Race 5: #3 Stolen Money (8-1)
Back-to-back-to-back theft jobs for #3 Stolen Money? The gray gelding seeks his third straight victory today and finds himself with a favorable pace scenario. The pace projector has him on a clear lead in the early portions of the race, and the only horse with any kind of tactical ability is drawn directly inside of him which will allow the bug-boy to play the break. The latest effort was a career best performance on speed figures and he’ll have to prove that was no fluke since that’s about what it’ll take to be competitive here. This is clearly his best trip however as he’s never been out of the money going two turns on the synthetic and again he could very easily find himself alone on the front end. The effort two back on the turf also inspires confidence since that’s not his best surface and he was against the race flow and still found a way to win. I just think he’s in really good form right now and could be tough to catch. Potential lone speed always takes money for good reason, so I don’t expect to get anywhere near 8-1, but he offers value at 7/2 or higher.
Race 8: #6 English Shirl (6-1)
#6 English Shirl (6-1) moves up the ladder off a couple of nice wins sprinting on the turf course and seeks her third straight win today. She’s a tad light on figures, but I do want to upgrade her last couple starts because she was against the race flow in both of those efforts and she found a way to win anyways. She’s also cutting back half a panel and that could help negate the speed figure difference since she’s barely held on going seven furlongs. I also think there’s a good chance she can get a good trip today since she’s done her best running pressing the pace and she drew outside the other speed so her rider should be able to play the break. There’s no superstars in this spot and I would imagine this price holds up so let’s take a shot with the hot hand at anything higher than 6-1.
Race 9: #2 Steak and Cheese (7/2)
I like #2 Steak and Cheese in this spot coming out of three straight races where he had to overcome adversity (2 wide trips, crawling pace) and yet he ran well in all those spots including his victory last time. This gelding won’t be a huge price or anything, but he is supposed to get a great trip in this spot. There is a ton of speed lined up and this guy has one of the best kicks in the field. And it’s not like he comes from the clouds either (especially useful on the inner course), and with this draw he should be able to save every inch of ground. Kimura bothers to ride back and should be able to navigate any traffic and it helps that his main rival is stuck on the outside. I would love to get 7/2 on this runner, but I think he’s still worth a bet around 3-1.