Graded Stakes Preview – Saturday, June 24th, 2017

BetPTC.com / Graded Stakes Preview / Ed Meyer

Thistledown

Race #8 – The G-3 Ohio Derby – 1 1/8 main – 5:30 pm EST

#8 -Girvin (2-1) / #2 – Untrapped (9-2) / #5 – Sorry Erik (6-1) / #8 -Game Over (12-1)

BetPTC.com Selections:

Girvin looked like a major player heading into the Derby. He was knocked around quite a bit and been away from the races for 49 days. The bullet work signals all systems go, and with Mike Smith in irons that seals the deal for me. Untrapped has the same story as Girvin. He has a solid work tab, but no exclamation to show he is ready for top billing. He’s an honest runner but may be second best with his top effort. Sorry Erik has been racing on the “left coast” and this G-3 spot looks like a great way to begin a summer campaign. He should get a piece of the pie. Game Over makes a second start off the layoff and may not be the top dog in here. But that’s why they run the races and you can’t leave him off your exotic tickets.

Churchill Downs

Race #10 – The G-3 Chicago Handicap – 7f main – 5:21 pm EST

#3 – Kathballu (8-1)  / #5 – Ivy Belle (30-1) / #8 – Finley’s luckycharm (4-5) / #9 – Sweetgrass (10-1)

BetPTC.com Selections:

Kathballu has been away from the races for 56 days and has three works over the track. This daughter of Bluegrass Cat is coming in fresh for Ken McPeek. 7 panels looks to fit and there is plenty of speed to stalk. Look for a top effort. Ivy Belle may look to be cut below at first glance, but has rolled off three-in-a-row since the end of 2016. The new year has her looking like a maturing runner and 2017 can be a brand new chapter. Finley’sluckycharm is the one to beat. This daughter of Twirling Candy is one fast filly and been ultra tough going short. She is a perfect 5/5 at Churchill, and you’re going to have to look to find the value you deserve. Sweetgrass is a daughter of Street Sense who is 3/4 ITM going 7 panels. She has the look of an honest runner who brings her best everytime. She is primed to get a minor award.

Santa Anita

Race #4 – The G-3 Affirmed – 1 1/16 main- 5:30 pm EST

#2 – Battle of Midway (4-5) / #5 – Arms Runner (9-5) / #1 – B Squared (6-1)

BetPTC.com Selections:

Battle of Midway took a shot at the Derby but had no two-year-old season. This 3yr-old may be a maturing runner. The son of Smart Strike is 4/4 ITM over the course, and  been away 49 days from the races. His works are a good sign and looks to be the major danger. Arms Runner is 2/2 on the turf going 6 1/2f and gets the acid test today. He comes from the barn of Peter Miller (27%) and may enjoy the added distance. B Squared is a nice Cal-bred and has shown versatlity. He was a beaten favorite last out and the barn comes back to win at a (27%) clip on this move. Speed on the lead can be dangerous, but he’ll need an A+ game to get the win.

Santa Anita

Race #6 – The G-3 Precisionist – 1 1/16 main- 6:30 pm EST

#3 – Accelerate (5-2) / #4 – Collected (4-5) / #1 – Donworth (6-1)

BetPTC.com Selections:

Accelerate is a son of Lookin At Lucky and is 5/6 ITM at Santa Anita. He was away from the races for 49 days starting in February. His first back was an O.C. $75,000 prep and was a beaten chalk this day. Trainer John Sadler is bringing him along in fine fashion, and owns a bullet work 59.3 / 5f on 6/19/17. This may be the start of very good things to come. Collected is the one to beat. He comes from the Bob Baffert barn and cuts back to a 1 1/16 from 1 1/8. Take a look back at the G-3 Lexington Stakes and he relished the distance. Donworth has been away from the races for over a year. This son of Tiznow was a $550,000 Keeneland sales purchase and looks to make 2017 his year to reward his connections.

