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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