo charged :58.4, which of course is super impressive. The problem I’m seeing is he hasn’t run a race in his entire nine race career that even comes close to that, so exactly where did that race come from? Whenever I have to ask myself that, it gets me thinking “bounce”. PP#8- Intrepid Heart- is a $750,000 son of super sire Tapit who looked good winning his first two career races. But this gray colt missed the break in the Peter Pan and was clearly tiring in deep stretch in his next and last start. Can he win the Belmont Stakes in just his fourth career start? Unlikely… and also, what’s up with when a reporter ask trainer Todd Pletcher why he was entering this horse, Pletcher said: “Well, he’s bred for the distance” …that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement to me. PP#9- War of Will- after the whole Kentucky Derby debacle, this colt came back strong, with a perfect trip, to win the Preakness impressively. He’ll be the only horse in his crop to run in all three Triple Crown races, and with a win on Saturday he’ll take over as the pro-tem three year old male division leader. I’ve watched him train, he appears to be doing very well and most likely sitting on yet another big race. Obviously a major player here. PP#10- Tacitus- is there another horse, including War of Will, doing any better than this gorgeous gray colt is doing right now? Hardly….The last three efforts from this brilliantly bred colt (by Tapit out of 5 time Grade: 1 winner Close Hatches) include wins in the Tampa Bay Derby, The Wood Memorial (where yours truly was front and center) and then rallied from 16th position to fourth (but put up to third) beaten less than four lengths in the Kentucky Derby while clearly not liking the mud being kicked in his face. His last two works (May 26- 5F- 1:00 flat and June 2- 5F- 1:00.2) were far, far better than they look on paper. As I watched him this train this week, everything I saw signaled to me, his competition better have their “running shoes” on if they are going to beat him. Selections: 1) Tacitus 2) War of Will 3) Master Fencer Honorable Mentions: Tax Race: 13 (8PM EST Post) Brooklyn Invitational You’re to Blame turned the corner in his career last summer as he’s rattled off 5 straight huge efforts, including absolutely flying low down the stretch of the Grade:3 Pimlico Special last time out. Super consistent BSFs and he likes this track………………Rocketry ended last year win back to back Stakes wins and “trips” speed figures. With this being his third start off the layoff and the results of his last two races, this 5 year old by the gorgeous Hard Spun looks set up perfectly for a big race………………………..If you draw a line through Campaign’s race in the Santa Anita Handicap (overmatched), you’ll see that race is sandwiched by two very nice wins including one at this very (marathon) distance……………………Honorable Mentions: Coming into this off of back to back wins, it appears Marconi, a $2 million son of Tapit, is beginning to figure it all out. Not crazy about him drawing the rail but at 12 furlongs it should give his very capable rider a chance to figure things out…………………….Although Sonneteer is just 3 for 25 in his career, you can’t help but to notice his Herculean win when stretch out to 12 furlongs for the first time in his last. That was certainly a signal he loves the distance, now, is he fast enough?………….War Story can pop a big race now and again but he hasn’t won a horse race of any kind in just about 15 months now. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 28-91 = 31% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33%
Preview of the Haygard-Fayette; Bold Ruler and more
Saturday October 26, 2019 BelmontPark Race; 5 (2:59 PM EST Post) English Channel Stakes Seismic Wave has been running against much better for the majority of this year and has somewhat held his own. Although is he is 0 for 4 on the Belmont “weeds” he should appreciate the drop in class and the distance hits him squarely between the eyes………….Front Run the Fed sports a record of 5-3-1-1 on the turf and could not have looked any better in his last two. This $300,000 son of Fed Biz, from the 28% Chad Brown barn, beat high level optionals by a colossal margin two back (while coming home the last furlong in a strong :12.3 seconds over a course labeled “good”) before overcoming a horrendous trip to beat a restricted Stakes field in his last. Handsome colt posted back to back 98 BSFs in those two races as well….. figures bang up here…………….The rest of the field are rather difficult to separate. That said, I’m going to take a shot with Call Me Harry for the “show dough”. This colt by Street Sense whistled in his first two starts vs. NYSBs, then took 63 days off but absolutely sizzled in his last two works leading up to this………………….Honorable Mentions: Power Player is a gray colt by Distorted Humor who is improving, came from behind to win his last and wasn’t that far behind Seismic Wave the one and only time they met………………….If Chilly in Charge, who may not have cared for the off turf course at Parx last time out, runs back to his turf debut, he could be a late running, menace here……………..Bourbon War is a regally bred (Tapit out of Grade:1 winner My Conquestory) colt who was a Kentucky Derby contender in many people’s eyes in the spring. However, he hasn’t won a horse race of any kind since January. He seems to like the turf but is far too inconsistent to back with any confidence……………..Halladay is also improving, has hit the board in all six career starts and is a neck shy of coming into this riding a three race win streak. Steps up but his BSF say he could be competitive in this spot. Race: 8 (4:40 PM EST Stakes) Bold Ruler Stakes The vaunted Maximum Security really needs no introduction. After a bad start in the Pegasus at Monmouth, the DQ-ed Kentucky Derby winner cruised home in the Haskell while beating a game and talented Mucho Gusto in his last. He continues to work slower than molasses but evidently that works for him. This gorgeous colt obviously has excellent speed and draws the rail, so he’ll be at a tactical advantage right off the bat. The question is, can he handle older horses?..........................Prince Lucky appears to have bounced back to his late winteearly spring 2019 form. After winning the State Dinner Stakes (how many of you remember State Dinner? Am I showing my age