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Saturday Selections for Laurel Park plus FOY and Risen Star Derby Preps

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Saturday Selections for Laurel Park plus FOY and Risen Star Derby Preps

Posted on 22 February 2013 by Gary Quill

Youth springs eternal and stars are on the rise this weekend the national horse racing spotlight will be on Florida and Louisiana as Kentucky Derby prep graded stakes races are on tap Saturday at Gulfstream Park (Hallendale, FL) and Fairgrounds (New Orleans, LA). These two (2) races are the first two of the eight (8) Championship Season “First of Two Legs” of the Derby Point System races. Each of the eight (8) races, the last being the Sunland Derby on March 24th offers the following Derby points… 50 points to the winner, 20 to runner-up, 10 to third and 5 point to fourth place finishers. The second of the two legs have 7 races worth 100-50-20-10 points.

First up will be the $400k G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park (GP), race 11 (Post Time 5:35pm EST) on the card at 1 1/16 miles over the main dirt surface. In 70 runnings (first in 1945) the Fountain Of Youth has produced just four (4) Kentucky Derby winner s… Tim Tam (1958), Kauai King (1966), Spectacular Bid (1979), and Thunder Gulch (1995).

The Morning Line favorite is #3 – Violence (8-5), a perfect 3-for-3 makes his 3-year-old debut. Top contenders looking to derail the prohibitive favorite are CA invader #9 – He’s Had Enough, the G3 Sam F. Davis winner #10 Falling Sky and a slew of newcomers making their stakes debut.

Interesting stats at GP: Proportion of 8.5 furlong (i.e. 1 1/16 mile) dirt races since 2010 won gate-to-wire: 24% (104 races); At the current meet, 33% have won gate-to-wire going this distance (43 races) while that percentage this past week stands at 54% (13 races).

So with the speed bias of the Gulfstream Park dirt course this time of year (year after year), one should lean towards a speed horse in here. It should be noted that the heavy favorite (Violence) has never shown early speed in any of his 3 career races.

HOW I SEE IT: GP 8.5f races have been very kind to early speed types (54% in the past week; 42% for the meet). This bodes well for Majestc Hussar, Falling Sky, #5 – Elmutahid (20-1) and #8 – Speak Logistics (12-1). This leaves #1 – Orb (12-1) and Violence to take up the chase from mid-pack. Now do you really think that TAP has Violence cranked-up for this one?! I think not!

The Fountain Of Youth Play: $2 Tri Part-Wheel 4, 5, 8 w/ 3 w/ 1, 4, 5, 8, 9
That’s
Majestic Hussar, Elmutahid and Speak Logistics w/ Violence w/ Orb, Majestic Hussar, Elmutahid, Speak Logistics and He’s Had Enough ($24)
  

About 20 minutes later in NOLA, a field of 13 will break from the gate in the $400k G2 Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds Race Course, race 10 (Post Time 4:57pm CST) on the card at 1 1/16 miles over the main dirt surface. Fifteen (15) were entered but #12 – He’s Had Enough will run in the Fountain Of Youth at GP and #15 – Sunbean will instead run in race 3 at FG.

Previously known as the Louisiana Derby Trial Stakes, in 1989 it was renamed to honor locally-owned Risen Star who won the race in 1988, ran 3rd in the Kentucky Derby, and went on to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. In 42 runnings (1973-2012) of this race, the winner has never gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.

The Morning Line favorite is #9 – Normandy Invasion (5-2), last seen losing a head-bob decision to Overanalyze in the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct in November. Among the highly touted making their stakes debut are #1 – Proud Strike (8-1), #2 – Code West (6-1), #5 – Mylute (6-1) and #14 – Departing (12-1).

HOW I SEE IT: This is a tough race because of the way FG is playing (Speed bias) and fact it will be OFF (Sloppy). I typically love Closers (Proud Strike and Normandy Invasion), but it ain’t happening here. Since there is plenty of early speed, it’s a crap shoot as to who gets a clean break and first run into the clubhouse turn. Jockey Rosie Napravnik takes off #5 – Mylute to ride #8 – Palace Malice (8-1) for Todd Pletcher. Palace Malice he should get a nice Stalking trip, and love the stretch out and OFF track, just as his Daddy (Curlin) did, getting first jump on the leg weary early speed in mid-stretch while holding off a furious late charge by Normandy Invasion.

