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Blue Grass Stakes & Arkansas Derby Analysis plus Saturday (Day 7) Selections at Pimlico

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Blue Grass Stakes & Arkansas Derby Analysis plus Saturday (Day 7) Selections at Pimlico

Posted on 12 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Three weeks from Saturday is the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby and there are only a few more races between now and then for 3 year olds to crack into the Top 20 of the Derby Points System List. The Derby is limited to twenty (20) starters, and the pecking order is based on the number of points accumulated via the inaugural year of this new system.

Drawing by Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

This Saturday is ideally the latest that any colt or gelding should race if they are to be in top condition to run in the Derby on May 4th. On Saturday, there are two…the $750,000 G1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, KY and the $1,000,000 G1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR. Both races are run at the distance of 1 1/8 miles and will be broadcast live on NBC Sport during a 90 minute telecast which starts at 5:00pm EDT.

The Blue Grass Stakes (Post Time 5:40pm EDT) attracted fifteen (15) entries even though the race is restricted to fourteen (14) starters. So #15 – Divine Ambition (50-1) will only run if one of the other 14 scratch by Saturday morning, but he is cross-entered in the Arkansas Derby, and will likely run there. Based on the Morning Line oddsmaker, there is no clear cut favorite as #7 – Uncaptured is the lukewarm 7-2 favorite with #4 -  Java’s War and #13 – Rydilluc are both 4-1.

HOW I SEE IT: WOW! If a horseplayer could hand pick a race to be a prime example of a “great betting race”, this one would have to be it. Fourteen starters, no prohibitive favorite, all carry 123 lbs., you can make a case for any of the 14, and there’s a good mix of running styles. Bottom line: The best horse (on this day) wins. Six of them have already tested the 9 furlong distance, but only one (Uncaptured) hit the board. Assuming the Keeneland oval is playing ‘favor’, I’ll lean on the Brisnet All-Weather surface figures and workout patterns for my Top 3, which include two huge prices.

The Blue Grass “Go Big or Go Home” Play: $10 WPS on #9 – Tesseron (50-1)
$2 EX BOX 7-9-10 (Uncaptured – Tesseron – Footbridge)

At approximately 6:28pm EDT, a field eleven (11) will break from the starting gate for the Arkansas Derby. Bob Baffert has been golden in graded stakes in the past at Oaklawn Park and this year was more of the same when Super Ninety Nine destroyed the field in the Southwest Stakes but was a beaten favorite in the Rebel. Not to worry. Bob rolls back into Hot Springs with the 2-1 M/L favorite #2 – War Academy, a very impressive winner in his 2-turn debut last out, against allowance company.

Baffert will also start #5 – Den’s Legacy (6-1) who was third in the Rebel Stakes while D. Wayne Lukas will give a leg up to jockey Gary Stevens on the 5-2 second choice #10 – Oxbow who was nosed out of a win in the Rebel by stablemate Will Take Charge. The 4-1 third choice #9 – Overanalyze will try to give Todd Pletcher another Derby starter if he finishes in-the-money. Calvin Borel puts his Kentucky Derby mount hopes on #7 – Texas Bling (20-1).

HOW I SEE IT: This field is not lacking speed, but is short on a proven Closer that can compete at this level. Oxbow, has broken from the 10 or 11 post in 4 of his last 5, so he’ll be right at home breaking from #10 and will certainly get to the front, with #3 – Divine Ambition, #4 – Falling Sky and #6 – Heaven’s Runway keeping him company early. There should be a log-jam of runners in the second flight, so whoever can get the cleanest trip may get to the Winners Circle. Only two starters have previously covered the 9 furlongs distance… #8 – Frac Daddy (7th in FL Derby two weeks ago) and #9 – Overanalyze (won Remsen in Nov.).

The Arkansas Derby Play: $10 WPS on #9 – Overanalyze (4-1)
$2 EX BOX 2-9-10 (War Academy – Overanalyze – Oxbow)

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #103…  “Figure Eight

Recapping Pimlico’s Friday 9-race card posted had 6 winners (1 Top Selection in BOLD type) from 7 races, as in 2 of the races taken off the turf, resulted in all 3 selections being scratched. With the fields depleted by scratches due to sloppy track made for some chalky$2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (1st race), $10.40 (2nd), $5.20 (4th), $3.40 (6th), $5.20 (8th) and $9.80 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (5 3-0-1) Empedrado (R6 #5 3-5 PT; 5-1 M/L) took on the role of favorite after when scratches cut the field to four (4). He was last by 7 lengths at the quarter pole, but in a blink of an eye he swooped by his 3 rivals at the head of the stretch, and won by 9 ¾ while geared down approaching the wire to return $3.40 to WIN and $2.20 to PLACE as there was no SHOW wagering.

