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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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.


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