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BetPTC.com Horses to Watch – 6/20/17

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

All eyes were on Churchill Downs this past Saturday. – Stephen Foster Day under the lights made for a one-of-a-kind show. McCracken returned stong and mature, and if you didn’t enjoy Gun Runner’s romp winning by the largest margin in stakes history. You may want to check your pulse. – Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and now Father’s Day is in the books. That only means one thing. Real summer racing is ready to begin ! – Keep your eyes peeled for these runners who have a good excuse. They’ll return to the races and reward those who back them.  Best of luck from your friends at BetPTC.com !

6/17/17

Santa Anita

Race #6 – #2 – Pacific Wind – G-2 Honeymoon – 1 1/8 on the turf

A very nice daughter of Curlin who won at first asking over the SA turf. She has the look of a good stalker and hails from the barn of Peter Eurton (21%). This was her first start off a brief freshening and stepped up in class. She has hooked the winner the winner Sir Cat Sally twice, and was a troubled third both times. – She has a good late kick but we didn’t get a chance to see it as she was forced to steady off heels into the turn. Once she got it together she made a solid run for the show dough.

Race #9 – #3 – It Tiz Well – G-2 Summertime Oaks – 1 1/16

Mike Smith teamed up with Jerry Hollendorfer, and they know the way to the winner’s circle. She has faced some tough gals, and was (2-1) against the Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman in the G-1 SA Oaks. She was forced to steady in the first turn, and again when she turned for home and tried to squeeze up the inside. – Toss this race, but you’ll have to use her in multi-race exotics to get the value you deserve.

6/17/17

Belterra Park

Race #1 – #6 – Cap’s Tale – 5f on the turf

It was his 3rd start off the layoff shipping in from Churchill Downs. This son of Tale of the Cat was stepping up in class and cutting back in distance. The turf rail was out 18 feet, and he managed a stout closing effort where speed rules the day. “Pede” Prentice split runners gaining quickly and is sure to bring the same game and more next time.

Race #4 – #9 – Sacred Promise – 1 mile on the turf

This son of Super Saver was making his first start on the turf for trainer Kellyn Gorder. He has travelled to Indiana, Turfway, Mahoning Valley and now Belterra. – He broke slowly at the break and circled six wide on a turf course that had the rail set 18 feet out. – I wouldn’t rule out another jump in class, and with a little cleaner trip he’ll give them fits.

Race #5 – #3 — Backsplash – 1 mile on the main track

Perry Ouzts aboard the Cleveland invader who left Thistledown off a win. She is a gamer who likes to run late and ready to ply her trade at Belterra. She bobbled at the start and looked awkward for most of the race. Once she got in gear, she managed a 5 wide run to be a bridesmaid this day. She is one to play right back no matter where she runs.

BetPTC.com Horses to Watch – 6/14/17

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

The 149th running of the Belmont is in the books, and it was an incredible day of racing all around. The Belmont left players still asking questions, but that was the same song since early January. The “Test of the Champion” gave punters plenty of options, and it came down to the two most logical runners in the field. – Time marches on and there is plenty of summer racing to look forward to watching. Here are a few that need a good look before going to the windows. – Best of luck from your friends at BetPTC.com !

6/10/17

Belmont

Race #2 – #8 – You’re to Blame –  The Easy Goer – 1 1/16

Javier Castellano in the irons for Chad Brown, and they have been winning (46%) of the time. 1/1 at Belmont and shipped in off a closing effort in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs. Bumped at the start and spun 6 wide turning for home managing to be second this day.

Race #4 – #7 – Sweet Loretta – G-1 Acorn – 1 mile

Javier Castellano for Todd Pletcher brought a daughter of Tapit who was away from the races for two months. She stumbled badly at the start, and this was a pretty tough bunch. She managed a 4th place effort and should rebound greatly off this awkward beginning.

Race #7 – #11 – Petrov – G-2 Woody Stephens – 7f

Ricardo Santana in the saddle and was making his first start in 56 days since the Arkansas Derby. Santana was caught 4 wide in the turn and 7 wide at the 1/8th pole. He will improve for a summer campaign and Santana is going to ride in New York this year.

Race  #10 – #4 – Time Test – G-1 Manhattan – 1 1/4 on the turf

Castellano in the saddle for Chad Brown and was a beaten favorite shipping in from Arlington. He made a strong effort going 6 wide and is just getting started on a summer campaign.

