11/19/2011 12:21PM

Delta Princess, Discovery Handicap, Hollywood Turf Cup

Email

The Delta Jackpot, basically a "Win and You're In" for next spring's Kentucky Derby, headlines this weekend's racing action. 

DRILL hopes to rebound from a disastrous run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.  He's the likely favorite based on his Southern California form, but I'll take a stab with BASMATI, a recent maiden winner at Santa Anita.  Basmati rode a slow early pace when going gate-to-wire that day and I'm hoping he can rate and finish with other speeds entered in the Jackpot. 

*I must admit that I'm more interested in the preceding race on the Delta card, the Grade 3 Delta Princess for juvenile fillies.  As in the Jackpot, trainer Bob Baffert has a highly-fancied runner returning from a dismal finish in the Breeders' Cup.  CANDREA set fast fractions at Churchill Downs before retreating to the back of the field.  The Princess has a good amount of speed with NOW I KNOW, DELIGHTFUL MAGIC, Candrea and others comfortable on the front end.  I'll look to midpack for the winner and landed on DEVIOUS INTENT for trainer Bret Calhoun.  Never off the board from three lifetime starts, Devious Intent was the runner-up in the local prep for the Jackpot, the My Trusty Cat Stakes on October 22.  In that affair, she may have been compromised when the winner, the pacesetting CITIZEN ADVOCATE, backed down the fractions (25.1 second quarter, 25.1 third quarter).  Devious Intent went after that one in earnest on the final turn, but Citizen Advocate had more than enough left in the tank to fend her off.  In the Princess, considering there may be more pace signed on, the lightly-raced Devious Intent may receive a better setup. 
SELECTIONS:  Devious Intent, Now I Know, Citizen Advocate

*The feature race at Aqueduct on Saturday afternoon, the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap for 3-year-olds, features REDEEMED, the recent winner of the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.  Redeemed, in his first start with blinkers, chased quick fractions while in and among horses before angling out for a clear run turning for home.  He successfully passed the nine-furlong test by running down the solid Alternation in the final sixteenth.  The price probably won't be very attractive on Redeemed this afternoon, but another good trip may be coming for a colt that's never been off the board.  Redeemed consistently runs Beyers in the mid-90s.  Another performance like that should make him very tough.
SELECTIONS:  Redeemed, Golden Gulch, Socialsaul

*I'll look for a longer price in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup, but FALCON ROCK is a horse that has burned me on multiple occasions.  Falcon Rock hasn't been out since finishing second in the Grade 3 Sunset Handicap in July, but there are some question marks on many of the other runners.  BOURBON BAY is a good performer, but hasn't raced since a last-place finish in the Northern Dancer on September 18; NORVSKY is sharp, but is a total unknown at this 12-furlong distance; MISS MATCH is a mare facing males and has never won on grass; SANAGAS may have the most upside, but he was a bit goofy with his lead changes in the stretch last time out and could take a boatload of money here.  So, it's one more time for Falcon Rock, but I won't be investing much.
SELECTIONS:  Falcon Rock, Norvsky, Sanagas

***

For a more-detailed look at some of the major stakes races this weekend, please check out the handicapping videos that Mike Beer and I filmed at the below link:

http://www.drf.com/events/weekend-stakes-previews-picks-analysis-more

Mike and I take a look at Delta's 50-cent Pick 4 at the following link:

http://www.drf.com/events/delta-downs-jackpot-delta-downs

***

More importantly, who do you like this weekend? I want to know.