05/08/2010 12:57PM

Weekend opinions

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I'm currently sans a pair of wisdom teeth - left side - so my handicapping opinions this week won't only be painful to all of you.

The pair of graded stakes races for three-year-olds came back a bit light on paper, didn't they?  The Lone Star Derby is a tough one to look at without getting dizzy and the Dwyer features several runners looking to make a name for themselves in the division. 

RAIL TRIP is back in action in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap for older runners at Hollywood Park.  If he's fully recovered from his feet woes, he very much looms the horse to beat (every Beyer figure earned in his career is faster than the last-race Beyer from each of his opponents) in a race I won't be betting.

Dwyer - Belmont Park - Race 9:
There doesn't appear to be a ton of speed in the Dwyer and that may help out the lightly-raced REMAND, a colt that stretches out after finishing third in the seven-furlong Bay Shore at Aqueduct.  Remand won his debut for trainer Tim Hamm last year over the Keeneland polytrack and was then puchased by Sovereign Stable.  Turned over to John Terranova, Remand had the misfortune to try Eskendereya in his lone start over the winter at Gulfstream.  Toss in the fact that he acted up terribly in the gate, banging his head and ankle in the process and that race becomes a throw-out.  I liked his performance in the Bay Shore.  After being impeded at the start, he rushed up to track the pace while wide and in-and-among horses.  He made a three-wide bid before finishing evenly for third behind next-out Derby Trial winner Hurricane Ike. 
The distance may turn out to be the main stumbling block for Remand, however.  His sire, Successful Appeal is a source of sprint and mile speed.  The dam's only win came sprinting.  A half-brother won at 1 1/16 miles, but that race was on grass.  Still, this horse has some promise.  If he is ever going to get the distance, it may be around one-turn with the aid of a moderate to slow pace.
Selections:  Remand, Drosselmeyer, Fly Down

Lone Star Derby - Race 9:
Unlike the Dwyer, the pace should be quick in the Lone Star Derby.  Stretchout spriner HENSHIN HERO figures to be gunning to the lead and he could face some pressure from first-time router WANDO REDD and recent gate-to-wire winner THATLLEAVEAMARK.  Henshin Hero is quicker than those two, but he is questionable to stay the trip. 
GAME ON DUDE and CRIDER look like the logical horses to pick up the pieces if the speed collapses.  I'm not a fan of the former, a Bob Baffert-trained gelding adding blinkers for the first time.  I'm looking for his good race and can't find one.  He prompted the pace over a speed-favoring track in his debut only to come up short.  He won the slower division of one-mile maiden special weights at Gulfstream on February 27, and then didn't do anything in the Florida Derby.  He missed the Lexington with a lung infection and didn't pick up his feet over sloppy going in the Derby Trial.  I'll let him beat me. 
I'll go with Crider, a Steve Asmussen-trained colt that disappointed at 1-2 last time out at Oaklawn Park.  He made a clear lead turning for home that afternoon only to be run down by a newly-blinkered closer named A Student.  Crider had no chance chasing Conveyance over a speed-biased track in the Southwest in his previous outing.  Perhaps, he doesn't want to go this far, but he should receive a good pace setup.
Selections:  Crider, Henshin Hero, Wando Redd

Unbridled Sidney - Churchill Downs - Race 9:
I know that CANDY CANE was beaten for $50,000 in her most recent start and now has to deal with a decent group of filly and mare turf sprinters in this stakes race, but she'll make her first start off the Richard Dutrow Jr. claim and has been given plenty of time to acclimate to her new boss.
Candy Cane has some tactical speed, was bumped around a bit last time out at Gulfstream, and has hit the exacta in 18 of 33 lifetime starts.  She also has a hint of back class and she just missed by a nose over the course and distance last Fall. 
Selections:  Candy Cane, Knockout Bertie, Selva

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

Best of luck to all.