6/10/17

Belterra Park

Race #5 – #6 Steph and Me – 6 1/2f

John McKee rode the Fairmount invader for trainer Dan O’ Halloran. He drew off easily and is eligible for the same conditions next out. A duplication of this race is not out of the question.

Race #7 – #9 Lethal – 1 mile and 70 yards

John McKee was rolling late in the lane shipping in from Arlington Park. He finished second this day and was 3/4 off the winner. Improvement is soon to arrive the next time he loads in the starting gate.

Friday Night Australian Racing, June 9th, 2017

Race 1C Australia (Flemington) Friday, June 9, 2017.  EUGENE GORMAN HCP ($100K) 9:45pm EDT (8:45pm CDT, 6:45pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 2yo OPEN.  5 1/2 furlongs, Apprentices Can Claim.  Picks:  10-3-2

#10 SIA (5/1 ML) won her debut for the red-hot Lindsay Park connections, and is the first foal for the crack distaffer Hips Don’t Lie (Stravinsky).  Expecting good things with the wide draw.  #3 Counterplay (7/1 ML) is a very successful racehorse, but draws the hated rail.  Hopefully she can find cover and move at the right time.  #2 Lone Eagle (2/1 ML) ran a big speed figure at Sandown Lakeside, but he may find Flemington horses to be quite a bit tougher.

 

Race 3C Australia (Flemington) Friday, June 9, 2017.  BRUCE GADSDEN HCP ($100K) 10:50pm EDT (9:50pm CDT, 7:50pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3C, 4C, 5C) OPEN.  5 furlongs, Apprentices Can Claim.  Picks: 6-4-2

#6 ROUGH JUSTICE (7/1 ML) and #4 Military Reign (9/2 ML) appear to be the controlling speeds, especially important at the 5 furlong distance at Flemington.  At least one horse will be in the exacta.  #2 Santa Ana Lane (5/1 ML) owns the best speed figures.

Graded Stakes Preview, Saturday, June 10th, 2017

“If You Can Make It There, You Can Make It Anywhere!”

Bel R11  (Post 6:37 pm):  The Belmont Stakes (Grade 1), 12 furlongs, 3yo

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #2 Tapwrit (6/1)   2nd – #4 J Boys Echo (15/1)  

3rd – #9 Meantime (15/1)   4th – #1 Twisted Tom (20/1)

I am going for some shots in the Belmont with the bumping in the Kentucky Derby causing so many horses to have interference during that run.  TAPWRIT‘s Tampa Bay Derby is good enough to win this, and I think he will really love Belmont’s sweeping turns.  I think he can also run all day, and maybe that will be good enough.  J BOYS ECHO beat Cloud Computing (the 2017 Preakness Winner) by 3 and 1/2 lengths in the Gotham, then had trouble at the start in both the Blue Grass, and then the Kentucky Derby, when Classic Empire slammed into him.  I am certainly willing to give him a chance at big odds.  MEANTIME is the speed here with Hall of Famer “Money” Mike Smith.  Look for this guy to either lead, or track Irish War Cry.  TWISTED TOM has been pointed for this race since late April, and has an excellent five workout tab for Chad Brown.  Another horse with good value at a 20/1 ML quote.

 

Who’ll Take The Manhattan?

Bel R10  (Post 5:37 pm):  The Manhattan Stakes (Grade 1), 10 furlongs (Inner Turf), 4up

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #4 Time Test (5/1)   2nd – #6 Potemkin (8/1)   3rd – #3 World Approval (3/1)  

4th – #1 Beach Patrol (4/1)   5th – #7 Divisidero (4/1)

TIME TEST is an extremely hard knocker that makes his second start for Chad Brown.  He will probably appreciate the return to firm turf.  POTEMKIN is 9 for 15 lifetime, including a dominant win in a Group 2 at Chantilly on 2016 Arc Weekend (similar to Breeders’ Cup weekend here).  Gets first lasix Saturday and has to be considered a strong contender.  WORLD APPROVAL is the best of the established North American horses.  Not sure he really wants 10 furlongs, he’s (2-0-0-1) at the distance.    BEACH PATROL and DIVISIDERO seem a cut below the top 3.

