Picks & Plays for Sunday, October 29
Racing has been cancelled for Sunday, October 29.
Racing has been cancelled for Sunday, October 29.
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 6 - 7 - 2 - 5
Race 2: 4 - 1/1A - 2 - 3
Race 3: 10 - 2 - 3 - 1
Race 4: 9 - 6 - 10 - 4
Race 5: 5 - 8 - 9 - 6
Race 6: 5 - 7 - 12 - 6
Race 7: 5 - 7 - 3 - 1
Race 8: 4 - 3 - 7 - 5
Race 9: 1 - 7 - 11 - 6
Race 10: 1 - 4 - 6 - 9
RACE 1: DOUBLE CAST (#6)
I suppose Ormolu Lu is the horse to beat here. Once again, there is not much pace signed on for this race, and she could work out a similar trip to the one she got last time, when she was able to set dawdling early fractions. However, I'm just not sold on her overall ability, and it's not a great sign that she was entered for a claiming tag last week before getting scratched out of that spot. If I'm going to bet anyone back out of that Sept. 29 race, it's Double Cast. She stumbled at the start, which put her further back behind that slow pace than she otherwise would have been. From there, she was never really in a comfortable position, getting sandwiched between horses while not having a clear path for much of the stretch drive. She's obviously better than that, and a return to any of her prior performances over the summer would make her the horse to beat.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,5,7
RACE 3: CHASINDAMONEY (#10)
I'm not trying to beat the morning-line favorite, Chasindamoney, who just appears to be a very likely winner of this race. Like so many Linda Rice first-time starters, this colt ran his debut like he badly needed a start, as he was sluggish and green throughout. He was much more professional last time, and put in a much stronger effort than his 10-length defeat would suggest. He was contesting a very fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs) that came apart late. The winner drew off by over eight lengths, and Chasindamoney did well to hang on for fourth. The turnback to six furlongs should be to his liking.
Exacta Key Box: 10 with 1,2,3,11,12
Trifecta: 10 with 2,3 with 1,2,3,11,12
RACE 5: BLOCKADE (#5)
Congruity is going to be pretty tough to beat, and is a deserving favorite. He was contesting a fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs) that fell apart in the late stages last time. Despite making the first move into that taxing pace at the quarter pole, he dug in gamely to hold for second. He'll be a big part of my play, but I want to take a shot with Blockade at a slightly better price. This horse showed some promise in his debut finishing a good third behind the talented Voting Control. Then last time, I thought he just didn't get the right ride, as he was stymied behind and between horses for much of the running, and only got out at the eighth pole. Even at that point, he had another runner right to his outside, and he just never seemed comfortable. I like the switch to Jose Ortiz, and I think we'll see an improved effort this time.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 6,8,9,10
Trifecta: 5,8 with 5,8 with 4,6,9,10,11,12
RACE 7: TIME AND MOTION (#5)
If Off Limits repeats her win in the Noble Damsel, the rest of this field is running for second. Where did that race come from, and is she going to be able to replicate it? At a very short price, I'm taking a small shot against her running quite that well against this larger and deeper field. Therefore, I'm hoping that Time and Motion can turn the tables at a much more attractive price. Jimmy Toner has had a frustrating season with Time and Motion, as she's been plagued by issues and layoffs. He indicated that her last run was just a prep race, and he finally feels like he has her heading in the right direction heading into this spot. I'm not totally convinced that her best race is good enough to beat the Noble Damsel-winning version of Off Limits, but she's certainly good enough to handle everyone else if that one doesn't show up.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3,7,12
Trifecta: 5,7 with 5,7 with 1,3,12
RACE 9: TALE OF S’AVALL (#1)
Seymourdini has been installed as the morning-line favorite, and he's certainly the most intriguing runner in here. He's been untouchable so far in 2017, winning all of his starts by double-digit margins. However, he's coming off a significant layoff and this is his toughest test yet. I think this is the right time to play against him. The two runners that I fear most are Stallwalkin' Dude and Divining Rod. However, the seven-furlong distance may be a little problematic for both of them. Stallwalkin' Dude is better going a bit shorter and Divining Rod probably needs at least a mile to show his best. Therefore, I think this race could open up to some of the bigger prices, and the one that I want is Tale of S'Avall. I've always been fond of this horse, and I think he's finally stepping up his game now as a 4-year-old. He was riding a strong rail at Saratoga two back, but he still ran well to win at today's distance, and did so in fast time. Then last time, I thought he ran pretty well in the Grade 1 Forego, attacking the pace of Drefong before just getting passed for third in the final strides. He's a horse that doesn't mind making inside runs, so I actually like this rail post position for him.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 6,7,9,10,11