The LONGSHOT PICK (5 1-0-1) Francesco Punch  (R3 #7 n/a PT; 15-1 M/L) was scratched along with many others in this race originally scheduled on the turf.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $24 on War Relic  (R7 #13; n/a PT, 3-1 M/L) was a NO BET as he was also scratched when all turf races were taken off and run on the main track sloppy surface. No worries, there’s always another day. Day 7 in fact.

Selections for the Day 7 Pimlico Saturday, April 13th card are on Page 2.

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Handicapping Tourney and Selections at Laurel Park Saturday plus Gotham is lone Derby Prep

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Handicapping Tourney and Selections at Laurel Park Saturday plus Gotham is lone Derby Prep

Posted on 01 March 2013 by Gary Quill

On Saturday at Laurel Park the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) will host a “Champions” Handicapping Tournament limited to 250 entries. Entry fee is $100 plus a $200 tournament bankroll.

As of noon on Friday, there are still openings. One can register at Laurel Park on Saturday starting at 9am. Tournament participants receive complimentary parking, admission, a multi-signal program and lunch buffet. Prizes will be awarded for  first ($5,000) through tenth ($300) places, with the top 3 finishers receiving automatic qualification for the February 2014 Coast Casinos Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas. For more information contact Diana Harbaugh at 301-470-5432 or diana.harbaugh@marylandracing.com.

The Derby Trail heads north to the The Big Apple for its only legitimate prep race of the weekend, on Saturday (March 2nd) for the $400,000 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct race track. The Gotham Stakes is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the inner dirt track. It features a field of 12 runners, 7 of whom have previously run in a graded stakes while 3 others take a big jump after scoring their maiden victory last out. In 59 previous runnings of the Gotham, only Secretariat (1973) has managed to win both the Gotham and Kentucky Derby.

The Morning Line favorite is #11 – Overanalyze (5-2), last seen winning a head-bob decision over Normandy Invasion in the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct in November. The latter ran a troubling 5th in last weekends Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds in NOLA. A solid 3-1 second choice is #7 – Vyjack, undefeated in 3 career starts, all at Aqueduct. One of three Kiaran McLaughlin’s runners, #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) stands a good chance based on the amount of lip service he’s getting from industry experts. No surprise here due to the fact he’s #19 on GQ’s Derby Double Dozen posted here on Feb. 9th, when no one else even gave him a mention.

Though the G3 Withers Stakes winner Revolutionary will skip this dance and point to the G1 Wood Memorial, four (4) other Withers starters will answer the bell in the Gotham… #2 – Champion Boy (30-1; 5th in Withers), #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1; 2nd), #5 – Amerigo Vespucci (20-1; 4th) and #6 – Siete de Oro (15-1; 3rd).

HOW I SEE IT: With the likelihood of a FAST track (only 20% chance of precipitation) and the Big A dirt surface playing “fair” (i.e. not speed favoring like a certain track located in south Florida), it appears the best horse, with a clean trip will win. So is Overanalyze the best horse? Not necessarily on Saturday, but a quick, early pace would certainly help his cause, and he just might get it. #1 – Now and Then,  #4 – Ore Pass (12-1), #6 – Siete de Oro,  #7 – Vyjack and #10 – West Hills Giant (20-1) will see to that. When the real racing begins at the head of the stretch, expect #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1) and #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) to make their presence known while the favorite, Overanalyze finds his best stride in the final furlong. But will it be enough to get to the Winners Circle? Well do you think Johnny Velazquez took the mount, leaving warm, sunny Florida for chilly New York just because he could also see a Broadway show?

The Gotham PLAY: #11 – $10 WIN, $20 PLACE; $2 Ex Box 3-8-11

Laurel Park logoRecapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Feb. 23rd had 8″chalky” winners from 9 races (1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $6.60 (2nd), $4.00 (4th), $6.00 (5th), $6.40  (6th), $7.80 (7th),$2.40 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (8 1-0-0) Sweet Julianna (5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) dueled between rivals to the quarter pole, kept on to mid-stretch but weakened in the final furlong, finishing 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (8 0-0-2) Libertytown Lass (19-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) racing without blinkers was outrun early, but  mustered a nice rally in deep stretch to get SHOW money, returning a handsome $7.20 to SHOW.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a clear skies, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Mar. 2nd. 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 – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o.– 5½ furlongs
#1 – Raven’s Dance  (9-2)
#6 – Star Destiny (2-5)
#2 – Press One  (15-1)

