With no real football until next week, there should be no excuse to buckle down and really get capping. Most of the country has snow, ice, and rain. But if the weatherman is correct, it should be a solid day in Hallandale, Florida as we kickoff the road to the Derby. So, grab your E-Z Win Forms, and settle in for study. The game is getting ready to start!
Race #1 – Optional Claimers – 6f – 12:45 p.m. ET
#4 – Bidham (8-1) = Javier Castellano in the irons for Kirk Ziadie. He has been off since July, and working in the mornings at Calder. Ziadie wins 30% with layoffs, and this runner was claimed last out, and they score 45% in the new barn. Castellano is a plus, and the bullet work gives me confidence.
Race #4 – Optional Claiming $62,500 – 1 1/16 – 2:09 p.m. ET
#4 - Golden Ticket (5-2) – David Cohen up for Ken McPeek, and they haven’t raced in more than two months. But, have no fear as they fire fresh off the shelf. Makes the turf – dirt run, and he is 1/1 over the GP oval. Drops in from G-1 company, and the bullet work polishes his resume. This colt broke his mdn going 1 1/16 at GP…
Race #5 – Optional Claiming $75,000 – 1 1/8 – 2:37 p.m. ET
If there was ever a three horse exacta box, it might be right here with runners who have been keeping good company:
#3 – Orb (5-2) – Joel Rosario for Shug McGaughey, and they have been knocking head with the likes of Vyjack, Violence, and Clawback.
#5 – Indy’s Illusion (6-1) – Luis Saez for Barclay Tagg, and they are rolling in off a dull effort in the G-2 Remsen. But, if you go back two races. They beat Frac Daddy who is running in the Holy Bull.
#7 – Mountain Eagle (3-1) – Jose Lezcano in the saddle for Nick Zito. This gelding exits a smashing mdn win at GP, and the lightly raced son of Birdstone should be tough.
Race #7 – Optional Claiming $75,000 – 1 1/8 on the turf – 3:35 p.m. ET
#6 – Bold Dance- (5-2) – Joel Rosario in the saddle for Bill Mott. Rosario caught my eye with his mdn win at Gulfstream. Very strong closer, and the added distance should help his causes.
Race #8 – The G-2 Forward Gal – 7f – 4:05 p.m. ET **** Begins The Pick-Four ****
#4 – Spring Venture (8-1) – Patrick Husbands for Mark Casse, and they have two bullet works in the morning at Palm Meadows. Exits a bad effort in the G-1 BC Juvenile Turf, and has run on turf, poly, and now dirt. Drops in from facing solid runners, and may be a surprise down the lane.
#6 – Kauai Katie (4-5) – She should be a single, but it is good to protect yourself in the opening leg. Johnny V for Pletcher, and she can be fast when called upon. Solid win in the G-3 Old Hat, and been working regular in the morning.
Race #9 – Mdn – 1 1/8 on the turf – 4:35 p.m. ET
#3 – Cowdray Park (4-1) – Husbands and Casse hook-up here, and they have travelled the distance.
#8 – Overwhelming (10-1) – Javier Castellano for Shug McGaughey, and get first lasix today. I am looking for speed, and Castellano knows his way to the winner’s circle.
#9 – Timeless Indy (8-1) – Joel Rosario and Bill Mott go to post with a son of A.P. Indy. His dam has 3 turf winners from 4 starters.
Race #10 – The G-3 Holy Bull Stakes – 1 1/16 – 5:05 p.m. ET
#1 – Shanghai Bobby (4-5) – Rosie Napravnik for Todd Pletcher. Undefeated son of Harlan’s Holiday, and his last race was a hold-on-tight victory in the BC Juvenile. I think they are ready to fire, but if they need one there may some solid value to be had.
#6 – Dewey Square (12-1) – Corey Lanerie for Dale Romans. This son of Bernardini was coming 4- wide in the G-2 Ky Jockey Club at CD, and he owns a bullet work to show promise.
Race #11 – Mdn Claimers – 1 mile on the turf – 5:35 p.m. ET
All – 12 runners
Ticket cost = 2 X 3 X 2 X 12 = $72 for a 50-cent version