Archive for the ‘LIVE!’ Category

Sword Dancer, Stay Thirsty, million dollar babies

August 14, 2010

4:01 PM: Chad Brown continued his onslaught with first time starters at this meet, picking up his 6th win of the meet with a debuting runner.

The Pick 4 is still one race away but it’s worth noting that #11 STAY THIRSTY appears as if he’ll be a heavy favorite in the first leg.  The daily double from the favorite in Race 7, #8 CHAIRMAN NOW, is paying a $10 bill as of this moment.

My pick is #9 BAATESH, who will be making his 2nd start on the turf after a credible debut sprinting at Belmont.  Good luck!

3:25 PM: It’s the 4th Saturday at Saratoga and we’re right in the midst of the 11 race program.  A couple of deep and competitive MSW races for 2YOs are coming up and the 7th is for older maidens going a mile on the inner turf.

The Sword Dancer is the featured event on this program and one scratch leaves us with a field of nine.  My top pick is #6 BEARPATH, who had a tough trip in the Man O’ War and looks to offer value in this wide-open field.

I’ll be back to check in throughout the day with various thoughts. As for the upcoming 6th race, #5 DYNAMIC HOLIDAY is my pick as he’s a half to Cat Park, a colt who won his turf debut for this outfit last fall at Keeneland.  #3 MY SPARKY is a firster worth a look as there’s some turf in the damside of his pedigree and the barn he hails from has scored with a debuting runner at each of the last two meets.  Good luck!

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Saratoga Saturday LIVE!

July 31, 2010

6:05 PM – Well, my $96 Pick 4 is alive to #1 CHROMOSPHERE and #9 BRITISH BANKER.  It’d be a decent score to the former and about 4/5 on our investment with the favorite.  A Little Warm and Miner’s Reserve must have enjoyed that N2X they hooked up in at Delaware last month as they basically repeated that event in today’s Jim Dandy.  Here’s a tale of the tape on how they stack up vs. the other two 9 furlong races on the card:

Race 2 (MSW) – :23.76 / :48.31 / 1:12.61 / 1:36.99 / 1:49.76

Race 7 (N1X) – :23.64 / :47.80 / 1:12.05 / 1:36.12 / 1:49.43

Race 10 (Dandy) – :23 and 1 / :46 and 4 / 1: 10 and 4 / 1:35 / 1:47 and 4

Sorry for not having the time for the Jim Dandy down to hundredths.  The chart should be posted soon but what is clear is that the Jim Dandy was a fast race.  How will A Little Warm handle another furlong?  Who knows, but we’ve seen precious few serious performances this year from this 3YO crop and it was good to see one today.

3:41 PM -The steam that worked in race #2 did not quite hold up in the 6th as #3 ASTROLOGY was pounded from the first flash on the tote board.  Sent off at 8/5 he battled for the lead the entire way but was vanquished in the last furlong as #4 SETTLE FOR MEDAL ran by the two favorites inside the final sixteenth.  Who is going to be the best of these going forward?  I’ll take Astrology, whose sire, A.P. Indy, has still never had a debut winner at Saratoga at 6 panels or less.

Hope the day’s treating you well, only one race before the Pick 4 begins in Race 8!

1:21 PM – The card begins with an upset as jockey John Velazquez seized the initiative with #2 EXCLUSIVE SCHEME and held on gamely through the stretch to score by a nostril.  Tough to figure out what Rajiv Maragh was doing with #3 AKILINA as he let the winner get away on the backstretch despite being in front off the clubhouse turn.  It seemed as if Akilina didn’t have it anyway, so my gripe is much ado about nothing. Even more surprising than the upset winner of the first is the incredible tote action #8 ADMIRAL ALEX is receiving in Race 2.  He opened 1-1 and is currently 2-1 with 7 minutes to post.  Being a half to Woodlander is usually not enough to garner this kind of support at the windows, so this is shaping up an awfully interesting race.  I’ll play a $72 early Pick 4 that goes like this: 1,2,6,7 with 1,4,11 with 5,13 with 1,3,6.  Good luck!

