05/23/2008 8:55PM

Saturday Stakes, Storm Flag Flying, etc.

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Louisville Handicap (Race 10 - Churchill):
Another difficult race so I'll stab for a bomb.  Transduction Gold is proven at this difficult 12 furlong distance, and he upset Grade 3 foes in the Sycamore three back at Keeneland.  He then was completely overmatched in the Breeders' Cup Turf - a throwout race if ever there was one - and may have been short of condition when trying this marathon trip off the bench in the Elkhorn on April 25.  Pickapocket (for Mott), and Lattice finished one-two in a recent money allowance at Keeneland.  Neither would be a surprise here, but both must prove they can stay.  Pickapocket was very game in the allowance as he always found more in the stretch, but Lattice may be the one to prosper at this trip.  Brass Hat finished well ahead of the top pick in the Elkhorn, and is another that may do better in the second start back.  He's never won on turf, though, and may have to overcome a moderate to slow pace up front.  Silverfoot is 4-5 over this course including three wins in this race (2004-2006).  He hasn't won since the 2006 edition - nine starts ago - and the eight-year-old may be getting long in the tooth. 
Selections:  Transduction Gold, Lattice, Pickapocket

Sheepshead Bay Handicap (Race 9 - Belmont)
I'll admit it...I'm a sucker for J'Ray.  I'm simply married to the horse, and while she's won seven of 19 starts, I'm still not sure how good she really is.  She was no match for Mauralakana in the Mairzy Doates at Calder, but it was her usual solid try, and she should be close to very slow fractions at Belmont on Saturday.  Mauralakana has done little wrong this year, and the five-year-old may be reaching full maturity for Christophe Clement.  She does her best running from off the pace, and thus may be somewhat compromised by the expected moderate pace.  She's the class of the field, and must be respected.  Herboriste finished behind Mauralakana in her last two races, but is a consistent sort, and should be running late for a piece...at least.  Hostess gave some nice efforts last year, but finally broke through with a graded win in the Orchid at Gulfstream on March 30.  John Velazquez fits this mare like a glove, but Hostess is another that would appreciate pace help.
Selection:  J'Ray

My Juliet Stakes (Race 9 - Philadelphia)
Dream Rush will probably scratch to run at Belmont on Sunday so Wild Gams' price will significantly decrease.  She may not offer much value, but will still be tough from off the pace.  A three-time Grade 3 winner, Wild Gams wasn't disgraced when an even fourth in the Grade 2 Madison on polytrack last time out, and should appreciate some class relief.  Fancy Diamond is a perfect 3-3, but she received a great trip stalking dueling pacesetters last time out at Aqueduct.  This will be the toughest field the former $40,000 maiden claimer has ever faced.  Dream Rush will come off the Disabled List, and may be an underlay here or at Belmont.  Sheets was the beaten favorite in the very fast Ms. Woodford Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard, and will make her first start of the hot Alan Goldberg barn. 
Selections:  Wild Gams, Fancy Diamond

More importantly, who do you like on Saturday?  I'd like to know.

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Dan, Have you heard anything regarding Storm Flag Flying's first 2yo Colors Flying? I hear he is in trainning at the Spa. Could you also post the lifetime PP's for Storm Flag Flying. She was one heck of a 2yo herself. Thanks
Matt

Haven't heard anything about Colors Flying, but make sure to put her on your watch list so you'll be alerted when he records his first published workout.

Here are Storm Flag Flying's lifetime past performances:

Download StormFlagFlying.pdf

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BTW, speaking of good young sires from Florida. The top sire in Florida is the sire of Lt. Ron. Does anyone know that much about Ron's sire?
vicstu

Lieutenant Ron is by Graeme Hall, a sire that I spotlighted in Betting Maidens & 2-Year-Olds.  Graeme Hall is by Dehere out of Grade 3 sprint winner Win Crafty Lady, and is a half-brother to Grade 1 sprint winner Harmony Lodge, Grade 3 winner Win McCool, and multiple stakes-winner Win's Fair Lady.  Win Crafty Lady's most famous sibling is Diligence, the winner of the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap.

Here are Graeme Hall's lifetime past performances:

Download graeme_hall.pdf

A $200,000 yearling purchase, he had a solid career as a multiple Grade 2 winner, and he outran his sprint pedigree.

Graeme Hall stands for $5,000 at Winding Oaks Farm in Florida.  Here is his stallion page from Winding Oaks:

http://stallions.bcbloodstock.com/images/stallions.bcbloodstock.com/default1.aspx?contentName=Horse%20List&horseId=99&thumbsize=_thumb

Graeme Hall is also the sire of multiple stakes-winner Graeme Six. 

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Dan, I noticed Aquarian was on the DL, but I thought I read that he ended up being euthanized that day or soon after.
Alex P


It's now updated.  Thanks.

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Nice picks by Arazi at Belmont today!  Hope you cashed!

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Be back Sunday night with some Memorial Day opinions.

Best of luck this weekend,

Dan