09/19/2013 3:47PM

Byron King: Finding More has a lot going for her in the Dogwood

Email
Lynn Roberts/Hodges Photography
Finding More, winning the Letellier Memorial at Fair Grounds, is the likely second choice in the Dogwood at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

When Finding More first raced at Churchill Downs last fall, I missed her, along with most everyone, when she scored at odds of over 44-1. Then this spring when she returned, I respected her, but ultimately viewed her as third best of a top-flight race. Again she won, this time at 4-1.

Saturday she makes her third appearance at Churchill Downs in the Grade 3 Dogwood, and this time I will not be underestimating her.

She deserves a wager, being a filly fond of the Churchill track and the Dogwood’s seven-furlong distance. Both of her prior wins at Churchill came at seven-eighths.

A 7-2 shot on the morning line, she will likely drop come post time with morning-line favorite So Many Ways expected to scratch from the Dogwood to run in Saturday night’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.

Even with the likely defection of So Many Ways, Finding More could still be second betting choice behind Sky Girl, who was purchased privately by Alpha Delta Stables after she ran third in the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks. The public will take notice that Corey Lanerie, who was aboard for Finding More’s wins at Churchill, is on Sky Girl and view that as an indication that Sky Girl is superior.

Sky Girl is a legitimately good filly, but I’m not convinced of her superiority over Finding More.

Finding More is a stakes winner, and no one in the field shows a better race than her 4 1/4-length triumph over the Churchill strip June 20, when she earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. As for Finding More’s subsequent defeat – a third in a stakes race on the grass at Indiana Downs going a mile – that’s a forgivable performance in light of the surface and distance. Her best races have come sprinting on dirt.

With three months having passed since her huge figure top at Churchill June 20 – and two months since her next-out loss at Indiana Downs – Finding More ought to be fresh and primed to run back to her best.

Joe Rocco Jr., coming off a breakout summer at Saratoga, gets the mount on Finding More, and her pace-pressing style looks well suited to the makeup of the field.

Musical Romance

It’s hard to believe that a $100,000 race in Florida in September could draw a lineup as classy as the one in Saturday’s Musical Romance at Gulfstream Park.

Starship Truffles, winner of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney, is in the race, as is 3-year-old filly Wildcat Lily, who ran second in both the Grade 1 Prioress and Grade 1 Test at Saratoga this summer.

Starship Truffles, a troubled sixth in the Ballerina in her last, and Wildcat Lily are hard to fault. But their virtues are obvious, and they will be short prices.

My Pal Chrisy represents the potential value, having won the Paseana Stakes at Gulfstream last month going away in her first start for her current connections. That race followed a fine second in a fast stakes race at Calder.

Although no match for Starship Truffles when third in the Princess Rooney, My Pal Chrisy seems to have improved noticeably in the 2  1/2 months since. She is a threat to run these down, and an appealing price at 4-1 on the morning line.

Researcher Stakes

Stakes action goes well into the night Saturday, with Charles Town running a banner card, capped by a couple of $400,000 races, the Charles Town Oaks and Researcher Stakes.

Our Double Play looks like an excellent wager if he sticks to his 4-1 price in the Researcher – a possibility since his trainer, Phil Bauer, is an unknown to most bettors. A former assistant to trainer Kenny McPeek, he just recently went out on his own.

With Our Double Play having been previously trained by McPeek, Bauer is familiar with this horse and should keep him in top form. Bauer certainly has him nicely spotted in the Researcher, a seven-furlong race around two turns at Charles Town, a bullring.

Our Double Play won an allowance at the Researcher distance at Churchill in May, and he later scored around two turns in the Prairie Mile in June. He faded to fourth after going too quickly early in his latest, the Grade 3 Iowa Derby at 1  1/16 miles.

With plenty of other speed in this race, Our Double Play’s ability to press or stalk the pace should leave him well positioned.

rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
I LIKE IRISH LUTE stuckinarizona