03/06/2009 5:18PM

Weekend preview

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Let's take a look at some interesting horses entered in this weekend's stakes races:


Honey Fox Stakes (Gulfstream Park - Race 10 - Saturday):

WILD PROMISES is going to receive all of the attention, and it's deserved.  She's won 12 of 17 starts including six in a row, but one has to wonder if all of this cross-country travel is going to catch up with her.  I prefer SCOLARA, a Bill Mott-trained filly that looked really good in winning a stakes race for Florida-breds on February 8.  That day, Scolara broke a bit slowly, and was bogged down inside until the final turn.  Once she shook clear, however, she rolled on home like a filly with potential.  With stretchout sprinter COCKTAIL ATTIRE in the lineup, Scolara should get enough pace to attack, and she'll offer a better price than Wild Promises.

Picks:  Scolara, Wild Promises, Flibberjibit

Gotham Stakes (Aqueduct - Race 9 - Saturday):

They're coming from all over to run in the Gotham, and I prefer the Florida contingent over local hopefuls MR. FANTASY and HAYNESFIELD, and California invaders AXEL FOLEY and I WANT REVENGE.  MASALA broke slowly in his first start of the year, then raced wide every step while chasing 100 Beyer winner Take the Points, the recent runnerup finisher in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.  Masala can move forward off that race, and I like the three five-furlong workouts that Mr. Pletcher has given the Lion Heart colt.  GIANT RYAN and RUSSELL ROAD should provide enough pace for Masala to run at late, and the price should be square.  IMPERIAL COUNCIL received a nice prep at Gulfstream, and wouldn't be a surprise for Shug. 

Picks:  Masala, Imperial Council, Mr. Fantasy

Santa Anita Oaks (Santa Anita - Race 7 - Saturday):

Been waiting for a spot to try and beat STARDOM BOUND, but I'm not sure this is it.  Perhaps the fillies coming out of the Sunshine Millions Oaks will make the 2008 Juvenile Filly champion run for her money.  BELTENE, one of Steve T.'s flying Unusual Heats, ran her record to a perfect 3-3 after running down HOOH WHY in the lane.  The additional distance is a major question mark as trainer Jack Carava seems to have called an audible by running Beltene in this spot (the original plan was the Santa Paula going short).  Beltene should get the jump on Stardom Bound turning for home, and is worth a flier if anywhere near her morning line odds of 15-1.  Hooh Why gave the promising colt Patena a scare going this distance over Woodbine's polytrack, and starts for the crafty Carla Gaines.

Picks:  Beltene, Hooh Why, Stardom Bound

Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (Santa Anita - Race 9 - Saturday):

I have all the respect in the world for both VENTURA and GIO PONTI, but the former is coming off a solid, if unspectacular win in the Santa Monica, and now has to face the boys.  Gio Ponti flopped in the Strub, but is back to his preferred surface, and has always hinted at serious ability.  While both horses could certainly win the Kilroe, I'll go for a price with ARTISTE ROYAL, the recent winner of the Grade 2 San Marcos at 10 furlongs.  Last and down on the rail at the quarter-pole in the San Marcos, Artiste Royal was hopelessly beaten until angled wide in midstretch by Garrett Gomez.  Then, he came flying with a huge late flurry to win by a nose.  He probably wants more ground than this mile distance, but HEWITTS should set a good pace up front, and the frontrunners may be coming unglued when the real running begins.

Picks:  Artiste Royal, Wise River, Hewitts

Santa Anita Handicap (Santa Anita - Race 10 - Saturday):

EINSTEIN broke from post 10 in the Donn, was spun five wide going into the first turn, and was never closer than three paths off the rail from that point forward.  That he still finished a close third is a credit to the classy warhorse, a Grade 1 winner on turf, and a Grade 2 winner on dirt.  We've seen good grass form successfully translate to the synthetic surfaces, and Einstein's stalk and pounce tactics should serve him well in the historic Big 'Cap.

Picks:  Einstein, Matto Mondo, Court Vision

Razorback Handicap (Oaklawn - Race 9 - Saturday):

Some familiar faces in this Grade 3 heat.  SPOTSGONE and JONESBORO ran 1-2 in the 2008 Essex, but the former hasn't shown much stamina since returning from an injury-induced layoff, and Jonesboro has been reportedly battling tender feet since his most recent start.  PROM SHOES and SHIM'S PRIDE seem like the 'now' horses, and Shim's Pride may offer a bit more value.  He beat both Jonesboro and Spotsgone in an allowance race earlier in the meet, and seems to have put it all together after going one for his first 18 (has won four of his last nine).