11:51 AM –  We’re just over an hour to first post for Saturday’s 11 race card and the only scratch in either of the stakes races is #7 WINSLOW HOMER in the Jim Dandy.  Trainer Tony Dutrow is opting to run him in Sunday’s Curlin, which will now have a field of no more than seven with Miner’s Reserve running today.

Earlier on the card #5 WONDERBOY ROY is scratched in the 3rd, which is a huge change given that he looked to be around even money.  If you’re still planning to play the early Pick 4, take a hard look at #11 KING PRADA who gets in off the AE list for trainer Tim Ritvo.

The opener is the William B. Fasig with 7 older NY bred females going a mile and a sixteenth on the inner turf course.  I’m inclined to think #3 AKILINA will be tough if taken to the front end by jockey Rajiv Maragh as there’s basically no speed in this group.  She nearly won a stakes race here last summer for trainer Christophe Clement and enters off of a good effort in the Mount Vernon.

Check back in as I’ll post my thoughts periodically throughout the afternoon.  Good luck!

Belmont Pick 6 Carryover LIVE!

June 9, 2010

1:13 PM EDT

What did Champagne D’Oro, Winchester, and Drosselmeyer leave behind after their upset wins on Saturday?  A massive Pick 6 carryover of more than $930,000.  The card for Wednesday was drawn long before any of those longshots scored and it’s definitely one that will challenge punters with a mixture of turf sprints, conditioned claimers, and NY bred events.  Note that the 9th race will be run on the main track after being transferred from the inner turf course due to the impending rain.

I’ll be back throughout the day with thoughts on the sequence, click here to view my selections and analysis for the entire card.  Good luck!

Wood Memorial Day…LIVE!

April 3, 2010

7:15 PM EDT

Well that’s a wrap for Wood Memorial day.  Eskendereya didn’t disappoint in any way as he absolutely crushed the Wood Memorial field by over nine lengths.  He is going to be a clear favorite in the Kentucky Derby and deservedly so as his last two efforts have been nothing short of spectacular.  None of his peers have been able to match his speed or stamina and little of what we’ve seen by the rest of this 3YO crop leads me to believe that any horse will go into the Derby on the same plateau as Eskendereya.  Now, whether he runs into any trouble in the race itself or if there are other mitigating factors is a different issue altogether. 

It was nice to see Warrior’s Reward get his first graded stakes win in the Carter.  His trainer, Ian Wilkes, has always believed this guy was an upper echelon performer and his faith was rewarded as he won a narrow photo from Musket Man.  Both may meet in the Churchill Downs Handicap on Kentucky Derby day at seven panels.

Eightyfiveinafifty erased the bad memories of a brutal race in the Whirlaway when he ran into significant trouble and ultimately bolted on the first turn.  He is clearly still quite fragile of mind as he had his head pointed towards the infield most of the way down the backstretch.  The talent is clearly there and he has a bright future but let’s hope he’s kept at one turn so he can fully reach his potential.

Take a look back here on Tuesday as I’ll update my Derby Countdown!

2:44 PM EDT

We’re just past the 1/3rd mark of the Aqueduct card and Cajun Jet made it home as the second victorious favorite of the day with a furious late run to grab Stormin Bolt and Brazen Kat.  He broke what looked like a developing inside bias but it’s undeniable that he was the one to beat, so it’s tough to make a proclamation at this point.

The 5th is up next and it looked like another strong favorite will go postward but #8 SMOKIN CONRAD is 7/2 at this juncture.  There’s been significant support early for #9 GERARD LOVES BEER, who’s undoubtedly getting some support from the Repole Stable crowd who’s on hand for Cool N Collective’s retirement ceremony.  The only other horse with appeal is #1 RODERICK, a well-bred firster who’s listed as a gelding.  I’m going to play the following Pick 3 that ends with Eightyfiveinafifty.

1,8,9 with 2,5,6,8,12 with 1

Good luck! 

1:25 PM EDT

No great surprises in the opener as 3/2 fave Lady Apple got the job done.  We’re also underway at Keeneland and Race 2 at the Big A will kick off the early Pick 4.  Here’s my main ticket:

1,2,3,4,5,6,7 with 2 with 5,8 with 1,8,9  TOTAL: 42

Good luck!

