For me it is that short time of the year where there really isn’t one or two meets, I am 100% focused on. I find myself perusing the cards and looking for plays and opportunities.
At Aqueduct in the Alex M Robb (Race 8) I thought Somelikeithotbrown was a good option. He has learned to stalk and sit and finish and he seems to handle the dirt, especially when it is wet just fine. I think he can sit the right trip in here and he has the class to handle this kind when at his best. The price should be fair, and I think he will show up with a good effort.
In the New York Stallion Series for the boys Vacation Dance would likely boss these around on turf. This race is on dirt however and he still might just be better and faster than these. He certainly works like he will handle the dirt and he is drawn on the outside, so he won’t have a lot of kickback to deal with. That said I can make a case for Ramblin’ Wreck. This is another who has been running on grass and after a poor debut on the dirt at Saratoga that made sense. He is bred for dirt however by a fast and underrated sire and he now has experience and some bottom to him. Manny Franco has stuck with him and knows him well. I think he takes a step forward and makes his share of noise in here and has a chance at the upset.
We don’t see a lot of two mile turf races but there is one on the card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The H Allen Jerkens might wind up run on the synthetic but it will still be a marathon. Whether they run this on the grass or the Tapeta Another Mystery for the always dangerous Team Block should be running at the end. I can’t say that about everyone in this race. Irad up helps the cause and I think he is the one they have to beat on either surface. Sole Volante looked like a nice racehorse way back when and seems to have soured. If the distance or possibly the Tapeta wakes him up, or the lightbulb happens to go off he can improve and get into this. I think he can go this far when on his game.
In The Tinsel at Oaklawn Last Samurai likes the track and is in good form. He has the rail and has been chasing a bit better than these without embarrassing himself. His best race puts him right in this and he is dangerous in this spot.
While I usually limit my focus to a meet or maybe two, this is a different time of year, and we must be adaptable in this game. Enjoy the races!