Picks:  Shim's Pride, Prom Shoes, Jonesboro

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

Back Monday with the weekend recap and answers to questions and comments.

Have a great one,

Dan



SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Dan Could you see what happened to the horse THOROUGHLY at Golden Gate race #6 on Sunday. The chart said "took several bad steps in the early stages was pulled up and vanned off" I remember this horse when breaking his maiden as a 2 yo & put him on a Derby Watch list. He had a WOW performance & I thought held much promise. He had some type of injury & was off the radar for quite a while. Curiousity keep him on my watch list. He resurfaced in Feb in a claimer (30K?)and beat one horse. Then dropping to the 4k claimer on Sunday, and being vanned off.. This is so sad to see, and reminds me of how fragile these animals are & how precarious a game for racing owners & trainers. Thanks for checking it out. I hope he is okay & if you could list his pp's (even though they may be light on action)I'd appreciate it. SR Vegas
Annie More than 1 year ago
DERBY WATCH - March 6th: Molesap's OLD FASHIONED 5-1 Justin's PIONEER OF THE NILE 8-1 Danny B's FRIESAN FIRE 10-1 Vicstu's QUALITY ROAD 10-1 Turnbackthealarm's THE PAMPLEMOUSSE 10-1 Blue Horseshoe's DUNKIRK 12-1 Mike Romeo's GIANT OAK 15-1 Mickey Hoops' PATENA 15-1 KT Albany's FLYING PEGASUS 20-1 John C's BEETHOVEN 30-1 Cayman's HELLO BROADWAY 30-1 Nancy B's PAPA CLEM 30-1 Bill G's WEST SIDE BERNIE 30-1 Teri's I WANT REVENGE 40-1 P. Ensign's IMPERIAL COUNCIL 40-1 Katieattherail's GENERAL QUARTERS 50-1 (Hey, at least you're on there) :) This was published prior to the Gotham, so it's possible I Want Revenge and Imperial Council will move up. SIXTEEN of the top twenty are MKB horses!! I would say there is a very good chance that an MKB horse will be in the winner's circle on Derby Day. Good luck everyone! Annie
Laura More than 1 year ago
We have a new leader in the RTTR Contest! Causeways37 got a birthday present and now leads the board with 50 points, 2 points more than Cayman Stables. Zayat stables is holding steady in third, no doubt waiting to pounce on the lead when Pioneerof The Nile wins next week. Winchesters slipped to fourth place with 42 points, taking a breather before tackling next week’s races. Our fearless leader is still reserving his strength in 22nd place with 29 points. Check out the new standings here: http://www.roadtotheroses.com/G=83/game/league_standings.phtml?league_id=12
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
PGM- Don't need the pad back (got the notes in formulator) Actually as far as the tournament I really left optimistic. I feel like I gave myself a real chance to win the thing. If I can know that I've got 5 horses out of 10 and if any of them win there's a good chance I win the contest, that's a good thing. The only thing I will do different next time in a contest like this is to possibly not mess around with the small pick 3 (had an $8 p3 on the first 3 races) and instead use that money as well towards the Pick 4's. Don't know if Arlington will run their $100 summer series next season but if they do I'll do the same thing as far as making my contest plays Pick 4's. (As I said at the contest, I wish they'd have made these contests $100 as well-$50 just doesn't seem enough to "sink your teeth" into the contest.
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Calvin, Thanks for the kind words. I have been busy over the weekend, so sorry I took this long to reply. C, I basically have to agree with most everything you said about the differences between racing here and in Europe and England. And, to be sure, some things from there will never transfer here (read: soccer and the rock band Oasis). But, you must acknowledge that Great Britian has served as a sort of testing ground and precursor of movements that end up coming over here and shaping our society. From way back to the Magna Carta and Lord Acton and the Enlightenment, to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and now fast forward to Big Brother and a host of reality TV and citcom shows ALL got there start a few years before they ever even aired in the United States. Most every popular show has been adapted or ripped off from English or Australian TV. Same with administrative agencies and regulatory bodies. Started over there...ended up here under FDR until present. My point was not to agree that cheating and race fixing are bigger problems here than doping is in sports or horseracing...only to fire a shot accross the bow as a warning as to this is where we could be heading. Clearly, given the signs on the horizon, the time is now for cleaning up this sport before the government comes in under that pretext and destroys everything in a massive power grab. Things cannot stay the way they are. And I agree in general