Race 8: Victoria Stakes 5.5f (AW)
Clear favorite is likely to wire this field and 2/5 might be value.
- Most Logical: #2 Ready to Repeat (1-1, expect 2/5) On debut ran a sneaky good race getting beat less than a length. Broke very well, dueled, and pushed wide traveling an extra 12 feet than the eventual winner. The latest grass event showed another step forward winning the event. This horse’s natural gate speed will be a huge advantage today given the inside post draw.
- Next Best: #5 Download (12-1) Well bet on debut but showed little. The replay didn’t leave us many clues either. Where we see value is the solid works, 2nd start, and the addition of blinkers.
Race 9: OC $62k 8.5f (T)
Looks a bit rainy, so we’ll ‘cap this two ways. We’ve never seen an AE list dictate a race shape like this one. If #13 Cullum Road (7/2) draws in, he will be dangerous and shouldn’t be ignored. Look at the double pools as we believe the morning lines are going to move.
- Most Logical (Turf) #5 Armistice Day (10-1 but expect 5-1 if the AE’s stay out) Has run into every big name horse between Mr. Money to Zulu Alpha. The form gets a bit unclear due to the tremendous class of those horses beating up on this one. The pace appears to be honest today, so expect this one near the front pack and have a nice kick. The 4 year old may still have some upside left.
- Best Value (Turf) #2 Encierro (20-1) Fun horse that has shown multiple tactics. Last out was loose on the lead but set honest fractions. Can build upon that performance with a second start after a 6 month break for this 4 year old. Looking back at the maiden race in June of last year, was very impressive both from a figure and pace perspective. Was able to close into slow-ish fractions and set a career best Beyer on grass. Was that figure just elevated by beating up on weaker company or can that be a baseline for a 2020 campaign to be launched? We’re hoping the latter.
- Next Best (Turf) #11 Inclusive (12-1) Has never had a decent pace to close into and today should open that door. Husbands needs to save all the ground possible and hope the front runners keep this pace honest.
- Most Logical (AW) #1 Avie’s Mesa (8-1) Really disappointed as the favorite in a claiming event but had a bit of a trip being pushed wide and forgot a lead change. Should benefit the second start today after the 11 month layoff. This one has nice speed and should hold the rail position, likely in the front pack.
- Next Best (AW) #5 Armistice Day (10-1) As for the reasons mentioned above, but don’t like the trip that will be given on the poly. Expect the horses drawn 1 through 4 to show speed, leaving this one in a tangle of horses out of the gate or having to stalk the pace that projects to hold together.
Race 10: OC $15k 8.5f (AW)
So many horses sitting right at the 74 Beyer Speed Figure +/- 4 points, which tells us we need to find a pace setup that works. Horses drawn inside project to provide the speed to setup our top choice.
- Most Logical: #7 Where’s the Widget (6-1) Last out had a terribly wide trip trying to close into a disadvantageous pace setup. Traveled 30 feet farther than the eventual winner. Finally gets a post draw inside the 12 hole today. More pace to run into and can sit behind those front runners drawn inside. Third off the layoff for the win.
- Next Best: #8 Street Legal (10-1) Gets second start today after the 6 month layoff. Needs to step forward, but the 6 for 12 record at the distance is promising.
- Exotic Use: #10 Follow my Lead (12-1) If the pace does indeed heat up, this one has shown promise stalking and closing. The strong bullet workout and third off the layoff should help this one step forward into the minor placings.
- Beatable Favorite: #4 Bode’s Maker (3-1) In last two starts was flattered by the pace setups by being on or near the lead with easy fractions. We see more pressure today being applied to a horse who has never seen pace pressure. On TimeForm US, this horse has never recorded a red coded fraction (meaning the horses are running faster inter-race times than par) in the horse’s 25 starts.
- Honorable Mention: #1 Lapochka (4-1) The 7 year old campaign has been lackluster failing as the heavy favorite in the last event without much of an excuse. I’ll need to see this horse can win again before backing at a short price. We have the value line of this one around 6-1, so not impossible.