Kitten's Joy Stakes – Race 7 at Gulfstream Park– Post 3:05 PM Eastern Time Speed Franco is well named as he crushed an 11 horse field last month in the identical Pulpit Stakes over the course at a mile. This 7 1/2 furlong trip is about the same and he's two-for-two (both wins at a mile on turf) and still improving. His debut win came from off the pace and he nearly went wire-to-wire last out. Jaramillo rides back and the 6 to 1 starting odds make him a KEY bet. Pony Up is a second horse we will have to bet to win if he goes to post anywhere near his out-of-line 10/1 starting odds. He was clearly 2nd to Speed Franco in the Pulpit Stakes last month, 2 1/2 lengths clear of the third horse, and he won his only other start on grass before that, rather easily…
Via Borghese Stakes – Race 10 at Gulfstream Park– Post 4:37 PM Eastern Time Martini Glass has done little wrong this year, winning four of nine races and finishing second in another four. Two of the second place finishes came in grade 1 stakes on dirt behind Songbird and behind Romantic Vision and when moved back to grass four weeks ago she got up by a nose over the course to win the Claiming Crown Tiara Stakes under Paco Lopez, who rides back. Normally we could expect a horse like this to be the heavy favorite but in a 12 horse field Martini Glass opens at 6 to 1 odds and particularly as she worked very sharply on 12/22 coming into the race and gets a great inside post, she's the one to beat and a great bet to kick off a series of good betting races. Beauly has finished…
Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes – Race 6 at Santa Anita– Post 5:40 PM Eastern Time (2:40 PT) Kroy gets the rail for this mile trip, as well as Javier Castellano, for a relatively unknown trainer in California but one who is well known all over the east coast, with 50 wins in 250 races this year. Kroy won three in a row in July, August and September, before a 3/4 length defeat last month, the last 3 starts all in stakes and with 3 of the four earning him 106, 107 and 109 Equibase figures which are stakes quality, ALL coming since Blinkers were added. Kroy can run on the lead or from off the pace and with this top jock in the saddle is likely to be in the thick of the action from start to finish. Harbour Master is ready for these as 2 of his last 3…
Rampart Stakes – Race 5 at Gulfstream Park – Post time 2:05 PM Eastern Time This race is a very good betting race by virtue of the fact the second and third morning line choices are suspect in my opinion. Lewis Bay, who opens at 7 to 2, comes back from a year on the bench and no matter how good Chad Brown is overall, his stats are not that great with this type of comeback (2 for 10 in dirt routes off six months or more over the past year). The filly is a stakes winner but she would need to be in tip-top shape off a year on the bench to compete here and I don't think she is. Nonna Mela, who opens at 5 to 2, failed to fire even the least bit when last seen in October at Keeneland and earned her most recent win in…
Don't forget to check the very bottom of this blog for a "BONUS" race, with a big longshot, that has a post time of 2:26 PM Eastern Time Willa on the Move Stakes – Race 6 at Laurel – Post time 3:00 PM Eastern Time It is rumored Absatootly is going to pass this race to run in a stakes in New York so I am not including her as a contender. If that is not the case and Absatootly runs in this race, she would be my top pick. However, as it is Ms Locust Point appears very tough to beat. Except for her debut, in which she finished 2nd, and when overmatched when 5th in the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes, Ms Locust Point has urn big, winning by an average of four lengths. She gets a great outside post to stalk the pace and if no other…
Go For Wand Stakes – Race 6 at Aqueduct – Post time 2:06 PM Eastern Time Verve's Tale ran the best race of her career to date last time out (with a field high last race 109 Equibase figure) when leading late and ending up a head short of winning the similar Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Stakes at Belmont. Even though that was a one turn route like this, the cut back in distance a 16th of a mile really helps as she led in that race at the point this one-turn mile race ends and she was 4 1/2 lengths clear of the next horse. Verve's Tale is a winner at the level over the track, having won the Comely Stakes about this time last year and she should get a great trip off the hot pace likely to be set by Lucy N Ethel. Jamyson 'n Ginger…
Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:20 PM Eastern Time High percentage trainer Jason Servis saddles a pair of very tough runners in Rainbow Heir and Summation Time, opening at 10/1 and 12/1, respectfully, and I'll play them as if they were a coupled entry and bet them both. Rainbow Heir is 12 for 29 in his career but has run on turf just eight times. Seven of those came since Servis took over his training in July of last year. Since then, Rainbow Heir has won five of 10 races, missing by inches in three others. He comes back off a short layoff and won a stakes on turf like this one the last time he took a bit of time off. It's a BIG sign Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes the call because Ortiz rode the horse just one before, when he was…
Gio Ponti Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:20 PM Eastern Time On the heels of a nice profit last week on the turf at Aqueduct on this blog with Fire Away winning and Monster Bea finishing second, this stakes caught my attention because Fuel the Bern opens at 12/1. Racing for the tough Clement stable to start his career, he finished fast while green from 10th to 3rd in his career debut in October 2016, on the turf, then ran on dirt in November and went on the bench. Returning in September, Fuel the Bern ran poorly on dirt when nearly not finishing so was dropped into a 40K maiden claimer on turf. He won that race with authority by three and one-half lengths in a field of 11 and was immediately snatched up by solid trainer Gargan, perhaps with this turf stakes restricted to just…
Artie Schiller Stakes – Race 8 at Aqueduct – Post time 3:47 PM Eastern Time Monster Bea ran big last time out on 10/13 at Belmont, better than his 4th place finish makes it appear. He had to wait for room at a critical stage and when clear was closing fast but it was too late. His race before that was a graded stakes in California at a distance (1 3/8 miles) way too far but he’s running at a mile for the 2nd time in a row and three before last at Belmont he missed by a neck in an allowance race with a stakes quality 109 Equibase figure he bettered last out to 112. Last summer, Monster Bea posted the 12/1 upset in the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar and I think he’s sitting on the same kind of effort here. Fire Away finished in front of Monster…
Smart Halo Stakes – Race 5 at Laurel – Post time 2 PM Eastern Time We start a sequence of some very good betting races with a sprint for 2 year old fillies. The win contenders are Jehozacat, Pacific Gale and Take Charge Paula and we'll be playing doubles and pick 3 tickets using all three. Jehozacat cuts back from 7 furlongs to 6 furlongs after leading at the 6 furlong mark then settling for 2nd at the longer trip last month. That race is already a KEY RACE as the winner won back when victorious in a stakes and the 6th place finisher came back to win as well so if this filly can run the same race to 6 furlongs as she did to the six furlong mark last month she can win. Pacific Gale won the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth at this trip in September then was…