RACE 10: WAY EARLY (#1)
War Chest is likely to go off as the favorite, but I'm a little skeptical of this runner at what figures to be a very short price. He got a perfect trip to break his maiden in his debut, closing into a fast pace (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs). Shug McGaughey only gets a 60 Trainer Rating with horses coming off maiden wins, and I think he could be vulnerable in this spot. There is a fair amount of speed in this field, and the front-running type that I prefer is Bourbon Currency. I thought he was game to win his turf debut last time, fending off today's rival Devine Entry in the late stages, and he's certainly bred to stretch out in distance. I'll use him, but my top pick is the New York-bred, Way Early. I know he was beating a much weaker field last time, but I love the way he did it. He got a fair pace to close into, but he was just gobbling up ground with huge strides through the final quarter mile and galloped out far ahead of the field in a visually impressive performance. Furthermore, the fourth-place finisher in that race, who also closed from off the pace, returned to win his next start with an improved speed figure.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 2,4,6,9,10
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 3 - 6 - 1 - 9
Race 2: 8 - 3 - 12 - 4
Race 3: 7 - 2 - 5 - 3
Race 4: 7 - 8 - 4 - 12
Race 5: 7 - 6 - 2 - 5
Race 6: 9 - 8 - 1 - 10
Race 7: 2 - 3 - 6 - 8
Race 8: 2 - 7 - 6 - 3
Race 9: 2 - 8 - 6 - 1
RACE 1: HOLLYWOOD CAT (#3)
There is a pair of dangerous Brad Cox trainees in this race. Of the two, I slightly prefer Lion in Wait due in large part to this barn's awesome numbers with horses coming off maiden wins. She needs to improve on her maiden-claiming score last time, but she certainly has a right to do so. Questeq must also be included. She's had her chances recently in similar spots but has continued to run well. They're all in my play, but my top pick is Hollywood Cat. This filly never really got a fair chance to run last time, as she worked out a very uncomfortable trip, racing in tight quarters, sandwiched between horses for most of the race. She was then squeezed back at the top of the stretch when a tiring runner bumped her and basically lost all her momentum. This filly had improved over the summer, and I think she's had legitimate excuses in her last two starts. Now she drops in class and stretches out to a more appropriate distance.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,6,9
RACE 4: OLD FLORIDA (#7)
The horse to beat appears to be Reality Queen, who has run fairly well in two starts against maiden special weight company and now drops in class to face maiden claimers. I'll use her, but I think there are some other less-obvious contenders who deserve a look. My top pick is Old Florida, who makes her second start after splitting a field in her debut at Delaware Park. I thought she was ridden somewhat tentatively that day, as she wasn't set down and asked for her best until late in the stretch, at which point she was attempting to make a run between horses. The race was dominated by the front-runner, and the closers didn't really get involved. Tom Proctor has very good numbers with maidens dropping in class. Over the past five years, he is 13 for 42 (31 percent, $2.07 ROI) with horses dropping from maiden special weight to maiden-claiming company in turf routes.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,8,11,12
RACE 5: ROAD TO PERFECTION (#7)
The two fillies who are going to take all the money are Tapella and Full House. Tapella won her maiden in her third attempt last time, winning a hard-fought photo finish over the turf horse Bogulator. She certainly has a right to keep improving, but she's not the kind of runner I want at a short price. Full House's maiden win was aided by a rail bias, but she followed that up with a solid run against stakes company last winter. She probably has more raw ability than Tapella, but I'm not sure what to make of her as she returns from the layoff. If I'm going to take a layoff runner in this race, I want it to be Road to Perfection. I know that she looks a bit slower than the aforementioned runners, but I like that she's getting back to one turn on the main track. Furthermore, her last start over Aqueduct's inner track was not nearly as bad as it seems given the slow pace of that race. David Donk has decent layoff numbers, and I think this filly is slightly better than it appears.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2,3,5,6
Trifecta: 2,5,6 with 2,3,4,5,6 with 7
RACE 6: ELOWEASEL (#9)