if I say I remember him well?), this gelding then ran huge in chasing Pat on The Back in the Kelso (2nd) last time out………………..Speaking of running huge last time out, that exactly what Killybegs Captain did in coming from behind nicely to win the Frank DeFrancis at Laurel Park on Sept 21. This five year old by Mizzen Mast rarely runs a bad one and merits exotics inclusion………………..Honorable Mentions: Diamond King is just 2 for his last 12 but is another who always fires his best shot and his BSFs say he could be a menace here……………………..True Timber returns to what is clearly his favorite surface and can “pop a big one” now and again. Keeneland Race Course Race: 9 (5:30 PM EST Post) Hagyard-Fayette Stakes Tom’s d’Etat is a $330,000 son of Smart Strike who is batting .500 in his career. This five year old loomed boldly on the turn for home in the Grade: 1 Woodward last time out but understandably weakened in deep stretch after a ridiculously wide trip in that race. Don’t worry about the 56 days off since his last race as he is five for six when coming off of a layoff in his career. He looks like the best horse on paper, all he needs is a good trip………………..Mocito Rojo is a former $10,000 claimer who does almost nothing but win as his astounding 17 for 25 record would indicate. This obscurely bred five year old comes into this on a five race win streak, over five different surfaces, including pulling off a 9-1 upset in the Lukas Classic at Churchill last time out. He has excellent tactical speed and is 2 for 2 at this distance. 6-1 on the morning line appears to offer some value on this chestnut………………..Bal Harbour ran the race of his life in the aforementioned Woodward last time out and finished ahead of Tom’s d’Etat in the process. He almost never runs a bad race, his Brisnet Speed Figures are on par with the other top contenders in here and he is 1 for 1 on this oval………………..Honorable Mentions: Mr. Freeze has rounded back into top form, highlighted by zipping a mile in 1:34 flat in taking down the Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill Downs last time out…..could better this rating…………………If you’re hunting a long-shot, take a look at Own Agenda, who is 30-1 on the morning line. This stretch runner has run very well his last four times out vs. mid-level optionals and his last work (4F- :48.2) over the Churchill Training Track was “sneaky” good. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 72-209 = 34% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces **** WinStar Farm announced that 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner up Bodemeister has been sold to the Jockey Club of Turkey and will be relocated pending export requirements. The 10-year-old son of Empire Maker out of the Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent is the fifth stallion based in the U.S. to be relocated to Turkey for 2020. (Bluegrass Cat, Air Vice Marshal, Trappe Shot and Tizway). Bodemeister has sired 12 black-type winners worldwide, led by 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming. Bodemeister has sired three other graded stakes winners including American Anthem and Once On Whiskey. Bodemeister's 350 runners have collectively banked $15,307,785 in purses. **** Catholic Boy, a Grade: 1 winner on both turf and dirt, has been retired to Claiborne Farm. His fee for the 2020 breeding season will be $25,000 due when the foal stands and nurses. **** Guarana, a daughter of the wickedly fast Ghostzapper who opened her career 3-for-3, will bypass the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park in favor of resting up for a 2020 campaign. Doug Cauthen, vice chairman of owner and breeder Three Chimneys Farm, confirmed Sunday that the 3-year-old's no longer under consideration for racing biggest day. "We hope to give her a break and be back strong at 4," Cauthen said. Guarana, who suffered her first defeat last out in Parx Park Cotillion Stakes, breezed Sept. 12, going a half mile in 47.2 seconds at Belmont Park. While it was a strong work, trainer Chad Brown said: “I just wasn’t happy the way she was moving behind. I’m going to err on the side of caution and make sure she’s all right.” **** Also done for the year is the speedy Promises Fulfilled, who underwent surgery Monday at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital "to clean up" an ankle chip. Promises Fulfilled won the John A. Nerud to earn his "Win and You're In" trip to the Breeders' Cup back on July 6 at Belmont Park but he subsequently finished sixth in both Saratoga's Forego and Keeneland's Phoenix Stakes. "Dr. Bramlage said it was really good that we sent him in, and he was ready for a break," Elliott Walden, president and CEO of Win Star Farms said. "He'll freshen up here." Walden mentioned next year's Churchill Downs, run at seven furlongs on Kentucky Derby day, as a goal for Promises Fulfilled in 2020. **** Sadler’s Joy, third behind superstar Enable and Magical in last year's Breeders’ Cup Turf, will not be re-entered in this year’s edition. Trainer Tom Albertrani said the horse did not come out of a third-place finish in the Oct. 5 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic as well as he would have liked. “It just looked like a hard race for him. He didn’t really bounce out of it as sharp as he should, so we just decided we were going to pass on the Breeders’ Cup,” said Albertrani. “He usually comes out of his races pretty happy. You could definitely see it took some of the punch out of him.” Albertrani is eyeing the Red Smith Handicap, on Nov. 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack, for the horse’s next start and “We still plan on” running him next year Albertrani added. **** Catalina Cruiser will stand at Lane’s End Farm upon retirement, the farm announced Wednesday morning. The son of Union Rags is seven-for-eight lifetime, with five graded stakes wins. “Catalina Cruiser is the quintessential American dirt horse,” said Lane’s End’s Bill Farish. “He’s exactly what we’re looking for. Tough, with speed and the ability to carry that speed. He reminds me of stallions like Quality Road, Twirling Candy and Liam’s Map. They all had tremendous speed and were classy enough to win graded stakes going two turns.” The hulking chestnut will make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and his stud fee will be released shortly thereafter.
