Horse Racing Graded Stakes Analysis – 4/3/2021
by: Ed Meyer
Race #10 – The G-2 Wood Memorial – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 5:58pm
BetPTC.com Selections / #2 – Crowded Trade / #4 – Risk Taking / #6 – Prevalence
#2 Crowded Trade hails from the Chad Brown with Eric Cancel in the irons. He’s a late runner and just missed in the G3 Gotham after bobbling at the start. Brown wins 48% 2nd time going a route and a few solid works leading up to the race. Look for a late run as they near the quarter pole. #4 Risk Taking goes to post for Chad Brown with a perfect 2 for 2 over the track with wins. I liked his effort winning the G3 Withers going 9f and with Irad Ortiz in the saddle look for a strong late kick as he has won twice going the distance. Ortiz wins 31% with his route runners. #6 Prevalence has good speed from the Brendan Walsh barn shipping up from GP. Tyler Gaffalione has the call and I’m looking for a quick break to be near the front of the pack. He is a perfect two for two and looks to keep his record intact moving up the class ladder off a bullet work.
Race #9 – The G-1 Ashland – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 5:30 pm
BetPTC.com Selections / #5 – Malathaat / #3 – Simply Ravishing / #2 – Pass the Champagne
#5 Malathaat goes to post for Todd Pletcher and Joel Rosario. She is the daughter of Curlin who is a perfect 3 for 3 lifetime. She is cutting back from 9f and should relish a perfect stalking trip. She has been away for 90 days and Pletcher wins 28% with layoff runners. #3 Simply Ravishing is a stalking type runner and gets Luis Saez back in the saddle for Kenny McPeek. This is her 1st start of 2021 and was the winner of the G1 Alcibiades last year at KEE. Look for a closeup trip in the hands of Saez. #2 Pass the Champagne is a deep closer for George Weaver and Javier Castellano. This is a big jump in class and was impressive in victory last out. Her dam Champagne Taste has 7 starters with 7 winners to her credit.
Race #11 – The G-2 Bluegrass Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 6:35 pm
BetPTC.com Selections / #4 – Essential Quality / #5 – Rombauer / #3 – Highly Motivated
#4 Essential Quality is a son of Tapit from the Brad Cox barn. He is a perfect 4 for 4 lifetime and makes his 2nd start of the 2021 racing season. Luis Saez is the pilot and has been aboard for three of his four lifetime wins. 2nd time off a layoff yields the Cox barn a 28% win clip. Look for a close stalking trip keeping an eye on the pace. #5 Rombauer was nominated to the Jeff Ruby but opted for a trip over the KEE dirt. He is a deep closer and is maturing with every start. His closing win in the El Camino Real was impressive for trainer Mike McCarthy and they switch to high percentage money rider Florent Geroux. The Ruby was a 100 point Derby race but they opted to get back to the dirt. He ran a decent effort in the BC Juvenile. He’s been off for 49 days, but the barn scores 19% with layoff runners. #3 Highly Motivated hails from the Chad Brown barn with Javier Castellano. The G3 Gotham was a very good prep for good things ahead and Castellano has been aboard this closer every time. The added distance should fit his needs well.
Race#6 – The G-2 Santa Anita Oaks – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 5:30 pm
BetPTC.com Selections / #5 – Beautiful Gift / #3 – Soothsay / #1 – Moraz
#5 Beautiful Gift hails from the Bob Baffert barn with John Velasquez in the saddle. Her victory in the G3 Santa Ysabell was a top display of a stalker with patience. She is 2 for 2 ITM at SA and Johnny V looks for his 2nd straight win. #3 Soothsay just broke her maiden for Richard Mandella and Flavien Prat. She stretches out to a distance for the first time, and her morning works signal good things moving forward. #1 Moraz draws the golden rail under Umberto Rispoli for Mike McCarthy. The rail is winning at 24%, and she is 3 for 3 ITM over the course. Rispoli is a hot rider who is 11 for 15 ITM the past seven days. Look for a stalking trip saving ground along the rail.
Race #8 – The G-1 Santa Anita Derby – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 6:30 pm
BetPTC.com Selections / # 2 – Dream Shake / #7 – Medina Spirit / #3 – Rock Your World
#2 Dream Shake hails from the Peter Eurton barn with Flavien Prat in the irons. he had an impressive maiden win sprinting, but the extra distance may have caught him a little flat footed. He sports some sparkling works and this lightly raced colt may be ready to move forward. Prat wins 38% with Eurton and 23% with closers. #7 Medina Spirit is a speedster from the Bob Baffert barn. John Velasquez in the saddle and they bring a tough game every time they hit the track. Baffert is winning 30% at the meet and could be dangerous with added distance if left alone on the lead. #3 Rock Your World is a stalker from the John Sadler barn. They are a perfect 2 for 2, but both wins were on the grass. Making the turf to dirt change yields Sadler a 22% win clip. This son of Candy Ride should be right off the speed and looks to up his game against this level of competition. Sadler making the move from turf to dirt in G1 competition leaves me feeling he likes what he sees in his runner.