07/04/2013 2:53PM

Byron King: Selections for the Sweet Briar Too, Carry Back, and Royal Heroine

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Sr. Quisqueyano looks set to return to peak form in his second start off a two-month layoff.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Spotting value plays when handicapping is similar to trying to find a modestly priced yearling with potential at a sale. Look for a horse without a fault, and you’ll simply be with the majority, and have to overpay for it, or in the case of gambling, have to accept short odds.

The key is to finding value is to find horses with faults you can live with. This Saturday, I hope I’ve found three such types in several stakes races, ranging everywhere from Canada to Florida to California.

Woodbine: Heavenly Pride looks like overlay

First up is 8-1 longshot Heavenly Pride, who goes in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes at Woodbine at 2:17 p.m. Eastern.

For a horse at such odds on the morning line, she has much to offer. She owns the top last-race Beyer Speed Figure, an 83; she comes off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes in her first start of the year; and in the Hendrie she lost to a quality filly in Delightful Mary, who would likely be favored if she were in this spot.

So why is she a price? Her past as a claiming horse, which will cause some to balk at playing her.

This is a mare who was racing for a $32,000 claiming price in May of last year, and still even running in higher-priced optional claimers in the fall of last year.

But with the exceptions of favored Dixie Strike and Distracting, few of these have particularly flashy running lines – with many having raced in restricted stakes or in claiming races, just like Heavenly Pride.

To be fair, the 8-1 on the morning line on her seems overly generous, and her chances of sticking to that price look slim. But even at 5-1 or 6-1, she seems worthy of a wager.

As for her foes, Dixie Strike is unraced this year and seemingly wants longer distances. And Distracting, a one-time Southern California performer, hasn’t established herself as a Polytrack performer to this point.

Calder: Sr. Quisqueyano may hit peak

A little over an hour later, perhaps the best wagering opportunity of the Calder Summit of Speed card presents itself in the Grade 3 Carry Back, which goes at 3:32.

The play there is Sr. Quisqueyano, a son of Exclusive Quality, who has been erratic this year at age 3, but who looks set to return to peak form in his second start off a two-month layoff.

This is a colt who has a record of 4 wins and 3 seconds from 8 starts at Calder, a record that includes a couple of local stakes victories, including the Calder Derby on April 6. Versatile, he can sprint as well as route, and his recent works hint that a better effort is forthcoming after his dull fourth in the Unbridled Stakes June 8 at Calder.

Yet because of his modest pedigree and $5,500 auction price, not to mention his lack of high-profile connections, he is the 4-1 third favorite in the Carry Back.

Favored ahead of him are a pair of bounce candidates – R Free Roll and Mico Margarita, who both ran career-best figures in their last starts.

Of the two, R Free Roll, looks to be the more likely to bounce, having leaped 25 Beyer points off her regular figures. She is also a filly matched against males, and fillies more than males are statistically more susceptible to regression following out-of-the-ordinary lofty figures.

Hollywood Park: Stormy Lucy has potential

Last up among the three stakes value plays is Stormy Lucy in the Royal Heroine Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park, which is run at 3:04 Pacific, 6:04 Eastern.

A weak field for a Grade 2, it is headed by 2-1 favorite Schiaparelli, who has run three straight Beyers in the 90s. But with Schiaparelli being untested beyond 6 1/2 furlongs and racing a route for the first time in the Royal Heroine, she could become fatigued, which could result in a mild upset for 4-1 shot Stormy Lucy.

Stormy Lucy, a former claimer, won’t have any trouble with the distance. She has won going as short as 5 1/2 furlongs on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate, and is also a stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles at Golden Gate on the grass.

But it is her losing efforts that jump out of her past performances. Last year she ran second in the Del Mar Oaks and Rodeo Drive – Grade 1 races that drew some of the better turf mares around.

This year she has raced just once, rallying belatedly to finish fourth in the Redondo Beach in a race she likely needed to regain fitness.