If Munchkin Money repeats her last effort, the others are probably running for second. She earned a massive 119 TimeformUS Speed Figure for that win, as she absolutely crushed a group of allowance foes. She's the horse to beat, but she has to cut back to six furlongs, which is new territory for her. I'll use her, but I want to take a small shot against her with Eloweasel. She, too, is probably a bit better at seven furlongs, but she's run reasonably well at this distance. I thought she was bit unlucky last time, when she got blind-switched between horses coming to the eighth pole, as she had to let the winner make first run before she got into the clear. She can be a little inconsistent, but she's definitely a win candidate if she holds that form.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 1,7,8,10
RACE 9: CALL THE CAT (#2)
There are many ways to go in this intriguing finale. Chad Brown starts a pair of runners making their debuts. Neither one has overwhelming turf pedigree, but you still must respect any lightly raced horse out of this barn. The likely favorite is Lil Commissioner, who really took to turf last time, running a vastly improved 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure while just failing to get by the winner in the final strides. That kind of effort would win most races at this level, and he deserves respect. However, at a much bigger price, I have to take a shot with the first-time turfer Call the Cat. He barely lifted a hoof in his debut, but there is strong evidence that he will take to this new surface. His sire, Creative Cause, is a 15 percent turf sire, and there's plenty of turf pedigree in the second generation of his dam's family. She is a half-sister to Grade 1 turf winner Sweet Talker and Grade 3 turf winner Silver Medallion.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,6,8,10
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 2 - 7 - 10 - 5
Race 2: 5 - 2 - 1 - 4
Race 3: 9 - 5 - 8 - 6
Race 4: 1 - 9 - 11 - 10
Race 5: 8 - 2 - 1 - 9
Race 6: 2 - 1 - 4 - 10
Race 7: 1/1A - 6 - 7 - 4
Race 8: 6 - 9 - 3 - 4
Race 9: 4 - 7 - 10 - 13
RACE 2: INDY UNION (#5)
Pink Sands is likely to go off as a short-priced favorite after running an improved race at this distance last time. She showed good early speed and finished well while proving no match for the winner. She's certainly one of the top players in this race, but there are other fillies in this group who appear to possess some talent. One of those may be first-time starter South of the Shore, who makes her debut for Chad Brown. She actually has more of a turf pedigree on the dam's side, so perhaps it's a good sign that she's trained forwardly enough on dirt to get a shot racing on this surface. I'll use both of these, but my top pick is Indy Union. I liked both of this filly's first couple of starts on dirt and thought she finished up like a horse who really wants more ground. She made a belated but sustained run from well off the pace in her debut and then bettered that effort in her second start, running past Pink Sands in the final eighth of a mile. A turf experiment last time didn't work out, but now she gets back on the right surface.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,4
RACE 3: PALINODIE (#9)
Chad Brown obviously holds a strong hand here with both Dovecote and Silver Shaker. Of the pair, I prefer the recent maiden winner Silver Shaker, who was impressive when winning at this distance last time. That race did not set up well for a closer, as the leaders meandered through slow early fractions (indicated by blue color-coding in the PPs). Despite that poor setup, she came flying through the lane with a devastating run to win by open lengths. If she repeats that performance, none of these may beat her. However, I still want to take a shot with a runner who figures to offer better value. Palinodie was quite dull when returning from the layoff this summer at Saratoga. That race was dominated by the front-runner over a turf course that was favoring speed and the rail, but Palinodie still should have produced more of a stretch kick. I'm hoping that she just needed that race to get back into form because her U.S. debut last fall in the Long Island Handicap was actually a good effort. She was strongly rated far off an extremely slow pace, and she closed well to get as close as she did at the wire. Now, she's stretching out to a more appropriate distance, and the Belmont turf course should be more to her liking.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 3,5,6,8
Trifecta: 5,9 with 5,9 with 3,6,8
RACE 6: DJULPAN (#2)
There is very little speed signed on, and the Pace Projector is indeed predicting a situation that favors runners who will be on or near the early lead. Therefore, trips could play a big role in the outcome. The Pace Projector is predicting that Cordero may be in front early as he makes his first start off the claim by Brad Cox. He was in decent form prior to the barn change, and he figures to be awfully dangerous here given the circumstances. I'll use him, but I think he could get some company up front from Djulpan. For whatever reason, this colt's connections rated him in his recent starts. He didn't handle it two back and then was inexplicably dragged back to nearly last in the early stages of his most recent start. He's run his best races when he's up on the pace, and I think Jose Ortiz will revert to those tactics as he gets back aboard here. I know that some others have run faster speed figures, but I don't wholly trust class droppers like War Stroll and Camp Courage.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,4,6,10,11,12