 

The Met Mile is the Greatest Mile There Ever Was!

Bel R9  (Post 4:41 pm):  The Met Mile Handicap (Grade 1), 8 furlongs, 4up

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #12 Awesome Slew (6/1)   2nd – #11 Tommy Macho (10/1)   3rd – #5 Sharp Azteca (7/2)

4th – #2 Rally Cry (5/1)   5th – #10 Virtual Machine (30/1)

AWESOME SLEW has been pointed for this race all year and he has the talent to pull it off.  A wide draw in the Met Mile is often helpful because it allows the jockey on the wide horse to judge the intensity of the early pace and adjust accordingly. TOMMY MACHO was interfered at the 1/8th pole in his last race (Carter Handicap), and he stretches out to his preferred 8 furlongs.  Again, another horse that should take advantage of its wide draw.  SHARP AZTECA is THE early speed; the question is will anyone go with him?  Because he is the morning line favorite I think he will face some pace pressure.  RALLY CRY is trying to move up from NW2x allowance to Grade 1, but his last speed figure was very competitive.  VIRTUAL MACHINE ran a career top in the Westchester chasing Connect, and he has every right to run well again.

 

The Just a Game is No Game!

Bel R8  (Post 3:58 pm):  The Just A Game (Grade 1), 8 furlongs (turf), 4up F&M

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #1 Dickinson (5/2)   2nd – #5 Celestine (3/1)   3rd – Antonoe (8/1)

DICKINSON showed she was a special horse to make up more than a length in the stretch after having to check badly at the eighth pole in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland.  A similar performance puts her right there.  Celestine has the identical race pattern to 2016, when she took this race by over three lengths at 7/1.  This is a much tougher field but I have to give her a chance to repeat.  Antonoe goes from an NW2x allowance win at Keeneland to Grade 1, but she has Chad Brown AND Juddmonte in her corner.  The fact she is in this race says she belongs.

 

Woody Stephens Won Five Belmonts in a Row!

Bel R7  (Post 3:15 pm):  The Woody Stephens Stakes (Grade 2), 7 furlongs, 3yo

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #4 Gold For the King (15/1)   2nd – #8 American Anthem (5/2)   

3rd – #3 Recruiting Ready (6/1)   4th – #7 Wild Shot (4/1)

Taking a shot with GOLD FOR THE KING.  Posse is a New York-based stallion that is known for getting good sprinters and he has another one in GFTK, who has won two of his last three, all in New York bred stakes company.  AMERICAN ANTHEM is back to probably his best go, 7 furlong sprints.  Of the main contenders he appears classiest to me.  RECRUITING READY shows well in 6 furlong sprints but sometimes it’s hard for dedicated front runners to win going 7 furlongs.  Wild Shot upped his game going 8 furlongs tracking an outclassed speed on a wet track, something that won’t happen this Saturday, but his win at Churchill was big from a speed figure perspective.

 

It’s Turf Sprint Time in the Jaipur!

Bel R6  (Post 2:34 pm):  The Jaipur Stakes (Grade 3), 6 furlongs (Turf), 4up

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Undrafted (12/1)   2nd – #1 Loose On the Town (8/1)   

3rd – #3 Pure Sensation (3/1)   4th – #4 Green Mask (4/1)

Wesley Ward wanted to take UNDRAFTED to Royal Ascot this month, but his American owners wanted to see more starts in this country, so he lines up here in the Jaipur.  I expect the pace to be fast, and that should set it up for Undrafted’s late run.  LOOSE ON THE TOWN is the inside speed and he has shown a lot of ability in grass sprints.  If Stormy Liberal doesn’t go after him early Loose On the Town is a win candidate.  PURE SENSATION may not have relished the wet Churchill Down’s turf course in his comeback, he should be much fitter today for the big $300,000 purse.  GREEN MASK ran the race of his career last time (he’s only 4 wins in 20 turf starts). I think the wet track at Churchill Downs really helped him.  If the track is firm he’s probably a vulnerable favorite.

 

Songbird Returns in the Ogden Phipps!