12:49 PM EDT

It’s Wood Memorial Day at the Big A, which also means it’s Santa Anita Derby and Illinois Derby day.  In case you’ve been under a rock or away from everything technological, there are big things on tap in South Ozone Park this afternoon. 

The $500,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 begins in Race 7, the Bay Shore, where Eightyfiveinafifty will be a heavy favorite as he looks to atone for his psychotic effort in the Whirlaway.  Note that in Race 8, #6 NATIONAL PRIDE has been scratched and that’s significant from multiple perspectives as he loomed the main speed and he makes the total number of horses in the Pick 4 sequence go from 23 to 22.  Click here for the changes at Aqueduct today.

Click here for my thoughts on today’s 11 race card at Aqueduct.  Click here for my thoughts on the late Pick 4 at Keeneland this afternoon.  I’ll be back at various points throughout the day to review what’s gone on and preview what lies ahead.  Best of luck today!

Breeders’ Cup Friday Live

November 6, 2009

4:00 PM EST

Europeans 1, Americans 0.

This probably won’t be the first time that I play the wrong Euro either.  Man of Iron scored with a strong late rally but it wasn’t so much that he won, but that Cloudy’s Knight lost, in large part because of Rosemary Homeister’s early pull of the trigger.  Either way, hats off to this incredible 9YO gelding who has just gotten better with time.

As far as the next one up, it’s the Juvenile Fillies Turf, and the wagering is sufficiently spread out.  The European victory in the first event has prompted the public to pound Lillie Langtry even more sufficiently as she’s currently 9/5. 

I’ll throw a couple of bucks Hatheer’s way as she’s currently a juicy 18-1.

3:00 PM EST

Well we’re now within 40 minutes of the first of fourteen Breeders’ Cup races, as the Marathon will kick things off.

Just a reminder, the Breeders’ Cup Head2Head wager in which you have to pick which jockey will win the most Breeders’ Cup races closes at post time of the Marathon.  At the moment, the Field is a 2-1 favorite.  Garrett Gomez, who won 4 Breeders’ Cup races in 2008 is currently the 9/2 second choice with Julien Leparoux the 3rd choice at 5-1.

Am I crazy to perhaps throw a couple of bucks Ryan Moore’s way?  He’s on three longshots today and on the early part of tomorrow but he’ll ride Zacinto and Conduit for Sir Michael Stoute, and I’m going to take both of those two on top, so here’s to Ryan Moore having a big weekend as the 99-1 longest shot in the Head2Head.

As far as the Marathon, I’ll start off by launching a Pick 3.  In the Marathon I’ll use (#5) Father Time and (#6) Mastery.  We’ll open it up a bit in the next two legs:

$1 Pick Three 5,6 with 1,3,7,9,12 with 3,8,10,11,12 TOTAL: $50

Good luck getting things going!

Super Saturday…LIVE!

October 3, 2009

6:12 PM

The Grade I races are over and here are some initial observations:

1.) Todd Pletcher’s Grade I losing streak will end soon.  I promise.

2.) Summer Bird is a very, very nice horse and is a deserving winner of the Eclipse for champion 3YO.  Let’s hope he stays on one piece next year and then the handicap ranks will have a real titan.

3.) Quality Road is fully back on the road to stardom as he ran a terrific race today.  He is probably not a 10 furlong animal but certainly has a future at or around a mile on the dirt and maybe even the turf.

4.) Gio Ponti is going to be tough if he takes to the Pro-Ride as he ran huge in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at a distance that was too far on a course that was almost unmanageable. 

5.) Pure Clan is a gem of consistency and deserves a look in five weeks at SA.  How about Criticism though as an off the wall longshot that prefers firm turf?

I’ll be back later with more thoughts but it has certainly been an interesting Super Saturday full of terrific performances and some huge surprises.

4:25 PM

The skies have opened up at Belmont Park and that made viewing the Vosburgh a tad more difficult as the field was somewhat invisible going into the turn.  Kodiak Kowboy, now back in the barn of trainer Steve Asmussen, surged late and was up just in time.  He had developed a history of hanging in the waning stages of his bigger efforts but is now a Grade I winner two times over. 

