Archive for August 2016

Travers Day Pick 6 Analysis

August 26, 2016

6- PERSONAL ENSIGN, 9f, 1:23

1- I’M A CHATTERBOX (4-1): We are not sure what the oddsmaker is seeing here to make her the fourth choice in this highly competitive five horse field; to our eyes she looms the horse to beat off two straight wins. She gets a cutback from her last, where she won the 10f Delaware Handicap and posted field high and career high speed figures (98 Beyer, 105 BRIS). Her back form shows three wins over today’s foe and morning line favorite Curalina and four over Forever Unbridled from last season. Appears the clear horse to beat here going third off the lay with Flourent Geroux aboard; we will see if that morning line holds for BRIS Prime Power selection (+4.3).

2- CURALINA (9-5): Favored here presumably off her romp in the 8.5f La Troienne three starts back on Derby day (100 Beyer, 103 BRIS), but she lost to two of these foes two back at the same distance in the Ogden Phipps, finishing a disappointing 4th. Still, her Saratoga form (4-2-1-1) looks strong, and her 3rd place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff makes her a strong contender at this distance. We prefer the horses that have beaten her head to head at double the odds, however.

3- FOREVER UNBRIDLED (7-2): The feeling with her is that this is a filly that is due after her rough trip in the Ogden Phipps, and she deserves a long look at these odds. She had won three straight before that race, and we like that she has several sharp workouts over the local track leading up to this. She lost four straight to the top choice last year, so it is hard to see how she will turn the tables on that one while the other is in top form, but the price may be right to find out, as she could be overlooked off a tough luck 2nd last out.

4- PAID UP SUBSCRIBER (10-1): Somewhat of an outsider among these but not impossible to make a case for, finishing just 2.25 lengths off the top selection at 10f in her last among Grade 1 company. She cuts back for this and does show a Grade 2 win at this distance two back in the Fleur de Lis. In a short field, we can’t use everyone, but don’t see a lot to dislike either.

5- CAVORTING (2-1): A perfect 3/3 at Saratoga, but one has to wonder if she is in the wrong race today, as she was undefeated at 7f heading into the BC Filly & Mare Sprint last year. She impressed when winning the 8f Ruffian at Belmont two starts back in somewhat of a shocking effort (97 Beyer, 98 BRIS), and got the best of the trip when victorious in the 8.5f Ogden Phipps last out (102 Beyer,103 BRIS). Still, this is a filly seems a one turn type and has never been this distance before and given that, 2-1 seems a bit short.

Picks:

  1. I’m A Chatterbox 4-1
  2. Forever Unbridled 7-2
  3. Curalina 9-5
  4. Cavorting 2-1 

 

7- BALLERINA, 7f, 1:59

 1- BIRDATTHEWIRE (15-1): Looks a cut below the best here, having tried this distance three times this year and hitting the board just once. Does show a Grade 1 win over this distance from last year at Santa Anita but mid-pack runner lands a tough post.

2- BY THE MOON (6-1): Was impressive in winning her last start, which came over this distance and over today’s foe and Breeders’ Cup champion Wavell Avenue (96 Beyer, 97 BRIS). She enters of a layoff of nine weeks and gets Javier Castellano aboard, but looks light on figures and may have caught today’s favorite on an off day last time.

3- PAULASSILVERLINING (4-1): Front-running type stretches out here from her last, where she was nosed at the wire by today’s foe Haveyougoneaway at 6f, but put up impressive figures in defeat (96 Beyer, 105 BRIS). She actually holds the field high Beyer from an optional claiming race back in February (107), but that came at 6f as well, and she may again struggle to carry her speed the extra panel, although she does have a Grade 3 win at this distance over the highly regarded Cavorting; consistent type has been no worse than 2nd in all five starts this year and may not face a lot of pressure up front.

4- SHEER DRAMA (5-1): Accomplished Distaffer knocked off two Breeders’ Cup winners in one race when she surprised three back in the 7f Madison (100 Beyer, 102 BRIS). She must be respected off that effort, but now cuts back from two sub-par 8.5f outings after an eleven week layoff, and we wonder if she isn’t entered in the wrong race today.

5- SARAH SIS (20-1): Inconsistent type has shown speed at times but has been well off the board in all of her four 2016 graded dirt starts, and her only graded win came over synthetic against lesser quality foes. Pass.

6- LINDA LINDA (30-1): Chilean runner goes second off the lay here following a well-beaten 3rd in her first US start over this track and distance. Would need a massive figure improvement to factor.

7- SPELLING AGAIN (12-1): Finally earned a graded win in her last, a career best effort at this distance in the Princess Rooney at Gulfstream (97 Beyer, 102 BRIS). Offers some value off that race, but meets tougher here.

8- WAVELL AVENUE (3-1): Defending Breeders’ Cup champion and morning line favorite appears to have lost a step this year amongst graded company, although she did finally get a win on the board in her last when taking a step down in class (96 Beyer, 101 BRIS). This distance fits her like a glove, but she’s always done her best running with some pace to run into, and we don’t see that today. Likely to be battling for the minor awards and an underlay at the windows.

