The Pennine Ridge Stakes - Can Lightning Strike Twice

Last week I wrote about betting a horse off a bad race and how it can be a profitable angle. It worked out well as Get Smokin went gate to wire at 4-1 off a 19-length loss. It was a good day.

When I looked at the races this weekend, the same scenario popped up again. The Pennine Ridge is the feature at Belmont on Saturday, and I like a horse that finished up the track last out. Sure, it was in the Kentucky Derby but up the track is up the track. The Derby is often a throwout race with all the troubled trips, but this horse also breaks another rule I do not subscribe to. They, whoever they are, say don’t bet a horse to do something they have not done before. I say nonsense, and I look to bet on just that, especially at the right price.

Sainthood didn’t run well in the Derby. Neither did Holy Bull or Point Given. It means nothing to me. His race prior in the Jeff Ruby on synthetic was one of the strangest races I have seen in a while. I suggest watching the replay and focusing on him the entire way.

Sainthood tries grass for the first time. His sire won on it, there is grass on the dam side, and I think he will take to it like a duck to water.

Pletcher goes to Joel Rosario, another positive in my book. He can sit, press, take back or go, so Joel will have options, and I am comfortable with any of them.

The main competition might be Public Sector, who goes second off the bench for Chad Brown. With a likely forward move, he is right in this, but I’ll take him to close the exacta and beat the likely favorite Hard Love.

The 4-1 morning line on Sainthood looks about right, and I think it is fair. Synthetic horses often like turf, and he has two nice breezes on the lawn, so I say all systems go.

If you are not afraid to back a horse off a bad race a la Get Smokin, it can be rewarding. If you go against the masses, you can have an edge and find value.

Santa Anita has been difficult enough with their new whip rules. I am of the opinion it has affected the outcome of several races, and not just for the win, but place and show also. I imagine Monmouth might be worse. I generally avoid Monmouth anyway, but to those who play it, I suggest watching some races and see how things are playing out before doing any cannonballs into the water.

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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