06/25/2010 10:34PM

Touched Down in Chi-Town, Weekend Stakes Stabs


After a circuitous trip from O'Hare to the hotel due to driver error (MY error), I'm hunkered down hoping to complete this post before my antiquated laptop blows out.

I'm very much looking forward to the Saturday card at Arlington and will be taking my shots during the middle stages of the card.  I'll give you the autopsy report early next week. 

Also, if anyone in the Chicago area will be at Arlington tomorrow, I'd love to meet you.

As for the weekend stakes races, I'm looking for a few longshot stabs sprinkled in with logical contenders.

Beverly Hills - Hollywood - Race 8:
I've been watching GENERAL CONSENSUS since she blasted home to defeat optional claimers at one mile on January 8.  She's performed admirably in her subsequent three starts, but simply wasn't up to the challenge of beating Tuscan Evening, one of the best runners in the country.
There isn't a great amount of speed in this Grade 3 turf event and one has to wonder if that will work against General Consensus, a late-runner that has broken awkwardly in her last two races.  Also, General Consensus has done her best running at Santa Anita and not over this Hollywood turf course.  
Still, her best race seems to put her in the driver's seat and she should be rallying strongly in the lane.  Any of her last four Beyer Speed Figures are faster than the last-race number earned by all of her opponents. 
Selections:  General Consensus, Princess Haya, Pretty Katherine

Mother Goose - Belmont- Race 9:
Todd Pletcher should be called Father Goose as he has three of the five entrants in the historic Grade 1 event.  DEVIL MAY CARE, the triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss around two turns at Gulfstream, figures to take the lion's share of the betting action.  She made a strong midrace bid in the Kentucky Derby before flattening out in her first start against males, drops in against members of her own sex here, and returns to the one-turn route (she won the Grade 1 Frizette here last year at a mile).  Still, I didn't love the way she finished greenly in the Bonnie Miss and that number is so far out of whack from her other races that I wonder if that's the exception for her rather than the rule. 
Instead, I'll take a flier with KATY NOW, a Pletcher-trained daughter of Tiznow that looked good beating 'n2x' optional claimers at six furlongs last time out.  That was Katy Now's first start since being privately-purchased, and she enough breeding up top to see out this 1 1/16 mile trip (she won her entry-level allowance going a one-tue-turn mile at Churchill two back).  A lightly-raced filly, we may not have seen Katy Now's best as of yet and she may work out a good trip tracking CONNIE AND MICHAEL and AILALEA.
Selections:  Katy Now, Connie and Michael, Ailalea

Boiling Springs - Monmouth - Race 9:
BAY TO BAY broke my heart last time out in the American 1000 Guineas at Arlington.  I backed Go Ask Alex that afternoon and the lone speed looked home free turning for home.  But Bay to Bay showed off her powerful stretch kick to run right by Go Ask Alex in the final eighth of a mile.  Bay to Bay draws a terrible post position for the Boiling Springs but she may simply be the most talented horse in the race.  I'm expecting another good performance but it's up to Alan Garcia to work out the trip.
Selections:  Bay to Bay, Strike It Rich, Triple Cream

Cornhusker Handicap - Prairie Meadows- Race 8:
I'm taking a stand against the two morning line favorites.  MYTHICAL POWER runs well on occasion, but he's just as likely to throw in a stinker as he did last time out in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap.  BRASS HAT is a wonderful nine-year-old gelding but he hasn't won a dirt race since the 2007 Massachusetts Handicap and turf may be kinder to his feet at this point in his career. 
My pick, KING DAN, goes tur...stop it!  I didn't pick him because of the name!  Anyway, my pick, King Dan, may be somewhat distance challenged, but he has some back class, shows some quick workouts at Lone Star, and could work out a good trip tracking probable pacesetters SHADOWBDANCING and RACING BRAN.
Selections:  King Dan, Slew's Tizzy, Racing Bran

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

Best of luck to all.