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Some Saturday Stakes Opinions
By Dan Illman
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
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
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
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
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
For a more detailed analysis, please check out the video previews that Mike Beer and I produced:
More importantly, who do you like this weekend? I want to know.
DRF Tuesday Race of the Day...Presque Isle Race 5. The Pick: #5 Sweet Starlet. 6-1 Sweet Starlet is trained by Jim Ensom who so far this year has won 6 out of 7 races this year. Thats an 86% winning percentage. Olguin is riding and J/T combo for this tandem is a whopping 59% winners out of 17 races spanning back into 2011. This horse will sit off the pace and pounce on the leaders coming for home. This is a great spot for this mare and hopefully will stay a nice price. Penn National Rick
Bernard Downes or anyone else, Just watched Ascot 5 and can't believe how long a race it was! If anyone has the PPs, could you tell me some of the sires who had progeny in this race? I am curious as to which stallions could create these guys. I know that the damsire is really important too, but didn't want to make too difficult of a request. Thanks!
Frankel was awesome today... even though he lost a shoe during the race, unbelievable!
Spot Plays: Royal Ascot Race #4 $100 Win on the following 4: #6 Englishman #7 Funk Soul Brother #9 Indian Jade #19 Party Royal Good Luck !!! Whackymacky Out!!!
Tuesday at Royal Ascot: Race #1: #3 Frankel Winner Paid $2.20 $2.20 Win Pool : $364,058 // $500,791 Place Pool : $74,654 // $204,192 Race #2: #6 Little Bridge Winner Paid $32.40 Place $5.40 Race #3 #12 Most Improved Winner Paid $21.60 Place $6.00 I hope that some have cashed and are working on their 3rd cup of joe.. Good Luck All!!! Whackymacky Out!!!
As if we didn't already know Frankel was something special.................
Sorry, forgot to sign off again. knm
SR Vegas, Re your 'reply' to my 'reply' :) - You're perfectly right, of course. Understanding how any sport works is key. i.e., I used to think baseball was a yawn until one of our kids started to play. I discovered that a hit (the only thing I previously noticed) wasn't necessarily the most interesting, or indeed the best play of the game! (I never did get soccer, though, lol)
Bernard Downes ,I'm going to bet a few bucks on Fencing ,Dragon Pulse ,Power & Miblish In the St James. I wouldn't be shocked by Foxtrot Romeo, Arnold Rd , the Nile or Hermival though.
51000 in the win pool on twinspires ascot race 1 . The 2nd choice is 500-1 !!! The highest 2nd choice I can recall seeing was 29-1 at Los Al and he won ! Frankels rabbit/ 3/4 bro is 12000-1 !!!
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