10/04/2012 12:59PM

Stars ready to shine at The Red Mile


Permit me if you will a moment to boost my ego. During the opening week of Grand Circuit action at the Red Mile I nailed 15 winners in 35 races for a total return of $101.10 based on a $2 wager. I can only hope the trend will continue from Thursday through Sunday when the track concludes their two week stakes-filled schedule with four consecutive 1pm programs.

Obviously any public handicapper wants to keep winning, but since I’ll be attending the races on Saturday and Sunday to cover the action and it seems likely that I may wander to the windows a few times, here’s hoping that the sun shines on me a bit longer.

The main event during the stretch will occur on Sunday, when the 120th edition of the Kentucky Futurity (and the filly companion event), the third leg of the trotting Triple Crown is contested. The historic race is truly one of the few remaining tests of speed and endurance, as a horse must win two heats on the same day to be crowned champion.

With Hambletonian winner Market Share not eligible to the race, the Futurity could be a wide open event. Little Brown Fox and Guccio from the Jimmy Takter barn are two of the top players. Some of the other contenders are Archangel, Gym Tan Laundry, Magic Tonight, Money On My Mind, My MVP and others.

The featured attraction in the Filly Futurity is Check Me Out, but because trainer Ray Schnittker has already stated she won’t race two heats and Maven did not eneter, the battle for the trophy could be up for grabs. The wide open field includes: Bluff, Can’t Have My Moni, Canadian Justice, Chillitodayhotomale, Dorsay, Dream On Hanover, Oasis Dream, On The Bright Side, Personal Style, Real Babe, Superstar Hanover, Valdonna, and Win Missy B

The card also features the top Free-For-All pacers and trotters in the Allerage. The big names signed on include: Foiled Again, Golden Receiver, Anndrovette, Drop The Ball, Arch Madness, Chapter Seven, Mister Herbie, Frenchfrysnvinegar.

It is truly a wonderful day of racing action and you can catch every minute of it via LIVE VIDEO right here on DRF.com.

Backtracking a few days, Thursday offers bettors a card full of 2-year-old pacing and trotting fillies. Three splits of the International Stakes for first year trotters are on tap with the featured young lady being the talented Jimmy Takter trainee To Dream On (race 5).

Of course, To Dream On will offer a short price. My favorite play on the card is Mistery Woman. She scored in her first two trips to the track before running into To Dream On last week in the Bluegrass. Mistery Woman trotted home willingly in :27 1/5 that night and figures to offer value with other standouts like Frau Blucher, who has won three straight and 7 of 10 lifetime, signed on. I’ll be playing a win bet on Mistery Woman and a cold double with the heavy favorite Silver Credit in the tenth race.

Thursday’s Play: Race 9 - $20 win 2; $10 double 2-5

Total Investment: $30

On Friday, the International Stakes highlights freshman pacing fillies and trotting colts. The talk of the town on the filly side is I Luv The Nitelife. The Chris Ryder-trained star has banked $518,280 in her 8-race career. For the colts, all eyes will be focused on Dontyouforgetit, who comes off a world record 17-plus length romp at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Little Brown Jug Day. But neither of these horses is going to pad your pockets.

You’ll have to be patient for my top two plays. Wait for it . . . they come in races 10 and 12. I see Theraputic as an interesting longshot in the tenth. He is coming off consecutive breaks and driver Tim Tetrick elected to drive Bizzaro Lindy in the same race. Those are negatives, but in his seven career races he has raced well in four and made a break in three. All three breaks came on the smaller track at Yonkers. On Friday he returns to the mile oval, and to a track that can move up a horse with breaking issues. It is also worth pointing out that the NYSS competition he was facing was as tough as or tougher than this field.

In race 12 I’d be willing to speculate on Muscle Mountain. The Jimmy Takter trained and driven youngster added hobbles for his last start and successfully made it around the track without a miscue for the first time in pari-mutuel action. He was kept off the gate that night and showed no signs of trouble in an even effort. Looking back at his limited past performance lines, this guy has early speed and might just prefer staying close to the action. Perhaps now that Takter has a clean line under this Muscles Yankee colt, he will get aggressive against this somewhat soft-looking field.

Friday’s Plays:

Race 10 - $10 win/place 2; $1 Pick Three 2,5 with 3,4,5 with 5,6,8; $1 Pick Three 2,5 with 4,5 with 5

Race 12 - $10 win/place 5; $4 exacta 5 with 6,8

Total Investment: $70

Saturday’s card at the Red Mile is stacked from start to finish with some of the biggest names in the sport. It is a day for the 3-year-olds to shine, as 2012 leading money-winner Market Share headlines the participants. That said, the best race on the card is undoubtedly the $510,030 Tattersalls for pacing colts. A field of 12 has been assembled, including Adios winner Bolt The Duer, Meadowlands Pace winner A Rocknroll Dance, North America Cup winner Thinking Out Loud and fellow millionaire Sweet Lou. The Tattersalls will be fun to watch.

I am going to take a shot in race 6 with Yucatan. The 2-year-old colt had a bad post and was impeded in his start here last week. It was also nearly 8 weeks since his last pari-mutuel trip around the track. I have to expect an improved effort this week.

The Tattersalls should be great race. I really like A Rocknroll Dance in this spot. Some people might say he seems to be tailing off, but he was really up against it with outside posts in Delaware and he basically took the week off (a much deserved easy race) last week in the Bluegrass. The second-tier post would be a concern, but because he can choose to line up behind any horse from 2 through 10, Gingras should be able to follow the speedy Bolt The Duer off the gate and get position.

My last play for Saturday is Johny Rock in the finale. He raced pretty well considering he was coming off a four week break. While there are some tough horses in there, he is as fast or faster than any of them. Let’s look for him to be tighter this week.

Saturday’s Plays:

Race 6 - $10 win/place 7

Race 9 - $20 win 12

Race 11 - $20 win 11

Total Investment: $60

If multi-race wagers are your thing, each card offers a $10,000 guaranteed pick four starting in race 6.

You can view my full-card analysis for each day on drf.com/harness.