BetPTC.com / Weekend Stakes Preview / Ed Meyer
Race #7 – The G2 Azeri – 1 1/16 – 5:21 pm EDT
BetPTC.com Selections / #2 – Midnight Bisou / #4 – Eskimo Kisses / #5 – Elate
#2 Midnight Bisou has been on the shelf for 48 days and has the services of Mike Smith in the irons. This daughter of Midnight Lute is 12 for 12 ITM lifetime and Smith fits like a glove for the Steve Asmussen barn. She is a perfect 5 for 5 at the distance and her Fair Grounds works have been very nice. #4 Eskimo Kisses hails from the Ken McPeek barn with Alex Canchari in the saddle. She’s been off for 5 months getting beat as the odds on chalk in the G1 Spinster at Keeneland. She has been vacationing at Payson and comes in fresh. Eskimo has been in many races with MB and she may be a well rested gal looking to start the year off right. #5 Elate comes from the Bill Mott barn and has been off for six months. Jose Ortiz gets the call and he wins 20% when hooking up with Mott. She was beaten by a neck to Abel Tasman last out at Saratoga and some hot works at Payson Park coming into the race.
Race #8 – The G2 Rebel – 1 1/16 – 5:57 pm EDT – (Split Divisions)
BetPTC.com Selections / #8 – Galilean / #9 – Improbable / #1 – Extra Hope
#8 Galilean is a speedy son of Uncle Mo for Jerry Hollendorfer. Flavien Prat in the driver’s seat and he wins 57% when aboard for Hollendorfer. This Cal bred has tons of early speed and Prat wins 24% with early runners. Catch him if you want to beat him. #9 Improbable comes in off a three month rest and is a perfect 3 for3 lifetime. His victory in the Los Al Futurity was super impressive and Van Dyke stays in the driver’s seat for Baffert. He has a perfect stalking stride and can be dangerous anywhere on the track. #1 Extra Hope makes his 2nd start of the year and Richard Mandella gets the hot boot, Mike Smith after Prat stays on the speedy Galilean. He is a nice stalker and maybe maturing just at the right time.
Race #10 – The G2 Rebel – 1 1/16 – 7:06 pm EDT – (Split Divisions)
BetPTC.com Selections / #5 – Game Winner / #8 – Gunmetal Gray / #7 – Our Braintrust
#5 Game Winner is a son of Candy Ride who is a perfect 4 for 4 with Bob Baffert. Joel Rosario is the reinsman as this colt is making his first start of the year. This colt is a monster stalker and with plenty of early foot, he looks like a big time candidate to put in a huge effort. #8 Gunmetal Gray is making the third off the layoff angle and has tangled against Game Winner. Flavien Prat is back aboard and Hollendorfer brings another maturing runner to post. This son of Exchange Rate is a stone cold closer. He’s gonna need plenty of early pace and get the jump on Gamer Winner to be the best on this day. #7 Our Braintrust is a son of Freud for the Mark Casse barn. He ships in from Aqueduct and gets a rider change to David Cohen winning 23% at the meet. He cuts back in distance and has some sharp works to prepare.