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by Ed Meyer

posted on May 18, 2009 in Free Picks and Tips | 2 Comments >>

If you were watching the races at the Keeneland meet, you know the name of Wesley Ward. A one-time rider, who was heralded in the saddle, and is now recognized by his conditioning efforts.

All of this is good and well. Most of you already know this. But maybe you have overlooked where he has two runners on a Tuesday. That place would be River Downs.

The first of his charges is in the opener traveling 4 1/2 f. This is his area; he does well with babies, and the sprint distance at Keeneland had his name all over it.

Race #1 has a runner by the name of Dp The Facilitator. This two-year-old colt is owned by Ol’ Memorial Stable (Rick Pitino) and Dick Vitale. This diaper dandy was bet down to almost 6-1 at Lexington, and finished last in a field of five. He has the services of Christian Reyes Santiago from Churchill Downs. Something tells me that are not making the trip for nothing. Maybe Pitino will make the trip to Cincinnati, and drop over to see his one time assistant Mick Cronin at U.C.

He is 6-5 on the morning line, and if my guess is correct the public will zoom in on this like bees to honey.

Ward’s second charge is in the 5th race. They are traveling 7 1/2 f  over the weeds, and he is a 21% winner and 46% ITM trainer over this surface. The name of the entry is Friendly Inn. Owned and trained by Ward, and Reyes hangs around to ride this 8/5 shot.

I would look for speed, as this is the prescribed distance for front runners.

Big time trainers coming to River Downs is no first time event. There was Seabiscuit long ago, Steve Cauthen who broke his maiden there, and we have seen big namers from McPeek, to Mott, and even Jack Van Berg. But this is usually on big days. Pat Day has ridden there, and Laffit Pincay said the turf course was the best in the nation. Don’t forget about Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck…..

So, if you are betting the River on Tuesday, take a look at these two runners from a very good barn. The day promises great weather, and this may offer you an opportunity to cash-in on the action.