Risen Star PLAY: $2 #6 – $10 WIN, $20 PLACE; $1 Tri Part-Wheel 2, 6 w/ 9 w/ 1, 2, 6, 10
Laurel Park logo

Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Feb. 16th had 7 winners from 9 races (4 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.20 (1st race), $3.80 (2nd), $5.20 (3rd), $7.60 (4th), $17.00 (6th), $3.00 (7th), $2.80 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (7 1-0-0) Adirondack King (2-1 PT; 5-2 M/L) broke inward bumping the eventual winner. Though he raced forwardly in the early stages, he could not keep pace with the top 3 finishers, settling for 4th as the second-choice at Post Time.

The LONGSHOT PICK (7 0-0-1) Tyler’s Smile (9-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) received a cold reception at the betting windows and proved the betting public correct, as he was wide throughout the race and offered no threat to his rivals, finishing a distant 7th.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a chance of mixed precipitation (snow & rain), meaning there’s strong possibility the track will be OFF (i.e SLOPPY or MUDDY) at Laurel Park on Saturday Feb. 23rd . Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

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1st race – $12,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Scipion’s Girl (8-5)
#2 – Gracious Gracie (2-1)
#1 – Sacred Hope (6-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#5 – Sweet Yulianna (5-2) *** BEST BET ***
#4 – Social Statement (2-1)
#6 – Cambria Queen (10-1)

3rd race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o.– 6 furlongs
#7 – Rainbowappears (3-1)
#1 – Southern Partner (5-2)
#2 – True Compass (3-1)

4th race – $7,500 Claiming for 4 y.o. OR 5 & up N3L – One mile
#4 – Self Destruct (3-1)
#5 – Last Laugh Now (7-2)
#1 – Dinos Romance (9-5)

5th race – $38,000 Maidens for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Libertytown Lass (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#10 – Northern Curlew (4-1)
#5 – Magic Fire (6-1)

6th race – $7,500 Claimng.for 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#5 – City Genius (9-2)
#1 – Peaceadaaction (5-1)
#6 – Dancing Roman (10-1)

7th race – $25,000 Optional Claiming N2X for 4 y.o.& up – 6 furlongs
#1 – Itsnottheright (5-2)
#8 – Manito (2-1)
#7 – Pryce’s Posse (8-1)

8th race – $125,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes for F&M 3 y.o.& up – 1 1/8 miles
#7– Moon Philly (8-5)
#6 – Touch the Birds (6-1)
#8 – Blessed Soul (30-1)

9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#8 – Spicer Cub (8-1)
#4 – Someones Lion (4-1)
#7 – Roccamo (2-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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Selections for Saturday at Laurel Park; Derby Trail Stops at Gulfstream Park (FL) for Holy Bull Stakes

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Selections for Saturday at Laurel Park; Derby Trail Stops at Gulfstream Park (FL) for Holy Bull Stakes

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Gary Quill

On Saturday (Jan. 26th), ten potential Triple Crown nominees will run in the $400k Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream. Run at a distance of 1 1/16th miles, scheduled Post Time for this Derby point system event is 5:05pm (EST). The 4-5 Morning Line (M/L) favorite is #1 – Shanghai Bobby (Todd Pletcher trained; ridden by Rosie Napravnik). He’s a perfect 5-for-5 lifetime, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which helped him earn the 2012 Eclipse award for 2-year-old champion.

This contest will be not cake walk for “Bobby” as the field includes a trio of graded stakes placed runners… #2 – Frac Daddy (8-1), second to Uncaptured in the G2 KY Jockey Club while #6- Dewey Square (12-1) was third; #4 – Bern Identity (4-1) second to Goldencents in the G3 Delta Jackpot. The Holy Bull Stakes marks the 3-year-old debut for these 3, “Bobby” and 3 others… #3 – Clearly Now (12-1) in from Woodbine for first natural dirt outing, #8 – Tulira Castle (30-1) and #9 – Fredericksburg (30-1) ran 1-2 in lone dirt efforts in a $75k N1X.The latter adds blinkers.

