SA Race 8, leg 1: 4
Geaux Rocket Ride is the horse to beat in here, but I’m still not certain how good that San Felipe was and I thought he had a perfect tracking trip in that spot, and couldn’t finish the job. With the short price, the layoff, and the presence of some serious other early speed, I want to try and beat him.
I think #4 Mr Fisk (5-1) could get a great set-up in this spot. I’m assuming the other Baffert will be sent, along with the stretch-out sprinter, and Geaux Rocket Ride. Even if only two of the three go to the front, the pace should still be honest and JJ Hernandez has been the best judge of pace all year. I’ve always thought this guy has had some ability even though he’s not your typical Baffert runner. I’m willing to forgive his last when he was drawn wide and didn’t get any help up front in the San Felipe. They obviously targeted this spot for a while now as the work tab looks consistent. I’ve also been watching his workouts on XBTV and I love the way he’s been finishing those workouts and as a son of Arrogate, I won’t be shocked if we see big improvement from him as we’re getting deeper into his three year old campaign.
GG Race 8, leg 2: 1,7
My top pick is a horse I’ve been chasing all meet in #7 Talbot Bay (10-1). I thought he’s run respectably in his last couple starts against the rejuvenated Awesome Summer, and he didn’t have the best of trips in either of those starts. He FINALLY gets away from the inside and should be able to stalk the pace in the clear from this outside post. He’s still pretty lightly raced so don’t be surprised if he takes a step forward at a nice price. My other pick is the #1 Saint Ives (5-1). Bit of a class test for him, but I actually thought he ran fine against arguably tougher rivals on the turf last time in a race that was clearly too short for him. He gets back to 6 furlongs, a trip he’s two for two and switches back to the tapeta. Another with the tactical speed to be stalking the pace, even with this inside draw.
SA Race 9, leg 3: 2-7
This might be the toughest race of the meet, I could make a case for pretty much every runner, but not a strong one for any of them. I’m six deep with not a lot of confidence, and probably should just go all pending scratches. Top pick is #5 American Livin(15-1). He’s the least exposed in the field and he had an impossible trip last time when he stalked the pace while wide throughout against straight maidens. Not Bravo’s best ride but he gets a chance to make amends here with the drop in class and has the most room for improvement in start #3. #2 Rippin Ruis (20-1) and #6 Upright (6-1) exit the same race and the drop in class could wake them up. #3 Habeas (15-1) and #4 Giovinazzo (4-1) both look dangerous on the stretch-out if they’re able to clear the field, but there’s also a good possibility they get in each other’s way. #7 Kawazaki (3-1) is an obvious contender second off the layoff, but he’s no fun at short price in a race this deep.
GG Race 9, leg 4: 2,5,8
We finish the sequence with another horse that I’ve been chasing this meet. Third time’s the charm for #5 Bobby’s Genie (8-1)? I really liked his debut run, but I have no excuse for what happened last time as he was a total no-show. The blinkers go on today so maybe that’ll get the best out of him and this race is seriously lacking in early speed. He’s significantly faster early on than his rivals based on pace figures and he came back to work well in preparation for this spot. Gimme 8-1 on the “lone speed”. #8 I’m a Risque Girl (3-1) is clearly the one to beat after that debut run. She broke with the field, fell back to last heading into the turn, and came up the rail while navigating tiring rivals to get up late for 4th, beaten less than two lengths. She galloped wayyyyyy in front of the field and she probably wasn’t even fully cranked since Mathis is deadly with second time starters. Expect her to take a step forward today with this outside draw and I can’t blame anyone who singles her. And finally a small look to #2 Halfway to Nowhere (10-1). This daughter of American Pharoah has a long, steady work tab including a bullet way back in March. Thomas does well with first time starters and Roman’s presence catches the eye.
SA 1: 4
GG 1: 1,7
SA 2: 2-7
GG 2: 2,5,8