01/07/2012 12:40PM

Saturday Spot Plays

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Let's take a look at the Busanda from Aqueduct and the Marshua's River from Gulfstream.

BUSANDA STAKES - RACE 7 - AQUEDUCT:

The strategy here is to try and beat the 8-5 favorite on the morning line, SWEET SEVENTEEN.  Two back, she may have taken advantage of an inside, speed-favoring track when winning her entry-level allowance condition over the Keeneland polytrack.  Most recently, she failed to change leads again when a non-threatening second behind the good Canadian filly Tu Endie Wei at Woodbine.  Her connections and company lines ensure that she'll take a good amount of money and she does draw an advantageous inside post with some tactical speed.  But, I usually don't like horses stretching out when they haven't shown a willingness to make that final lead switch.  Perhaps, she's simply better than the rest of the Busanda field, but I won't take a short price to find out. 

Instead, I'll go with BOURBONSTREETGIRL, who finished third in her main track debut in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct on November 26.  After hopping ever so slightly at the start, Bourbonstreetgirl was taken to midpack and the rail by jockey David Cohen.  Entering the far turn, she was pushed out five wide by the eventual winner, the Todd Pletcher-trained Disposablepleasure.  Forced to move prematurely at that juncture to avoid being taken out to the parking lot, Bourbonstreetgirl, a filly that I feel is more of a grinder with a short burst, could only finish one-paced in the stretch.  With a better-timed move (i.e. one late run) and a bit of pace to attack, Bourbonstreetgirl could prove tough in the stretch. 

CAPTIVATING LASS, a hulking Darley filly, finished behind Bourbonstreetgirl in the Demoiselle, but has a beautiful pedigree, gets the Lasix and blinkers makeover for Kiaran McLaughlin, and has a good amount of upside potential after encountering trouble last time out.

Selections:  BOURBONSTREETGIRL, SWEET SEVENTEEN, CAPTIVATING LASS

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MARSHUA'S RIVER - RACE 10 - GULFSTREAM:

I can't get past DAVERON, the logical favorite that just sold for $750,000 to Live Oak Plantation during the Keeneland November auction.  Twice a graded winner in 2011, Daveron may have raced on the deeper inside footing of the Keeneland turf course when third behind Never Retreat and next-out Grade 1 winner Together in the Grade 1 First Lady on October 8.  That was a very fast running of the First Lady and Daveron was bumped a few strides out of the gate as well as going into the first turn before settling down along the inside.  She should get speed to attack in the Marshua's River and this distance is exactly what she wants. 

In the exotics, I may use LOUVAKHOVA, who won her North American debut at Calder despite drifting out during the stretch drive.  Note that this will be her first start against older horses.  WALLIS draws in from the also-eligible list following a big win at Aqueduct, but must avoid a wide trip from the far outside post.  JENNY'S SO GREAT stretches out following a turf sprint win at Tampa, but has done well going long in the past.

Selections:  DAVERON, LOUVAKHOVA, WALLIS

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

Best of luck.