With the Kentucky Derby now just two weeks away, and all the major prep races over, this week we will be focusing our attention on the older horse division as our highlighted race of the week will be the $1 million Charles Town Classic at the “bull ring” Charles Town Racetrack in West Virginia. The three turn, nine furlongs contest drew a field of 10 with one AE. Elsewhere, we will head to beautiful Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky for a look at the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes, a marathon turf race for four year olds and up, fillies and mares. We will also be looking at the Federico Tesio Stakes for three year olds, a traditional prep race for the Preakness Stakes, at Laurel Park. We end this week at Santa Anita for a glance at the Kona Gold Stakes, a 6 ½ furlong dash for four year old and up sprinters. Saturday, April 20, 2019 Keeneland Race Course Race: 9 (5:30 PM EST Post) Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes Zulu Alpha has won five of his last eight dating back to last August including back to back Grade: 2’s at Gulfstream in January and March. This six year old gelding is in career form right now and, with rain being forecasted in Kentucky on Saturday, he can handle “give” in the ground……………………….The late running Bigger Picture looms a threat in just about any turf race you put him in. Although he somewhat disappointed last time out, if he runs back to either of his two previous races, he will be tough to beat in this spot. That said, although he is an 11 time winner on the turf, it must be noted he is just 2 for his last 11 overall and 0 for 3 on the Keeneland turf course…………………Soglio is a five year old by Scat Daddy that is as consistent as the day is long as he’s hit the board in 10 of his last 13 starts. Albeit, he has only won three of those last 13 races, note he was charging hard, late, behind Zulu Alpha two races back and when the dust settled, he missed by just a half a length….figures bang up here……………Honorable Mentions: You know this is a tough race when I have to put Red Knight, who is six for nine on the turf in his career, this far down. How often, in a 1 ½ mile race, can you say a horse is cutting back in distance? Well, this son of Pure Prize is as he is coming off a two mile win in the H. Allen Jerkens at Gulfstream last time out…………..Tiz a Slam won a couple of Stakes races north of the border last summer, then showed speed and tired late vs. Canadian Grade: 1 runners in the fall. Five year old by Tiznow should improve off his 2019 debut in February and I won’t be shocked if he outruns this rating…………………….Even though his rider and trainer (both winning at 4%) are ice cold right now, your long shot horse is clearly Vettori Kin. This good looking six year old showed little in his 2019 debut but improved greatly his second time out. If he improves again in this spot, and I suspect he might with this being his third start off the layoff, he could be a menace at what should be some long odds. Charles Town Racetrack Race: 11 (5:37 PM EST Post) Charles Town Classic Diamond King could not have looked any better in beating mid-level optionals at Gulfstream in his 2019 debut, his prep race for this. This son of Quality Road blew that race to smithereens with a :24.1 internal fraction when taking command leaving the half mile pole (in :46.2), opened up on the field at the six furlong marker (1:10.3) and cruised home a 3+ length winner. No published works since is a bit of a concern but the fact that Castellano sees fit to take the leg up and his 5 for 11 lifetime mark are a good trade off……………………..Unbridled Juan always fires his best shot as his impressive 25 on the board finishes in 29 career races would indicate. I am expecting more of the same in this spot……………………….Runnin’toluvya owns this oval. This obscurely bred speedster sports a record of 11 wins and 2 seconds in 14 tries over it, including being 2 for 2 at this rare, three turn distance. His prep race for this should set him up well for a good effort here and the last time he went nine furlongs on this “bull ring” track, he ran the last furlong in :13 seconds flat. If he repeats that race here, he could be a menace……………………Honorable Mentions: Mongolian Groom could be ready to ambush this field. This $12,000 son of Hightail seems to be very quietly improving. After he beat an allowance field two back, he surprised a lot of people when finishing third at 53-1 in the Santa Anita Handicap behind the streaking Gift Box and the talented McKinzie. He meets no such rivals here………………………With this being his third start off a layoff and firing a bullet half mile last week, Nanoosh is another who is setup to run very well in this spot. No surprise if he is “hanging and banging” in deep stretch of this race……………………………..Couple of other side notes in this race: Rally Cry hails from the powerhouse PletcheJohnny V. tag team. This son of Uncle Mo will only be making his third start in the last 18 months but it must be noted he has chased the likes of Gun Runner, Diversify and Yoshida in the past and didn’t do all THAT badly……..I have no idea what to do with War Story as his inconsistencies can make you nuts………………I’m not a big fan of Imperative either but this is his favorite surface……..Something Awesome has been something awful so far this year but does have the back class to run well. Laurel Race Course Race: 10 (5:42 PM EST Post) Federico Tesio Stakes This race might be the one of easiest ones we’ll see all year. It’s so easy, I almost passed on doing it but I didn’t because I want to make sure you folks know about Alwaysmining, who is 6 for 7 at Laurel and 0 for 4 everywhere else. I know this son of Stay