First post is 12:55 pm EDT and it’s going to be hot.
More turf, more stakes, more fun. One of the challenges of handicapping much of the year is the dominance of short fields. Mick has wrote much on this topic but now the narrative has changed. With turf now in play at most tracks (Parx is yet to get there…) this week, it’s now time to focus on handicapping big fields on the weeds. That will require three important parameters to be analyzed, pedigree, proclivity, and preparation. The pedigree analysis will change as the turf strips dry out and become firmer as will the proclivity since some turf horses like cut and others do not. It’s preparation that really matters. Some trainers are good at bringing turf runners off layoffs (Graham Motion and Chad Brown) while others tend to race their runners into shape (Rodney Jenkins and virtually every claiming oriented stable). So look for the overlay playing into the strengths of the pedigree, proclivity and preparation.
Picks for May 27, 2019:
It’s Memorial Day weekend so temperatures in the 90s should be expected. Expect them.
Belmont Race 7 Critical Eye Stakes
This field is very well matched with 8 mares in with a chance. 4-Kathryn the Wise is a very lightly raced 6-year-old in the care of Chad Brown. He is one that gets the best out of his charges and she looks to win a race she won two years ago. 6-Frostie Annie, on the other hand, has won more races than the 4 has run. She returns to a fast track today and gets jockey Ricardo Santana Jr in the irons. 7-Bonita Bianca ran behind the 6 last out and then went on the shelf. She comes back here for trainer Jason Servis who wins at 35% with horses coming off 90+ days away.
$10 W/P/S 6-Frostie Annie
$2 Exacta Box 4,6
$1 Trifecta Box 4,6,7
Monmouth Race 10 Hysterical Lady Stakes
This is a two filly race. 2-Miss Imperial and 4-Royal Charlotte stand out above the rest. The 4 comes from that man, Chad Brown, and has won both of her races. The 2 has not missed the board since her maiden voyage but seems to struggle to seal the deal. 5-Swap Meet should fill the trifecta but no more.
$10 W/P/S 4-Royal Charlotte
$2 Exacta box 2,4
$1 Trifecta box 2,4,5
Parx Race 5
1-Helotes needs to find her form from 2 back and this will be an easy voyage. Lots of excuses last time and same pilot here so the proceedings should go more smoothly. 2-Congeree Rose needs to show that she will run for a different jockey after running a cracker last out and now getting a bug boy. She is an inconsistent sort but it is about time she puts two good efforts together. 8-Discreet Cathy returns to Lasix for this one after two races without. Strange to see a horse on and off and then back on Lasix in a short period. If whatever is the issue has been worked out, this one should contend.
$10 W/P/S 1-Helotes
$2 Exacta box 1,8
$1 Trifecta box 1,2,8
Pimlico Race 8
Mick wrote on trainers and their strengths and weaknesses with turf horses. Strength with first time starters is similar. This race is a sharp contrast between two styles. 3-Top Mandate gets his first start here. Trainer Alexandra White wins at 13% with firsters (small sample set) and is 20% with debut maiden claimers. 4-Bold Trek goes the first time for trainer Hamilton Smith who wins at 12% with firsters. So why is 4-Bold Trek at 3/1 on the M/L and 3-Top Mandate is 15/1? Perceived success with first time starters? Don’t be fooled by reputations….follow the numbers. Oh, and Alexandra White specializes in turf horses.
$10 W/P/S 3-Top Mandate
Delaware Race 2
Trainer Art Stauffer has been around for a while and now focuses on Delaware Park. As a result, both halves of his entry are well positioned for success here. 1-Absenceispresence has been away for almost two years but 1A-Beachtreasuregirl is a firster and Stauffer wins at 29% with firsters. Obviously, he needs more firsters. 7-Blue Eyed Crystal and 9-Madame Yucca are both dropping for top trainers so look for them to figure in.
$10 W/P/S 1/1A-Entry
$2 Exacta box 1,9
$1 Trifecta box 1,7,9
Belmont Race 4 Bouwerie Stakes- 2-Newly Minted has done nothing wrong in her first two starts and takes the next logical step here. Trainer Linda Rice wins with these kind.
Belmont Park 5 Mount Vernon Stakes- It’s all about the Chad. 1-Fifty Five will be the favorite but she is not far ahead of 7-Lovely La La on paper. The Chad Brown Exacta.
Belmont Park 8 Kingston Stakes – All Chad, all the time. 3-Offering Plan stands above these and looks to repeat in this race. Needs pace to run at but should get it.
Belmont Park 9 Mike Lee Stakes – 10-Stone Breaker sits the trip and pounces on 4-Funny Guy and 6-Blindwillie McTell late. It’s all about post position here.
Belmont Park 10 Commentator Stakes – 7-Pat On The Back proved last time that distance and track condition don’t matter. This one was not up to G1 company 2 back but should be with graded company again, soon.