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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.


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.

Friday Night Australian Racing, May 26th, 2017

Tonight’s Track:  Royal Randwick (near Sydney)

Expected ground:  “Soft 6” (softer than good ground)

Note:  I am unable to download the Australian PPs I use to make selections tonight, so I am employing video replays from racingnsw.com.au.


Royal Randwick – Race 1A  (9:10 PM Eastern, 8:10 PM Central, 6:10 PM Pacific) 2yo 7 furlongs set weights, Purse AUD $100,000  Picks:  7-5-3-2

#7 ICON OF DUBAI (5/1) was extremely wide and had to make a premature move to get position.  Well bred for the distance, maybe he can turn the tables tonight.  #3 Sambro (3/1) and #3 Padraig (8/1) also ran well in Icon of Dubai’s last race, but Sambro got a soft trip near the lead and Padraig was able to save a lot of ground once he got to the front.  #5 Lord Cecil (5/1) is the fresh face. He has already tried $125,000 stakes company on the Gold Coast at 6 furlongs.  He may do better at 7 furlongs, being a son of Animal Kingdom.  He is in his first Australian crop of runners.


Royal Randwick – Race 6A  (12:20 AM Saturday Eastern, 11:20 PM Central, 9:20 PM Pacific) 3up 6 furlongs BenchMark 78 handicap, Purse AUD $100,000  Picks: 2-12-10

#2 HEAVENLY ANNA (3/1) has really good HEAVY track form (2 wins), and the ground at Randwick is a Soft 6 tonight so maybe that will help.  She also drops from a tough Group 3 on GOOD ground (similar to firm in the USA) at Scone into a very weak BM78 race, a level she has already won.  She is allowed to race tonight because an APPRENTICE jockey (read: not as good as a journeyman) gets to claim nearly 7 pounds off and that qualifies her to enter.  #12 In Times of War (6/1) and #10 Sisken (10/1) are in good form but have yet to run a competitive race at this level.

Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, May 27th, 2017

It’s Time For The Gold Cup From Santa Anita!

Note:  No Morning Line (ML) odds were available to me as of this posting.

PTC.com Selections:

1st – #1 American Freedom   2nd – #2 Follow Me Crev  

3rd – #7 Big John B   4th – #5 Midnight Storm

Really interesting race here.  My top selection AMERICAN FREEDOM looks more like a miler (8 to 9 furlong horse) than a 10 furlong horse, but I think he has the most talent in the field and I like the jock switch to Martin Garcia, who while probably ride American Freedom aggressively to hold his rail position.  Also, I believe that Bird Song and Honorable Duty, who ran 1-2 in the Alysheba on a sloppy Kentucky Oaks day, are good animals.  I think it also looked like the INSIDE on Kentucky Oaks day was the place to be on the main track if the pace was not too fast, and American Freedom was in chase mode four wide after a tardy start.  Add in the fact American Freedom will be making his second start off a layoff and he has a lot of reasons to improve on Saturday.

FOLLOW ME CREV is a very honest stayer that has won four times on the Santa Anita Main track (10-4-2-2).  If the early pace is hot (which could happen) ‘Crev can pounce for the win.  His last race chasing potential superstar Collected resulted in a near career top, but he has the ability to run even bigger Saturday.  BIG JOHN B is another stayer whose best races have been at a mile and a half (12 furlongs).  He has a puncher’s chance to land the knockout blow.  MIDNIGHT STORM is definitely the speed of the speed but he has managed to lose his last two races when he was also the best early speed.  His late pace speed figures have declined some but a wire to wire win would be no surprise.

It’s Time For The Gamely From Santa Anita!

SA R5 (6:00 Eastern) The Gamely Stakes (Grade 1), 9 furlongs (turf)

Note:  No Morning Line (ML) odds were available to me as of this posting.

PTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Lady Eli   2nd – #1 Avenge   3rd – #7 Mokat

In what looks to be a rematch from the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Grade 1), my top selection LADY ELI is again matched up with Avenge, the best turf mare from the West Coast.  Lady Eli is a really tough customer, and she is working very well. Her bullet work on May 8th was in company with 2016 Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1) champion New Money Honey, and Lady Eli’s jockey NEVER moved on her.  It was an incredibly sharp work.  I expected her to run on Belmont Day in the $700,000 Just a Game (Grade 1) around 1 turn, but Chad Brown must be thinking about keeping Lady Eli around two turns, so here she winds up out West.