9- CARINA MIA (7-2): Best career race came at this distance when winning the Eight Belles three back (93 Beyer, 104 BRIS), and cuts back from 9f where she was 2nd in her last to the unbeatable Songbird. Joel Rosario jumps off Morning Line Favorite and Breeders’ Cup winner Wavell Avenue to ride her here, which is a large statement to make, and makes her worthy of consideration as a single as she starts against elders for the first time. Rosario should work out a great stalking trip just behind the limited speed here.

10-HAVEYOUGONEAWAY (10-1): Five year old mare looms an intriguing prospect as she stretches out an extra furlong here following her win in the Honorable Miss, closing forcefully after a trip just off the pace and earning a field best BRIS Last Race figure (105). One could logically conclude she will benefit from the added ground here, and as she doesn’t come from the clouds should be able to stay in touch with the leaders throughout what would appear to be a moderate to slow pace up front; could be the biggest threat to the top selection, and at a price.

Picks:

  1. Carina Mia 7-2
  2. Haveyougoneaway 10-1
  3. Paulassilverlining 4-1
  4. Sheer Drama 5-1

 

8- KINGS’ BISHOP, 7f, 2:35

1- ECONOMIC MODEL (6-1): Chad Brown runner cuts back to a shorter distance and while he could get a decent setup to close into from the rail, there are other closers who pack a bit more punch, and considering he gets blinkers here (why?), may be closer to the pace anyway. It is difficult to elevate him over the top selection having just lost to him by over a length in his last, although he does receive an exchange of 6 pounds from that race. His best effort to date came at 8.5f (101 Beyer, 101 BRIS) but it is worth wondering whether this cutback is too severe, and this post isn’t ideal with so much speed drawn outside. It is worth mention that for all his success, Brown does not have a graded stakes winner at Saratoga in 28 tries.

2- FISH TRAPPE ROAD (8-1): Cuts back in distance off his 8f Dwyer win (97 Beyer, 98 BRIS) and has been working sharply during his seven week layoff since then, posting two best of 75 works at 4f over this track on 8/12 and 8/19. Looks primed to move forward for a career best effort from an advantageous post and appears the speed to stick around longest based on his BRIS Late Pace figures. May have been best in the 7f Woody Stephens two back, when hanging on for 2nd while running just off a wicked hot pace (:21.3/ :44.2). The pick.

3- SUMMER REVOLUTION (6-1): Enters lightly raced off of just two career starts, both wins at 7f, the most recent over this dirt track. Shows field high speed figures at the distance (105 Beyer, 104 BRIS) and gets a jockey switch to Javier Castellano. Takes a class leap here, but dangerous as the fastest colt in the race and without any real distance questions. A bounce candidate, but still a must use on top.

4- TALE OF S’AVALL (30-1): Finished 3rd to the top selection in his last and now cuts back a furlong. The last time he ran at this distance, he finished 6th beaten by several of these, so he would need to improve quite a bit to hit the board here.

5- BIRD SONG (30-1): Has shown four consecutive ascending speed figures but takes a big class leap coming off a maiden win and an allowance win in his last two, both at 6f. His workout patterns don’t suggest that he will be competitive in this bunch.

6- MOHAYMEN (5-1):  A big question mark at this distance. The feeling here is that this is a colt who simply can’t find the right race. Winless since February at 8.5f, he really is better suited to races longer than this one but wouldn’t have found a good spot in the Travers either, although isn’t changing course after a respectable 4th at the distance in the Kentucky Derby akin to waving a white flag? He doesn’t appear to have the pure speed of the top contenders here, although did he post a bullet move over the Saratoga track, the fastest of 75 at the 4f distance, which is worth consideration. There are prices in here we like better relative to their chances, however, and as we have played against him all year, will continue to do so until he proves us wrong.

7- STAR HILL (20-1): Broke his maiden at this distance but hasn’t won since then. This is probably his ideal spot as he is well-suited to one turn races and cuts back from 8.5f, but picks a tough group here as he doesn’t stack up with the best of these on figures. He did turn in a solid effort when 3rd in the Woody Stephens two back at this distance in a similar cutback spot (97 BRIS, 91 Beyer) behind two colts we like here, but he can’t be elevated above them. He does get blinkers which should help him stay in contact with the field, but we wonder if that takes him out of his game a bit, as he would need to improve to hit the board anyway and seems best making one run late.

8- MIND YOUR BISCUITS (15-1): Closing type has won two straight at shorter distances, including the Grade 2 Amsterdam at 6.5f (94 Beyer, 94 BRIS). He should benefit from the added distance, but there are other closers in here that show higher Average BRIS Late Pace numbers.