HOW I SEE IT: There is a ton of early speed in here. Bern Identity is the best of the few who can rate and come off the pace as he closed ground in the Delta Jackpot on a track that favored speed. Shanghai Bobby is definitely the most accomplished, but I doubt he’s cranked up for his 3-year-old debut. The ultimate goal is the Kentucky Derby, so he’ll probably get a bit weary in the final 16th of a mile, to salvage a minor share. Those who stand to continue to improve are Dewey Square and Itsmyluckyday.

THE PLAY: $10 WPS #4 and $2 Exacta Box 1-4-6

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Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Jan. 19th had 6 winners from 9 races (but just 1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) in part to a very “chalky” day, having $2 WIN pay-offs of $7.20 (1st), $2.60 (2nd), $3.20 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $4.60 (7th) and $28.00 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (4 0-0-0) Classic Wildcat (9-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) simply put, “failed to menace”, finishing 7th of 8 runners. Enough said.

The LONGSHOT PICK (4 0-0-0) In God’s Country (7-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) after a slow start, raced 5 wide, could only muster a mild rally to finish 4th less than 3 lengths behind the winner.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Sunny skies with no chance of precipitation, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Jan. 26th. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

1st race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#4 – Backdoor Strike (9-2)
#1 – Roccamo (4-5)
#6 – Top Partner (4-1)

2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Fearsome (2-1)
#7 – Glib (5-2)
#4 – Rio Samba (12-1)

3rd race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. fillies – 5½ furlongs
#8 – Avie (5-2)
#9 – Star Holiday (6-1)
#7 – Jersey Zapper (2-1)

4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#1 – Awesome and Classy (6-1)
#3 – Tetherball (2-1)
#6 – Perfect Balance (5-2)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming N2X for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#8 – Mister Dish (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#6 – Summer of Summers (8-1)
#7 – Granted Ruler (9-2)

6th race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – about 1 1/16 miles
#2 – Red Hot Tweet (5-2)
#3 – Dontstopmenow (7-2)
#5 – Everything Matters (7-2)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#12 – Gambine Road (5-1)
#10 – Dinos Romance (8-5)
#5 – Silver Endurance (10-1)

8th race – $125,000 Nellie Morse Stakes for F&M 4 y.o. & up – about 1 1/16 miles
#10 – Ciguaraya (5-1) *** BEST BET ***
#8 – Tanivan (12-1)
#1 – Moon Philly (9-5)

9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs
#7 – Punta Sal (9-2)
#3 (POE) – Silver Prado (6-1)
#8 – Cinder Cone (5-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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SunshineMillions-promo

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Selections and Sunshine Millions Promo at Laurel Park; Derby Trail Hits The Big Easy

Posted on 18 January 2013 by Gary Quill

Wear Orange and get in FREE! That’s how Laurel Park. is celebrating Florida’s Sunshine Millions Day being held at Gulfstream Park. Huh?! Both Laurel Park and Gulfstream Park are owned by The Stronach Group. Therefore, in an effort to boost attendance and handle at all Stronach Group owned tracks, the marketing department comes up with these type of promotions.

Even though the Saturday card at Gulfstream Park offers the most stakes races of any track on this day, a Derby prep race takes place at Fairgrounds in New Orleans. A Kentucky Derby prep race? In January? Oh yeah! Much like the NFL season is a 4 month (i.e. 17 week) marathon to decide what 12 of the 32 teams make it to the post-season, the road to the Kentucky Derby is eerily similar.

Four months prior to the Kentucky Derby (May 4th), the thousands of colts and fillies foaled in 2011 enter their 3-year-old “season”. In January, somewhere around 300-400 of them will be nominated to the Triple Crown series (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes). Shortly thereafter, they begin their journey by running in the various prep races to see which ones are the best 20 who can gain a spot in the starting gate of the 139th Kentucky Derby.

