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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Picks

In the 3rd, on a dicey Saturday card with four races washed off the grass, Argument's Sake (5-1) returns to a dirt sprint, for Contessa.  Barn is not exactly burning up the joint; but he was unlucky on Friday with Ambit, and man, that was one tough beat, ugh.  This 3yo daughter of Closing Argument (one of the worst of many bad Preakness bets on my part), graduated at Belmont two back this distance with a huge closing move; that with the addition of blinkers and jockey Wilmer A. Garcia.  Yeah, he didn't beat much to be sure.  But that was a legitimate racehorse move, way wide on the sweeping turn, and then he blew by the entire field, getting the last furlong in 12 3/5.  Don't see many horses at this level crack the 13 second mark.  Forget the last on the grass, hope for a little pace and that the drying-out track is tiring and favorable to closers as we sometimes see.  I guess Centrique (5-2) could crush this field with Ramon if she's right, but been in and out of late, hope for the best worst.  Paws Up (12-1) has run pretty well on wet tracks, chance for a minor award.  Theatre Queen (3-1) is obviously dangerous for Canani, 1-2-1 with four starters here.  Hasn't been on dirt but neither had his Los Ojitos the other day.  Contention runs deep as they sometimes like to say.

Speaking of which, the 5th is a wide open state-bred maiden claimer.  This is the kind of race I usually avoid, but this one is pretty fascinating from a betting standpoint.  You know most of the field is going to be staggering in the final furlong of the 7/8th affair, so let's try to have some fun.  Spider Fan (6-1) ships in from Woodbine for Lisa Lewis, two winners and a second from three starts at the meet thus far.  Two of those horses also shipped over from Woodbine (though they ran here on the turf, so more a comment on her horses' fitness than any surface switch affinity).  This 3yo son of Jazil closed well at seven furlongs in his last after being 3-4 wide on the turn.  This is his first try on dirt, but if he can handle and still be running late here, he would have a shot, but the price has to be right, something around the morning line would do.  (Of course, not too high so that he's dead on the board!)    Keyaly (15-1) closed well in the mud at six furlongs, which doesn't mean, in the case of this 0-for-27 maiden, that he'll continue on at seven; but it was his first off a layoff and first with Prado.  Missile Nick (10-1) dropped to this level and finished well at 6f; think the morning line is too high on this one.  Ali's Winner (12-1) ran pretty well at this distance two races back and would be a solid overlay at that price.

In the 10th, Major Gain (5-1) switches back to turf for trainer Wayne Catalano.  This barn seems to be picking up steam after a slow start, with two winners and a very close 3rd from its last four starters here.  This is more of a hunch on my part, so take it for what it's worth.   Four-year old son of More Than Ready out of a graded turf stakes mare Dream Lady (2nd in the Lake George here in 2005) was favored in his first grass race, and off an 18 month layoff at Arlington in July.  It was an altogether fine effort considering the layoff and the fact that he pace-engaged a very sharp horse in the reformed 10K claimer Ratatat, who went on to win his next race in the next condition.  Then he shipped here, and closed from last for a no-threat third in a seven furlong dirt race.  Now back to grass, which his breeding surely indicates he should like; and that sprint race seems to me like strictly a prep for this race, third of the form cycle (and encouraging just in that he's able to put three starts together considering his history).  Two sharp half-mile breezes since, and I love the switch to Johnny V.  Quantity (5-2) is the logical choice for Chad Brown; faces better here, but still have to use in the exotics.  Change of Command (3-1) may be tailing off (he says hopefully) after a very long campaign and faces an early duel with Mia Poppy, but an obvious threat with Ramon.   Best of luck everyone and have a great day.


steve in nc said...

Don't know if you feel like you batted .000 or 1.000 for the day, but you did better than I did.

Figless said...

Two vet scratches, saved you some money, so I would call it 1.000, better than I did with Get Stormy.

alan said...

It was an odd hat trick to be sure!