Saturday, August 16
Race 2: Claiming $25,000 at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf
2 – Thomas Hill
I feel that THOMAS HILL (#2) has run a bit better than it might appear in a couple of his recent starts. Three back he made the first move into a very fast pace that totally fell apart, and actually did quite well to finish a close fourth. Then, last time, he was steadied at the start, which put him further back in the pack that he’d prefer to be, yet he still put in a decent closing run through the stretch while passing horses too late. I know that he doesn’t win very often, but he’s going to be a generous price today, and I think he’s good enough to beat this field. There appears to be plenty of pace in this race to setup his late kick.
$10 Win 2
Race 3: The Lake Placid (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for three year-old fillies
6 – Minorette
5 – Crown Queen
There are three main contenders in this excellent renewal of the Lake Placid (G2), but I’m most interested in the two posted farthest outside. Of the two fillies coming out of the Belmont Oaks, I strongly prefer the winner, MINORETTE (#6). Watching the race back, I just feel that Xcellence didn’t do that much running, and lacked the closing kick that you would expect of a horse with her European resume. She can win, but I feel like most people think that she will significantly improve for Chad Brown, and I’m not quite convinced.
Minorette never got any cover in that race, but it didn’t matter as she took over with authority and was surprisingly dominant in victory. She’s the horse to beat, and I’ll use her with upstart CROWN QUEEN (#5), who was dazzling in her allowance victory last time and may play out as the main speed here.
$20 Exacta 6-5
$10 Exacta 5-6
Race 8: Allowance N1X at seven furlongs
3 – Demander
4 – Scam
This was a really fun race to handicap, and there are many runners worth discussing that I just won’t be able to address. Instead, I’ll explain my picks:
DEMANDER (#3) is a horse that I’ve been hoping to see tuned back in distance since his last race at Churchill. I was impressed by his one-turn maiden win at Gulfstream, in which he was the only horse to make a meaningful move from the back of the pack. I can excuse his last two races, because I don’t think he really wants to go two turns. However, I do think this son of Yes It’s True, and half-brother to Neck N Neck, is a talented horse who should relish this seven furlong distance.
I also want to use my co-top pick SCAM (#4). I know that he’s a horse that you were supposed to be against last time off his phony, gold-rail-skimming maiden win last fall, but he had a trip in this return race and may just be an improved horse now. He was off slowly, and had to deal with some traffic coming to the top of the stretch. All things considered, I thought it was a good effort, and seven furlongs should also suit him better.
Both of these runners should be big prices today, so I’ll bet them both to win and will use them with the logical Surfing U S A (#5).
$15 Win 3
$15 Win 4
$4 Exacta Box 3,4,5
Race 9: Optional Claiming $40,000/C at one mile on the turf for NY-breds
3 – Hurry Up Alan
6 – Sun Worshipper
Maybe I’m supposed to be a little skeptical of HURRY UP ALAN (#3), but he just feels like a horse who has been competitive in much, much tougher open company races that was privately purchased to race nj lucrative, easier spots in New York. There’s no layoff; no tag. I just can’t get past him as a very likely winner of this race.
I’m also using SUN WORSHIPPER (#6), who has primarily been a sprinter, but is bred to stretch and and has been better than ever this year. I don’t think his prior route races are true indicators of his two-turn ability.
I’m betting both of be aforementioned horses to win and am using them with the logical Orino (#2).
$15 Win 3
$10 Win 6
$4 Exacta Box 2,3,6
Race 10: The Alabama (G1) at 1 1/4 miles for three year-old fillies
3 – America
Stopchargingmaria (#8) is probably going to win, but I have to take one more shot with AMERICA (#3) as she stretches out to a mile and a quarter. She almost never runs a complete race and often loses focus on the turns, so I’m hoping that the addition of blinkers will make a noticeable difference. She’s bred to go this far, and will be a huge price today. I can’t resist.
$15 Win 3
$10 Exacta 8-3