Our Pick 4 is toast as Fabulous Strike was caught in the last jump by Kodiak Kowboy for the second time this year.

3:50 PM

Music Note won the Beldame about as easily as a racehorse can and she’s headed to the Breeders’ Cup according to trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who was in from Europe to see the daughter of A.P. Indy win her fourth Grade I stakes race at Belmont Park.

Well, it’s time for the Pick 4, let’s single Fabulous Strike, who for all intents and purposes is supposed to win the Vosburgh.  He may have to deal with Go Go Shoot late but I think he’s just simply better than that runner.  In the Flower Bowl let’s go 5 deep with the remaining half of the Christophe Clement entry, #3 PURE CLAN, #4 DYNAFORCE, #5 CRITICISM, and #7 MONEYCAN’TBUYMELOVE.  In the Hirsch we’ll use #1 GIO PONTI, #3 AL KHALI, #4 TELLING, and #8 GRAND COUTURIER and then close things out with #2 MACHO AGAIN, #3 SUMMER BIRD, and #7 QUALITY ROAD.  That’s good for a total of $60 in this $500,000 Guaranteed All-Grade I Pick 4.

3:05 PM

Raise your hand if you didn’t see a wire-to-wire win coming in the 5th?  I certainly didn’t and even if I did it wasn’t from Krypton.  So goes our Pick 3 and we basically reset headed into the stakes portion of the Super Saturday card.  #2 MUSIC NOTE has opened with over 12k bet to place on her and is currently 1/9 on the board.  The daily double from her to #5 FABULOUS STRIKE in Race 8, the Vosburgh is currently paying about 1/5. 

Let’s hang onto our $71.50 and play the Pick 4 as the Beldame doesn’t exactly look like a good betting race.

2:34 PM

You could definitely chalk the 4th up as an exciting race as a blanket finish had four noses within a neck of one another.  Sangre Frio with a perfect rail-skimming ride was just up under Alan Garcia at 15.5-1 and got us through the first leg of the Pick 3 with a nifty start. 

Note in Race 5 that first-time starter #5 FORMULAFORSUCCESS is bet heavily in the win pool as he’s currently 5-1 but the $2 double from Sangre Frio is paying better than $450.  For comparison’s sake, #8 ROMANS REWARD is currently 4-1 and the $2 double from Sangre Frio is paying just over $141.  It’s always worth noting when a firster is hit hard in the win pool.

#3 EXTRAEXTRAORDINARY ran a truly remarkable race at first asking as he was away poorly, hurried into contention down the backstretch, was shuffled back heading around the turn then angled out and rallied well to grab the place dough narrowly.  What was even more impressive is that he hails from a barn that rarely has success with firsters and had only had one firster finish in the money when debuting on the weeds in the last five years.  Look for this guy to be very tough to beat in this spot.  We’ll roll with the Pick 3 and try to bank on the early money on Formulaforsuccess being the right money.  Let’s play $5 Win/Place on #5 and $1 Exactas 5/1,2,3,4,6,7,8,10 and $1,2,3,4,6,7,8,10/5 for a total of $26 which brings our bankroll to $71.50 with the Pick 3 one for one. 

1:56 PM

Pretty strong effort from Sky’s the Limit who was hurried to the lead by Kent Desormeaux, set solid fractions and had plenty left to fend off the favorite at the top of the stretch.  Our mythical bankroll now stands at $145.50. 

In the fourth race, I really liked #1 B Z WARRIOR, who had a bit of a tough trip last time out and was set to make his third start off a layoff. Is #1A SCHNEERSON capable of getting the job done?  Sure, but 7/2 is not very exciting.  #5 CAPTAIN RIO is a solid favorite but considering how poorly Tom Albertrani’s barn went at Saratoga and that this guy’s big runner-up finish came on opening day, why didn’t he come back at all upstate?  He’s now been working a bit spotty and looks a little bit like a horse who’s held together with glue and sticks.