Thirsty looks like the logical “Horse for the Course” angle play, but I believe it goes further than that. This colt seems to have turned the corner in his career back in October and since, has rattled off five straight wins, including three by lopsided margins and four in Stakes races. With rain being projected on Saturday in Maryland, there is no worries about him handling an off track as he’s done it twice before. There is no such thing as a sure thing, but this gelding looks about as close as you can get to one…….next stop for him? Preakness Stakes……………As for the rest of this field, play “Pin the tail on the Donkey”. That said, I’ll take Majid for the place spot as, although taking a serious class hike, he has improved through all four career starts. Further improvement expected here………………..I’ll take Bozzini for the “show dough”. This ‘Miah trainee will also be taking a big step up in class but has run very well in both starts on this oval. …………….Honorable Mentions: If the rains stay away, take a look at Trifor Gold as well. This bay gelding also seems to be improving and has run well in two of three fast track starts but not well at all on either off track tries. Santa Anita Park Race: 5 (6PM EST Post) Kona Gold Stakes Dr. Dorr might be better known as Game Winner’s workmate in the mornings more than anything else. That said, this talented six year old chased a runaway winner in his last which was also his 2019 debut. Last year, in his last several races, he chased the likes of Accelerate (twice) Catalina Cruiser and Diversify……he meets no such rivals here, sports an impressive 9-5-2-0 record on this surface and is 2 for 2 at this distance… ……………………..Although Kanthaka hasn’t won a horse race of any kind in almost a full calendar year, he still figures close in this race. This $140,000 son of Jimmy Creed finished right behind Dr. Dorr last time out and valiantly chased two time Champion Sprinter Roy H in his prior. Clearly looks next best in this spot…………………………..The well named All Out Blitz ran very well two back while finishing a close up fifth in the Razorback Handicap, then came with a brazen, five wide run on the turn to win a Stakes race at Sunland Park at this distance in his last. Looks best of the rest in this short field of five. By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 24-78 = 31% 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N’ Pieces ***** Catholic Boy, a Grade: 1 winner on the turf and dirt last year, is targeting the $250,000 Dixie Stakes on the Preakness Day undercard May 18 at Pimlico for his 4 year old debut, said majority owner Robert LaPenta. Catholic Boy, who won the Travers Stakes and the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, won three of six starts last year and has career earnings of $1,842,000. The ridgling by More Than Ready has been training at Bridlewood Farm in Florida and worked four furlongs in :50 1/5 last Saturday. "Jonathan sent me some videos of Catholic Boy working, and he looks phenomenal," said LaPenta. "The Dixie will be the comeback race if all goes well." LaPenta also mentioned Coal Front, who won the March 30 Godolphin Mile, has returned to the United States and will get a few weeks rest at WinStar Farm near Versailles, KY before returning to training and then the races, with the June 8 Met Mile at Belmont Park as his main goal . "Todd likes to give his horses some time to decompress after racing in Dubai, and Coal Front just got back to the United States (April 9). He'll get some time at WinStar, and the Met Mile is on our calendar," LaPenta said. ***\* Champion Female Sprinter La Verdad foaled a Curlin filly at Darley in Lexington Apr. 5. The 11 time Stakes, who earner of over $1.5 million on the racetrack, produced last year’s top priced filly at Keeneland November Sales. Her weanling by Tapit brought $800,000 from Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm and Three Chimneys. Owner Sheila Rosenblum said, “We are extremely pleased with the foal and the care she is receiving at Darley. Several prominent horsemen have told me that she is a standout. La Verdad holds a special place in my heart. I am looking to provide every opportunity to have her become as influential a producer as she was a racemare, having bred her to Medaglia d’Oro, Tapit, and Curlin.” The 9-year-old mare is currently booked to be bred back to Into Mischief. **** Maximus Mischief, the winner of last year's Grade: 2 Remsen Stakes, has been retired from racing due to a soft tissue injury. Trained by Butch Reid, the absolutely gorgeous, $340,000 Fasig-Tipton purchase will be “shopped around” stud farms in Kentucky in search of his new home. “It’s a real shame,” said Chuck Zacney, whose Cash is King Stables owns the horse in partnership with Glenn Bennett’s LC Racing. “We had high hopes for this horse. It’s a tough sport, a tough game.” “Quite frankly, it’s a tendon tear,” Zacney said. “We went to vets and looked at it and they said he would need a minimum of six to nine months off. Then there would be training after that. We had already been getting calls from farms in Kentucky, so we had to make a choice between retiring him and trying to get him back racing. It was very unlikely that he would come back to his old status; it was highly unlikely he’d be as good. They said he’d be maybe 80 to 90% of what he was and it would not have been fair to do that to the horse.” “We had raised the possibility that he might race again,” Zacney said. “Now that that is off the table, we’re hearing again from farms in Kentucky and looking forward to finding him a nice home there and him having a great breeding career there.” Maximus Mischief is currently at Eisaman Equine in Ocala, FL.
