Race 6: Claiming $25,000B at six and one half furlongs
I’m betting on two important trainer changes in this race. One horse, Devoted Wildcat (#13) had previously been with a decent trainer in Bob Hess and is now moving to a slightly better trainer in Gary Gullo. Meanwhile, Rex’s Last Tour (#4) is moving from a trainer with a dismal record, Barry Rose, to a trainer, Jeremiah Englehart, who wins at 34% with new acquisitions. The main difference here is that Devoted Wildcat has races in his past performances to get back to that will win this race while Rex’s Last Tour does not. Rex’s Last Tour is taking a drop in class, however, so perhaps that will help move him forward as well. I’ll be using both of them on the win end and in multi-race wagers.
$6 Win 13
$6 Win 4
Race 8: The Bernard Baruch Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
Data Link is the probable favorite here, but I’m going to try to beat him with two horses that I believe may be just as good and have dynamics in their favor. Dominus (#4) is obviously going to be very dangerous in here. Any quick glance into his pedigree will reveal that he is bred to be better on turf. His dam was a turf stakes winner and all of her foals except Dominus (who has yet to run on grass) have shown a preference for the turf. But what makes him a likely winner in here is that he is the lone speed. No one else in this race even really prefers to stalk so Dominus should be walking on the front end. If Todd Pletcher has him set to relax early and he is able to use some of his sprint speed during the stretch run, he could prove impossible to run down. However, the one horse may be in a position to make a bid is Sky Blazer (#6). This horse is much better than he appears on paper having received far too many bad trips in his short career. i believe he is truly as good as the performance he put down two back when he ran today’s distance in a sharp 1:39 3/5 seconds and took apart a decent field of allowance horses. He should be placed second early and may get first run on Dominus. I’m hoping those two can get to the wire together and hold off likely favorite Data Link.
$5 Exacta Box 4-6
Race 9: The Forego Stakes (G1) at seven furlongs
I felt a bit better about this pick before Shackleford came out, but I HAVE TO take Jackson Bend (#4) in this spot. I firmly believe that he is the best horse in the race and just looks like he has gone off form because of bad trips in each of his last two races. In the Met Mile he was inexplicably sent up to press Shackleford early and predictably faded through the stretch. Then last time, he was five lengths behind a ridiculously slow pace set by today’s rival Pacific Ocean. Today, Emcee is sure to put more pressure on that foe early and I expect for there to at least be an honest pace. Jackson Bend doesn’t need a meltdown, but he does need some separation in front of him to make his patented middle move. He could be as high as 7-2 in here and I think he is the most likely winner. I’ll be rooting for him with my money as well as with my heart, especially after the scary training accident that nearly ended his career a few weeks ago. I’m sure you’ll see some tears from Nick Zito if he’s able to pull this one off.
BEST BET OF THE DAY: $20 WIN 4 (Jackson Bend)