Let’s launch a Pick 3 that treats this race like the wide-open event I see it being: 1,2,4,5,7,9 with 1,3,5,8 with 1,2 TOTAL: $48

1:37 PM

Please note the following scratches in the stakes races later today.  In the 7th race, the Vosburgh, #2 PEACE CHANT is scratched.  In Race 8, the Flower Bowl, #1 CARIBBEAN SUNSET is scratched and in Race 9, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, so far #1A WINCHESTER and #6 READY’S ECHO are scratched.  At this point in time #7 PRESIOUS PASSION is still in the field, but the first sign of rain could send him to the sidelines.

1:35 PM

We’re two races into Super Saturday and it’s been chalky thus far.  Independence War gave the Jayaramans and trainer Tim Ice what they’re hoping will be their first of two wins today in taking the first as the 13-10 favorite.  Crazy Charlie completed a $9.10 double by wearing down a very soft group of maiden sellers in Race 2 as the 4/5 favorite. 

The wagering for the third opened with what I found to be a bit of a surprise.  #8 JAYDEN’S HOPE was a solid early favorite and is currently still the most backed by the public at 9/5.  I’ll stick with #3 SKY’S THE LIMIT, who hasn’t been out since last winter at Calder but starts for a barn that has been on an absolute tear in the last four days.  With our mythical $100 bankroll for Super Saturday let’s play $10 Win/Place on #3.

Sunday at the Spa

August 9, 2009

The only news of the morning, aside from the conditions being fast and firm at the Spa is that one of Saratoga’s favorite sons, Commentator, has been retired.  What can you say about the NY bred chestnut gelding other than that he had brilliant speed, was game in his defeats and always gave it his all.  Here’s to a happy retirement for Commentator.

As far as the racing today, the weather looms a danger but for now the radar is clean and an 11 race card that is without question the best of the meet in terms of quality.  Some of the highlights of the day include:

Race 2- A competitive field of maidens are set to spar as #3 GOLD D’ORO looms the favorite.  A half to graded stakes winner Adriano, this filly be Medaglia d’Oro missed by a beak in her last try over the weeds.

Race 3- The stateside debut of Redding Colliery, who was twice 3rd behind the Godolphin duo of Desert Party and Regal Ransom in Dubai, is matched by the return of Girolamo, who was a nifty debut winner over this track last year.  I’ll pass on both and take a stand with Speight of Hand, a son of Speightstown who’s back off a brief freshening for trainer Chad Brown.  Take a look at how he ran the last time he was fresh.

Race 4- The return of Elusive Heat may be an exhibition as she is arguably the fastest 3YO filly (at sprint distances) in the land.  She showed dazzling early speed in three starts last year and earlier this year.  One of the other speed horses, Rumor Control, has been scratched, so Elusive Heat’s duty will be a bit easier.

Race 5- Join me in taking a big stand against Bribon.  He is going to be wildly overbet in this spot off of his Met Mile victory.  The fact of the matter is that Bribon is not a turf horse.  He is running here to keep him at the distance of one mile and prep for the Woodbine Mile next month.  He’s facing a salty group which includes Inca King, who was a strong 2nd in the Firecracker last time out at Churchill.

Race 6- Just your run of the mill overnight stake at Saratoga with a field of 12 that is as evenly matched as they come.  Linda Rice has her obligatory three entrants and #10 SMART AND FANCY is back to atone for an uncharacteristic loss in the Caress.

Race 7- Where was this MSW on Whitney day?  A number of freshman sires have progeny trying this event including Offlee Wild, Forest Danger, Consolidator, and Roman Ruler.  Might the 2nd timer, Henry’s Time, from the barn of D. Wayne Lukas step up?  I’ll try with him at a good price.

Race 9- The Honorable Miss looms an interesting affair as #3 GAME FACE attempts to answer some serious questions about her inability to win outside of South Florida.  She is fresh off a smashing win in the Princess Rooney and faces a relatively soft group here, but count me among those who will make her prove it at 3/5.