AVENGE is a horse that does exceptionally well on the front ends of two turn grass races.  Early in her career she was only considered a turf sprinter, because of her high early speed, but starting last July 24th she has been sent long, resulting in in three wins (two in graded stakes) and a close third in 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (Grade 1).  In a short field like Saturday’s race her early speed is very dangerous.  MOKAT is a late runner that on her best can compete for a minor placing.


It’s Down The Hill Time For The Monrovia!

SA R7 (7:00 Eastern) The Monrovia Stakes (Grade 2), 6.5 furlongs (turf)

Note:  No Morning Line (ML) odds were available to me as of this posting.

PTC.com Selections:

1st – #8 Enola Gray  2nd – #9 Anita Partner   3rd – #4 Illuminant

A fantastic renewal of the Monrovia.  My Top selection is ENOLA GRAY, who has never lost (3 for 3) going “Down the Hill” at Santa Anita.  She can set fast fractions, but her Late Pace (LP) finishing fractions are good enough also.  ANITA PARTNER is the ‘now horse,’ having won 4 races in a row (including three down the hill), all in starter and allowance company.  She gets the acid test for class today.  Her big edge is her LP numbers are stronger that Enola Gray’s LP numbers.    ILLUMINANT is a very talented horse, having won from 6.5 furlongs down the hill to 9 furlongs on grass.  In most years she would be the favorite to win this stakes, but I think drawing inside in post 4 and the talented mares in posts 8 and 9 will make it tough for her to add another win on Saturday.

It’s Down The Hill One More Time For The Daytona!

SA R3 (5:00 Eastern) The Daytona Stakes (Grade 3), 6.5 furlongs (turf)

Note:  No Morning Line (ML) odds were available to me as of this posting.

PTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Stormy Liberal  2nd – #3 Eddie Haskell   3rd – #5 Home Run Kitten

My top selection STORMY LIBERAL is the best sprinter down the hill (11-6-3-0) and he should be able to track EDDIE HASKELL from his cozy post 6 draw.  I expect a very soft win.  Eddie Haskell is the inside speed and that trip has performed OK during the meet.  Also Doug O’Neill’s charges do well down the hill.  A fresh HOME RUN KITTEN has two wins down the hill and two route wins over the Santa Anita turf course.  I expect him to run well late and get a big check.


It’s Off to Churchill Downs for the Winning Colors Stakes!

CD R10 (5:21 Eastern) The Winning Colors Stakes (Grade 3), 6.0 furlongs

PTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Finley’sluckycharm (3/5)  2nd – #7 Athena (4/1)   3rd – #8 Pleasant Tales (12/1)

FINEY’SLUCKYCHARM has a really long name, and she is undefeated at the distance (4-4-0-0), and undefeated at CD (4-4-0-0).  She has two solid workouts for her coming into Saturday’s race, and the short-priced chalk should roll.  ATHENA ran very well against the favorite last time, but she had an extra race for fitness.  That advantage is mostly negated now.  PLEASANT TALES also comes out of the Roxelena with Finley’s and Athena, deserves a puncher’s chance for the upset.


Friday Night Australian Racing, 5/19/2017

As of this writing, both Rosehill (A track) and Flemington (B track) are reporting “Good 3.”

Race 1A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, May 19, 2017.  JOHN MILLER HALL OF FAME HCP ($100K) 9:25pm EDT 8:25pm CDT 6:25pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 2yo OPEN, 6 furlongs Apprentices Can Claim.  Picks 3-1

#3 ADSUM (6/1 ML) had a solid trial on May 8th, and comes to the races for Team Hawkes with their “go to” jockey, Tommy Berry.  If this horse is real his odds will be a lot closer to 3/1.  #1 Viridine (7/2 ML) has a win under his belt for the red-hot Godolphin operation under ex-champion jockey Darren Beadman.  This appears to be a two-horse race.


