Race 3 – the “Commonwealth Cup” (Group 1), 6 furlongs straight course, 3 years old only. Purse = $632,500, 10:40 AM EDT
Top #7 Hootenanny (9/2 ML) 2nd #18 Tiggy Wiggy (6/1) 3rd #3 Cyclogenisis (15/1 ML)
#7 Hootenanny probably won’t lose. Why? Because Wesley Ward and Coolmore have teamed up to win three significant sprints at Ascot from 2013-15 with three different horses – No Nay Never in 2013, Hootenanny last year and Acapulco this year. And in the North American pool everyone loves to bet Wesley Ward and everybody loves to bet Coolmore. So it’s a 2 for 1 combo in this race and he’ll probably be the strong post-time favorite. Interestingly Hootenanny’s best class numbers were in European races last year, which means either there is a variant problem with the BRISNET class numbers OR Hootenanny just loves clean air and no lasix.
#18 Tiggy Wiggy looks like a mare that really isn’t a router and should appreciate the turnback to six furlongs, where she is 2-2-0-0. I think she is the biggest threat of the Europeans.
#3 Cyclogenisis has been pointed for this race since last fall when his sharp owner and trainer realized there are not any Grade 1 grass sprints in the States. The prep race at Presque Isle was just to get him sharp, and if the stage isn’t too big he could make some noise late. Notice the half mile splits for this one have all been sub 45 seconds – he can really run.
Race 3 – the “Cooronation Stakes” (Group 1), 8 furlongs with a bend, 3 years old fillies only. Purse = $632,500, 10:40 AM EDT
Top pick #2 Ervedya (7/2 ML) 2nd #3 Found (2/1) 3rd #6 Lucida (5/2 ML)
#2 Ervedya lost to Found on Arc Weekend last year, but seems to be much stronger this year and if there is one operation that can take on the Coolmore machine it’s His Highness the Aga Khan, one or Europe’s leading owners and breeders.
#3 Found has not found the winner circle in 2015 but she’s talented. I didn’t like how she hung late in last race though. Don’t take a short price.
#6 Lucida is arguably the best filly in this race, but her trainer Jim Bolger, who normally is very good, has had several high profile animals in his care flop badly this week. Going with the trend and putting her third.