Bel R5  (Post 1:52 pm):  The Ogden Phipps Stakes (Grade 1), 8.5 furlongs, 4up F&M

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #5 Songbird (1/2)   2nd – #7 Carina Mia (6/1)   

3rd – #1 Highway Star (10/1)   4th – #6 Bar of Gold (12/1)

SONGBIRD has been training great.  Sometimes works can’t get a horse ready for the races but what I saw of her workout videos was really impressive.  CARINA MIA’s connections may have had this race in mind all along, as she did not (in my opinion) go hard for the win at Keeneland in her last race until the last 300 yards, saving something in the tank for this race.  HIGHWAY STAR has never lost at Belmont on the main track in four tires – enough said.  BAR OF GOLD has a good record, but she strikes me as the type of mare to complete the trifecta.

 

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BetPTC.com Horses to Watch – 6/4/17

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

As we gathered with family and friends honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, Memorial Day was a special time for my family. We would celebrate the lives of those no longer with us, and later meet at the corner of Stokesay and Oak St. to watch the hometown parade. There’s something about a small town parade that brings life all together. – The men decorated in full unform, and the stoic look of pride as they proudly walked our hometown streets. Bands played and sirens wailed crating the soundtrack of the days festivites. – It would be about 15 minutes after the parade when we would join my grandparents for a picnic lunch under the large oak tree at River Downs. Memorial Day was a time to honor the past and look to the future. Going to the races was a yearly trek that was the official signal that summer was finally here.

5/27/17

Belmont

Race #1 – #4 – The Crocheron Kid – 6f on the turf

Jose Ortiz in the irons for David Donk. This guy had an overland trip spinning wide into the lane costing precious ground. He scored this day, and is a perfect candidate for a repeat preformance at the windows.

Race #7 – #9 Vigor – 6f on the turf

Jose Lezcano in the saddle for Bill Mott and they do very solid work together. He was wide grabbing the lead and later inhaled by a solid winner Rublinda. Give him a hard look next out, and catch him if you can !

#2 – Fear No Evil – (Same race)

Luis Saez at the controls for trainer Thom Albertrani. He was tracking perfectly and shut off trying to tip off the rail. He dove right back to the inside and found no room. Saez wrapped up on his mount and saved plenty of gas in the tank for next out.

Race #8 – #4 – Kitten’s Cat – 7f on the turf

John Velasquez for trainer Joe Sharp. It was a quick pace and he came flying late in the lane, but couldn’t pass the impressive winner Big Handsome. Shipping in from Churchill Downs;  his second time out in the “Big Apple” will make this son of Kitten’s Joy ultra tough.

5/27/17

Santa Anita

Race #5 – #1 – Avenge – 1 1/8 on the turf

Flavien Pratt in the irons for Dick Mandella. She grabbed the lead from the rail and was heavily backed at the windows. She faced a monster this day with Lady Eli and if she catches anyone else she’ll give them all they want next time she hits the track.

5/29/17

Belmont

Race  #4 – #7 Ancient Secret – 1 mile on the turf

She was making her first start of the 2017 season for Chad Brown. Irad Ortiz in the saddle and was tracking perfectly in the two path and weakened down the lane to finish 4th this day. – Toss this race as needing one and you’ll be pleasantly surprised next time she hits the track.

Friday Night Australian Racing, June 2nd, 2017

Rosehill is a Good 3 (similar to North American “firm”).

Race 2A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, June 2, 2017.  6 furlongs.  PRO RATA ATC MEMBERSHIP (BM78) ($100K) 10:00pm EDT (9:00pm CDT, 7:00pm PDT) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo BM78.  Picks 1-3

#1 NEW UNIVERSE (2/1 ML) has been hugely successful since coming to Sydney, winning his first two Australian starts for Trainer Chris Waller.  Being that he’s 4 for 5 lifetime and has the best recent speed figures makes him a very logical favorite.  #3 Dissolute (6/1 ML) has a good in the money percentage and the speed figures are OK for the red-hot Darren Beadman/Godolphin operation.