bobr More than 1 year ago
$10.EXACTA BOX DUBLIN ,FIRST DUDE,LOOKIN AT LUCKY.$20. EXACTA BOX DUBLIN AND FIRST DUDE.SUPER SAVER 5TH.
blackstone More than 1 year ago
Virgin Queen Great list of western types-lots of lol's! But you forgot one-you. You would be-by name-Belle Starr. Ms. Starr apparently had, um, many talents!
Virgin Queen More than 1 year ago
t.banker .. cayman t.gunslinger.. tinky t.romeo..keithL t.railroad magnate..steveT t.lawyer..vicstu t.gold miner..chicago gerry t.holtel owner..sr vegas saloon keeper..vansavant wealthy cattleman..wacky mackey t.restaurant owner..annie t.judge..alan t.general store owner's wife..tbta t.assessor..laura t.doc..blackstone t. cowboy..ten cent t. blacksmith..blue horseshoe smart deputy..C
Annie More than 1 year ago
Longwaytomay, Thanks for the link to the name the foal contest. Although...again, I'm SUPPOSED to be thinking about the Preakness. :) Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
How about if the trolls take turns playing the town coward? BTW, thanks alot, CHICAGO GERRY. I'm SUPPOSED to be thinking about the Preakness. :) Annie
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Sheriff *note* this part is already filled by Dan Goodheart Illman casting call...I'll start, here's my .02c Town Preacher - Mike A School Marm -Katieattherail Saloon Keeper - Keith L Smart Deputy - Van Savant Naive Deputy - SR Vegas Town Banker - Uncle Steve Wealthy Cattleman - Whackymacky Town Farmers - Midwest Ed Town Farmers wives Town girls - Saloon girls - the Blue Thongs Saloon barkeep - Keith L Town cowboys - Town brothel owner -Annie ...well, she IS the MKB Mistress! Town miner Town railroad magnate - Onetrickpony Town gunslinger - Tinky Town Judge - C Town lawyer - bigeasybigchok Town fool Town drunk Town 'doc - Alan Town blacksmith - Blackstone Town General store owner - Caseyjeaux Town General store owners wife - Kelley_Belles Town coward Town ethnic cook Town Calvary major Town Calvary Sargent Town Indian scout -Chalky Town gold miner - Calvin Carter, he finds the diamonds in the rough! Town assessor - vicstu Town stable owner - Ray Manley, Stephen Taylor Town Hotel owner - Laura..She CAN fill a chat room. Town restaurant owner - Johnny Z Town kids - Travers, Tencentcielo, TheVanGogh, Mathieu Town Romeo - Mike Romeo Town pregnant lady SR Vegas
Scott More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know anything about trainer Brad Cox? His numbers are ridiculous. He's 10 for 29 on the year, including 4 for 9 at Delaware. His 1st-off-the-claim stats are 47% with an ROI of $6.65... He's got 2 runners Wednesday (3rd & 7th) at Delaware that he claimed at Oaklawn Park last out and is dropping them more than half in price for their respective races. Is that his move? Is he the latest "supertrainer" that may or may not be clean? Just curious. I don't want to throw his runners out if the guy does this all the time...
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
HOLLYWOOD PARK – Wednesday (05-12-2010) Race 1 One of the infamous 4 ½ furlong maiden claimers for two year olds. Unusual to see a first time starter for Jeff Bonde in SoCal, but with a 25% success rate with debuters and 30% with maiden claimer firsts, you better take notice – especially when he is the owner as well. GAB POWER is by Powerscourt out of a Bertrando mare, don’t have a lot of experience with that sire (he is 0/14 with debuters). Works are very snappy over a full book of drills. LAKOTA CASH is the veteran of the group with two starts under his belt, and he is on a six day turn, significant because Freeman is 40% ($4.66 ROI) with 1-7 Day Turnarounds. He has run decently in both appearances, closing both times. Quinonez has the mount, and Hollywood is where he does his best work. Team is 0/4, maintenance works, and he has several siblings who won at two. GUTSHOT STRAIGHT ran his debut two weeks ago, gaining ground at the end but not fast enough. Still finished just 2 ½ back. Miller is 14% with second starts, 20% with maiden claimers and team is 25% with a positive ROI. SELECTIONS: #1 GAB POWER #5 LAKOTA CASH #2 GUTSHOT STRAIGHT Dr. Derango: These races tend to be crap shoots, imagine that, a bunch of first time two year olds. But in chaos lies