Race 6: Allowance N1X at six furlongs on the turf for NY-breds
WAKE UP IN MALIBU (#4)
WILD FINISH (#8)
I’m not thrilled with any of the confirmed turf runners in this race, but luckily there are a couple horses trying the turf for the first time that have piqued my interest. WAKE UP IN MALIBU (#4) has already shown himself to be one of the fastest sprinters in this race, and his pedigree suggests that he should move forward with this switch to turf. His dam, Wake Up Kiss, won the Yaddo Stakes on the grass at Saratoga, and produced A Shin Forward, who earned the distinction of being the second richest NY-bred in history after his triumph in the prestigious Japanese Group 1 Mile Championship on the turf.
I will also use WILD FINISH (#8), who has had major trip excuses two and three back, but has shown in the past that he’s fast enough to win a race at this level. His turf pedigree is not quite as obvious as that of Wake Up in Malibu, but it is there. His dam has produced one other foal to try the turf and he was a winner over it. His dam is also out of a mare who earned all of her three wins on the turf. Magna Graduate is not the most obvious turf influence, but his progeny have won 7 of 44 starts on that surface, a solid 16% strike rate.
$15 Win 4
$10 Win 8
$5 Exacta Box 4,8
Race 7: Claiming $40,000 N2L at seven furlongs on the turf
MY FOUR REWARDS (#11)
This is a confusing race where I basically landed on my selection through process of elimination. I don’t have a whole lot to say about MY FOUR REWARDS (#11). She’s just a horse who has run some decent turf routes in the past and showed uncustomary speed in her return race against tougher competition. She came up empty in the stretch, but she may have needed that race and should have more of a late kick if allowed to return to her typical closing tactics today. Seven furlongs also appears to be a more appropriate distance for this filly. I don’t think she’s the most likely winner, but she should be the biggest price of the horses that I deem as contenders.
$10 Win 11
Race 9: Bowling Green Handicap (G2) at 1 1/2 miles on the turf
GRANDEUR (#5) / SKY BLAZER (#6)
I went into this race thinking that I’d probably want to take a shot against a short-priced GRANDEUR (#5), but the more time I spent looking at this race, I just could not get past the fact that he’s run the best races and kept the best company. He is the most likely winner and will be a deserving favorite.
I’ve been a fan of SKY BLAZER (#6) for much of his career, but he has disappointed more often than not. I’m honestly not sure that he really wants to go a mile and a half, but you could say the same thing about the clear second choice Boisterous, who I’m inclined to bet against. I still believe Sky Blazer possesses the ability to take down a race of this magnitude if the trip works out for him, and I would hope that Rajiv Maragh comes out with the plan to send him forward into a stalking position. He should be a decent price today, so I’ll use him with the heavy favorite.
$10 Exacta Box 5,6
Race 10: Maiden Claiming $40,000 at six furlongs on the turf
LAKEVIEW LADY (#5)
LAKEVIEW LADY (#5) appears to be the horse to beat as she drops out of a much tougher race that featured a past fast pace that totally collapsed. (The posted half-mile fraction is incorrect—Trakus caught it about one full second faster.) That was Lakeview Lady’s first start back after more than eight months on the sidelines and she has a right to run much better today, especially considering that she’s run turf sprints in the past that would make her competitive here. I don’t think I’m going to get her 10-1 morning line odds, but she would be fair value at around half that price. The only other horse who I’m tempted to use is first time starter Home to Carrowkeel (#12), who has a big turf pedigree on her dam’s side and is a daughter of excellent turf sprint sire Big Brown. I’ll put her into an exacta box with my top selection.