 

Race 3A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, June 2, 2017.  SCHWEPPES (BM78) ($100K) 10:35pm EDT 9:35pm CDT 7:35pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3A, 4A, 5A) 4yo+ M BM78.  7 1/2 furlongs, Apprentices Can Claim. Picks 1-3

#2 Payroll was a big scratch in here, but #1 DAGNY (5/2 ML) is in winning form and seems to be on the improve for Chris Waller.   #3 Wahng Wah (4/1 ML) has a good win percentage and speed figures close to Dagny’s for the always competitive Kris Lees stable.

Graded Stakes Preview, Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

The Winner of the Shoemaker goes to the Breeders’ Cup!

SA R7 (7:00 pm Eastern, 4:00 PM Pacific) The Shoemaker Mile Stakes (Grade 1), 8 furlongs (turf)

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #4 Farhaan (4/1)   2nd – #3 Bal a Bali (3/1)   3rd – #7 Bolo (4/1)

With known speed horses Heart to Heart and What a View drawing next to each other, there almost has to be a speed duel, which should set it up for the closers.  FARHAAN, BAL A BALI and BOLO are all mid-pack closers that should be well positioned for the win.  Farhaan is a little “long in the tooth” at eight years old, but he is 4 for 6 ant the one mile distance and (2-1-1-0) at Santa Anita.  His trainer Phillip D’Amato has been flat bet profitable with all of his starters in 2017 (198 starts), and also with a 595 start sample of grass horses.  He’s also 24% wins (259 starts) with horses that won their last race.  Bal a Bali looks slightly faster than Farhaan on the numbers, but he’s making a significant ship to and from Kentucky over Kentucky Derby weekend.  Bal a Bali needs to be at his best to contest for the win.  Bolo came back on 15 days rest in late April, then was very flat late and got passed by Farhaan.  If he is sharper today he can win.

It’s the First Year of the Beholder Mile!

SA R8 (7:30 pm Eastern, 4:30 PM Pacific) The Beholder Mile Stakes (Grade 1), 8 furlongs 

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #2 Stellar Wind (3/5)   2nd – #3 Vale Dori (8/5)   3rd – #4 Finest City (3/1)

In case anybody forgot, Beholder was one of the many reasons for California racing fans to be excited about their product, and it is great the people that run California racing named a Grade 1 race in her honor.

STELLAR WIND is probably not the soundest mare going (13 starts in three racing seasons, 8 wins), but in her PPs and in the numbers she looks really dangerous here.  The awkward two turn mile might cause some concern, but she has 2 wins in 3 starts at the mile.  Looks like all systems go.  VALE DORI is a very honest horse that keeps grinding out wins.  If you believe, that 8/5 ML odds would be her highest win payoff since forever.  Finest City is a really nice horse, the 1 mile might be more within her performance range (her best distance is undoubtedly 7 furlongs).  I would be surprised she could beat both the top two picks but stranger things have happened.

The Penn Mile is Penn National’s Night to Shine!

Pen R9 (7:45 pm Eastern) The Penn Mile Stakes (Grade 2), 8 furlongs (turf) 

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #7 Big Score (5/2)   2nd – #3 Time to Travel (8/1)   3rd – #8 Frostmourne (3/1)

BIG SCORE is maturing into a very reliable grass horse, and he ran a career top Late Pace last time.  I really like that Javier Castellano is sticking with him, and there are several speed horses entered that should ensure for a wicked pace.  TIME TO TRAVEL has shown a lot of ability on the dirt, but his late pace numbers might imply he can be competitive on the grass, and his full sister, HARD NOT TO LIKE, was a Grade 1 winning turf mare (most notably defeating Tepin at Saratoga).  FROSTMOURNE is a capable animal who can rate a bit, which will really help in a race with so much pace in it.  The Irad Ortiz/Christophe Clement trainer jockey combination over the last 60 days has 3 wins over their last 10 starts together, with a flat bet profit of 52%.

The Pennine Ridge is the Prep for the Grade 1 Belmont Derby!

Bel R9 (5:45 pm Eastern) The Pennine Ridge Stakes (Grade 3), 9 furlongs (turf) 

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #9 Good Samaritan (8/5)   2nd – #3 Secretary At War (8/1)   3rd – #4 Makarios (10/1)

GOOD SAMARITAN ran great in his comeback on Derby Day, and modest improvement puts him into the winner’s circle.  SECRETARY AT WAR is the kind of horse that might make the front early and hang around for a while.  He is very well bred for the distance and is very good form.  MAKARIOS appears to be a good animal.  He’s undefeated at racing 9 furlongs or longer on the grass, which is good, but his trainer rarely wins graded stakes anymore (1 for his last 52), which is bad.