Race 1B Australia (Flemington) Friday, May 19, 2017.  SAINTLY HALL OF FAME TROPHY ($100K) 9:45pm EDT 8:45pm CDT 6:45pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 2yo OPEN, 7 furlongs.  Apprentices Cannot Claim.  Picks 2-5-4

#2 GRANDIOSE (4/1 ML) looks like a horse that loves to win races, and this field isn’t stacked.  Choice.  #5 Salsamor (9/1 ML) has won at the taxing 7 furlong distance.  #4 Hecta (5/1 ML) doesn’t have fast track form but he did win his debut and is bred for the distance.


Race 2A Australia (Rosehill) Friday, May 19, 2017 2A GEORGE MOORE HALL OF FAME-BM73 ($100K) 10:00pm EDT 9:00pm CDT 7:00pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 3yo BM73.  7 furlongs Apprentices Can Claim.  Picks 7-4

#7 PASSAGE OF TIME (9/2 ML) is lightly raced and gets in very light at 122 pounds, compared to the 131 pound high weight.  I also like the class drop from BM76 to BM73.  #4 Samadoubt (7/1 ML) is also dropping from the same BM76 into this spot, and is second off the layoff.  He has the back speed figures to be a threat with nominal improvement.

Preakness Day at Pimlico – Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Pimlico Hosts The Second Jewel of the Triple Crown!

Pim R13 (post 6:48 Eastern) The Preakness Stakes (Grade 1), 9.5 furlongs

BetPT.com Selections:

1st – #4 Always Dreaming (4/5)   2nd – #1 Multiplier (30/1)

3rd – #5 Classic Empire (3/1)   4th – #3 Hence (20/1)  

5th – Conquest Mo Money (15/1)   6th – Cloud Computing (12/1)

ALWAYS DREAMING got the trip in the 2017 Kentucky Derby, but he MADE his trip.  After an awkward step out of the gate, he quickly righted himself and chased State of Honor through a half mile in a legitimate 46.2.  We know the rest – Always Dreaming won easily, and State of Honor lost by “only” 46 lengths.  The very tough speed horse Battle of Midway chased the Derby fractions as well, and only got beaten by eight lengths.  If you try to run with with Always Dreaming, you are probably going to lose.  With Conquest Mo Money being the only obvious speed in the field and drawing wide, the 2017 Preakness Stakes seems to be Always Dreaming’s to win with reasonable racing luck.

MULTIPLIER could be the new ‘Rodney Dangerfield’ of horse racing, as he just won the Illinois Derby is near stakes record time when the track was dead, and he is getting no respect.  There are some pedigree experts that say he is bred to get 5 furlongs, but horses are individuals before pedigree and Multiplier a very athletic horse with an incredible stride when he gets going.  Don’t take my word for it, watch the video of Illinois Derby (Hawthorne April 22nd, Race 5) and I challenge you to tell me he does not belong in this race.

CLASSIC EMPIRE and HENCE were unable to show their best on Derby Day with all the interference at the start of the Derby.  Classic Empire was noble, but I think tactically he is at a disadvantage to Always Dreaming in the 2017 Preakness with the lack of early speed in the field.  I also question coming back in two weeks after it was obvious he took a physical beating.  Hence is probably better than he showed Derby Day and to some extent that makes him dangerous.

CONQUEST MO MONEY and CLOUD COMPUTING are the other potential speed horses in the race, and it is unclear if either one will try to take on Absolute Dreaming early.  I think Cloud Computing will be sent early because he drew inside, and if so Conquest Mo Money may be able to stalk the leaders and get first run on Classic Empire.


The Dixie is a Great Grade 2 Turf race

Pim R12 (post 5:39 Eastern) The Dixie Stakes (Grade 2, turf), 8.5 furlongs

BetPT.com Selections:

1st – #10 Ring Weekend (4/1)   2nd – #4 Projected (3/1)

3rd – #9 Conquest Typhoon (15/1)

RING WEEKEND received two very passive rides from Raphael Bejarano at Santa Anita, and I am glad that Graham Motion made a jock switch to John Velazquez, who for my money is one of the top 3 turf riders in the country.  It also appears that there is enough early speed in this field to set up Ring Weekend’s late run.  PROJECTED looks like the European flavor of the month.  He might be good enough to win this race but he doesn’t appear to be a “Breeders’ Cup” quality Euro.  CONQUEST TYPHOON is 8 for 17 in hitting the exacta on the turf, and he appears to be going the right way after a sharp win at Belmont 16 days ago.  He seems well spotted to get a piece of the purse.


