12/08/2011 2:11PM

Weekend Warrior for December 10

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We have some Grade 1 stakes action Saturday, that courtesy of the $402,000 Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park. And another lucrative juvenile stakes Saturday night is the $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile at Remington Park. But after the Starlet, the only other graded stakes on the schedule is the Grade 3, $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Hollywood Starlet

Weemissfrankie will be going for her third Grade 1 score of the year here and will be a strong favorite. But she and Self Preservation are coming off third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and that raises the question of whether they are susceptible to the “Breeders’ Cup bounce.”

Consider this: By my rough calculation (rough calculation means I manually went over result charts and might have missed a horse), 23 horses who ran in Breeders’ Cup races last month have since ran back in stakes races. Of them, Afleet Again, Champagne d’Oro, Vexor, Tres Borrachos, Eldaafer, Baryshnikov, Speightscity, Optimizer, Customer Base, Irrefutable, Euroears, Flat Out, Ruler On Ice, Headache, Stately Victor, Pleasant Prince, Super Espresso, Drill, Candrea, and Miss Match all lost. Only Compliance Officer, To Honor and Serve, and Jeranimo came out of starts in last month’s Breeders’ Cup to win subsequent stakes.

Granted, some of those post-Breeders’ Cup losers ran against each other in the same stakes, so that does alter the ratio to some extent. But the point is still clear. All of these horses took class drops in their post-Breeders’ Cup starts. Although some of the post-Breeders’ Cup stakes these horses started in were tough races, they weren’t Breeders’ Cup-tough. And still, despite the class drops, very few of these post Breeders’ Cup starters won.

I do believe that, in general, the bounce concept has been horribly overused in handicapping. But I also think the notion that a horse can come up flat after an especially draining effort in his last start makes sense. Make what you want out of the Breeders’ Cup bounce and the examples presented above, but I am not surprised when horses coming back fairly quickly after starting in Breeders’ Cup races where everything is on the line have little left in their tanks.

Beyond a potential Breeders’ Cup bounce, Weemissfrankie and Self Preservation have other issues to deal with Saturday. Self Preservation will like the return to a synthetic surface as her best effort to date was a rallying second after early trouble on Polytrack to Weemissfrankie in the Del Mar Debutante in her U.S. debut. But her two subsequent route performances suggest that Self Preservation might be a closing sprinter.

As for Weemissfrankie, her biggest problem Saturday is Charm the Maker, who is my play. Charm the Maker was beaten by Weemissfrankie in the Oak Leaf Stakes two starts back, but the fact that she finished third and was beaten only one length suggests to me that Charm the Maker is every bit Weemissfrankie’s equal.

Charm the Maker went into the Oak Leaf off only a first out win going six furlongs, while Weemissfrankie had the benefit of an additional start, the most recent being the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante. Moreover, Charm the Maker had the tougher trip in the Oak Leaf. She was three wide around both turns, was closer to the fast early pace than Weemissfrankie was, and yet held gamely despite racing greenly in the stretch.

I like the fact that Charm the Maker pointed to this race instead of the Breeders’ Cup, and I also like that she sports a win at the distance over the track last time out in the Sharp Cat Stakes. And Charm the Maker overcame a less-than-perfect trip to win the Sharp Cat. She was taken back off a slow early pace and was caught four wide on the first turn and three wide on the far turn.

Hollywood Starlet Stakes (G1), Post Time: 4:37 PT Saturday

Purse: $402,000; 1 1/16 miles

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Weemissfrankie

P. Eurton

R. Bejarano

7-5

1

Charm The Maker

R. McAnally

G. Gomez

9-5

1

Lady Pecan

B. Baffert

M. Garcia

8-1

1

Killer Graces

J. Hollendorfer

J. Talamo

5-1

1

Mi Vida

E. Guillot

D. Flores

15-1

1

Self Preservation

B. Cecil

J. Rosario

5-1

Remington Springboard Mile

We have another horse coming out of the Breeders’ Cup here in Seeker, who finished fourth in the Juvenile Sprint. Maybe Seeker is simply much better than the rest in this field, and maybe he’ll blossom with the addition of blinkers, but I’m going against him. After insane early fractions, they were backing up late in the Juvenile Sprint, and Seeker actually lost ground while modestly improving his running position. And while Seeker earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure in his maiden win at Saratoga that would drown this field, I’m suspicious of it because it came in the slop.

