The weather in New York has turned ugly, and they scrapped the card on Friday to get the track in shape for Saturday. But in California you just don’t get too many days like this. This weekend offers up some of the best racing I have ever seen, and if you are graded stakes fan, this is better than a puppy at Christmas.
Race #6 – The 1st Running of the G-1 Chandelier – 1 1/16 – 3:36 p.m. PT
#7 – Executiveprivlege (6-5) = Rafael Bejarano up for Bob Baffert. This is an ultra-talented filly by First Samurai, and she is undefeated 4/4. The only drawback is that they are all on synthetic surfaces. She has done very little wrong, and I would have to see at least 6-5 on her to call it a fair test going to the dirt. I am going to use her with: #3 – Switch to the Lead (12-1) with Victor Espinoza between the ears. Blinkers off, and faced the boys last out in the Del Mar Futurity.
Race #7 – The 1st Running of the G-1 Frontrunner – 1 1/16 – 4:07 p.m. PT
#7 – Know More (3-1) = Garrett Gomez up for Doug O’Neill. Beaten favorite last out in the Del Mar Futurity, and was four-wide rolling late. Gomez is a strong finisher, and O’Neill has just come back from his 40-day vacation. Look for good things to come his way.
Race #8 – The 1st running of the G-1 Zenyatta – 1 1/16 – 4:38 p.m. PT
#6 – Include Me Out (5-2) = Joe Talamo aboard for the talented Ron Ellis. 4/5 at Santa Anita ITM, and 3/3 with wins at the distance. She owns a bullet work on the turf, and Talamo fits her like a glove.
Race #9 – The 1st Running of the G-1 Rodeo Drive – 1 1/4 on the turf – 5:08 p.m. PT
#11 – Marketing Mix (5-2) = Garrett Gomez up for Thom Proctor. Proctor is a “mad genius” with turf runners, and is 2/2 ITM going this route of distance. Swung 5-wide at the 1/8th pole at Arlington in the Beverly D, and switches from his regular rider of Leparoux to Gomez. I like the rider switch, and “Go-Go” knows the oval much better. You gotta’ like her chances.
Race #10 – the 1st running of the G-1 Awesome Again – 1 1/8 – 5:38 p.m. PT
Game on Dude will be the overwhelming favorite, and switches from Chantal to Bejarano. You have to like his chances, but I am going to try and beat him with a better price. – #7 – Richard’s Kid (9-2) = Gomez up for Doug O’Neill again. Two back he was shipped from Baffert’s barn, and he really didn’t like that at all. Baffert felt he has plenty of action, and today he may turn the tables. 2/3 ITM at Santa Anita, and 5/7 ITM going this distance. Bobbled at the start last out, and shortens up from 1 1/4 to 1 1/8. Gomez is on track to beat the speedy “Dude” if he gets an honest pace. As a saver I will box the two runners, but my win money is on Richard’s Kid.
There are plenty of “win and your in” chances, and you can bet your sox that everyone will be bringing their “A” game. I would download my E-Z Win Forms ASAP to get all of the value you can find. The tier levels find prices galore, and you don’t want to leave any money on the table for this marquee day. Make Winning Ponies your one-stop-shop for your handicapping needs, and as always. “May your winners be many, and your photos be few.”