12/04/2010 1:26PM

My Charmer, Tropical Turf, Bayakoa


The two graded turf races at Calder this afternoon feature full fields of evenly-matched horses.  Let's take a look:

My Charmer Handicap (Calder Race 9, Turf Firm, Scratch #13, #14, #15, #16):

I'm a big fan of ASKBUT I WON'TTELL.  I'm never right when it comes to correctly assessing her chances, but I'm a big fan nonetheless.  I liked her in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap on July 17, and she finished fifth after a rotten trip.  I liked her as an upset chance in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland, and she ran a dismal last.  In her most recent start, I stayed away from her, and she took the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at 6-1 odds.  I zig, she zags, and that's life.  The Cardinal left me hot and cold at the same time.  She was checked in midstretch, was forced to alter course to the four path, and still roared home her last furlong in 11.70 to score.  But, I didn't think the Cardinal was a very strong race and Askbut I Won'ttell now must break from post 10 against, arguably, better horses in a relatively paceless race.  I'll use her in multi-race wagers, but I'll side against her with my top pick, TRIP FOR A. J..
Trip for A. J. is a lightly-raced three-year-old filly that is giving up a ton of experience in this race, but she also looms the controlling speed from the inside.  Two starts back, in the Calder Oaks, Trip for A.J. whipped three next-out winners after being allowed to set her own tempo up front.  She tired as the betting favorite in her most recent race, but that start was on dirt.  Trip for A.J., a filly that has reportedly suffered problems with her feet, may be a little more comfortable on turf at this stage in her career. 
EVADING TEMPETE sold for 370,000 Euros in early October, and will make her first start in North American for trainer Patrick Biancone.  A Group 3 winner in Italy, Evading Tempete fits well from a class perspective, but has yet to try this distance. 
I will try to beat MARY'S FOLLIES, the morning line favorite.  Both of her big wins in 2009 came with the aid of perfect trips, and she's raced only once this year.  She's also mired in post position eleven.
Selections:  Trip for A. J., Evading Tempete, Askbut I Won'ttell

Tropical Turf Handicap (Calder Race 11, Turf Firm, Scratch #11, #13, #15, #16)

One of the main stories of the Tropical Turf Handicap is that SOUPER SPECTACULAR, Zenyatta's little brother, drew in from the also-eligible list.  A winner in all three of his turf races, Souper Spectacular had to work very hard to win an ordinary 'n2x' race at Aqueduct last time out, must step way up in class, and is stuck on the far outside.  What he does have, besides his pedigree, is upside potential, and I won't be able to sleep well tonight if he knocks me out of a multi-race bet.  I'm using him, but am going elsewhere on top.
As in the My Charmer, there doesn't seem to be a good amount of early speed.  That may play right into the hooves of the veteran, RAHY'S ATTORNEY.  A six-year-old closing in on $2 million in earnings, the old class-master (won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in 2008) enters the Tropical Turf off his third career victory in the restricted Bunty Lawless Stakes at Woodbine.  To be fair, Rahy's Attorney had everything his own way in the Bunty Lawless, controlling a glacial pace before scooting home his last quarter in 22.91.  He beat a solid horse in Sand Cove, however, as that one returned to win the restricted Sir Barton on polytrack by 6 3/4 lengths with a 100 Beyer.  Expect Edgar Prado to hustle Rahy's Attorney from his outside post and they should have a good forward position going into the first turn. 
Horses like RAHYSTRADA, BALETTI, and NEVER ON SUNDAY undoubtedly have the talent to win this race, but it's possible that we've already seen their best.  Perhaps under-the-radar horses like TANNERSVILLE and MIDNIGHT MISCHIEF offer more value.
Selections:  Rahy's Attorney, Souper Spectacular, Tannersville

Bayakoa Handicap (Sunday - Hollywood Race 8, Track Cushion, Scratches N/A):

I really like SISTER DAWN stretching out around two turns as the main speed.  In her most recent race, Sister Dawn was embroiled in a pace battle throughout, took multiple challenges on the turn, and kept right on chugging, winning the Playa del Rey by a neck before galloping out with something seemingly to spare.  She's won three of her last four races with the only hiccup coming on dirt at Saratoga, and her breeding is acceptable for longer-distance races.  Her dam, by Strawberry Road, won twice at nine furlongs, and all of her lifetime victories came in routes.  Still lightly-raced, and in very good form, Sister Dawn may be ready for a career-best performance in the Bayakoa if able to relax on the front.
Selections:  Sister Dawn, Sweet August Moon, Wynning Ride

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