Previews of Robert B Lewis, Holy Bull, Withers Stakes' and more
As I’ve said before, I am at a sizable disadvantage with the weather. I examine the races/video on Wednesday, make my picks and do my write ups on Thursday and publish these articles on Friday morning. The problem is I look at the weather 2 or 3 days in advance and from that point on, I’m at the mercy of Mother Nature. When I looked at the Pegasus card last Wednesday and Thursday there was a “10%” chance of rain in Hallandale Beach, Fla. last Saturday. So what happens? The skies opened up on and off all day Saturday and changed the entire way I looked at the card. I did make several small adjustments to my card but to be fair, I will stick to what I published. While on the subject of last week/the Pegasus card, First off I was shocked to see Si Que Es Buena go off at 7.50 to 1 in the La Prevoyante. The $17.00 winner was the highlight of my day. New crowned Eclipse Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz rode Bricks and Mortar to perfection in winning the Pegasus Turf Cup. The 26 year old made several excellent decisions during the running of that race and found himself in the winner’s circle after winning “going away” late. The filly Magic Wand ran very well for second and Yoshida failed to fire as I didn’t see any visible excuses for him. In the Pegasus World Cup, simply put City of Light was absolutely brilliant in his swan song race. He stalked a quick early pace in the slop, took over leaving the six furlong marker and was striding out beautifully as he sprinted through the final furlong to win by almost six conclusive lengths. It’s a shame he and Accelerate boarded a van heading for Lane’s End Farm at 11:30 am last Sunday morning to begin stud duty as he seems to really be coming into his own. Speaking of Accelerate, he was a problem loading into the gate and although he looked disinterested during the running of the race, he did very well to grab the “show dough”. Kudos also to Seeking the Soul and his trainer Dallas Stewart, who I almost (accidentally) ran over with my car while he was eating a banana at Saratoga two years ago, who rallied from far back to get second at 34-1. Moving forward, we will be looking at seven races this weekend, highlighted by three Kentucky Derby prep races, once in each corner of the country. We will be looking at the Withers at Aqueduct, an eight furlong, $250,000 contest for three year olds. We’ll then head south to Gulfstream Park for a look at the $350,000, 8 ½ furlong Holy Bull Stakes for three year olds. While there, we will also be looking at the Forward Gal Stakes, a seven furlong test for three year old fillies and its counterpart, the Swale Stakes, another seven furlong contest for males. Lastly, we head West to Santa Anita for a look at the 8 ½ furlong, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, for three year olds. While we are there, we will also be looking at the San Pasqual for four year olds and up. This race looks to be competitive as 2018 Eclipse Award nominee McKinzie will take on 2017 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Battle of Midway amongst others. Lastly, I broke the races down by track not by post times so please be advised they are slightly out of sequence. Saturday Feb 2, 2019 Aqueduct Racetrack Race: 9 (4:30 PM EST Post) Withers Stakes Tax is bred to run to Antarctica and back non stop. After breaking his maiden and being claimed for $50,000, this son of Arch out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, valiantly chased Maximus Mischief in his wide tripped last and in the end, he was only beaten by less than three lengths at 17-1. I figure Maximus Mischief would be about 1/5 in this spot, so logically he’s my choice here. Lastly, note the eye popping 27 point Beyer Speed Figure improvement in that last race also as it coincidences with him running “first time Lasix.”……slight edge in tough race to figure……………………….Our Braintrust clearly looms a threat in this spot as well. This colt by Freud, who was purchased privately about four weeks ago, has never been worse that second through four career starts, topped off by finishing a close up second (to Mind Control) in the Jerome on this oval last time out. I love the ascending speed figures (58, 73, 77 and 86) and he’s has been working well…………………I’m sure some people will play Not That Brady on Super Bowl weekend as a hunch play. This chestnut gelding will probably tug on a few heart strings also being out of the club footed, blind in one eye and named after ownetrainer Tim Snyder’s wife who passed away from…you guessed it breast cancer…Lisa’s Booby Trap. (Lisa’s Booby Trap went on to win 10 of 18 career races in a remarkable story from about 9 or 10 years ago). Anyway, this gelding by Big Brown broke his maiden by a colossal margin two back and came back to wired a restricted Stakes field in his last. He tries open company for the first time here but his current form and speed figures suggest he’s a contender………………………Honorable Mentions: Lucky Lee buried maidens and first level allowance foes in his last two at Parx. Colt by Flatter will be making his first start in about 10 weeks but is another who has rising speed figures in each of his three starts (47, 70 and 88)….at the very least, he should be prominent early on……………………..Moretti is a $900,000, half brother to Breeders’ Cup winner Battle of Midway, who we are going to talk about a little later in this piece. The good looking son of Medaglia d’Oro finshed a very good second in his debut before winning his greenly run (swerved in mid-stretch) second start. He’ll go first time blinkers on Saturday and that should keep him more focused in this spot. Albeit this colt has some ability, I am rating him this low based on the molasses like fractions and final time of that last race………..Admire, who was screaming out for more distance in his six furlong debut, got exactly that in his second appearance as he broke his maiden when stretched out three more furlongs….outside shot here. (My play: $1 triple box using the top 5. Cost $60.00) Gulfstream Park Race: 9 (4:07 PM EST Post) Forward Gal Stakes Feedback annihilated maidens in her one and only start at Saratoga last year while getting the last furlong in a very good :06.3. Filly by Violence, who started his stud career at $15,000 but is now up to $40,000, has been off since but has been working steadily since the beginning of December. Eclipse Award winning rider takes the leg up from the Eclipse Award winning trainer….