opportunity and YODELMEISTER showed interest until fading to 7th in the stretch after being forced to check. Second time start is a powerful angle, even when your first run only scored a 15. Espinoza stays and he is 20% with Harrington at Hollywood, trainer is 9% second start and 8% with maiden claimers. Race 2 Yum yum, a $12.5K N2L, slurp! SUPER SOPHIE seems to loom large against these with a last out 75. She broke her maiden in her only run on synthetics in the U.S. Mitchell is 20% on the surface change and 22% with claimers. Team is 23%, she fires fresh and any run like her last five should do the trick. LACEY LEILAH has been steadily progressing, hitting her lifetime speed fig of 71 last out, her first run under Rosario, who is back. She is 2-1-0-1 at the distance, Carla Gaines is 9% with claimers and the team is 20% (although 0/5 at Hollywood). Works are average and she has been running regularly. BONITA BIRDIE seems to do her best running on Cushion and Tapeta and returns with the ten pound bug boy Velasquez. Low level trainer is 13% with claimers, maintenance works, has six runs already in 2010. SELECTIONS: #4 SUPER SOPHIE #6 LACEY LEILAH #2 BONITA BIRDIE Dr. Derango: So I was saying baby, you know, I understand where you are coming from, and being a new age sensitive male I… Huh, oh yeah, you guys – go away, there is nothing to see here, now move along. Now where was I, oh yeah, baby your wine glass is empty, here let me top you up. Wait a minute; with a name like Dr. Derango you are some kind of a freak aren’t you? You say that as if it’s a bad thing. Man I know better than to pick up N2L’s in a bar… Race 3 Maiden special weight, be still my beating heart, and at 6 furlongs too! This is an intriguing race with two that look to dominate – and we all know how that works out. There are multiple here that are more than capable. Homebred GOOD VIBRATION by Thunder Gulch had a huge debut, running an 81 and closing fast against a very good field. Bejarano returns, team is 18% at Hollywood and O’Neill is 10% with second starts, and 15% with straight maidens. SUBSIDIZED was in the same race as Good Vibration, finishing 2nd by a length. Garcia takes over for Rosario, team is 33%, Baffert is 25% with second starts. I could have the top two backwards as Subsidized has good early speed, is breaking from the outside and Garcia could steal the lead and not look back. NICOLE H ran her best race at Hollywood, beaten by a neck by up and comer Switch (ran 2nd to Tanda Sunday). Has never finished off the board and has been running against strong company. SELECTIONS: #1 GOOD VIBRATION #7 SUBSIDIZED #4 NICOLE H Dr. Derango: How would you like to take a flyer with Eight Belle’s half sister, EMPRESS WAY? She ran her debut in early April at Santa Anita and ran smack dab into a very hot Pincelada. Works say she might progress significantly in her second start and the $320K Keeneland purchase has the genes. Team is 43% at Hollywood with an $8.29 ROI. Harty is 17% with second time starters and 14% with straight maidens. Race 4 A $40K maiden claimer at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track with a couple of interesting over age maidens. WARREN’S TOMMY TOO finished 2nd in his first try at a route at Santa Anita (beaten by next out winner Holladay Road) and has ascending Beyers (78 last out) to boot. Talamo has been onboard for his four tries and returns to seal the deal. Team is 1 for 4 at Hollywood; trainer is 9% with maiden claimers and 10% in routes. Think this surface is a better fit. Works are average, and he is stepping up in class to the $40K level from the $25K level. GOTHAM DEVIL returned on the 10th after a 33 month layoff, finishing 7th after showing early speed. His previous runs established that a route of ground is what he wants; Bejarano takes over the riding duties, team is 12%, blinkers off (22%) and Harty is 23% on the stretch out. It may take another run or two to work him into shape, but he just popped a 1:12/3 work on the 2nd. SLEW CITY GOLD is on a quick turn after finishing 4 ¾ behind Lethal Dose last out. Works have picked up appreciably and he is in a field without Caracortado, Alphie’s Bet, Unusually Sound, Handsome John… Kerwin John takes the mount, they