The Gallorette is a Turf Race For the Gals Only

Pim R10 (post 4:07 Eastern) The Gallorette Stakes (Grade 3, turf), 8.5 furlongs

BetPT.com Selections:

1st – #2 Zipessa (9/2)   2nd – #6 On Leave (2/1)  

3rd – #3 Danilovna (6/1)   4th – Elysea’s World (5/2)

ZIPESSA is a horse that has significant distance limitations, but if the track is good or firm she should dominate these at 8.5 furlongs.  ON LEAVE is a super-talented animal, but this spring her trainer has brought many talented horses over for their 2017 debuts and I have not seen one win yet.  I will use her in the exacta.  DANILOVA looks really dangerous for Graham Motion and I don’t think it would be a huge upset if she won, with the form of Zipessa and On Leave being somewhat uncertain.  ELYSEA’S WORLD has had the misfortune to run into 2017 turf super mare Dickinson twice, running second both times at 9 furlongs.  Not sure if she can beat these at the shorter 8.5 furlong distance, but I think she’s a must use in the pick 4.


The Maryland Sprint is Surprisingly for Sprinters!

Pim R9 (post 3:27 Eastern) Maryland Sprint Stakes (Grade 3), 6.0 furlongs

BetPT.com Selections:

1st – #4 A. P. Indian (8/5)   2nd – #5 Whitmore (9/5)   3rd – #2 Classy Class (10/1)

A. P. INDIAN had a great comeback at Keeneland, his late pace was excellent, and I think he will appreciate the shorter 6 furlongs distance.  WHITMORE has never lost sprinting at six furlongs (5 for 5) and this could be the race of the weekend.  CLASSY CLASS is a very reliable early speed horse that may be able to hang on for the trifecta.

Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico – Graded Stakes Preview for Friday, May 19th, 2017

Note:  There is up to a 60% Chance of Rain in the Baltimore Area on Friday

(Selections are made for a fast track)

The Big Race on Friday – The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes!

Pim R11 (post 4:50 PM) The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (Grade 2), 9 furlongs.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #1 Shimmering Aspen (9/2)   2nd – #2 Tapa Tapa Tapa (8/1)   3rd – #7 Moana (4/1)

11 horses are entered in this race, and I don’t have a strong opinion in this race, but I think one filly has the most talent – SHIMMERING ASPEN.  From her last race she has the best fast track BRIS Class number in the field and she won her last two starts easily in allowance company.  She appears to be on the improve and this time of year I want to back horses that are showing signs of getting better.  Her trainer runs 20% with these sorts of animals so the 9/2 ML hints there may be some value at post time.  TAPA TAPA TAPA has run two nice races with blinkers, and if she can relax early she may get a dream trip following Shimmering Aspen from the inside.  MOANA only has a maiden win, but her BRISnet pace numbers are very competitive and she merits consideration for any trifecta plays.


There Actually Is a Miss Preakness!

Pim R9 (post 3:44 PM) The Miss Preakness Stakes (Grade 3), 6 furlongs.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #5 Our Majesty (7/2)   2nd – #6 Vertical Oak (10/1)  

3rd – #12 Pretty City Dancer (6/1)   4th – #2 My Miss Chief (15/1)

I love sprinters with a high win percentage.  OUR MAJESTY is 3 for 3 with very good speed figures.  Vertical Oak lost to the top pick at Oaklawn, then came back with a dominant win in the slop at odds-on at Prairie.  Don’t laugh, not many quality route horses reside there but the sprinting ranks at Prairie Meadows tend to be very competitive.  PRETTY CITY DANCER was essentially a no-show on Kentucky Oaks Day in the Eight Belles, but gets a fast 14 day turnaround and is the only legitimate closer in the field.  Gets her chance to make amends.  MY MISS CHIFF was huge at the Fair Grounds, winning her first two starts, then failed against tougher going 7 furlongs.  I think she fits better with this crew, especially at the 6 furlong distance of the Miss Preakness.


Movie Trivia – What Was The Name of the Race Between Seabiscuit and War Admiral?

