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Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Spot Play

- Needed to look no further than today’s feature, the G3 Lake George for 3 yo fillies on the turf, for today’s spot play. I just love these races. Ready’s Gal won her turf debut for Pletcher in a Monmouth stakes and takes the logical step up to graded company today. Pletcher/Velasquez took three races yesterday and will likely be favored in this spot. But it’s unlikely she’ll find herself alone on the lead at the half mile mark this time, and there’s enough talent in this field to look elsewhere. Who’s Cozy was the 6-5 favorite at Monmouth, took a spot behind Ready’s Gal and held second over Connie Belle. Who’s Cozy may be more aggressive today….or she may try to sit behind the leaders again. Either way, she’s much improved this year for Linda Rice, who has been sending out live runners and had a winner on Wednesday’s card. Connie Belle is Mott/Bailey, so she will receive consideration, but she couldn’t gain on Rice’s filly in the Monmouth race despite an inside trip and must improve here.

With Dream Lady also promising to provide speed, as well as Bob Holthus’ shipper Beaugeste (with John McKee coming in for the ride), the race just cries for a closer, and Laurafina fits the bill perfectly. In her three races this year, she’s come off the pace and closed in impressive final fractions, and if not for Melhor Ainda she would be 3 for 3. She ran second and beat My Typhoon by more than a length in that race, and the latter went on to win the Virginia Oaks for Mott. Laurafina's jockey Javier Castellano has three winners on the turf here already, and was a neck from a 4th in yesterday’s closer. Laurafina is listed as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, and I think that would be a gift here.

Laurafina / Who’s Cozy / Connie Belle.

Yesterday: I spelled yesterday’s spot play wrong in the dim light of the Albany internet café I was in, but Maybry’s Boy ($9.20) came through with the win.