……………………Fashion Faux Pas wired maidens by almost 6 lengths at Laurel two back, then did the same while taking down a minor Stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs last time out. Note, with the anticipated bad weather rolling into Florida this weekend, this filly won that Tampa race over sloppy track. Although she will be stepping up in class and stretching out in distance, she does draw towards the inside and posted a bullet half mile work last week. Both of those facts signal to me that Castellano will “send” her out of the gate once again and could prove difficult to run down late………………..Champagne Anyone came from behind to break her maiden three starts back, then after a rough trip (missed the break, altered course late) she got up to beat high level optionals two starts back. Filly by Street Sense ran very well last time out also as she finished within shouting distance of upper echelon three year old filly Restless Rider when fourth in the Grade: 2 Golden Rod Stakes. She will be the recipient of one of my more favorite angles (drops in class/cuts back in distance) and she can handle the slop……looms a threat here for sure……………………Honorable Mentions: Bye Bye J is unbeaten on the dirt including beating a minor Stakes field on this oval last time out and scoring a strong 97 Brisnet Speed Figure in the process. Still another who steps up and stretches out however…………………Frond came with a brazen, four wide rally at the quarter pole to beat maidens over a sloppy track at Tampa Bay Downs at first asking. Although her speed figure and final time were nothing spectacular, she does get a serious rider upgrade and, more importantly, goes “first time Lasix”…………..Hollywood Glory shows back to back off track, second places finishes in two Stakes races in New York in her last two races. Note in her last how it was almost a dozen lengths back to the third place finisher in that race as well. (My Play .50 Trifecta Box using the first 5. Cost $30.00) Race: 10 (4:40 PM EST Post) Swale Stakes Call Paul is the most accomplished horse in this race as he towers over this field in money won and back class. Handsome colt by the equally handsome Friesen Fire is 3 for 5 in his career and his two losses came to horses far better (Complexity and Vekoma) than what he’ll be facing in this spot. Irad takes the leg up from an unconscious (17-40= 43%) Jason Servis. Only two questions left, will he “need one” as this is his first start in 61 days especially after recording slow works leading into this? And will he handle the anticipated off track? Past those, he looks best…………………………Throw a blanket over the rest and pick ‘em as they are difficult to separate…..Zenden is 2 for 2 in his career with both races coming on this oval, including taking down a minor Stakes race last time out…………………High Crime blasted maidens in his first try on the dirt and on this surface. Another offspring of Violence, he recorded a strong speed figure and final time in that race as well………………….Honorable Mentions: Topper T had a busy and pretty good start to his career last year before being handed over to trainer Bill Mott. Mott then put him in way over his head in his two starts including chasing 2YO Champion Game Winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Signalman in the Kentucky Jockey Club last time out. Bottom line here is he drops (and cuts back in distance) into a more reasonable spot on here…………………….Country Singer, who has won his last two “on the engine” and by a combined 12 lengths, Seismic Jolt who has been beating up on lesser in restricted races and Frosted Grace, who has speed, the rail, gets one of the best speed riders in the game and cuts back in distance, all have serious early speed and could hurt each other’s chances, but all merit a look as well. (My Play: $20 win, $20 place on Call Paul. Cost $40.00) Race: 11 (5:13 PM EST Post) Holy Bull Stakes Maximus Mischief has been in front at every call through all three career races while breaking his maiden by almost 9, beating first level allowance horses by 6 and then taking the Grade: 2, two turn Remsen at Aqueduct in his last. In watching the replay, I really liked the way this colt came roaring off the turn in the Remsen, showing a very fluid and powerful stride at the same time. Like several others on the card, He’ll have to answer a few more questions come Saturday. Like how will he handle the anticipated off track? And will he be ready? Remember, you want your horse peaking on the first Saturday in May, not he first Saturday in February. That said, judging by his sparkling works, topped off by a :58 flat, five furlong move last week, I would say he is ready enough for this. “He’s already been a mile and an eighth (Remsen), which I think is a pretty good advantage. It puts us a little bit ahead of the curve with the other 3-year-olds around,” trainer Robert (Butch) Reid said. “We have an opportunity to run him a mile and a sixteenth, a distance we know he can handle, and the timing was just perfect for us. “We’re looking forward to the Holy Bull. We’ll have to see what the competition looks like and go from there, but no excuses for him right now. He’s doing very well.”………………………………Mihos is clearly the biggest threat to MM here. This son of Cairo Prince, who looked like world beater winning this very race is 2014, has improved leaps and bounds through his first three races, topped off by winning the Mucho Macho Man Stakes on this track last time out on Jan 5. That said, it took him a very pedestrian :26.4 to get the last quarter mile in that race…That’s troubling to me………………………Garter and Tie has yet to run a bad race in his career and on this track as his 7-2-2-2 record would indicate, including winning a Stakes race two back. Obscurely bred colt finished right behind Mihos last time out as well….merits consideration here……………………….Honorable Mentions: Federal Case, a $650,000 son of Gemologist, could be “laying in the weeds” and ready to ambush his foes in this spot. He is 2 for 2 in his career and was recently handed over to Todd Pletcher….”Ignore Pletcher, leave the track on a stretcher”………………………… Harvey Wallbanger has run 8 ½ furlongs in three of his four career starts and has never finished worse than second in any of the four. That said, his final