RT's Thursday Belmont and Churchill Downs Picks, two 2yo MSW sprints with runners from Asmussen, Ward, Casse
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Belmont Park Race 1 - $90K Maiden Special
2yo fillies racing six furlongs on turf
Wesley Ward brings his 23% win rate with second starters, saddling 1A – Cowichan (1/1) who put up an 80 Equibase figure in her debut on May 20. A daughter of Kodiac, the eighth leading sire standing in Europe, she chased the leader until mid-stretch before giving way to Grand Oak, who shipped to Ascot and gave a dull effort in the Queen Mary Stakes. Cowichan gave an excellent effort and for a first time starter, she bent the turn excellently, a rarity among young 2yo’s. If she returns to that effort today, she should take this. Ward also is saddling a first time starter by Kodiac, 1-Lady Wildcat (1/1) and as with most of Wesley’s 2yo’s, he rarely pushes them in the morning, so her works are pedestrian, yet her bloodlines are excellent. It will be interesting to see if he scratches either of them and if he scratches Cowichan, I will fade Lady Wildcat. Depending on the odds and whether either of the entries scratches, I will play 7-Just A Care (9/2) in some capacity. George Arnold has been on fire with 2yo’s at Churchill this meet going 3/4 and this filly by Australia, the 31st leading sire standing in Europe. Australia is by stayer sire Galileo, so these six furlongs for a debut 2yo should be easy for her to handle.
Churchill Downs Race 5 - $120K Maiden Special
2yo’s going five furlongs
It appears Steve Asmussen’s chilliness may heat up a bit today as he attracted Tyler Gaffalione to 6-Roman Giant (2/1), who is trying for his fourth time. Last out, his first on dirt, he ran to his previous Equibase number of 86 and just missed at the wire by 3/4 length. Since I do not like the :50.8 work on June 20 after his last race, from this Carpe Diem colt, I am going to go with the hot first crop sire Bolt d’Oro, 8-Hard To Come By (5/1), who has been working well for Donnie Von Hemel. I will also use 20% 2yo trainer Mark Casse’s colt 7-Determinedly (6/1), who is by 25% Cairo Prince, out of the mare Bailzee, who is 50% with her first time foals. His last two works have come from the gate at four furlongs and are :48.5 & :47.6.