The Aristides is Named For The Horse That Won The First Kentucky Derby!

CD R10 (5:21 pm Eastern) The Aristides Stakes (Grade 3), 6 furlongs 

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #3 Union Jackson (3/1)   2nd – #3 Limousine Liberal (8/1)  

3rd – #5 Recount (5/1)   4th – #4 Wilbo (5/1)

UNION JACKSON has sneaky good early speed and with his inside post and top speed rider Florent Geroux will have to be caught.  LIMOUSINE LIBERAL won a seven furlong Grade 2 on the square on Derby Weekend, but he lost his prior 7 races before that.  He’s historically more likely to run second than first at the 6 furlong distance (8-2-4-0).  I think he’s a potentially vulnerable favorite.  RECOUNT has been great in restricted races, not so much open stakes, BUT he likes Churchill Downs (3-2-1-0) and he seems as fast as the top two.  WILBO validated his love affair with the CD strip (5-4-0-0) by defeating Recount by a neck at Churchill on May 12th.

BetPTC.com Horses to Watch – 5/31/17

Horses to Watch – Ed Meyer

The second jewel in the Triple Crown gave players an excellent chance to play some new shooters. Always Dreaming opened up as the morning line favorite and Classic Empire was second choice. Going into the race it looked as if the Derby winner could notch another victory or Classic Empire could  show  why he was the two-year-old champ. – Classic Empire gave a good account, but the fresh legs of Cloud Computing  came calling late to win by more than a head. – If you didn’t hit the Preakness, no worries. The Belmont stakes will be up and around in three weeks ! – Best of luck from your friends at BetPTC.com ! 

Belmont

5/17/17

Race #2 – #5 – Initiate – 1 1/16 on the turf

Irad Ortriz in the saddle Shug McGaughey. This daughter of Pioneer of the Nile shipped up from Tampa Bay and has been off for 49 days. Ortiz grabbed the lead and did everything to perfection. He was beaten in the shadow of the wire and should improve greatly off this effort.

Belmont

5/20/17

Race #7 – #8 – Lull – 7f on the turf

Kendrick Carmouche in the saddle with a nice filly by War Front. She was getting 2nd time lasix and exited the G-3 Appalachian at Keeneland. The rider was in striking distance from the leader and lost the whip at the 1/16th pole. – She should do better next out and may reward her backers.

Race #8 – #10 – Tiz a Chance – 6f on the turf

Paco Lopez in the irons for Graham Motion. Forced to steady off heels at the 1/16th pole losing  momentum down the lane. The drop in class was a target race for Motion and this New York-bred is in good order to fire right back.

Belterra Park

5/20/17

Race #2 – #5 – Gloton – 1 1/16 on the main

Gabriel Lagunes in the saddle. Once the gate broke he was thrown in the air and his mount broke inward hitting the gate and went down. Unseating the rider and going down was tough, and he was the second betting choice this day. The horse and rider jumped right back up and this race is a toss out. Handicapper’s enjoy an angle like this as many cappers will dismiss him as a bad actor. Cross this race off and move forward. He’ll reward his backers.

Race #5 – #9 – Momma’s Gift – 4 1/2 f for two-year-old fillies

Apprentice Caroline Quast in the saddle and this filly was erratic to say the least. She was shipping in from Keeneland and went wide, ducked in, and finally dove to the rail  making a strong late bid. She needs a good playback and if the unseasoned apprentice is aboard she’ll get a square price.

Race #7 – #13 – Hurricane Bay – 1 mile and 70 yards on the main (off the turf)

John McKee in the irons for onwer / trainer Dan O’Hallaron. The Fairmount invader made a solid late bid hooking a runner who benfitted from a speed bias. “Hurricane” looks to be rouding into form and will pay dividends for players who back him. Fairmount runners do well over the track, and last year his barn did very well at Belterra making the trip.