are removing the shades (14%) and O’Neill is 23% on the two sprints to route switch. SELECTIONS: #4 WARREN’S TOMMY TOO #5 GOTHAM DEVIL #7 SLEW CITY GOLD Dr. Derango: This one’s for you Sharon – IOTABGRAY is progressing nicely (35-47-59) and Cushion should propel him even farther forward. This will be his first run without blinkers (17%), Pedroza stays, team is 0/2 and Powell is 11% with maiden claimers. This could be one that up and freaks on this surface. Race 5 First race on the lawn, a one mile $50K claimer with the rail at ten feet. CAMP VICTORY has two wins, one on this turf course and one at Golden Gate. In between he has been up against it, running against Indian Firewater, Macias, Tiz Chrome, Brady Blue Eyes, Quiet Invader, Lions Story and Hurricane Ike; that’ll clip your win percentage just a bit. Team is 27%, Gaines is 13% on turf, Bejarano is riding the best I have ever seen him ride, and the works are stellar. SIETE MACHOS was caught at the last second last out, a turf mile at Hollywood. They are turning him in 10 days, pretty unusual for Solis, and he is definitely on the improve. His only three speed figs in the 70’s came in his three turf races. SEVENTH STAR is a serious joker in this deck after smoking his maiden field by five lengths with a speed fig of 88 (the fastest anyone else has run is Camp Victory with an 83). So why would I put one that just came off of an 88 in the third slot? Because he is back on grass, a surface he was 0/5 on – but before you toss him, he could very well not like soft ground and boy did he get that in Ireland. Could win easily or finish last. SELECTIONS: #4 CAMP VICTORY #6 SIETE MACHOS #7 SEVENTH STAR Dr. Derango: DIPLO has managed to run his record to 9-1-2-3, and his last, a win on the maintrack was his best yet. He looks like a grass horse (by Pleasant Tap) and acts like a grass horse – guess we will find out whether or not he IS a grass horse. Team is 50% at Hollywood with a moon shot $12.45 ROI. O’Neill is 13% with first turf, Pedroza is 1/1 on him, and he has run six times so far in 2010. Race 6 The upper echelons of the N2L world, this $25K version is loaded with talented runners. Although all of the bells and sirens are going off, I have to take CANDY LION as my first choice. Why bells and sirens? Well because he cost $170K, has never missed the exacta, pummeled I Want Revenge, just missed behind Zensational (scoring a 98 BSF) and now he is in an N2L???? Works are good, team is 25% and Hollendorfer is 16% on the return and 26% with claimers. Has way more talent that the rest of this field (or did). Suspicious as hell. FARADAY broke his maiden in his only try on Cushion, setting a lifetime Beyer of 90 and pulling off to win by three in a total wire job. This is his first trip back and he could do it again. Sherman only ships when he has some meat on the bone, first time team, trainer is 27% in sprints and 25% with claimers. Works are average. He’s another you have to wonder about – he has been very competitive at higher levels and now he too is in an N2L for $25K. Now here’s one that should fly over this surface, ITSSULTRYINTHECAPE only has two runs on synthetics (at Del Mar) and now he is back after a quartet of turf sprints. He could get locked into a speed battle with FARADAY, but this surface should improve his speed even more. Eurton and Rosario are 33% overall with a $5.40 ROI and are 2/3 at Hollywood with a $16.13 ROI. SELECTIONS: #8 CANDY LION #1 FARADAY #4 ITSSULTRYINTHECAPE Dr. Derango: With all the speed here – Faraday, Itssultryinthecape, Yogaroo and Goshawk, you have to think closer for this barbeque, and WOLGAN VALLEY could be the ticket. Has never run on Cushion (only one run at SA), but he is a stone cold closer. Team is 0/5, trainer is 9% with claimers and this ex-Darley runner has the works to back up a move on Cushion. Race 7 This is a nightmare race to handicap with almost everyone in the field capable of winning, with last out Beyers of 83, 90, 88, 89, 91, 89, yikes. RED DOOR DRIVE won his only race at Hollywood, breaking his maiden by an increasing 3 ½ lengths at 1 1/16 miles. Beyers are steadily moving up (89 last out) and Baffert/Pedroza are 29%. He has been in the exacta in eight of his last ten