Race 3: Maiden special weight at seven furlongs on the turf for two-year-olds
Qeyaas (#1) has a pedigree that is likely unfamiliar to most North American handicappers, but one that is certainly worth investigating. His sire, Haafhd, was an excellent turf horse in Great Britain winning the 2000 Guineas and the Champion Stakes during his three-year-old season. His dam, Shawahid, was unraced, but is a half-sister to Ghanaati, winner of the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes. Taking a broader view of Qeyaas’s pedigree, one notices that he is inbred 4×3 to the great broodmare Height of Fashion, who was bred and campaigned by the Queen of England. Height of Fashion was a champion 2-year-old filly in England and a stakes winner at three, but really gained notoriety after her retirement for her progeny. She was the dam of one of the all-time great three-year-olds Nashwan, winner of the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, as well as $3.5 million earner Nayef, who took down such prestigious races as the Champion Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and Dubai Sheema Classic. Qeyaas has by far the best turf pedigree in the field and appears to have been outworking his stablemate Elmutahid (#1A) in the morning. The price may not be large, but this is the type of first time starter I like to bet.
$10 Win 1
Race 4: Claiming $14,000 at six furlongs
There are horses in this race with faster speed figures, but I can’t ignore “Horse to Watch” Sasta Go Lucky (#6) because of the possibility of an overlay. Two races back, she was completely left at the gate yet still made a gallant late run to get within two lengths of the winner in a race where she was the only horse to make any sort of move. She came back at a slightly higher level going seven furlongs and again made a nice late run in a race where speed held together despite a quicker pace. This horse is capable of running a Beyer in the 60s just about every time and her best race gives her a shot at this. I don’t completely trust likely favorites Santorini Moon, who is inconsistent, and Pelago, who was just awful last time. Perfect Embrace (#2) scares me a bit cutting back in distance so I will use her in the exacta with our Horse to Watch.
$10 Win 6
$2 Exacta Box 2-6
Race 6: Claiming $15,000 N2L at five and one half furlongs
This is not a good field and “Horse to Watch” African Jazz (#6) is not that good of a racehorse, but anyone handicapping this race needs to see her last race before evaluating her chances. It’s rare that a horse finishes fifth beaten almost 10 lengths and you can legitimately say she should have won, but that may be just the case here. She was steadied repeatedly for almost a quarter mile and went from sitting in the perfect spot just off the lead to being shuffled back to last through no fault of her own. She gets a huge jockey switch to David Cohen today and her best rates puts her in the winner’s circle. I would love to get anything near her 12-1 morning line.
$10 Win 6
$5 Place 6