06/16/2012 8:25AM

Some Saturday Stakes Opinions

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Let's take a look at some of the weekend's major stakes races:

OBEAH STAKES - DELAWARE - RACE 7:

Keep an eye out for late changes as PACHATTACK is cross-entered in the All Along Stakes at Colonial later this evening and the early indications are that she'll run in that spot.
TIZ MIZ SUE is a very logical favorite as she loves Delaware Park, is a graded winner this year and has superior Beyer Speed Figures.  She likes to rally from out of it, however, and there may be only one main speed horse in LOVE AND PRIDE.  While Tiz Miz Sue is the most likely winner, and a must use in multi-race wagers, I don't want to play her straight-up at a short price if I feel that she could be compromised by pace. 
As for Love and Pride, she could shake loose, but she isn't a very reliable sort and, considering her pedigree, has to be looked at as a bit of an underachiever for Todd Pletcher.  She's faced some good fillies in her career and likes Delaware, but I'm just not a fan and she'll take her share of money as well.
SUROOF is my choice to upset the apple cart.  A $325,000 yearling, Suroof won second-out for Kiaran McLaughlin before being sold for only $60,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January auction.  It's taken her a few races to figure things out, but she's now 2-2 for trainer Tony Dutrow and I'd like to believe that the best is yet to come.  In her most recent start, an 'n2x' optional claimer at Parx on May 12, she stalked the pace from close range, took over on the turn and professionally held off Grade 2-placed performer Believe in A.P. during the drive.  Suroof may be in closest attendance to Love and Pride in the early going and could get the jump on Tiz Miz Sue.  This is a big step up in class, but Suroof looks like she has room for further improvement.
SELECTIONS:  SUROOF, TIZ MIZ SUE, LOVE AND PRIDE

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MATT WINN STAKES - CHURCHILL DOWNS - RACE 5:

RIGHT TO VOTE looks like the main speed after an excellent front-running attempt in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 12.  He has never gone around two turns, however, was 47-1 in the Peter Pan, and will be a mere fraction of that price in the Matt Winn.
Instead, I landed on MACHO MACHO, an impressive allowance winner on Kentucky Derby afternoon for trainer Steve Asmussen.  In that seven-furlong test, Macho Macho was bumped at the start, but recovered to make a three-wide brush on the far turn.  He finished off the field nicely in the stretch and was flattered when the third-place finisher returned to win in Southern California with a 92 Beyer.  Macho Macho has yet to route in his career, but he's by Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Macho Uno out of a dam that won at a mile and 70 yards.  I'm hoping that Macho Macho can save ground going into the first turn before finding a spot off the leader on the backstretch.  As with Suroof in the Obeah, we'll find out how good Macho Macho is against tougher horses.
SELECTIONS:  MACHO MACHO, MASTER RICK, RIGHT TO VOTE

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REGRET STAKES - CHURCHILL DOWNS - RACE 6:

At 10-1 on the morning line, TREASURED UP seems like an intriguing price play.  She looked good beating Dancing Solo in an entry-level allowance race over the Keeneland polytrack two back and was flattered when that one returned to win the Little Silver Stakes on Monmouth sod with a career-best 90 Beyer.  Most recently, Treasured Up faced the quality filly Stephanie's Kitten in a fast renewal of the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs.  Although she never threatened the winner, Treasured Up made some late headway and galloped out nicely after the fact.  I am concerned about the lack of speed in the Regret, but Treasured Up seems to be moving forward and will be a playable price.
SINGN ON THEMOON could shake loose from the rail, but she must prove herself at this distance against tougher horses.  COUP parlayed a perfect trip to victory in a stake at Pimlico and could be overbet off that performance.  CENTRE COURT showed ability when a fast maiden winner at odds-on earlier in the meet, but I didn't like the way she hopped back to her left lead late in that race.  COLONIAL FLAG beat Centre Court two back and then handled older foes going this distance at Belmont.  She cannot be ignored.
SELECTIONS:  TREASURED UP, CENTRE COURT, COUP

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STEPHEN FOSTER HANDICAP - CHURCHILL DOWNS - RACE 8:

A fantastic renewal of the Grade 1 Foster.  Please note that SUCCESSFUL DAN is likely to scratch unless WISE DAN suffers a setback.  Wise Dan looms the horse to beat after putting up the fastest synthetic Beyer of all time in his most recent start, but he's also a classy campaigner on both dirt and grass.  He loves Churchill Downs and has to be used in multiple-race wagers, but I wonder if he'll be forced to go after the speedy NATE'S MINESHAFT a bit earlier than he wants.  That could set things up for FORT LARNED, an Ian Wilkes-trained runner in career form.  Fort Larned broke the track record for 1 3/16 miles two back at Gulfstream and he did the dirty work when an excellent second in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes in his most recent appearance.  In the latter race, Nate's Mineshaft was taken off the pace and Fort Larned ended up chasing a hopeless longshot through legitimate fractions.  Fort Larned inherited the lead on the far turn, perhaps earlier than anticipated, but he still ran on well in the stretch to finish a length shy of Successful Dan. 
If it was just those three horses in the Foster, the race would be a major success.  Add in ALTERNATION, the versatile Distorted Humor colt on a four-race win streak, Big 'Cap winner RON THE GREEK, 2011 Kentucky Derby runner-up NEHRO, the hard-hitting MISSION IMPAZIBLE and promising ROGUE ROMANCE and there's bound to be fireworks.  Enjoy!
SELECTIONS:  FORT LARNED, WISE DAN, NATE'S MINESHAFT

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QUICK AND DIRTY SELECTIONS:

All Along - SHIMMERING MOMENT, PRIZE CATCH, SPEAK EASY GAL, THUNDERING EMILIA
Vanity - INCLUDE ME OUT, ATLANTIC SWING, ROCK AND GLORY
Colonial Turf Cup - CASINO HOST, BOLD HAWK, FORTE DEI MARMI
Fleur de Lis - ROYAL DELTA, STERLING MADAME, AFLEETING LADY
Desert Stormer (Sunday) - TURBULENT DESCENT, TEDDY'S PROMISE SWITCH

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For a more detailed analysis, please check out the video previews that Mike Beer and I produced:

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

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