RACE 8: CLASSIC COVEY (#6) / CAPITAINE (#9)
I'm not saying anything particularly clever by pointing out that Classic Covey is clearly the horse to beat. His maiden score was visually impressive, as he rallied powerfully from well behind in a situation where the pace didn't exactly fall apart. It's sometimes difficult for horses coming off maiden wins to step up against winners, but Bill Mott has fantastic numbers in these situations. Over the past five years, he is 23 for 91 (25 percent, $2.94 ROI) with last-out maiden winners in turf routes. I believe he is the most likely winner, and I want to use him with Capitaine, who figures to offer much better value. This horse didn't seem to know what he was doing in his turf debut back in July at Saratoga, but he improved significantly in his second start over the surface later in the meet. That day, he was the only horse who was contesting the early pace to still be around at the end in a race that was dominated by late runners. It seems like he's heading in the right direction, and he figures to work out a nice stalking trip in this spot. I’ll primarily use him in exactas with the favorite.
Exacta Box: 6,9
Trifecta: 6 with 9 with 2,3,4,5
Trifecta: 6 with 2,3,4,5 with 9
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 2 - 10 - 4 - 5
Race 2: 3 - 7 - 5 - 1
Race 3: 3 - 2 - 1/1A - 5
Race 4: 6 - 4 - 2 - 1/1A
Race 5: 1A - 2 - 6 - 5
Race 6: 11 - 2 - 12 - 3
Race 7: 4 - 7 - 6 - 1
Race 8: 3 - 1 - 6 - 2
Race 9: 7 - 2 - 12 - 13
RACE 2: AOIFE (#3)
Merger Arbitrage was installed as the morning-line favorite, and I'm honestly not sure why. She's been off the board at relatively short prices in all three of her starts, and now makes her belated 3-year-old debut. She was facing tougher company in those races, but it's not as if she ran particularly well in any of them. I suppose it's a good sign that Chad Brown has not dropped her in for a tag yet, but I don't want her at a short price. I'm instead taking a shot against her with Aoife. This filly has actually run reasonably well on a number of occasions, and she's one of the only horses in this field with solid recent form. She put in a relatively strong effort two back at Saratoga, finishing third behind the improved Remarqued. Then last time, I think she just got the wrong trip racing down inside in a race that was dominated by horses making outside runs. She's better than that, and she can use her tactical speed to her advantage in this paceless race.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,5,6,7
RACE 4: TRIPLE DOG DARE (#6)
Impact Player's connections sure are making it difficult for him to win a race. It's hard for me to fathom why they wouldn't just run him in a dirt sprint, but they apparently are eager to find out if he can stretch his speed out to a mile. He's a deserving favorite, but this actually came up as a pretty deep race, and he could have his hands full here. His main rival appears to be Gravitating, who finished well to be second in his debut last month over this surface. Anthony Dutrow has good numbers with second-time starting maidens stretching out, and he's been enjoying a fantastic Belmont meet after a slower start to the year. I'll use him, but my top pick is Triple Dog Dare. He's coming out of a much tougher maiden race than the one Gravitating is exiting, and he had significant trouble. He was green coming out of the gate and ducked in, costing himself about five lengths of position in the first few strides. From there, he dropped well off the pace before launching a belated rally to get up for fifth. Considering that the winner drew off to win by over 11 lengths and looks like a graded-stakes type, Triple Dog Dare actually did well to get within five lengths of the runner-up. He seems like the kind of runner that will stretch out in distance, and I expect to see a more professional effort this time.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,4,7
Trifecta: 6 with 1,2,4 with ALL
RACE 6: DANCING BREEZE (#11)
This race drew a large field, but the list of contenders is fairly short. Abbreviate is clearly the horse to beat after breaking her maiden in impressive fashion last month. She was somewhat with the race flow that day, as the pace did fall apart and the race was dominated by horses making outside moves. However, she won with something in reserve and appears ready to step up in class. The only knock I have is that she's going to be an awfully short price. For that reason, I'm taking a shot against her with Dancing Breeze. Graham Motion has fantastic numbers in this situation. Over the past five years, he is 15 for 50 (30 percent, $3.27 ROI) with foreign shippers in turf routes getting Lasix for the first time. This filly kept reasonably strong company in Europe and isn't catching the strongest field in her U.S. debut. Furthermore, the Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace, which should enhance her late kick.
