08/31/2012 1:23PM

Klein: Teen Pauline key in two spots

Tom Keyser
Teen Pauline was entered in both the $300,000 Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, and the ungraded, $100,000 Sorority at Monmouth.

Handicappers will find a full menu of stakes races to enjoy at Saratoga, Del Mar, and Monmouth on Sunday, including four graded stakes. Some of these races figure to be competitive, while a single-combination exacta bet might be all you need in a couple of the others.

Teen Pauline is entered to run in both the $300,000 Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, and the ungraded, $100,000 Sorority at Monmouth. She would be the filly to beat in either of those races, and her supporters will have the added benefit of the inclusion of her entrymate, Dreaming of Julia, if she runs in the Spinaway.

Teen Pauline set a track record running five furlongs in 56.53 seconds in a 4 3/4-length maiden special win in her debut. If she comes anywhere close to running as well as she did in that race on the class jump into the seven-furlong Spinaway, she’ll be very hard to deny.

The thing that makes this an interesting betting race is that she will almost certainly be hammered down to low odds, and it isn’t unusual for 2-year-olds who run huge debut races to regress, sometimes significantly, against stakes company in their second career starts.

I’ll take both of those scenarios into account. First, I’ll key Teen Pauline on top in the exacta with Seasoned Warrior, who has trained well since her maiden win, and has a favorable outside post for this one-turn distance.

Then I’ll Key Seasoned Warrior on top of Teen Pauline, Corail, So Many Ways, and Baby J for second in the exacta.

If Teen Pauline is scratched from the race, simply subtract her from the exacta ticket using Seasoned Warrior on top.

If Teen Pauline runs at Monmouth in the six-furlong Sorority, the main threat to her would be I’mclassyandsassy, an impressive debut winner whose 79 Beyer Speed Figure is 13 points lower than the 92 earned by Teen Pauline. If Teen Pauline scratches from the Sorority, I’ll bet I’mclassyandsassy to win.

The merits of most of the contenders in the six-furlong, Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth aren’t hard to spot. If there is a bargain to be found, Drum Roll is the most interesting candidate. He made a mild move while already up close to a very hot pace in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, and had a right to tire and finish fourth in that 6 1/2-furlong race. If he’s able to relax and run a little slower during the early going, he might be able to take his field all the way in this race. I’ll bet him to win.

The Grade 2 Del Mar Derby is a wide-open turf race. My Best Brother was the 6-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile, Grade 2 La Jolla. He had the benefit of being loose on a clear lead through a slow 23.80-second opening quarter-mile in a four-horse field, but he still gave up a one length edge in midstretch, and finished second in a three-horse photo. He will be well-backed again, but he lost ground late in each of his last four races, and the added distance in this 1 1/8-mile race will make his task tougher.

Old Time Hockey won a three-horse photo in the La Jolla, but he will have a tougher trip while moving from an inside post to an outside post, and he’ll have to show that he can match that form in a larger, more robust field at the same class level.

Howe Great has been effective with graded stakes company, but he’s stuck in the disadvantageous outside post at a distance that favors horses in inside post positions.

I like Brother Francis. He finished second as a maiden last year in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue, then was third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity. He finished in mid-pack in fifth, six lengths behind I’ll Have Another in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby two races ago, then was a dominant six-length winner with a 94 Beyer Figure when he dropped into maiden company four weeks ago. He should be set for another good performance the second time back, and won’t mind stretching out in his return to turf. I’ll bet him to win, and I’ll look for value while keying him on top of Tones, Tribal Tribute, All Squared Away, and Power Foot in the exacta.

Lucky Chappy is the horse to beat in the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 3 Saranac on the inner turf at Saratoga. The concern is that his deep-closing running style is likely to hinder him on that turf course.

King Kreesa has no graded stakes experience, but he has good early speed on a course that should flatter that style. He can be very tough to catch on his best day. I’ll bet him to win at what should be a square price.

Potesta, the winner of the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks, is the filly to key on top in the one-mile Torrey Pines at Del Mar. The challenge is to find a reasonable price on a contender for second in the exacta. I’ll go with Long Face, who ran respectably while sixth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, Jolly Days, who is lightly raced and won her last two starts, and Killer Graces, who has been settling for minor awards against graded stakes company.