many in the industry do not care that they have looked the other way while the durability and long term viability of the American thoroughbred have been trashed in the name of winning at any cost. Finally, I agree with Steve T (and always have) about the viability of synthetic runners on dirt for the first time. There are numerous examples, I Want Revenge being the latest. His highest speed figure was well below the other's best on dirt. I believe Beyer and others still have no clue how fast these horses are running on synthetic tracks... But that is a seperate post... Regardless, if a horse is good enough, and has even the most basic of turf and dirt influences, I believe they can excel when going from synthetics to dirt. The jury is still out on the reverse. Some horses simply cannot stand running on anything but dirt or turf. And, after all, that is what they were bred to run on for centuries before this. Horses like Street Sense and Hard Spun have benefitted from running their last prep on poly, then switching back to dirt for the Derby. Their last official works saw them flying effortlessly accross the Churchill surface. Most horses who do not benefit from the poly to dirt angle are simply not good enough to win regardless of what is done with them... And as a betting angle, the synthetic to dirt is a good one...but it will not make a Secretariat out of a Zippy Chippy-discretion and handicapping are still needed (as well as common sense).
Matt More than 1 year ago
will get em next time Annie.
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
Do we have a HG race for this week? How was Hooh Why not disqualfied for absolutely manhandling a couple of horses in the SA Oaks? tencentcielo
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
###NON HORSE RACING UNTIL THESE SYMBOLS APPEAR AGAIN Okay i have given up trying to fight this bug. It randomly decides which symptoms i'll have for each day. Yesterday, no stomach problems but fever, stuffy nose and lethargicism. Today, chest congestion, upset stomach, coughing and laryngitis. Doctor said i might have the flu, and he thinks the stomach, chest and throat issues come from post-nasal drip. The most annoying thing was yesterday that i couldn't even find the energy to tell the blog my picks for the late pk4, which i would have hit COLD! Oh well, hopefully these medications will finally clear out my lungs and let me get to the track after finals end next week. ### So lets give out a rare monday winner! Hawthorne R9 Since the #1A BUZZ CUT and the #4 SPORTIN PHIL scratched, i love the #10 WW KOOKY MONSTER. He is on a couple of my watch lists and he's 8-1 morning line. let us put him over a few of these horses in a superfecta, since i don't do SH5's .10 SUP 10/1,2,/1,2,8/1,2,3,5,7,8,9 =$2
Causeways37 More than 1 year ago
Hey all! Just got back from the Bay Area and I had a wonderful time out there! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. You guys are awesome! Saturday was a roller coaster day for me. I went to the track with a grand and was down about half my bankroll after Unionize failed to prouduce in the 4th on Sat with Gomez. He's been burning alot of money lately. I really need to reverse my wagers more often. Finally the Toboggan came up and I fell in love with Ah Day instantly. Seeing that he can fire fresh with a 110 Beyer and he was firing 4 straight bullets coming in....he was live, live, live! So I put 50-50 on him. Turning for home I was ready to rip my ticket b/c he hadn't hit the screen yet. My bro put 60 across the place horse. So he's screaming and I'm seeing how the inside horses are staggering home and I'm thinking to myself "Ah Day has to be making a move! Where the hell is he!" Sure enough, white blinkers pop up on the far outside and my bro and I are rooting against each other and I nail him at the wire! We both turn a big profit and just like that, I'm up 100. But the rest of the day was tough. Hammered on Wild Promises and the horse was flat. Put a big place wager on F. Alvarado in the last @ Golden Gate and somehow the damn horse still couldn't get second after stalking the speed and saving ground the whole way. Lost the Stardom Bound race as I had a heavy exacta to Nan. I still can't believe there wasn't a DQ in that race. Did anyone believe that if not both the 2nd & 3rd place finishers should've been DQ's that at least one of them should've? Well anyway, long story short, I ended up losing for the day, but I sure made it up at night. Partying till the early morning! :). Hope all is well with everyone. I'm still shocked I'm leading in RTTR after this weekend's race. Can't wait for this weekend's preps. Should have about 4 horses this week. Good luck to everyone!
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
I "wuv" 50-1! Look for me in the Derby Futures line trying to lock in those odds this weekend... Katie