On Saturday (Jan. 19th), nine potential Triple Crown nominees will run in the $200k Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fairgrounds. Run at a distance of 1 mile and 70 yards, scheduled Post Time for this Derby point system event is 5:55pm (EST). The 5-2 Morning Line (M/L) favorite is #6 – Avie’s Quality (Josie Carroll trained; ridden by Rosie Napravnik). This group of 9 appears to be a notch below the early top Derby contenders, has only 4 have run in a graded stakes race. They are… #3 – Fear the Kitten (8-1; 5th in G2 KY Jockey Cup), #4 – Oxbow (8-1; 4th in G1 Cash Call Futurity), #8 – Circle Unbroken (7-2; won G3 Bashford Manor) and #9 – Ive Struck a Nerve (12-1; 9th in G1 Del Mar Futurity).

HOW I SEE IT: There’s a good mix of early speed, tactical speed (i.e. Stalkers) and Closers. That is, no one will steal this race on the front end, which should step it up nicely for one of the off-the-pace runners. Expect (#3) Fear the Kitten to vastly improve in his first start for trainer Michael Maker, being able to take advantage of the Fairgrounds long stretch with his late kick. #1 – Malibu High (5-1) is a perfect 2-for-2 while sprinting but the stretch out should be no problem for this son of Malibu Moon. If any of the early speed has the ability to go gate-to-wire, it’s (#8) Circle Unbroken, making his first start since August in order recuperate from an injury.

THE PLAY: $10 WPS #3 and $2 Exacta Box 1-3-8

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Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Jan. 12th had 7 winners from 9 races (but just 1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) in part to a very “chalky” day, having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.20 (2nd), $6.40 (3rd), $8.00 (4th), $4.20 (6th), $4.60 (7th) $3.40 (8th) and $7.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day(3 0-0-0) Greek Thunder (5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was bet down to the 2nd choice, but did not deliver the goods. Saved ground in the early stages, but when asked for his best entering the stretch, failed to make a serious bid, and settled for 4th a half of a length behind the SHOW horse.

The LONGSHOT PICK (3 0-0-0) Summer Court (12-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) outrun early, circled the field in 3 path and was outrun, missing a distant SHOW purse money by a length. Only the Superfecta bettors profited from her 4th place finish.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Sunny skies with no chance of precipitation, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Jan. 19th. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

1st race – $10,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. – about 1 1/16 miles
#2 – Forever Gallant (4-1)
#4 – Cobbler’s Mark (6-5)
#5 – Dreaming of Jazz (7-2)

2nd race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#7 – Espiritu Libre (1-1)
#3 – Final Vinication (8-5)
#8 – Turini (10-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#2 – Peter’s Creek (5-2)
#6 – Speeding Spike (8-5)
#4 – Ready for Duty (6-1)

4th race – $10,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. – about 1 1/16 miles
#9 – Being Frugal (9-2)
#1 – Fib (6-5) note: POE #1A – Purr and Prowl is SCRATCHED
#4 – Bullette (8-5)

5th race – $25,000 Claiming N2L for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#1 – In God’s Country (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#2 – South in Dixie (4-1)
#3 – Kay One (20-1)

6th race – $14,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#2 – Classic Wildcat (9-2) *** BEST BET ***
#7 – It’s Never Too Late (3-1)
#8 – Lemon Juice (15-1)

7th race – $50,000 Opt. Claiming N1X for fillies 3 y.o. – about 1 1/16 miles
#5 – Marcellina d’Oro (5-2)
#4 – Hollywood Redhead (7-2)
#3 – Firenze Feeling (2-1)

8th race – $125,000 Frank Whiteley, Jr. Stakes for 3 y.o. – 7 furlongs
#9 – In the Fairway (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ — SCRATCHED
#4 – Keep the Canoli (8-1)
#1 – Patrick S (5-1)
#7 – Saint Arbor (12-1)

9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs
#7 – Go for Two (5-2)
#3 – Storm Catlilly (1-1)
#8 – Connor the Conch (6-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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