Pim R7 (post 2:39 PM) The Pimlico Special (Grade 3), 9.5 furlongs.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Shaman Ghost (4/5)   2nd – Watershed (6/1)  

3rd – #9 Conquest Windycity (15/1)   4th – #1 Dolphus (8/1)

SHAMAN GHOST didn’t look very sharp winning the Santa Anita Handicap in Arrogate’s absence, but he did win, and he has two bullet works since that race, so I will put him on top at a very short price.  WATERSHED got a dream run behind horses at Keeneland then attacked in the lane for an easy victory.  He has a sharp 4 furlongs coming into this, so I assume it is “all systems go.”  CONQUEST WINDYCITY appears to be a better horse with the blinkers off for the white hot Brendan Walsh barn.  I think this horse is very dangerous here to hit the trifecta, if not win.  DOLPHUS is most famous for being a half-brother of Rachel Alexandra, but his last two races have been very good since the switch into Jimmy Jerkens’ barn.


The Allaire DuPont Distaff Kicks Off The Preakness Weekend Stakes Action!

Pim R5 (post 1:34 PM) The Allaire DuPont Distaff (Grade 3), 9 furlongs.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #3 Mo’ Green (4/1)   2nd – Terra Promessa (6/5)  3rd – #5 Winter (15/1)

MO’ GREEN has hit the exacta in 7 of 11 career starts and continues to produce good speed figures.  If she’s 4/1 at post time I would think that would be good value.  TERRA PROMESSA is tough at Oaklawn, and she figures to get the lead here, but since she is considered such a heavy favorite she may get early pressure on the lead.  WINTER was dreadful at Aqueduct but she’s back in Maryland now and that might help her perform at a higher level.


Friday Night Australian Racing, 5/12/2017

Race 3B Australia (Doomben) Friday, May 12, 2017 3B SINGAPORE T.C MEMBERS’ HCP (AUD $100K) 11:26pm EDT 10:26pm CDT 8:26pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3B, 4B, 5B) OPEN Listed Race, 1 mile.  Apprentices Cannot Claim.  Picks 2-5-10

#2 JUNGLE PRINCE (5/1 ML) appears to be in very good form and has the speed figures to back it up.  He has run well up to a mile and a half so I expect a strong effort tonight.  #5 Cantbuybetter (3/1 ML) showed good form against top mare Single Gaze in his last start.  He’s a contender for the top two positions.  #10 Sultan of Swing (25/1 ML) looks slightly outclassed, but has good early speed and gets top jockey Kerrin Mcevoy to ride.


Race 4B Australia (Doomben) Friday, May 12, 2017 4B MOET CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC (AUD $175K) 12:06am EDT 11:06pm CDT 9:06pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 2yo OPEN SW Group 2, 6 furlongs.  Apprentices Cannot Claim.  Picks 11-2-4

#11 SHE’S OUR STAR (12/1 ML) is very well bred and her speed figures are marginally competitive. She has a good post and should be considered a threat, even as she’s coming into this race off a four and a half moth layoff for respected trainer Tony Gollan.  #2 Snitzcraft (3/1 ML) owns the recent form and best early speed; she may go off as low as 8/5 here as a very solid chance.  #4 Pah Terie (16/1 ML) appears to be the best deep closer in the race and he can definitely add value to the exotics wagers.


Race 7B Australia (Doomben) Friday, May 12, 2017 7B JAMES BOAG’S PREMIUM DOOMBEN (AUD $700,000) 2:04am EDT 1:04am CDT 11:04pm PDT W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super OPEN Group 1, 6 furlongs.  Apprentices Cannot Claim.  Picks 12-3-1-5

#12 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (7/2 ML) is (7-5-0-0) lifetime and has put in some top performances.  I think he will do very well on the expected “soft 7” ground.  #1 Fell Swoop (16/1 ML) is the top-rated horse in here and his record at six furlongs is quite good (9-4-2-2).  #3 Takedown (16/1 ML) has been a bit dull, but I know this huge animal has the talent and I like Brenton Avdulla riding him for the first time.  #5 Music Magnate (4/1 ML) won this race last year when it was run at a longer distance (6.75 furlongs last year vs. 6.0 furlongs tonight) and at 6 furlongs he’s never been off the board (7-4-2-1).