starts – he died late in a 10F main track affair at SA, but missed by just 2 ½ lengths. He is 3-2-1-0 at the distance and is running maintenance works (yes, there is one Baffert horse not running 1:10’s). WARREN’S PEPE is the original iron horse, a 6 year old who is 42-12-11-6, which means he hits the exacta better than 50% of the time. His record in his last ten races is 10-4-2-2, with one nasty turf run in the middle of that. His record at the distance is 8-4-1-2. Strong works, Canani trains and Smith rides (20%). This dude shows up every single time. He has 12 wins, the rest of the field combined has 13… BELIEVE IN HOPE was a hot two year old, missing by ¾ of a length in the G-1 Norfolk where he was closing hard on Street Hero and Midshipman. He went on the shelf right after that and came back April 10th after an 18 month vacation and promptly won in an effortless closing rally. Expect him to be even better this time out. Rosario stays, team is 40%, Ellis is 37% in allowances, 31% in routes, and 38% when he won his last start. Plus he came right back after the layoff race and ran two very strong works. This dude could be something, look out! SELECTIONS: #7 RED DOOR DRIVE #6 WARREN’S PEPE #2 BELIEVE IN HOPE Dr. Derango: TURF AND SKY seems to be a good mix with young Mr. Talamo, winning and finishing 2nd in his last two (beating Never and Saint Paul). Coming back off a five month layoff he is throwing down some serious works. Jones is 17% off the layoff, and 23% in allowances. Team is 33% at Hollywood with a $4.84 ROI. His record at Hollywood is 4-2-1-0 and at the distance he is 3-1-1-0. Race 8 A final race that is not a maiden claimer or a $10K who can outlast who special! SWEET HANNI broke her maiden on the hill in January and has pulled some pretty tough customers like Tanda in her next races. Think that Rafael Bejarano is an ideal fit for this filly and should have her just off the frontrunners. Team is 29%; Cerin is on fire at 42%, and hits turf sprints at 33%, all turf at 19% and claimers at 21%. FAIRWAY ROAD won at first asking, won the Bussels & Bowes and from there it was right into the deep end of the pool – the Grade 1 Oak Leaf against Blind Luck and company. She ended up on the DL for the next six months, making her return on the 25th against a very nice field, finishing at the back. Turf could be her thing; she has some excellent turf influences close up. Works are all over the place, team is 13% (but 0/6 at Hollywood), Dollase is 22% in turf sprints, 17% on synthetic to turf and 19% in turf overall. DISLITLEITEOMINE won her turf debut at this distance, on this track, on November 20th; her debut is even more impressive when you consider she did it moving up from the maiden claiming ranks to straight maidens. Last out she ran into the City to City freight train in the China Doll. The drop in class adds to the appeal. New rider in Tyler Baze is a big deal as he can get her a little more into the race early. Team is 13%, Periban is 14% in turf sprints and 13% in claiming races. SELECTIONS: #4 SWEET HANNI #6 FAIRWAY ROAD #7 DISLITLELITEOMINE Dr. Derango: The last race with the Super 5 bet are usually interesting affairs, not unusual to see a bomber hit. Now, which one of you suckers has wings… FOXY JADE won in her debut and went to the sidelines for six months. Not worried about whether she will take to turf with Atticus as her sire, the rail could be an issue, but she moved forward straight off in her debut (a 10 horse field). Has been working well for her return, team is 9%, Puype is 11% in first turf and 20% in turf sprints.
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
longwaytomay, thanks for the reminder. I put in Overcaffeinated for my selection. Chicago Gerry, Town lawyer - Tinky Town Assessor - Alan Town Ethnic Cook - tencentcielo tencentcielo P.S. The reason i won't be playing Super Saver in the Preakness is the fact that one of my strongest angles, and the one in Blackstone's list of angles, is that i don't play any horses whose 1st (or only) work is 3f, if the time between races is 13-59 days apart. So no Triple Crown. P.P.S. I Like Ike! :-)
garyw More than 1 year ago
Mike A Good call about the inner turf. Steve T Thanks for heads up about Harissa.