2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#6 – Lacrosse Moon (5-1)
#3 – My Seby (2-1)
#1 – Esson  (7-2)

3rd race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – 1 1/16 miles
#3 – Golden Joop (5-2)
#1 – Everything Matters (7-2)
#4 – Moon Legacy (4-1)

4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles
#1 – Legally Included (5-1)   *** BEST BET ***
#5 – Hypatia’s Sky  (9-5)
#6 – Chanterelle (7-2)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming N2Y for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles
#7 – My Piano Man (3-1)
#2 – Dixie Emperor  (8-1)
#10 – Tea Tott  (20-1)

6th race – $40,000 Maiden Claimng.for 3 y.o. – One mile
#6 – Bolt Action (5-1)
#2 – A Street  (20-1)
#1 – Indian Companion (3-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o.& up N1Y or N4L – 1 1/16 miles
#6 – Changing Funds (6-1)
#8 – Hanson Heights (2-1)
#7 – Pics Good Boy (15-1)

8th race – $150,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes for 3 y.o.fillies – One mile
#1–  Walkwithapurpose (1-1)
#6 – Sense of Reality (5-1)
#5 – Seven Stars (4-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Our Favorite  (15-1)      $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#7 – Bubbie Hon  (4-1)
#1 – Smoky Opal  (7-5)

GOOD LUCK!

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Kentucky-Derby-139-logo

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Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2: Mar. 1st – 3rd

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Gary Quill

Derby logoKentucky Derby Future Wager – Pool 2 betting starts noon Friday through 6:00 p.m. EST Sunday, March 3rd

Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert have 11 of the 23 individual interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

It took less than 3 weeks to determine six (6) from Pool 1 were not worthy to be included in Pool 2. They are Capo Bastone, Frac Daddy, Mylute, He’s Had Enough, Violence and Will Take Charge…  replaced by Ive Struck a Nerve, Orb, Palace Malice, Shakin It Up, Titletown Five and Treasury Bill.

Program# – horse – (trainer) —- last race ——— odds — [*GQ DDDR]

1.  Code West (Baffert) 2nd G2 Risen Star by nose  20-1  [N/R]

2.  Delhomme (Pletcher) 3rd G2 Remsen by ¾ length  50-1 [N/R]

3.  Den’s Legacy (Baffert) 2nd G2 Bob Lewis by 6¼   50-1 [N/R]

4.  Dynamic Sky (Casse) 2nd G3 Sam Davis by neck  50-1 [9]

5.  Falling Sky (Terranova) 1st G3 Sam Davis by neck  50-1 [N/R]

6.  Flashback (Baffert) 1st G2 Bob Lewis by 6¼  12-1 [8]

7.  Goldencents (O’Neill) 1st G3 Sham by 1½  20-1 [N/R]

8.  Itsmyluckyday (Plesa) 1st G3 Holy Bull by 2  12-1 [14]

9.  Ive Struck a Nerve (Desormeaux) 1st G2 Risen Star by nose 30-1 [N/R]

10.  Normandy Invasion (Brown) 5th G2 Risen Star by 1½  15-1 [10]

11. Orb (McGaughey) 1st G2 Fountain of Youth by ½  12-1 [N/R]

12. Overanalyze (Pletcher) 1st G2 Remsen by nose  20-1 [N/R]

13.  Oxbow (Lukas) 4th G2 Risen Star by ½  30-1 [N/R]

14.  Palace Malice (Pletcher) 3rd G2 Risen Star by ½  30-1 [N/R]

15.  Revolutionary (Pletcher) 1st G3 Withers by neck 12-1 [2]

16.  Shakin It Up (Baffert) 1st G2 San Vicente by length 15-1 [3]

17.  Shanghai Bobby (Pletcher) 2nd G3 Holy Bull by 2  15-1 [N/R]

18.  Super Ninety Nine (Baffert) 1st G3 Southwest by 11¼  10-1 [N/R]

19.  Titletown Five (Lukas) 1st Oct. 28 CD maiden by 9  30-1 [N/R]

20.  Treasury Bill (Ellis) 2nd G2 San Vicente by length  30-1 [4]

21.  Uncaptured (Casse) 1st G2 Ky Jockey Club by neck  30-1 [N/R]

22.  Verrazano (Pletcher) 1st GP allowance by 16¼  10-1 [N/R]

23.  Vyjack (Rodriguez) 1st G2 Jerome by head  30-1 [N/R]

24.  All other 3-year-olds  3-1

BOLD Type = new wagering interest in Pool 2

*GQ DDDR = GQ’s Derby Double Dozen Ranking from Feb. 9th blog

 

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