There’s 11 races scheduled on what looks like another beautiful afternoon in Hot Springs, Arkansas. State bred three year old sprinters headline the program with the Rainbow and the Rainbow Miss Stakes, both going six furlongs. After both Cristian Torres and Francisco Arrieta won twice on the Friday card, Torres maintains a nine race lead over Arrieta in the jockey standings with 13 days of racing left in the 2022-2023 meet. Just a reminder, with the holiday tomorrow, there will be no racing. Happy Easter to all who are celebrating! First post today will be the usual 12:35 (CT).
I’ll be covering this exciting meet on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!
|Race||Top Pick||A||B||C||Exotics Menu|
|1||1||1,3,9||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|2||1||1||10,11||13||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|5||4||4,5||8||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|7||4||1,4,6||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|8||2||2||5||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 5, Charlie Whiskey (#4, 12-1 ML):
Chris Hartman has had a tremendous, winning 34 races thus far, with a 31% winning percentage. He claimed this three year old son of Classic Empire from Steve Asmussen last time out when making his second career start and his first since the end of May. With the Fair Grounds meet ended, Mitchell Murrill, has started riding here for a few weeks, and he’s one of Hartman’s go to riders. I’m encouraged that he;s entered for the $50K tag today and I think we’ll see a better effort from him in a race where some of the shorter prices feel vulnerable.
Race 6, Unifying (#7, 2-1 ML):
This Union Rags filly is the most likely winner on the card for me. David Cabrera might have moved a shade too early with her last time when closing into a hot pace in a similar spot last time out. She hit the front, but Royal Spa ran her down. I think she’s a filly that will be better in one turn races, and her runner-up finish to Defining Purpose in the Years End Stakes earlier in the meet looks much stronger after watching that one wion the Ashland on Friday at Keeneland. She just feels like she’s better than this group.
Race 8, King Peanut (2-1 ML):
Three year old Arkansas breds sprint six furlongs here. I think King Peanut has the highest ceiling in the field. Daniel Peitz does not have great numbers with debut runners, but this one took money a first asking and won by seven lengths, finishing well in front of some of these. He paired his Beyer Figure when finishing a game third behind Mahomey, who beat a very good field yesterday, and Lochmoor, who cleared the N1X condition at the end of March. Both of those horses are older, more experienced runners, so I think that was a good education for him. I think he’s sitting on a bigger effort which should give him the edge over the favorite, Midnight Taxes (#5).
Race 10, Lassie My Girl (#12, 12-1 ML):
While the morning line favorite, Bennykayandsuzytoo (#9) makes a lot of sense in this stakes race for three year old fillies, she’s going to be under pressure every step of the way. One horse that may respond late is Lassie My Girl, who is one of only two horses to beat the favorite. She looked very good in her debut and in her second start, beating some of these runners in the slop that day. She struggled last out when she was given an odd ride by Ricardo Santana Jr. He moved her to the rail, in behind horses instead of keeping her three wide and in the clear going into the turn. She fell back a bit before accelerating through a large seam. She was a little green in the stretch, but she looked intimidated, running that close to the rail. I think the wide post will help her get a more comfortable trip today, and at 12-1 on the morning line, she represents the best value to me.
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