Race 5: Northern Dancer G1 12f (T)
Leaning against the favorite to try and find a price.
- Best Value: #1 Say The Word (8-1)
This starts with going back to the archives from my analysis on 6/20 (see below), clearly needed that first race back after 6 months. Connections had such confidence in this horse they shipped out to Saratoga and grabbed a win at 50-1. Last out faced most of these horses in the Singspiel Stakes G3. This one was the farthest back right there with Count Again, the eventual winner. Say The Word didn’t have the quicken the winner showed. In the replays you can see this as both horses begin to wind up. Count Again gets almost a 3 length jump coming out of the turn. Tables will be turned on Sunday as that type of quicken is likely to be dulled by the added distance. In these marathon events I’m looking for a sustained runner that can grind and find best strides late in these marathon type events. Say The Word fits this bill, especially when you watch the last furlong.
On the day, I hope this one gets the exact same trip as last out, 4-5 wide back with a sustained bid. The pace most certainly will heat up with a few need the lead types. The added distance only helps our “grinder” theory for this one.
Recap From 6/20/2020 Blog: Best Longshot Bet (result was a beaten 8th lengths, 6th): #1 Say the Word (20-1) – What a beautiful mess of form to find some value. In the last start, the running line shows a firm turf course, but the horses looked to be swimming that day. To find a firm going for this horse, you have to go all the way back to September of 2019 over at Monmouth when facing Divisidero (ITM pod favorite and the true ring bet horse, a story for another day). So the last three races I excuse due to the surface and poor pace setups – too far back against too classy of horses. Fast forward to today, the horse gets a bit of class relief that’s hidden and has a leg up on most of these as raced back in March as a tightener. Gail Cox should also be respected here at 20-1 odds.”
- Most Logical: Count Again (2-1) Showed true colors in last event being a graded stakes winner. We loved this horse when winning, but today is going to be way too short a price to back.
Race 6: MSW 8f (T – inner)
Wide open event where we have a strong opinion on just one horse.
- Most Logical: #8 Hiatus (4-1) Ran a great one last out tending to the hot pace and ran through this pace flow dynamic. The eventual first and second placed finishers were so far behind on the backstretch they didn’t show up on Trackus (probably 20+ lengths off that pace). Today Hiatus gets an easier setup and should be able to stalk 2 wide right behind the front pack.
- Best Value: #3 Justintimegosnorth (20-1) Could get the easiest of trips with the good draw and Husbands aboard. Second start for a trainer/jockey combo that is firing at 29%.
Race 7: E.P Taylor Stakes G1 10f (T)
Straight forward event with limited pace pressure for the logical winner.
- Most Logical: #3 Theodora B. (2-1) Will get the exact same trip as the last two wins. There’s limited pace pressure and the distance suits. Expect this one to go be on the front end from start to finish. The other choices in here today will be too far back to make up enough ground late. Value line stands at evens. Anything above is good value.
- Next Best: #1 Rideforthecause (4-1) Will drop back creating a stretched out pace dynamic in this event. Last out, was overlooked by most, including myself. The performance was impressive and the figures turned out strong. Today could get a setup to close into a hot pace if tactics change for Etiole to not let the main rival get away with an easy lead (see the Dance Smartly replay). It should be noted that last win might be flattered in the Grade 2 Canadian. There was only one additional horse trying in the final 1/16th – Court Return at 30-1. Take that for what it’s worth.
Race 8: ALW 6f (AW)
Morning line favorite is going to be hard to stand against.
- Best Value: #1 Jacobs Call (15-1) Could be the clear speed in here today. Gets the rail draw and husbands aboard, all great things. Jockey Trainer combo winning at 27% in past year. Had a trip on the grass last out traveling wide, against the pace, and getting bumped very hard at the top of the stretch. This bumping resulting in being pushed 3-4 paths behind a wall of the front running horses that would go on to finish 1st and 2nd. The jockey realized the game was over once there was nothing but a wall of horses in front. The effort was a non-finish. Still upside for this lightly raced horse.
- Most Logical: #2 Red Hierarchy (6/5) Without other speeds, this one could wire the field and end up in a hand ride the last 1/16th. Figures fit, leading jockey aboard, good post draw, cutting back to just the 6f after a dull 7f effort.
Race 9: Neartic Stakes G2 6f (T)
Great betting race with many shippers coming into the mix with some hometown favorites.
- Best Value: #7 Vanbrugh (12-1) The two races in North America are noteworthy. Last out, didn’t like the soft going, traveled widest of all, and made a move the broke apart the race. Two back was against the pace flow, quickened well, but didn’t have enough left to catch the leader. Today gets the firm turf and a distance that should suite perfectly. The wide turns on the EP Taylor should let this horse sit back and make a swooping move midway through the turn, running them down late. Juddmonte and Brad Cox didn’t ship up here for the heck of it, they made the investment to win. Juddmonte and Cox is firing at 31% with turf horses ($2.59 ROI) – thanks DRF Formulator.
- Next Best: #2 Kanthaka (3-1) Cool to see a dirt horse be transformed into a turf sprinter. Last out looked to be “swimming” when trying to find firm footing tipping for home over the boggy Kentucky Downs course. Today gets second start off the layoff, will get firm going, and projects to improve. Figures are the best of this bunch, too. Value line is 3-1 only because the pace scenario could yield a troubled trip for this one, being stuck in behind horses.
- Exotic Use #4 Guildsman (10-1) This three year old has been running behind some good sprinters in Jack and Noah as well as Chimney Rock. Has overcome pace scenarios in a few past events. Today should get a nice pocket ride in the second pack and tries to workout a trip. Could see a hole opening up late and this one getting up for a piece of it. Hard to see this 3 year old make the huge jump to beat the top two selections.
Race 10: Display Stakes $100k 7f (AW)
With these 2 year old stakes, any horse can step forward. We’re looking for a subtle trip to bring value.
- Best Value: #8 Souper Class (8-1) Love when we can find a trip that is subtle enough it didn’t make the PP’s. The last out has two issues. First being this horse broke sharply and then was subtlety checked/bumped out of the rail path, stopping momentum. The other being that the PP’s read as if this one got a pace to run into and couldn’t find enough to get the win. What’s not called out is the eventual first and second placed horse came from a dozen lengths off the lead. Great example of those near the lead running “against the pace flow” and finishing well. Since that troubled race has been working lights out with a bullet five furlong, likely trying to get the stamina to run the full 7f.
- Next Best: #3 Maclean’s Posse (3-1) Has been given four straight 5f drills to build stamina. Tended to the hot pace last out and closed on well. Josie Carroll is 23% with 2 year olds, so trust she knows how to get these ones ready.
- Random Trip Note from my DRF Formulator PP’s: #4 Knight Kingdom (10-1) “perfect setup, settled middle of pack, closed well, no trouble”.