Exacta Key Box: 11 with 2,3,12
RACE 7: FOCUS GROUP (#4)
Nik Juarez appeared to misjudge the pace when riding Focus Group to a fourth-place finish last time. The leaders just weren’t moving that quickly up front, and Focus Group was left with far too much ground to make up when still last at the top of the stretch. All things considered, he did well to slice his way through traffic and get up for fourth. Now Chad Brown adds blinkers, which should have him placed closer to the early leaders. If he works out a decent trip this time, I think he’ll prove to be too good for this group.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,6,7
Trifecta: 4 with 6,7 with ALL
RACE 8: FELINI (#3)
Your Love figures to go off at a short price despite disappointing as the 1-5 favorite last time. Perhaps the muddy track was an excuse, but she handled a wet surface in her allowance win back in June. She can certainly win this race, but I think she’s likely to be overbet. At a bigger price, I prefer Felini. I know that Felini’s New York form had tailed off earlier this year, but her last two races, which came at Parx, were quite good. Especially last time, she was dueling for the lead through taxing early fractions and did well to hang on late in a fast race. Behrnik’s Bank, the horse she was dueling with, faded to last but then came back win her next start with a vastly improved speed figure. Also, the third-place finisher, who also attended the pace, returned to win her next start as well, with a 14-point TimeformUS Speed Figure improvement. Kiaran McLaughlin doesn’t have the greatest turnback numbers overall, but he actually does fairly well in situations where there isn’t a layoff involved. Over the past five years, he is 6 for 24 (25 percent, $2.55 ROI) with non-maidens turning back from routes to dirt sprints and running back in 60 days or less.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,6
Trifecta: 3 with 1,6 with ALL
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 1 - 5 - 2 - 3
Race 2: 7 - 4 - 8 - 1
Race 3: 5 - 6 - 1 - 3
Race 4: 5 - 2 - 1 - 7
Race 5: 7 - 6 - 2 - 8
Race 6: 6 - 10 - 9 - 11
Race 7: 3 - 11 - 10 - 2
Race 8: 9 - 2 - 7 - 3
Race 9: 9 - 11 - 8 - 3
RACE 2: PERFECTEXPECTATION (#7)
The horse to beat is obviously News Anchor, who did not get the best of rides last time, to say the least. Joel Rosario got him into good position early, saving ground in midpack. However, the early pace was fast (indicated by red color-coding in the PPs), and when the leaders started to back up approaching the stretch, Rosario could not extricate News Anchor from his rail position, and he ended up getting shuffled back to nearly last at the top of the stretch. Once Rosario got him into the clear at the three-sixteenths pole, News Anchor unleashed a strong rally to get up for third. It was a solid effort, but it’s not as if he’s going to be any kind of generous price off that troubled trip. I actually prefer the horse who finished just ahead of him last time. Perfectexpectation did not encounter any trouble during the race but did have a fairly taxing trip chasing that fast pace. The other horses involved in the pace finished much farther back, and Perfectexpectation showed good courage to battle on for second. There doesn’t appear to be much early speed in this race, and he could find himself right on top of a moderate pace.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,8
RACE 4: CULTURE CARRIER (#5)
Jahaafel is a deserving favorite, having run well in both of his starts, but has gotten absolutely perfect trips, so it’s not as if you can reasonably expect significant improvement. He also must handle this stretch-out to 10 furlongs. I’ll use him, but I think a couple of others may offer better value. Shahroze is an intriguing new face in this group. It’s hard to gauge his quality off his Irish form, but Graham Motion has fine numbers with these types of runners. Over the past five years, he is 6 for 24 (25 percent, $2.37 ROI) with foreign shippers off layoffs of 120 to 240 days in turf routes. He’s a half-brother to a two-time Group 2 winner at 10 furlongs on turf, so he's certainly bred to handle today’s conditions. He’s very much in my play, but my top pick is Culture Carrier. I know it’s not a great sign that he was entered for a tag in his debut, but I like that his connections show confidence for his second start after finishing a deceptively strong fourth in that race. He appeared to be green in the early stages, but he really got on track late, finishing with great energy across the wire. I know it was only a $40,000 maiden claimer, but that was an awfully tough field for the level. Horses like Krampus and Brianbakescookies would not be out of their element in this spot. This runner is bred to handle more distance, and Chad Brown adds blinkers in hopes of getting him to focus.
Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,2,7,8
Trifecta: 5 with 1,2,7,8 with 1,2,7,8
RACE 6: TIFFANYS FREUD (#6)
This feels like a pretty wide-open race in which a few key players could end up going off at inflated prices. The runner likely to take the most money is High Jingo, and I do think she is the right favorite. She ran well to break her maiden two back at Saratoga, and then followed that up with a solid runner-up finish in her first start against winners. That said, she was able to secure the early lead and stay out of harm’s way in a race where others encountered significant trouble. I think this is a good spot to take a shot with a price, so I want to bet Tiffanys Freud out of her troubled trip in that same race. She’s typically a filly that prefers to be forwardly placed in her races, but she was squeezed back after the start last time, which left her out of position. She finally found some running room in the stretch, but got going too late before encountering traffic again right at the wire. This filly had really stepped up her game over the summer, and ran just as well as Swayed – who will be a much shorter price here – in a couple of starts at Saratoga.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 5,9,10,11
RACE 8: YUMMY BEAR (#9)
There is not much early speed signed on for this affair, and the Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors runners on or near the lead. I suppose that should work in favor of Speightful Kitten. Normally, I wouldn’t be a fan of a horse who took advantage of ideal circumstances when beating a weaker field last time, but Linda Rice does have great numbers off wins. Over the past five years, she is 16 for 67 (24 percent, $2.22 ROI) with last-out winners in turf sprints. Her other entrant, Whiskey Seven, also deserves consideration. He’s getting significant class relief after facing tougher open-company fields in recent starts. I’ll use both of them, but my top pick is Yummy Bear. I actually don’t mind the turnback in distance for this horse. I’ve always thought he was a little better going shorter distances. Seven furlongs is probably ideal, but I think he can handle six. Over the past five years, David Donk is 7 for 37 (19 percent, $2.63 ROI) with turf turnbacks. Yummy Bear has significantly improved over the past two months, and I think he’s a serious win candidate.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 2,3,7
RACE 9: SPECIAL TRIP (#9)
Chad Brown holds a strong hand in the finale. The horse to beat is Data Dependent, who has run well in both of her starts. She was green and compromised in the early going of her debut but still finished well. She had a better trip last time but just couldn’t catch the longshot winner in a race that featured a slow pace. Brown also sends out first-time starter Moi, a full sister to Grade 2-winning turfer Mrs. McDougal. Both of these runners must be used, but I want to take a shot with Special Trip off the “special” trip that she got in her career debut. She was taken to the back of the pack early and was somewhat rank while trying to advance around the far turn. She finally got outside to make her run in the stretch but was shut off and clipped heels at the three-sixteenths pole. Despite that trouble, she still finished strongly to be beaten only three lengths. The added distance is a concern, but I don’t think we’ve seen the best of this filly yet, and she figures to offer value.
