Tony Kelzenberg for BetPTC.com
May 22nd, 2015
Horses to Watch from last week:
Pimlico Saturday May 15th Race 12 (the Black Eyed Susan Stakes): #3 Ahh Chocolate hopped slightly at the start, had to check out of the leading group because of lost position, and was trapped 4 wide for most of the run. Certainly deserves another chance in stakes company.
Pimlico Saturday May 16th Race 12 (the Dixie Stakes): Both #11 Up With The Birds and #12 Long on Value were 4 or 5 wide for most of the race while sharp contender Ironicus was able to save most of the ground and get the score. Look for one or both of these horses to run well Belmont Stakes Weekend.
Video Race Preview of the Week!
Santa Anita Saturday May 23rd, Race 6
The FRAN’S VALENTINE ($125,000), 1 Mile Turf, Cal-bred or Cal-sired Fillies and Mares, 4 and up.
Selections: Top pick – Go West Marie
2nd pick – Chilada
3rd pick – Chati’s On Top
4th pick – Heat Du Jour
For people reading this report that aren’t familiar with race conditions, this race is limited to horses either born in California, and/or were produced with a mating to a male horse standing in California (examples would be Bertrando, Unusual Heat, Lucky Pulpit, Decarchy, Good Journey, etc.). These are highly restrictive conditions – horses from most regions of the world can’t enter, even if they are in training in California – for example, all race horses bred in Kentucky can’t enter.
In highly restricted races, it is a good idea to look for the horse that is in the hottest form – because the race is restricted there are much fewer “new shooters” that can enter the race. Right now the horse in the best form is Go West Marie, who just keeps toughing out wins. A come from behind horse, ‘Marie is really a grinder that runs well to the line. She does have some agility, she is the fastest closer in final quarter mile time, and Stevens knows how to get her in the right spots. Her mile win on Dec 28th was workmanlike and the win price will be in the 7/5 range, but she just seems better than the others in here.
Chilada is the wild card. While Go West Marie was thumping the others in this field, Chilada had an extended vacation. Her race on last October 18th at 1 mile was competitive, the works are decent and I like the aggressive placement – Chilada still has eligibility for an “open” N1x allowance, but instead trainer Doug O’Neill is going for the BIG CASH. I would think she is the horse bet to win if the odds are 8/1 or higher.
Chati’s On Top has some things to recommend her – she’s a hard trier, she’s never been out of the money on turf in eight starts, and if you play around with her grass race numbers a bit she can compete (for example the March 19th grass race is much stronger than it appears). Even with adjustments however Go West Marie is better.
Heat Du Jour lacks athleticism and needs a fast pace so the field can get stretched out. She’s also lacking current good form. If everything goes her way she can win but I will be playing against her.