Wednesday, August 12
Race 5: Maiden Special Weight at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for 2-year-old fillies
3 – Big Thrill (OFF THE TURF)
This isn’t the kind of race I would usually make a selection in, but I was very impressed by first time starter Big Thrill’s (#3) workout at the OBS sales. This filly showed high speed and huge, powerful stride in her 20 3/5 two-furlong move. She’s bred to be a turf sprinter as a half to Determinato. I don’t know what kind of value you’ll get, but I think this one can really run.
$10 Win/Place 3 (OFF THE TURF)
Race 6: Claiming $40,000N2L at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
5 – Foxhall Drive
Obviously, the horse to beat in the 6th is Ready Strike (#1), though, for a horse with no early speed, Joe Bravo is going to have to work out a trip, since this race features very little early pace. For that reason, I’m going to take a shot with likely pacesetter Foxhall Drive (#5). Foxhall Drive faces a slightly tougher field here, but he ran perhaps the best race of anyone in that July 18 affair last time, engaging Dendrite in a duel through quick early fractions, putting that foe away, and fighting on gamely late to only lose by 2 lengths. Foxhall Drive is not the most talented horse in the race, but I do think he’s going to get the best trip, and that may be good enough.
$15 Win 5
$5 Exacta Box 1,5
Race 7: Optional Claiming $40,000/C at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf for NY-bred fillies and mares
7 – Rumble Doll
This race was a tough read for me, especially when it came to getting a handle on the pace. I could see this going either way, since Alexandrie, Summerdale, Fenwick Hall, and Lady Luciano all have speed, but none necessarily need the lead. I ultimately decided to hope for at least a fair pace, because I want to bet Rumble Doll (#7) turning back to this shorter sprint distance. This filly has an explosive kick, and I think it’s dulled slightly when she’s asked to go farther than today’s distance. She’s going to be a bigger price than fellow closer Sister Sophia despite having run just as well, if not better than that one, this year. Vicki’s Dancer is obviously the main threat if she brings her A-game, but do you really trust her as she drops off the claim for Jacobson? I have trouble doing so.
$15 Win 7 (Payout: $91.50)
$2 Exacta Key Box 7 with 1,3,4,8 (Payout: $52.00)
Race 8: The Birdstone at 1 3/4 miles
7 – Tacticus
The featured Birdstone came up a more interesting race than I had been expecting. I know Micromanage won this last year and has been reliable in these marathons, but I wouldn’t lean on him too heavily in here. His 2015 form has been pretty disappointing. Village Warrior is a threat to wire the field, Turco Bravo may appreciate stretching out, and Cary Street has been good on occasion. However, I went in a slightly different direction and will give Tacticus (#7) a try. This one was cut out to be a marathoner when he shipped over here and his last really feels like a prep. The pace never materialized and he actually did well to make any kind of late run. Most importantly, that effort showed that he handles the dirt just fine. Now he gets Lasix and a chance at a more appropriate distance.
$15 Win 7 (Payout: $49.50)
$2 Exacta Key Box 7 with 2,4,5,8 (Payout: $43.60)
Race 9: Optional Claiming $62,500/C at 1 3/16 miles on the turf for fillies and mares
6 – Regardez
In the 9th, I’m picking Regardez (#6), who hasn’t had ideal trips in either of her U.S. starts. I’m willing to take an optimistic view with this one, since her European form is strong and I get the feeling she’ll have more to offer once she actually gets to run in the stretch.
$20 Win 6 (Payout: $74.00)
$4 Exacta Key Box 6 with 1,3,5,7 (Payout: $67.20)