times are getting progressively slower and his speed figures have dropped ever so slightly……………………………..Gladiator King has been blown off the racetrack in his last two races, losing both by a combined 39 lengths. That said and once again with the uncertain weather in the area, note he ran far and away the best race of his life over a sloppy track. (My play- Pass, there won't be any value in this race as far as I can see) Oaklawn Park Race: 8 (4:38 PM EST Post) Martha Washington Stakes Sunset Wish has improved nicely through all five of her career starts, topped off by a conclusive win in the Take Charge Brandi Stakes at Delta Downs in her last. This daughter of Malibu Moon, owned by the powerhouse Godolphin Stable, is a logical choice here……………..Taylor’s Spirit has excellent early speed and has won 4 of her first 6 starts. Although she has won at one mile before (on the turf), I do not believe this is her best distance as she was run down by the top pick at a shorter distance last time out…………………….Marathon Queen wired maidens in her initial journey at the Fair Grounds. Chestnut daughter of Super Saver steps up and stretches out but she draws very well for her running style. Trainer Steve Asmussen reaches out to his “go to” rider Ricardo Santana Jr. which sends a message to me here……………………..…..Honorable Mentions: Although Sheza Handfull has been facing maiden claimers, she has improved greatly through all three career starts topped off by beating $50,000 MC’s last time out. This good looking daughter of Into Mischief will be making her first start in about 10 weeks but that last half mile work (:49) was better than it looks on paper…………………………….Crafty’s Dream has hit the board in eight of 11 career starts and although she might be best on synthetics, she might run well here even though her trainer is 0 for 23 in Graded Stakes races. (My Play: $1 Trifecta Box using all 5. Cost $60.00) Santa Anita Park Race: 6 (5:53PM EST Post) Robert B. Lewis Stakes If it rains like they said it will this weekend at Santa Anita, this races becomes a little more dicey as only one horse in the race has ever set hoof on a wet track. That said Mucho Gusto is one of the better three years olds that hails from the perennial powerhouse Bob Baffert barn. This $625,000 son of Mucho Macho Man wired maidens in his debut, wired the field in his second start (Grade: 2 Bob Hope Stakes) then valiantly chased absolute budding super star Improbable in the Grade: 1 Los Alamitos Futurity last time out. Don’t worry about the 56 days off as he shows an excellent work pattern. One that combines stamina building works and couple of speed honing works as well…………………………Gunmetal Gray took advantage of a fast early pace and a complete mental meltdown of the highly touted Coliseum when winning the Sham Stakes in his last. After chasing 2 YO Champion Game Winner in his two previous races, this colt by Exchange Rate was last and some seven lengths behind at one point yet blew by the field down the lane in a visually impressive effort…….should be coming late once again in this spot……………………..After beating high level maiden claimers two back, Easy Shot finished just over three lengths behind Gunmetal Gray in the Sham Stakes last time out and improved for the third race in a row in the process. Colt from the legendary Calumet Farm looks best of the rest here…………………Honorable Mentions: You can go ahead and throw out Nolo Contesto’s debut race as he was bumped hard at the start, causing his rider to lose an iron and the distance was way too short for him. Good looking $385,000 ridgling by Pioneerof the Nile came back and won second time out when stretched out to one mile while coming home in a halfway decent :25.1 for the last quarter mile……………….Although facing lesser opponents Kid Cantina has yet to run a bad race through four career start. This $15,000 yearling purchase stretches back out to distance that should hit him right between the eyes and his figures have been steadily improving. (My play: $1 trifecta box all 5. Cost $60.00) Race: 9 (7:23PM EST Post) San Pasqual Stakes (7:23PM EST Post) McKinzie could not have looked any better when rallying from way back early and zooming past his rivals in the Malibu Stakes last time out. If you draw a line through his Breeders’ Cup Classic debacle, the Malibu would be his fourth straight win and his fifth in six career starts. This colt by Street Sense is now a Graded Stakes winner at seven furlongs, a mile, a mile and a sixteenth and a mile and an eighth….that, readers, is impressive…hard to go against in this spot………………………After being deemed sterile and put back into training, Battle of Midway just missed in the San Antonio last time out and won back to back races previously. This $410,000 son of Smart Strike’s comeback is now complete as he seems to have picked up where he left off last year. Bottom line here is this bay horse, who loves this track as his 7-4-2-1 record would indicate and has been working extremely well of late, is a threat in just about any spot he runs in at these middle distances…………………………..Dabster is a $1 million, now five year old by Curlin who has run step for step with Battle of Midway in his last two races, including an absolute thriller two starts back. Figures prominent throughout…………………………..Honorable Mentions: Dalmore is 4 for 9 on this oval and 0 for 17 everywhere, so it’s safe to say you get the “Horse for the Course” angle here. The now six year old gelding appears to be in good form right now also…..could be a menace here………………….Even though he will be making his first start in three months, Giant Expectations has the ability to run well in this spot. He is already a multiple Graded Stakes winner, he has been working well of late and he has run well “off the bench” before……………………I still think Shivermetimbers is better than his 3 for 13 record would indicate and, like I mentioned about Fellowship, who came fourth at 70-1 last week, this horse is going to run a pop a big race one of these days. I just hope it’s not this Saturday. (My Play: $1 trifecta box using the top 5. Cost: $60.00) By: Gerard Apadula Director of Equine Operations and Development Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) 2019- Record: 5-15 = 33% (My Plays: -$378.05) 2018- Record: 107-261= 41% 2017- Record: 92-235 = 39% 2016- Record: 91-229 = 40% 2015- Record: 67-180 = 37% 2014- Record: 29-73 = 40% 2013- Record: 