Race 3: Allowance N1X at 5 1/2 furlongs
The connections of Carried Interest (#5) have experimented with rating him in behind horses in each of his last two starts and the results have been mixed. Today he should receive a much more straightforward trip stalking just outside of the two clear speeds, Abra and Seeker. I believe that Carried Interest is simply the best horse in this race and as long as jockey Jose Ortiz doesn’t get in his way, he should win.
$20 Win 5 (WINNER; Payout: $49.00)
Race 7: Claiming $20,000 at six furlongs
I’ve been waiting to bet back ‘Horse to Watch’ Litigate (#1) since his two against-the-bias trips at Belmont during the fall, but I must admit that I’m not thrilled to see him show up with a $20,000 tag attached today. Nevertheless, considering that he only ran about 10 points off his best figures in each of those last two starts I’m tempted to say that he’s actually in good form and a quirky Belmont surface may have fooled his connections into dropping him down. There appears to be pace in this race and Litigate should be able to parlay a ground saving trip to a victory.
While I think Litigate is much the horse to beat, the drop in class does bother me a bit and I want to mention another interesting closer in this race, Buckeye Heart (#9), who should go off at a much larger price than my top selection. While it’s a small sample, trainer John Terranova is 3-for-4 over the past five years first time off the claim. More importantly, this is very positive trainer change for a horse who had been bounced around between primarily low percentage barns during 2013. Terranova also does well bringing horses back off short layoffs and I think there are enough things working in Buckeye Heart’s favor today to throw him into the mix at a price.
$15 Win 1 (WINNER; Payout: $60.00)
$10 Win 9
Race 8: The Judy Soda Stakes at one mile for NY-bred fillies and mares
Mischief Maker (#7) is clearly the horse to beat based on her inner track form, but I can’t help shake the feeling that while she won her last race, she didn’t quite recapture that same level of performance she displayed last winter over this surface. She is the most likely winner of this race, but at a very short price I can’t endorse betting her to win.
I’ve landed on my old friend ‘Horse to Watch’ Dreaming of Cara (#1), who admittedly is more of a turf horse, but I do feel that she prefers two turns to one-turn racing so I’m not going to hold her last race against her. She actually ran very well in both the Saratoga Dew at Saratoga and the Princess Dixie at Belmont, when she finished just behind Mischief Maker by a nose and neck, respectively. There is a bit of pace in this race since Miss Da Point and especially stretch-out sprinter Carameaway figure to press the front-running Harbor Mist early. Mischief Maker, too, shouldn’t be far off what figure to be solid fractions so perhaps Dreaming of Cara can work out a trip from off the pace and use her stamina to close down Mischief Maker late. I’ll bet Dreaming of Cara to win and use her in the exacta with Mischief Maker.