If we were having an adult beverage, the bartender would be calling “last call.” The same can be said for Thoroughbred racing, where only a handful of preps still wait until the runners meet at the Derby starting gate. So, time is clicking away and you better catch all of the action you can to be prepared for the big dance on the first Saturday in May!
Aqueduct – Saturday
Race #8 – Bay Shore Stakes (G3) – 7f – 4:38 p.m. ET
#7 Maan (12-1) – J.J Castellano has the call for trainer Eddie Kenneally. Gave up badly facing Hansen in the Gotham, and looks to rebound today. Switches to the outer track at the “Big A,” and if you look at the PP’s three races back, you will see a fast closing 6f effort. Cuts back from 1 1/16 – 7f, and if you get anywhere near this price, get all you can!
Race #9 – The Wood Memorial (G1) – 1 1/8 miles – 5:15 p.m. ET
#6 Gemologist (8-5) – Castellano has the mount for Todd Pletcher. 2nd off for this runner who scores 28% on this move. 4/4 with wins, and been working bullets at Palm Meadows. This may be the best three-year-old in training. Add in that he needs graded earnings, and you have a playable angle.
Use with: #1 Alpha (5-2), #5 Street Life (4-1), and #7 Tiger Walk (15-1).
Keeneland – Saturday
8th Race – The Ashland Stakes (G1) – 1 1/16 miles – 4:45 p.m. ET
#7 Stephanie’s Kitten (8-5) – Julien Leproux in the saddle for Wayne Catalano. 1/1 at Keeneland, and been off since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Turf victory. Two races back she scorched the track in Lexington. Makes the turf to poly move, and the barn of Catalano has done very well at Keeneland.
Santa Anita – Saturday
Race #6 – The Santa Anita Derby (G1) – 1 1/8 miles – 5:41 p.m. ET
#1 Creative Cause (6-5) – Joel Rosario in the irons for Mike Harrington, and this may be one of the best three-year-olds in training. 7/7 ITM lifetime, and exits the red-hot Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where all runners have come back and done very well. 3rd off the layoff, and goes “blinkers off.” Ran very green last out, and looks to be figuring the game out in a hurry. Draws the rail, and the connections are to be taken seriously as this runner needs the graded earnings.
#4 I’ll Have Another (5-2) – Mario Gutierrez in the saddle for Doug O’Neill. Go back and take a look at his last race, and he hit another gear at a price to draw away in the Robert B. Lewis. I think he has promise, and the rider is stoked to be a part of the team.
#6 Paynter (12-1) – Martin Garcia up for Bob Baffert. 1/1 at Santa Anita, and that was his maiden win. It was very impressive, and Baffert gives him the “acid test” today to see what they have in the barn.
This should be great weekend. Remember to check your weather report on the WinningPonies site, and get your hands on your E-Z Win Forms to prepare early. Best of luck, and may your winners be many and your photos be few!