Race 7: Greenwood Stakes 6f (T)
Who will take to the turf best for the first time?
Best Value: #5 Barilko (20-1) Came back 7+ month layoff and ran a respectable number on the poly against our second choice. Has kept good company competing in 3 listed stakes events. What caught my eye was the respectable second place finish last September against the tough horse, Old Chestnut (2nd place finisher in the SAR Quick Call). Admittedly, we don’t love the race shape. Emma-Jayne will likely get caught wide in the front pack or have to sit a stalking trip in the second flight with less ground loss. My hope is the latter will hold true as there appears too much speed for the 6f event. Where the market goes with this one is a mystery because I could see this one being well bet down off the morning line with the 2nd off the bench, great work tab, and top jockey. Anything under 8-1 is too short.
Most Logical: #2 Forester’s Turn (2-1) Always puts in a solid effort except when outmatched in a listed stakes back in November. Last three attempts was drawn out wide on the poly. Today should be in a perfect spot on the lead and hugging the rail. The only big question mark is how will the turf footing go, so we can’t put as our top choice at such a short price.
Race 8: OC $62k 8.5f (T)
Tough race with a majority of runners having a shot.
- Most Logical: #7 Rideforthecause (6-1) Past running lines don’t reflect, but this one has been keeping up with decent Grade 2/3 stakes company. Last event seemed a bit short legged after the layoff and should be ready to rock and roll today. On figures, only needs a small step forward to beat this field. Don’t mind the wide draw as there’s plenty of cheap speed in this event that should setup nicely for the leading jockey to enjoy a ground saving, stalking trip.
- Next Best: #3 Street Zapper (4-1) Made two good moves in the last race and ran 13 feet more than the eventual winner (#8 Above All Names). Today could get a ground saving trip for a leading jockey. At 4-1, way too short to back in this competitive bunch. The value line sits around 6-1 due to chaos that might unfold.
- Exotic Underneath Use: #4 Alice’s War (20-1) Cycling up for the third off the bench attempt today. Angle has been successful in past for this horse. Should have a pace to close into.
- Beatable Favorite: #8 Above All Names (5/2) Got a dream trip last out skimming the rail and tipping out at the right time and blew past some middle priced horses. Today won’t get that benefit as the pace in front and the wide draw most certainly will yield ground loss. On figures, this one is in the middle of the pack and doesn’t deserve favoritism, in my book.
Race 9: Mdn 8.5f (AW)
No pace whatsoever signed on here in this bunch.
- Best Value: #10 Fifth Season (20-1) Had a no-shot trip last out grinding out of the gate to find a 6+ wide trip into the first turn. Horse traveled an extra 48 feet than anyone else. Willing to take the risk at 20-1 this one works out a better trip and improves.
- Next Best: #11 Lion Kingdom (20-1) With no other speed in here, Stein might be able to take this wire-to-wire. Keep it simple.
- Beatable Favorite #12 Belichick (3-1) Was never catching the monster Shirl’s Speight on debut, but I believe that will cause an overreaction in today’s betting market. To start, Carroll Josie is only 8% 2nd time maidens (ROI $0.47). The barn is also changing a few too many things: stretching out to two turns, switching surfaces, and adding Lasix. Does not provide a bettor confidence they have exactly figured out this $300k price tag horse.