Race 10- There might only be six in the Vanderbilt but it is one of the most competitive races you’ll ever find.  The de facto best sprinter on dirt, #6 FABULOUS STRIKE, will look to win both the battle and war as he will be challenged strongly from the opening bell.  #3 BENNY THE BULL is going to get an incredible pace setup but still has to prove he has some of that 2008 magic.  #2 KODIAK KOWBOY is perfectly capable but can he get the job done at only six panels?  All terrific questions and we’re all lucky a group like this could be assembled in a Grade II stakes race.

Thus, good luck on this absolutely spectacular card…I’ll be back periodically to check in with random, and hopefully meaningful, musings.

Whitney Day…LIVE!!

August 8, 2009

7:36 PM EDT

There’s still one Grade I left in America and all eyes will be on Zensational.  Here are some initial thoughts about the Grade I winners we’ve seen so far:

FLASHING– The cutback in distance obviously did it for this gal as she exited a horrendous drubbing at the hands of Rachel Alexandra.  This event seemed more like a war of attrition than a tour de force, however, the final time was a spritely 1:22.40 (pending re-analysis after a teletimer malfunction).  This filly is obviously geared more towards sprinting and is obviously capable of capitalizing on a great setup.

BULLSBAY– I’ll readily admit that I didn’t see this result coming.  A race that went from looking like it might be another Whitney runaway for Commentator became a considerable upset as the son of Tiznow, Bullsbay, powered home in solid fashion.  Let’s be honest though, Bullsbay is hardly a legitimate handicap horse and this race just illustrated what a lackluster group is the older male division right now.

TAKE THE POINTS– After two close finishes behind Battle of Hastings at Colonial, this son of Even the Score proved best under a perfect ride by Kent Desormeaux.  This race lacked a standout and it seemed like the known quantities rose to the top.  Take the Points is a versatile animal who has developed steadily and obviously doesn’t need to take his course with him as the boggier going bothered him not in the Secretariat.

DYNAFORCE– The two wins this mare has earned in America have been in Grade I races where she upset a heavy favorite on wet turf by getting the jump.  She received another perfect ride by Kent Desormeaux and stayed on nicely.  Trainer Bill Mott is very dangerous with horses going 2nd off layoffs and this gal obviously prefers turf with a bit more give.  Look for her to come back in the Flower Bowl and should excel if there’s a bit of rain leading up to it.

GIO PONTI– The Million featured three horses who hail from a category that you can’t find in a racing publication as Gio Ponti, Einstein, and Presious Passion are old warriors who always run their race.  This rapidly improving son of Tale of the Cat just went about his business once again and kicked clear off the turn to win by a length.  He is beyond versatile as he’s now won at 8 furlongs on firm turf, 8 furlongs on Pro-Ride, 10 furlongs on 3 occasions and 11 furlongs.  That’s what you call consistency.

We still get to see what Zensational has in his holster as his punishing early speed should be on full display in the Bing Crosby.

 

5:00 PM EDT

I’ve neglected to stay on top of the live blog but being at the wagering facility makes it tougher.  How about Kent Desormeaux on the green at Arlington today?  I’ve been as big a Desormeaux detractor as any over the years but the guy can flat out ride on the spinach.  He put Dynaforce in the perfect spot from the get-go and she is now a two-time Grade I winner with the lone similarity between the two wins being the boggy condition.

The Test is a minute away and we’re rolling the Capital OTB Pick 4 for the patrons with Cat Moves.

3:25 PM EDT

Well, Afrikaner did what he was supposed to do and it was nice to see Cornelio Velasquez get it going a bit with back-to-back wins aboard Fort McCoy and Immortal Eyes.  Is there a better trainer on the circuit than Angel Penna given the run he’s been on since earlier this year?

It’s time to start constructing a Pick 6.  I’m thinking it’ll be more a fort than a mansion considering it behooves all punters to hold a bit in the kitty for the Pick 4.

2:20 PM EDT

They’re through three on Whitney day at Saratoga and it’s been all mid-range prices thus far.  My top pick in the opener, Brecciate, came roaring down the center of the track and scored at 7-1 and he was followed by Andiron in the 2nd and Fort McCoy in Race 3.

