Maiden America Saturday 12.11: Hooptie Handicapper picks Kentucky Derby trail runs at Gulfstream, Los Alamitos
The Derby Trail 2022
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There are only a few more weeks left before 2021’s two year olds are tucked away for the winter, only to emerge as three year olds, to make their run for the roses. So far names like Jack Christopher, Smile Happy, Rattle N Roll, Corniche, Major General, Mo Donegal, Pappacap, as well as more, have emerged. The truth is we will not know the maturation of each horse from this mid-December, until we see them pressed into action come early spring.
Let’s look at what’s on tap this weekend
Race 4 Gulfstream Park - $60K Maiden Special
2yo’s going six furlongs on dirt
Saffie Joseph returns the Unified/Closing Argument colt 6-Positive Review (7/5) who was sent off as the favorite in his bow and just missed by a neck. He has been on the bench since early October and returns today with four solid works under his belt. WinStar Farms $220K colt 8-Dean’s List (3/1) debuts for trainer Todd Pletcher, who is a solid 15% with debut horses this year. This Speightstown/Sharp Humor colt has a good work tab leading up to today. Speightstown is an excellent 23% sire in msw sprints with two year old males. There are two Cupid colts debuting today, 2-Silver Matt (8/1) and 3-Felix (8/1) with my more interested in running type going to Felix and 13% first time trainer Ralph Nicks. However, Silver Matt’s trainer, Rafael Ramos is 17% with debut horses and this colts works may not demonstrate its ability. Positive Review is going to be tough to beat today.
Race 7 Gulfstream Park - $60K Maiden Special
2yo’s going one mile on dirt
Pletcher debuts the More Than Ready/Hard Spun $350K colt 1-Emmanuel (5/2) who has worked well leading in, and Mark Casse has a Tapit/Medaglia d’Oro colt Tapthespeedofsound (6/1) going today. This colt is set for his bow, and it cost the connections $300K to have their broodmare Onepointhreecarats to be covered by Tapit to produce him. The dam, Onepointhreecarats, had a decent campaign when she was in training scoring a 16/6-5-1 record for $260 and she has two other foals, Tap It To Win (16/5-2-1 $423K) making Tapthespeedofsound him a full brother, and Souper Stonehenge (17/5-4-1 $345K) making him a half-brother. Neither won their debuts, yet they did post lofty Equibase scores and finished in the money. George Weaver has the Street Sense/Vindication colt 7-Once A Giant (10/1) coming out of the 7th spot and his dam, Golly Mis Molly has four other foals, and none have won their debut. Given his workouts, 5-Logico (5/1) will attempt nearing the wire first as bettors will look for him to return to first race form rather than his second/last race. I am going to bet 4-Practical Way (9/2) with sire Practical Jokes’ 25% second time starters. This colt debuted on Nov. 6 and ran a better than looked 4th place, getting a 67 Equibase number. Since his last race, he has posted fast works; a :59.2, :59.8, and a smokin’ :45.9 for four furlongs. He is itching to get back to battle.
Race 8 Los Alamitos - $52K Maiden Special
2yo’s going six furlongs on dirt
The $570K colt 1-Doppleganger (8/5) makes his bow today and saddling him will be the horse racing public’s most reviled trainer Bob Baffert. Bob gets his go to jockey with Flavien Prat, where they are a handsome 43% winning prop. Doppelganger is an Into Mischief colt who has worked well leading up. However, he has not done any six furlong works, which is routine Baffert with what he believes as prime stock. There looks to be four that can go with him today, 8-Big Creek (6/1) who has a solid work tab leading in, and a 14% sire in American Pharoah. His dam, Cayuga’s Waters, has a 22% win record with her first starting foals. 7-Syzslak (8/1) has several :12er works, and a sire with a 33% win record for races such as this. If you are of the belief that a horse can run poorly on grass in two races, then return to dirt where he ran three races, with the last two posting high speed numbers, then bet away at 6-Trebbiano (3/1). He has been benched since Oct. 1, gelded and has one of five decent works. Personally, he is not for me. 10-Memes (6/1) will try his luck on dirt today after two turf attempts. He was never close in his first two tries and the change of surface is detrimental based on pedigree.
I am going to take a shot with 7-Syzslak
Race 9 Los Alamitos – The $300K Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity
2yo’s going eight and a half furlongs on dirt
3-Messier (1/2) opens as a huge favorite for team Baffert/Prat and Baffert has stablemate 4-Barossa (5/1) going today. There is no way I would bet such low odds on Messier because the risk is not worth the reward and better yet, I think he does not win. Barossa has a shot to take him down and I am going to bet 2-Durante (9/2) who has gotten a longer distance before and is coming into this in great form, posting a recent :59 work.