First post is Parx at 12:55 pm EDT
2-year-old sales are half done now following the completion of the OBS Spring sale this week in Ocala. For the horseplayer, this means that the racing of 2-year-olds should become more regular and less of the event that Keenland creates around it. Both Aqueduct and Laurel had recent juvenile races and there are more on the horizon. These races present some of the best betting opportunities since NONE of the horses have experience and it is all about pedigree, connections and works. Therefore, getting out and seeing morning works can be the key to finding the hidden gems OR finding a clocker that you can have great confidence in. Following numerous issues over many years, morning works are more accurately reported than ever before but the quality is often in the movement and effort and not the resulting time. Serious horseplayers have breakfast at the rail with a stopwatch in their hand.
Picks for April 27, 2019:
Windy and more windy which should dry the tracks but may not help the turf courses. Expect turf to be on but the courses to have considerable cut. When are U.S. tracks going to adopt the GoingStick?
Belmont Race 2
Long, turf maidens at this time of year tend to be populated with runners that were terrible on the dirt over the winter and this race is no exception. Therefore, it becomes similar to a 2-year-old race where connections and pedigrees come to the forefront. 2-Sounds Good is a stand out on both fronts. Very solid turf pedigree and top notch trainer in Linda Rice. April start on turf was promising and the added distance seems in order. Now for everyone else . . . It is hard to see who will improve the most on the grass but the Michelle Nevin pair are well suited to the surface and distance by breeding. 9-Dove Shoot is a 5-year-old making his 3rd career start so there are issues but the works are solid. 3-Semper Paratus returns to his best surface and the added age should help. His sibling is a turf winner. 4-Simbasalltrouble gets added to the mix since the Rudy Rodriguez-Manny Franco pairing wins at 27% and this pedigree is screaming for the weeds.
$10 W/P/S 2-Sounds Good
$2 Exacta Box 2,9
$1 Trifecta Box 2,4,9
$0.10 Superfecta 2,3,4,9
Belmont Race 9 Elusive Quality Stakes
The 7 furlong distance on the turf is a hard one to get a good feel for since it is not run very often. As a result the question becomes whether you want sprinters stretching or routers cutting back. More importantly is finding a horse that likes a little cut in the ground (think Euro…). 3-Emmaus fits this profile to a T and has won at the distance over heavy going in the UK. Today won’t be heavy but the turf will have cut. 4-Krampus seems to prefer the firmer going but is well placed here and Bill Mott gets top turf jockey Jose Lezcano to ride. 6-Big Handsome gets greater ground for the first time in a while and gets very similar conditions to when he won a stake 2 years ago here.
$10 W/P/S 3-Emmaus
$2 Exacta box 1,4,6
$1 Trifecta Box 1,4,6
Laurel Race 1
This race is all about whether 10-Salt Pond can get the trip breaking from the outside. Trevor McCarthy was on this one when she broke her maiden at this track and distance and the turf had cut that day, too. The efforts in Florida were OK but connections are looking for a repeat of the maiden breaker here. 6-Feelin Foxie is back to her better surface but the works have been slow and she may need this race to move forward. 3-Shipmans Magic and 2-Redeeming Love both come from the barn of Hugh McMahon and look to be very well placed here. Both have positives and negatives but mostly the indicators are up.
$10 W/P/S 10-Salt Pond
$2 Exacta 10/2,3,6
$1 Trifecta 10/2,3,6/2,3,6
$0.10 Superfecta box 2,3,6,10
Laurel Race 5
2-Sir Brahms returns to his favored surface after some mediocre attempts on dirt. In retrospect, those look like primers for this race and the return of jockey Danny Centeno looks hopeful. 5-Yellow Wolf gets back to an appropriate level in his first start for trainer Jamie Ness.
$10 W/P/S 2-Sir Brahms
$2 Exacta 2/5
Parx Race 7 Lyman Handicap
10-Call Paul is the class of this group but there are several other contenders in here that deserve consideration since the favorite will get bet down. Both halves of the Ed Coletti entry are capable but the older brother, 1-Midtowncharlybrown, has kept better company while the younger, 1A-Midnightcharly, may be more progressive. 2-Thiscatcanjump is taking a big step up but Scott Lake has shown that he can win races over 6000 times at this point. 3-Cowboy Mz belongs in the discussion, especially if speed is holding since he should be on the lead. Finishing races at today’s distance has not been his strength but sticking around for a piece is likely.
$10 W/P/S 1/1A-Entry
$2 Exacta Box 1,10
$1 Trifecta Box 1,2,3,10
$0.10 Superfecta Box 1,2,3,10
Parx Race 8 Foxy JG Stakes
This is a wide open race that may not have a post time favorite below 4/1. M/L favorite 5-Bronx Beauty is back from winter in Florida where she missed the Board in three consecutive Graded races by a nose, neck and length+. Obviously she has been running with better than these and she won on this strip with this pilot last August. 6-Phantom Proton is arriving from California for this race so her connection are justifying the Frequent Flyer miles and she deserves consideration. 8-Trolley Ride is taking a huge step up and has not shown well at this level previously but trainer Bernie Houghton looks to have really improved her over the winter layoff. 9-Zipper’s Hero and 10-Smokinpaddylassie both come from the Ed Coletti barn. He has a chance to have a huge day as these are as well intentioned as his two in the Lyman.
$10 W/P/S 10-Smokinpaddylassie
$2 Exacta Box 5,6,10
$1 Trifecta Box 5,6,10
$0.10 Superfecta Box 5,6,8,9,10
Mick’s Quick Picks
Belmont Race 8: 4-Value Proposition makes his first start, on turf, at Belmont, for Chad Brown. That should be enough but the pedigree would scream weeds even without the connections.
Laurel Race 7: 3-Tale of E Dubai is on a really good form cycle and seems to run well everywhere he goes. Today should be no different.
Parx Race 6: 3-Bud Fox looks to take off like Bluestar Airlines after his return to the Kate Demasi barn.