I’m taking a shot with No Spin. Again. I took a chance with No Spin in the Champagne, but I can’t hold his dull effort that day against him as he was up against one of the best 2-year-olds in the country in Union Rags. Before that, however, No Spin was a good fourth after a bad trip in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, and he rebounded last time to dominate the Royal Glint on turf at Hawthorne. Granted, No Spin did not run well in the Champagne in his one start on dirt and has run well on synthetic and turf, but I’m not concerned about it. He has worked too well on dirt at Hawthorne, Delta Downs, and Fair Grounds. I’m also not terribly concerned about his extreme outside draw here as he is a drop-back closer and should be able to get over before reaching the first turn.

Remington Springboard Mile Stakes, Post Time: 10:14 CT Saturday

Purse: $300,000; 1 mile

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Seeker

S. Asmussen

C. Nakatani

2-1

1

Basalt

S. Asmussen

L. Quinonez

2-1

1

Reckless Jerry

K. Smith

S. Lavoliette

20-1

1

Pee H Dee

C. Richard

B. McNeil

20-1

1

Flashy Kid

J. Arias

S. Madrid

15-1

1

Fire Alarm

W. Calhoun

M. Berry

15-1

1

Mr Bluegrass Music

R. Jackson

C. Landeros

6-1

1

Alternative

B. Quinonez

J. Petalino

20-1

1

Strong Resolve

D. Von Hemel

L. Wade

20-1

1

Ted's Folly

W. Brown

J. Medina

5-1

1

Pleasant Closing

S. Asmussen

A. Birzer

15-1

1

No Spin

T. Ice

C. Rosier

4-1

While on the Breeders’ Cup bounce topic, we have another candidate Saturday in the Sugar Swirl Stakes in Pomeroys Pistol, who comes out of the Filly and Mare Sprint. Pomeroys Pistol will be a huge test for this theory, because she ran very well in the Breeders’ Cup and was impressive winning the Gallant Bloom before that. But if you were inclined to go against her, then Roman Treasure is an intriguing alternative. Roman Treasure’s last can be written off as an unsuccessful try on synthetic, and she has some back Beyers that are good enough to win.

Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3), Post Time: 4:45 ET Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 6 furlongs

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Pomeroys Pistol

A. Tarrant

J. Castellano

5-2

1

Pica Slew

B. Lynch

L. Contreras

8-1

1

Roman Treasure

A. Iwinski

J. Bravo

4-1

1

Catch A Thief

T. Hills

P. Lopez

8-1

1

Indulgence

M. Wolfson

J. Leparoux

6-1

1

Strike The Moon

M. Trombetta

E. Prado

10-1

1

Moontune Missy

E. Harty

M. Cruz

15-1

1

Third Chance

J. DiVito

J. Santana

3-1

Louisiana Champions Day Turf

This supporting feature on the Louisiana Champions Day card at Fair Grounds has three horses cross-entered in other stakes. I like one of them, Kissimmee Kyle, who I expect to run here instead of facing the formidable Star Guitar in the Classic because grass is his best surface.

Kissimmee Kyle’s last wasn’t pretty, but it was an off-the-turf stakes, and he was coming off an eight-month absence. He is primed for a big step forward second time back and moving to his preferred footing, and it’s worth noting that Kissimmee Kyle, who is certainly good enough on his best, has a history of improving second start back off a layoff.

Louisiana Champions Day Turf, Post Time: 4:25 CT Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 1 1/16 mile (T)

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Idefromthebayou

R. Courville

C. McMahahon

8-1

1

Kissimmee Kyle

A. Stall, Jr.

R. Albarado

3-1

1

Wildrally

E. Johnston

R. Napravnik

9-2

1

Productive Envoy

T. Richey

M. Mena

20-1

1

String King

C. Smith

J. Graham

6-1

1

Skipping Town

S. Ishaq

S. Bridgemohan

6-1

1

Ide Like A Double

S. Ducoing

C. Lanerie

12-1

1

Candiano

E. Schwandt

G. Melancon

15-1

1

Old Bushmill

M. Nicks

R. Eramia

4-1

1

First To Bingo

J. Desormeaux

S. Sellers

20-1

1

Pleasant Closing

S. Asmussen

A. Birzer

15-1