Here is your Jeopardy question of the day: “What track did Animal Kingdom prep and win before going to Louisville and wearing the roses?” – Yep, it would be Turfway Park. The track that gave us – Hansel, Lil E. Tee, Serena’s Song, Cat Thief, as well as last Derby’s winner Animal Kingdom. I don’t know if the card has that magic runner in the mix, but it sure looks like a great day for wagering. The weather in Northern Kentucky is calling for rain, and cooler temps. I can see the track playing very fair with the added water, and be sure to take a long hard look at how Friday’s card plays. It should be the same thing on Saturday afternoon.
There are 12 races slated for this great day of action, and the first post is 1:10 p.m. EST. Be sure to get your E-Z Win Forms early, and start handicapping with the state-of-the-art selections that WinningPonies have waiting for you right now!
Race #7 – $50,000 Hansel Stakes – 6f – 4:08 p.m. ET
#5 Lockout (3-1) – Rajiv Maragh in the saddle for Mark Casse, and they are 2/2 with wins over the all-weather tracks. Been off for 5 months, and worked a bullet at Ocala to show readiness. This is a lightly raced colt by Limehouse, and cuts back from 1 1/16 to 6 panels. Go back in the workout list, and you will see a bullet before heading off for a brief vacation. The bullet work last out gives me confidence that they have a tiger by the tail, and have been looking for the right place to pounce.
Race #8 – $75,000 Rushaway Stakes – 1 1/16 miles – 4:40 p.m. ET
#8 Flashy Dresser (5-2) - Luis Contreras is in the building with a solid runner for Fred Seitz. Very impressive maiden victory, and the regular work pattern at Palm Meadows shows they have been getting ready for a big effort. Three-wide last out, and drew off easily. I am looking for a middle move stalker to pick up the pieces right before they head for home.
Race #9 – Bourbonette Oaks (G3) – 1 mile - 5:12 p.m. ET
#3 More Than Love (9-5) – Gets first blinkers today, and they score 17% on this equipment move. Corey Nakatani in the irons for John Terranova. Makes the turf to poly move, and the distance seems to fit her well. The barn loves to ship in for the money winning 19% for travelers.
I would use her with #5 Dancing Solo (4-1) – J.J Castellano for Todd Pletcher. They are winning at 39% as a team, and 71% ITM. Been off for 45 days, and should be a pace factor today. J.J jumps off the #3 to ride, and this daughter of Giant’s Causeway should take to the track.
Race #10 – Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 miles - 5:45 p.m. ET
This race has produced some very solid runners, and I see many entries today testing their mettle to see if they belong with the big boys. Be sure to watch how the track is playing, and one thing you can always count on is that the polytrack will always be fast. Who knows? We may see the next Animal Kingdom come running out of this event.
#3 Heavy Breathing (3-1) – J.J Castellano in the driver’s seat for Todd Pletcher. Last weekend he was talking about this race as a barometer to see what he had in the barn. 2/2 life with wins, and is lightly raced. The last effort was an optional $75,000 event where he ran off to hide from the field. He is bred to enjoy synthetics, and should be a tough foe if all systems are go.
#4 Went The Day Well (4-1) – John Velasquez has the call for Graham Motion who won this race last year. He travels like a train coming downhill, and if there is solid pace, it may make his effort strong as the leaders fold.
# 12 Handsome Mike (4-1) – Joel Rosario in the saddle for Doug O’Neill. Beaten favorite last out, and they come back for payback at a 20% clip. Definitely the pace player, and the 12-hole can be tough to wire them. I would look for a an up close effort, and try to take control of the leaders around the first turn. I love the rider, but the 12 hole is the only factor that keeps him off the top end of my ticket.
#11 Stealcase (10-1) – Rajiv Maragh for Mark Casse, and they are hoping for a salty pace as this guy does his best running late in the lane.