12/05/2009 12:10PM

Some weekend races

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Let's take a look at a couple of interesting sprint stakes races scheduled for this weekend.

Garland of Roses Handicap (Aqueduct - Race 8):
The scratch of Saarlight takes out one of the many speed horses in the race, and there's a good chance the track will be wet by post time.  My first instinct in this race was to go with layoff runner By the Light, a 10-17 filly that received a well-deserved six-month break after a dull performance as the heavy favorite in the What a Summer Stakes at Belmont Park, but with the scratch of Saarlight, I'm going to try and get clever with Casanova Killer, a speedy daughter of Storm Boot that broke the five-furlong track record at Penn National over 'good' going two starts back. 
In her most recent effort, the Grade 3 Endine Stakes at Delaware Park, she chased the solid filly Bold Union from the get-go, and was basically eased up for the final furlong when well beaten.  It doesn't look like any of her opponents this afternoon has the early speed and ability of Bold Union when that one is right, and the slight class drop may help Casanova Killer at a solid mutuel.  When she gets the lead, she's very dangerous.  When she doesn't, she's not as effective.  We'll see how jockey David Cohen plays it for Steve Klesaris, a trainer that has three winners at Aqueduct over the last two days

Vernon O. Underwood (Hollywood Sunday - Race 8):
An interesting sprint over the cushion features Machismo, a "then" horse that hasn't run since the Dubai Golden Shaheen, and was reportedly a vet scratch on November 5, and Kinsale King, a "now" horse that took advantage of a speed-favoring Pro-Ride strip to pull off a 61-1 shocker with a 101 Beyer (90 point increase) in an entry-level optional claimer.  Both of these geldings have good early speed so I'm looking at a stalker or closer to pick up the pieces late.  Talkin to Mom Roo was twice a victim of Zensational's lone speed in Grade 1 races over the summer, and he'll now go turf to synthetic after an even performance going down the hill at Santa Anita.  The last time Talkin to Mom Roo tried the turf to synthetic move, he finished second by a nose with a 99 Beyer over this track (also switching from a down the hill turf race), and he earned a 104 Beyer winning an allowance race at Hollywood on July 12.  He draws a cozy outside post, switches to hot-riding Joe Talamo, and may work out a good stalk and pounce trip.

Back Monday with weekend Beyers and recap, and answers to questions and comments.

Best of luck,

Dan