Exacta Key Box: 9 with 3,4,8,11
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
Race 1: 8 - 4 - 3 - 7
Race 2: 7 - 6 - 4 - 8
Race 3: 4 - 3 - 1 - 5
Race 4: 2 - 5 - 8 - 7
Race 5: 8 - 3 - 1 - 9
Race 6: 3 - 8 - 11 - 1
Race 7: 1 - 3 - 8 - 9
Race 8: 7 - 3 - 6 - 8
Race 9: 7 - 5 - 1 - 4
Race 10: 6 - 4 - 1 - 8
Race 11: 10 - 4 - 1 - 3
RACE 2: DROSELMEYR’S SMILE (#7)
I’m against the morning line favorite, Pure Silver. She’s the class of this field, having won the Grade 2 Adirondack at Saratoga. However, she did so with the help of an inside speed-biased course. She got cooked in a fast pace in the Spinaway, which is a valid excuse, but I just don’t see her getting better with added distance. I respect the Joseph A. Gimma winner, Held Accountable, who has done nothing wrong in two career two starts. I’ll use her, but my top pick is Droselmeyr’s Smile. This filly ran a competitive speed figure in her debut, closing effectively from off the pace in the mud. I don’t know what happened at Finger Lakes last time, but that was an oddly run race and I’m willing to forgive it. She’s bred to appreciate added ground as a half-sister to a few solid route winners. The Pace Projector is predicting a fast pace and she should be able to take advantage.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2,4,6,8
RACE 3: ABSATOOTLY (#4)
At first glance, this looks like a two-horse race between Picco Uno and Quezon. I think you have to use both, but I’m interested in Absatootly off her trips when finishing behind the two favorites in her last two starts. Two back in the Union Avenue, she was steadied after the start and found herself at the back of the pack. From there, she made a wide, premature move up to challenge for the lead by the quarter pole before understandably tiring late. Last time, she was obviously never beating the top two finishers, but her four-wide trip did not help. This filly is in solid form right now and has a realistic chance to pull off an upset.
Exacta Key Box: 4 with 1,3,5
Trifecta: 3,4 with 3,4 with 1,5
RACE 6: BIG GEMMY (#3)
This race should feature an honest early pace with stretching-out sprinters such as Stoney Bennett, Battle Station, and Lover’s Leap in the mix. Therefore, I’m most interested in horses that should be coming from off the pace. The one to fear is We Should Talk, who won his debut impressively in fast time, and goes out for a dangerous barn. I’ll be using him, but my top pick is Big Gemmy. I really liked this colt’s maiden score at Saratoga two back, as he finished powerfully going seven furlongs. Notably, he’s the only horse in this race with experience going a route of ground on the dirt, having finished fifth in the Grade 3 Iroquois last time. I thought he was somewhat tentatively ridden that day, as his rider appeared to give up too early. This time, Luis Saez is back aboard and he should work out a great closing trip.
Exacta Key Box: 3 with 1,2,7,8,11
Trifecta: 3 with 1,8,11 with 1,2,7,8,11
RACE 7: D’YER MAK’ER (#1)
Discretionary Marq, the full brother to Grade 1 winner Discreet Marq, is clearly the horse to beat and will likely go off at a short price. However, he was allowed to set an extremely slow pace in his maiden score and faces a much different task in his first start against winners. I’m taking a shot against him with D’yer Mak’er, who ran extremely well at this level last time. That race did not set up for closers, and he launched a strong late rally from last place to nearly get up for the win. The stretch-out to seven furlongs should help.
Exacta Key Box: 1 with 3,8,9
RACE 8: GOLD FOR THE KING (#7)
This is one of the most competitive stakes on the card. The horse to beat might be Weekend Hideaway, who always seems to show up with solid efforts in these New York-bred stakes. I’ll use him, along with the logical pair of Ostrolenka and T Loves a Fight, who have both been in great form. However, my top pick at what should be a more generous price is Gold for the King. I just think that he’s finally back in the right spot after experimenting with routing back in July, and dabbling in graded stakes company prior to that. He got a ridiculous four-wide trip when he lost as the heavy favorite at Finger Lakes two back, so he’s in better form than it seems. He was running races fast enough to compete at this level in the spring, and he’s been working strongly for this return.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 3,4,5,6,8
RACE 10: BONITA BIANCA (#6)
Literata and Jcs American Dream finished first and second in the Saratoga Dew back in August at Saratoga, but I think this came up as a significantly tougher race, primarily due to the presence of a few talented 3-year-olds. The horse to beat might be Verdant Pastures, who destroyed a field at Saratoga last time and earned a strong speed figure in doing so. The only problem is that she’s never been successful rating and Might Be will be intent on taking the early lead in this race. Therefore, I’m hoping that fellow 3-year-old Bonita Bianca can come running late. She was taken out of her preferred style last time to chase the talented Sunset Ridge, who would be formidable in this spot. Bonita Bianca showed some talent as a younger horse and I don’t think we’ve yet seen the best of her in two starts this year.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,4,5,8
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