The 4th features a bulky field and the board is wide-open now with #3 THIEFONTHERUN (FIRST-TIME GELDING) currently on the board at 3-1.  He obviously rates a big chance going 2nd off a layoff for a barn that is overdue to get things going.  I’ll take #2 SHAREHOLDER DUES at a juicy 11-1.

I’ll be back shortly with looks at the Pick 6 (carryover of 140k) and Pick 4 (guaranteed pool of 500k)

Saturday at the Races…Live!

June 13, 2009

MACHO AGAIN?  RAIL TRIP=OVERRATED

I will readily admit that I’m not a Macho Again fan.  In fact, I attempted to block most of the also-rans from the 3YO division last year out of my mind.  He proved me wrong today as he worked out a good trip, benefited from the 3rd and 4th place finishers having trip problems, and had just enough pace to set up his late run.

In the other major stake in the handicap division, Informed scored in the Californian from just off the pace.  The new strategy for 2-1 favorite Rail Trip didn’t make much of a difference as he looked good coming off the turn but tired late, proving clearly that he is not a 9 furlong animal.  It’d work best for trainer Ron Ellis to shorten him up and look at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile rather than the Classic.  Of course, the progeny of Jump Start have done well on the turf as well…

I’ll be back in the morning to discuss the Belmont Pick 6 pending weather-related changes. 

PRESIOUS PASSION WON’T BE DENIED!

They don’t get much more game than Presious Passion.  He was headed around the far turn of the Monmouth Stakes but came back gamely to score.  What a race!

UGH…NON-STARTER AND NO ZIPSTER

Our Pick 4 was done before it started as #7 CALL TIGER was declared a non-starter, giving us an extra ticket on #6 BULLARA.  Of course, that runner finished a well-beaten third and we had no part of #11 THE ZIPSTER.  Looks like time to cover in a Pick 3.

 PICK 4; CHURCHILL STAKES BEGIN

The first of five stakes races at Churchill Downs just finished with jockey Alan Garcia taking them all the way on Florentino, who’s proven to be a very useful turfer.  The All-Stakes Pick 4 at Churchil is about to begin with the Northern Dancer.

In the $350,000 guaranteed Pick 4 at Belmont, here’s our ticket which is adjusted for scratches:

Race Seven: 2,6,7,8

Race Eight: 1,5,8

Race Nine: 3,6,8

Race Ten: 1,4

TOTAL: $72

Good luck!

RAIN ON THE WAY

We’re one race away from the Pick 4 starting and the rain is on the way.  Click here to view the current radar image.  Remember that if you play the Pick 4 and one race in the sequence is moved from turf to dirt then that leg plays ‘ALL.’

I’m constructing my ticket now and will be back after the 6th with musings from that event and my ticket.  Good luck!

WHAT WAS THAT?????

Javier Castellano ought to have some explaining to do.  What exactly prompted him to make that ridiculously premature move on Music Note?  He effectively forced his entrymate into a quicker 3rd quarter and softened her up for the final furlong when she was passed by Seattle Smooth.

Hats off to the winner but a big “what were you thinking?” to Castellano. (2:45 PM EDT)

DOMINGUEZ DIRECTS BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

If indecision clouds your vision then Ramon Dominguez’s sight must be 20/10.  Part of the reason why I’m such a fan of the lanky, whip-flailing jockey is because he is incredibly decisive.  When Edgar Prado and Seattle Brew, the expected pacesetter, got out of the gate slowly (which is becoming the norm for Prado) Dominguez took the initiative and never looked back aboard Laureate Conductor to win Race 3. 

The turf looked fine and the slow splits had a lot more to do with a pitifully mundane tempo.  It’s very frustrating that the 7th and 10th were taken off the turf, not only because they’re part of the Pick 4 sequence but because the 5th was left on the weeds.  Let’s hope for a lot of sunshine in upstate NY in August because a Saratoga meet full of “the 5th is on but the 7th is off and the 1st was switched to the Mellon” sounds like no fun.

Good luck in the Ogden Phipps…the three-headed monster currently has better than 64k of the 67k in the place pool.  (2:10 PM EDT)