Picks & Plays for Monday, August 21
by TimeformUS Analyst David Aragona
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Race 1: 8 - 9 - 4 - 1
Race 2: 7 - 5 - 4 - 12
Race 3: 2 - 7 - 4 - 3
Race 4: 7 - 3 - 2 - 4
Race 5: 6 - 1 - 3 - 9
Race 6: 3 - 6 - 4 - 5
Race 7: 2 - 7 - 8 - 1
Race 8: 5 - 1 - 2 - 3
Race 9: 3 - 6 - 8 - 1
RACE 2: IMPAZIBLE WOMAN (#7)
She Remembered is obviously the horse to beat in this race after just missing at this level in two straight starts. She ran especially well last time when making a wide move to reach contention before hanging in the late stages. She deserves respect, but I want to take a shot against her with Impazible Woman. There doesn’t appear to be that much speed in this race, so I’m hoping that this filly can take advantage of a moderate early pace. Angel Arroyo tried to do that last time when he sent her forward from an outside post position, but she ended up getting caught in a pocket behind the leaders, and didn’t get out until the top two had run away in the lane. All things considered, I thought it was a fine turf debut. Now she moves to the barn of Ralph Nicks, who gets a 93 Trainer Rating off trainer switches.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 4,5,12
Trifecta: 5,7 with 5,7 with 4,6,10,12
RACE 4: THE TWO NANCY’S (#7)
I’m just not in love with any of the horses that figure to take money in this spot. Song for the Soul is the morning-line favorite, but she didn’t run all that well in her lone turf start and is going to get bet off her dirt races. Starship Rockette did have to weave through traffic last time, but she comes out of a slow race that was falling apart at the end. Tres Charmant may be the right horse of the “logical” contenders, but she didn’t show that much as the favorite last time. I think this is a spot where we can get a little creative, so I’m taking a shot with The Two Nancy’s, who gets on turf for the first time. She’s been awful in her dirt starts, but there is some pedigree evidence that she may appreciate this switch to grass. There is some European turf breeding going back to the second generation on the dam’s side, and her dam is a half-sister to a turf stakes winner. Desert Party isn’t necessarily known as a turf sire, but his progeny do handle this surface well, as she’s 13 percent with all starters on this surface. I’d like to see Kendrick Carmouche try to use her speed.
Exacta Key Box: 7 with 2,3,4,9
RACE 5: BEN OF THE BRIDGE (#6)
Hembree is a deserving favorite off his runner-up finish at the N1X allowance level earlier in the meet. He’s getting some class relief and draws well down inside for this tricky one-mile distance. However, I’m somewhat concerned that the connections have named an apprentice rider who is inexperienced riding over this circuit. Furthermore, I think he could face a challenge from a rival that figures to offer better value. Ben of the Bridge has yet to win on the turf, but he has run well, particularly in his last two starts over the surface. Both have come out of town, but he was facing decent N1X allowance fields. That was especially true last time when he was rallying down inside behind a trio of runners who will undoubtedly be favored in this spot. Trainer Butch Reid knows how to win with a longshot at the Spa.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,3,9
Trifecta: 1,6 with 1,6 with 2,3,5,9
RACE 9: BANKERS HOLIDAY (#3) / CLOUD CONTROL (#6)
This might be the most interesting race on the card, since a number of horses are dropping in class to run for the $50,000 claiming tag. Of the two Chad Brown horses, I prefer Tricked Up, who is probably running at the right level after winning his N1X allowance condition. He’s just not good enough to compete with the best horses in New York at higher levels, and is realistically spotted. I’m more concerned about Performance Bonus, who has been laid up quite a bit in his career, and may not really want to go two turns. I want to try to beat both with Bankers Holiday, who figures to be a square price with so many other viable options in this field. I really liked his lone turf race at the Spa last summer, in which he overcame a slow pace to nearly get up to win with a wild late rush. After that, he faced tougher company going distances that were not ideal in his next couple of grass starts. Now he comes back at a mile, and Joe Sharp has great numbers with horses coming off layoffs of 180 days or more. Over the past five years, he is 11 for 42 (26 percent, $2.97 ROI) in such situations. I’ll use him with the aforementioned runners, but I also want to include Cloud Control, who gets a positive rider switch to Irad Ortiz after encountering some traffic trouble last time. He’s one of the few runners who may be stepping up in class, but he’s actually in relatively strong form and this one-mile distance is perfect for him.
Exacta Key Box: 3,6 with 1,3,6,8,10
Trifecta: 3 with 1,6,8,10 with 1,6,8,10