Race 4: Claiming $20,000N3L at six furlongs
There is quite a bit of speed signed on in this race, so I’ve gone looking for horses who can come from off the pace. BOS’N ALWYNE (#4) spent much of the winter facing tougher company before being dropped in class last time. Unfortunately, that was a race that featured a relatively slow pace and he wasn’t able to make a late impact. Today he faces what appears to be an even weaker bunch and the pace scenario should be much more favorable. I’ll also use DEMON’S DEPUTY (#1), who has admittedly been off form for a while now, but has also had a few excuses recently. He may just not care for any moisture in the track and in his only start on a fast track this year he was caught wide on a day when you needed to be on the rail. He will also get plenty of pace to run into and could wake up at a big price.
$15 Win 4
$10 Win 1 (WINNER; Payout: $127.00)
Race 6: Claiming $40,000N2L at one mile on the turf for fillies and mares
While Nickerdoodle and Dattts Da Boss are clearly the two horses to beat, I see this race as being slightly more wide open than that. Nickerdoodle ran her best races for Anthony Dutrow and was alarmingly dull last time first off the claim by Patricia Farro while Dattts Da Boss has not been in great form recently and her return to turf left something to be desired. If either of them return to their best efforts they’ll be formidable, but I’m not sure that we can expect that.
I’ll instead take a shot with a horse who I think has a chance at a big price. EUROKAY BY ME (#5) has spent the entire winter running on the wrong surface and finally gets back on the turf today. She had on occasion run well enough last year against New York-bred allowance company to suggest that she could be competitive in a spot like this. She’s well-placed today first off the claim by Edward Barker and also gets a jockey upgrade to excellent turf rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. She’s going to be a huge price and I’m not so sure that she really deserves to be based on her overall grass form.
$10 Win 5
Race 8: The Diablo Stakes at six furlongs
I thought I had signed the divorce papers with SATURDAY’S CHARM (#4) a long time ago, but I can’t deny that he finds himself in what could be the right spot today. He’s going to get plenty of pace to close into after never having any chance in behind that early crawl in the Carter Handicap. His best races are just as good as the recent efforts of fellow closer Sensational Slam (#5) and he soundly defeated that rival two back in the Tom Fool. I think they are the two horses you want here with all the speed drawn to the inside and the likelihood of a pace collapse. I prefer Saturday’s Charm on top, but will use both in the exacta.
$15 Win 4
$5 Exacta Box 4,5
Race 9: Maiden Special Weight at one mile on the turf for NY-bred fillies and mares
Horse to Watch NILE EMPRESS (#9) runs back here after getting into some serious trouble last time that went completely unnoticed by the chart callers. She was racing in last place exiting the backstretch and started to advance between horses as the field rounded the far turn. However, a look at the head-on replay of the far turn run reveals that her stablemate in that race, Piccolo Flats, veered sharply to the right and stopped Nile Empress in her tracks. Piccolo Flats then ducked in and impeded her coming to the top of the stretch, thus taking away her momentum and leaving her farther back than she would have been. Nile Empress did have some run as she was actually closing well late. This filly is bred to love more distance and today’s one mile should prove adequate. The turf is a minor question mark, but her sire Pioneerof the Nile has had some success with limited turf runners and her dam is a half-sister to Seruni, who placed in multiple graded stakes on the turf. The pedigree is there and she may have more ability than it appears. Unless one of the first time starters proves to be especially talented, Nile Empress is the horse I want out of those who have already run.