20-59= 34% 2012 -Record: 24-73= 33% 2011 –Record: N/A 2010- Record: 24-74= 33% Little Bets N Pieces **** At 12:05 a.m., Jan. 28 two time Champion Songbird delivered an Arrogate filly at Wayne and Cathy Sweezey’s Timber Town Farm near Lexington. “In my life I’ve foaled thousands of mares … and she’s one of the best I’ve ever been around. She’s a very, very special mare,” Wayne Sweezey said. “Everybody anticipated this. She was already pretty special—it’s been very special to have her on the farm—but she was so professional what she did last night.” Songbird was due to deliver her first foal Jan. 27 and went all of five minutes over that timeline. Sweezey said it took her about a half hour to get the baby in position, then, with one person assisting, she delivered the filly. After about 15 minutes of rest, Songbird stood up and accepted the new foal. Both are doing well. **** Love the Chase, dam of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome, has been booked to 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year runner up Accelerate in 2019, Tom Ryan of SF Bloodstock announced last week. “A great looking colt that’s done it the hard way, has proven his mettle and clearly has our full attention,” Ryan said on Twitter. Love the Chase, a 13-year-old mare by Not for Love, was purchased by SF Bloodstock for $1.95 million at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Selected Mixed Sale in foal to Tapit. **** When Caroline Lois captured the fourth race at Gulfstream Park Jan. 5, it gave trainer Dale Romans the 2,000th victory of his career. Romans’ resume include winning the 2011 Preakness Stakes with Shackleford in 2011 and finished second in that race two other times. Other top performers throughout his career include Promises Fulfilled, Little Mike Tapitsfly, Dullahan, Kitten’s Joy and Keen Ice. But perhaps Romans’ best horse was Roses in May, who registered eight wins and four seconds from 13 starts and more than $5.4 million in purses. Roses in May capped his career with a victory in the 2005 Dubai World Cup. **** Cappucino Bay, the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner and leading sire Medaglia d’Oro, died Jan. 25 at the Montana farm of Albert and Joyce Bell. The 30-year-old mare had been battling Cushing’s Disease. Cappucino Bay raced as a Washington homebred for the Bells, winning just five of 24 starts for earnings of $164,433. Cappucino Bay’s greatest accomplishment, though, came as the dam of Medaglia d’Oro. The son of El Prado’s $5,754,720 in earnings were compiled with wins in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, Whitney Handicap, and Donn Handicap, and the Grade: 2’s San Felipe Stakes, Jim Dandy Stakes, Strub Stakes, and Oaklawn Handicap. He also finished second in two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and was also runner-up in the Belmont Stakes and Dubai World Cup. “MDO” has sired 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, champion Songbird, and Breeders’ Cup winners Talismanic, New Money Honey, and Bar of Gold. Cappucino Bay was also the dam of G3 winner Naples Bay and stakes-placed Expresso Bay. **** Cowboy Diplomacy, a 3-year-old full brother to champion Monomoy Girl, will be making his racing debut next month, according to trainer Brad Cox. Cowboy Diplomacy has had five published works this season at Oaklawn including a :59.3, five furlong bullet move from the gate last Sunday “He’s doing good,” Cox said. “I think he’s almost ready to go, for sure. We’ll see.” Cox, who also trains Monomoy Girl, said his champion filly was sent to Florida for a freshening following a victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, but added she is scheduled to rejoin his barn at Fair Grounds barn early next week. Cox said the $700,000 Apple Blossom Handicap April 14 at Oaklawn and $500,000 La Troienne Stakes May 3 at Churchill Downs are being considered for Monomoy Girl’s 2019, 4-year-old debut. “We’re going to let her tells us,” Cox said.
Betting. Online Wagering (ADW) Free PPs. Expert Stakes Picks & Tickets. DerbyWars - Today's Games - Play For Cash - Play a Free Game. 2015 Preakness Stakes (G1) Date/Track: 5/16/2015, Pimlico Race Course. Post Time: 6:18 PM ET Distance: 1 3/16 m (Dirt) 2015 Preakness Stakes Betting Preview Favorite – American Pharoah After his impressive performance in winning the Kentucky Derby by a full length, it’s no surprise to see American Pharoah as the heavy -130 favorite heading into the Preakness. Preakness Stakes 2015 Betting Tips. Firing Line 9/2 at GTBets; Firing Line (1st), American Pharoah (2nd) and Dortmund (3rd) Trifecta. I’ll also have a superfecta will Divining Rod finishing in 4th place. Let’s take a look at some of the match-up markets available at GTBets. Vegas Odds On 2015 Preakness Stakes . Pablo Del Monte exploded out of the gate at the 2014 Preakness Stakes to force an early pace. California Chrome answered by matching the early speed, as the short but talented field settled into what would be the fastest Preakness Stakes time run by a winning horse (1:54.84) since 2007. You can bet on the 2015 Preakness online at OffTrackBetting.com! Bet the Preakness Stakes with quick deposits using your Visa or MasterCard credit cards via Neteller. All members have access to Preakness Stakes horse race betting from Pimlico Race Track, Preakness Stakes odds, horse racing results, live video, replays and cash back rewards.
Published on May 18, 2015 The Belmont Stakes will be in June 6th, and American Pharoah seems to be the favorite to win the Triple Crown, after winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. 2019 Preakness Stakes Odds, Picks and Predictions Podcast (Pimlico Race Course - May 18, 2019) - Duration: 44:13. WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 2,181 views 44:13 Mike Beer and Andy Serling give their picks for the 2015 Preakness Stakes. ... 2015 Preakness Stakes Betting Guide & Free Tips - Duration: 3:01. SBR Sports Picks 1,982 views. Watch as Jeff Siegel & Aaron Vercruysse take a look at the top contenders for the upcoming Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes. Follow Jeff at @JSiegelRacing and Aaron at @LongshotAaronV on Twitter for ... The 2015 Preakness Stakes will feature just an 8-horse field, and the longer shots are looking significantly outmatched by the favorites. Ed from WinningPonies.com and SBR Videos host Peter Loshak ...