Graded Stakes Preview for Saturday, 11/12/2016

Turf Marathoners Go Eleven Furlongs in the Red Smith!!

Aqueduct Race 7 (post 3:17 Eastern) The Red Smith Stakes (Grade 3, turf).  3yo and Up.

Class:  Wake Forest has run well in Grade 1 races in 2016 has earned nearly $765,000 in 17 starts.

Expected pace:  Fast for an 11 furlong race.  Many seem capable of leading in here.

Consistency:  Bigger Picture has been around the money in his last 9 starts.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #8 Wake Forest (8/5)   2nd – #9 Bigger Picture (6/1)   3rd – #7 Messi (5/1)

WAKE FOREST has been facing much better and I have to give him the edge dropping down to Grade 3 from Grade 1 for super trainer Chad Brown.  Bigger Picture might not be the classiest horse in the field but his trainer excels in these turf marathons with former claimers and it feels like this horse is due for a slight breakthrough and a top three finish.  Messi is a sort of a query, sometimes he runs close to the pace, sometimes he doesn’t.  Sometimes he finishes well, sometimes he doesn’t.  If you do like him, the price will be fair and maybe you can catch him on a “good day.”

 

Three year old Dirt Routers Go Nine Furlongs in the Discovery!!

Aqueduct Race 8 (post 3:47 Eastern) The Discovery Stakes (Grade 3).  3yo only.

Class: Governor Malibu has earned nearly $579,000 in 12 starts

Expected pace:  Moderate for a 9 furlong race.  Few horses seem capable of leading in here.

Consistency:  Hot Seat (2-2-0-0) has been a world-beater at Parx.  New York is a step up but he sees capable of running well.

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #6 Hot Seat (10/1)   2nd – #5 Governor Malibu (4/1)   3rd – #3 Gift Box (3/1)

HOT SEAT is a potential loose leader and gets the talents of hot jockey Antonio Gallardo.  If you are not familiar with Gallardo, he has ridden primarily on the Tampa Bay-Presque Ilse-Monmouth circuit the last few years to great success, even leading the nation in wins.  He moved to New York about 6 weeks ago and he’s currently winning at 25% at Aqueduct (32-8-4-3).  Governor Malibu is kind of a tough luck horse, he seems to get in his own way late in races and usually there is one or two horses that are better.  I like that he has kept racing since the Travers when he got squashed by Arrogate, earning a win and a second.  If the track is wet give him some extra credit, he has a very nice wet track record (4-2-2-0).  Gift Box has the most talent in this field, he’s knocked heads against several top horses and his best race probably wins here.  He’s definitely a solid win contender.

 

Three year Olds go 8.5 Furlongs on the Turf in the Commonwealth Turf!

Churchill Race 10 (post 5:30 Eastern) The Commonwealth Turf Stakes (Grade 3).  3yo only.

Class: One Mean Man has earned nearly $419,000 in 16 starts.  Sir Dudley Diggs earned a lot of money against Canadian-breds but only around $40,000 in open company.

Expected pace:  Scholar Athlete will try to lead.

Consistency:  Bondurant has never lost a two-turn grass race (3-3-0-0).

BetPTC.com Selections:

1st – #8 Bondurant (6/1)   2nd – #7 One Mean Man (3/1)  

3rd – #3 Blackout (6/1)   4th – #4 Hay Dakota (20/1)

BONDURANT seems capable of more improvement, being 3rd of the layoff.  His trainer is 20% wins 3rd off the layoff too. One Mean Man is usually around the finish and he has won four of his last five races.  Major player.  Blackout has won three of his last four races, including a BRIS speed figure from his most recent race that is strong enough to win this stakes.  Blackout also gets top jock Florent Geroux for the Mark Casse team, which adds to the appeal.  Hay Dakota is definitely on the improve and has always been in the money on turf (6-3-1-2).  He is definitely one to consider as the price will be right.  Notice he only lost to One Mean Man by a neck at Canterbury Park in late August going a two-turn mile.

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