9- JAZZY TIMES (8-1): The lesser regarded Baffert entry stretches out to 7f for the first time off an impressive win in optional claiming company in his last at 6.5f (101 Beyer, 102 Beyer). Speedy runner goes blinkers off here and meets graded company for the first time; looking elsewhere as a pace duel seems imminent.

10- RATED R SUPERSTAR (20-1): Has benefited from a change in tactics in winning his last two races from off the pace, and that style should suit well here. He won at this distance last out in the Grade 3 Carry Back (97 Beyer, 103 BRIS), posting a field high BRIS Late Pace Figure (110). Recent works have left something to be desired off the eight week layoff but at these odds he is certainly worth including in case the race falls apart up front, as he would be a logical candidate to pick up the pieces.

11- NOHOLDINGBACKBEAR (10-1): Need-the-lead type has put up eye-catching speed figures on synthetic at Woodbine at shorter distances (101 Beyer, 105 BRIS) but has not duplicated that form on dirt. Combined with the pace duel that is likely to unfold, he seems a rather obvious play against.

12- TOM’S READY (12-1): Starts off a field high eleven week layoff but turned in a career best race in his last, closing into a manic pace to defeat the top selection at this distance in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens (95 Beyer, 100 BRIS). Has been working forwardly enough to be right there at the end again and should see plenty of pace to close into with his field high BRIS Average Late Pace figure (108), but freshness and back form remain questions.

13- DREFONG (4-1): Speedster from the Baffert barn takes a class leap off a 6.5f win in optional claiming company out west (103 Beyer, 103 BRIS). The speed figures are competitive, but he will be involved in the early pace from the widest post of all and although he has shown extension in his wins, has never run beyond 6.5f. Baffert hasn’t won in graded company at Saratoga in a while (four years) and without any works over the local track, we wonder whether Del Mar shipper will take to the deeper dirt here.

Picks:

  1. Fish Trappe Road 8-1
  2. Summer Revolution 6-1
  3. Tom’s Ready 12-1
  4. Rated R Superstar 20-1

 

9- FOREGO- 7f, 3:12

1- CATALINA RED (8-1): Competitive at a price here from the rail stretching back out to his ideal distance where he is 3/3 lifetime after two straight 6f races. Figures to drop back, save ground and make a late move into a pace that should be lively so the post isn’t a huge concern; stacks up well on figures (105 Beyer, 105 BRIS). The price is right for a horse that has yet to lose at 7f, and since the favorite boasts the same accolade, something will have to give.

2-CHIEF LION (10-1): Speed type has on the board finishes in his last two races at shorter (6f), finishing behind two different foes here, Stallwalkin’ Duke and Limousine Liberal. He’s done his better running at shorter distances but does stack up on figures, holding a field high BRIS Speed Figure (106). That came at 6f of course, and given the likely pace scenario here, asking him to stretch out beyond that is asking a lot.

3- LIMOUSINE LIBERAL (15-1): Second in this race to the world-beater Runhappy a year ago, he is a speed type that seems to have a lot of bettors on his bandwagon off that single effort, a mentality that has never resonated with us. He’s still not won beyond the 6.5f distance and was no match for the second choice at this distance the last time he attempted it. He does get a good post and a jockey switch to Javier Castellano here.

4- THE TRUTH OR ELSE (30-1): Finished well behind two of today’s foes in his last, and neither will be in our plays. Two back, he did post a career high BRIS Speed Figure (102) at 6f, but that came over a muddy track, which he is unlikely to see today. Pass.

5- ANCHOR DOWN (10-1): Toss his last, where he was bumped at the break and taken completely out of his game, which is to go straight to the lead. Still, his best effort when winning the Grade 3 Westchester (105 Beyer, 107 BRIS) came at a longer distance and over a sloppy track. This distance looks a bit more to his liking, but it is hard to overlook that his only win in his last 10 starts came over the off-going.

6- TAMARKUZ (15-1): Off the board in all four starts since returning from Dubai, where he had actually won four straight races. That dates back to July of last year, and he only has one 2016 start, beaten 26 lengths in the Met Mile. Hard to support off that effort.

7- SCHIVARELLI (20-1): Enters off a win at this distance in optional claiming company (98 BRIS) but takes a decisive step up in class here; speed figures are a cut below the best and do not appear to be ascending.

8- STALLWALKIN’ DUDE (8-1): Looking over his last five starts, he has won two of them, and the other three were all on muddy tracks, so he should see a surface to his liking here. Six-year old gelding turned in a career best effort in his last when winning a 6f stakes over a fast track and extending through the stretch (103 BRIS). He does have some back form with a win at this distance from last December, but has generally been more of a 6f runner. Seems logical underneath in exotics but hard to endorse on top.

9- READY FOR RYE (10-1): Colt has been switched back and forth so often between surfaces that he seems to have lost the edge he had as a three-year-old, when he was ferocious as pure speed. These days, he has taken to laying further back off the pace, possibly due to sheer confusion, which plays against his greatest asset. He turned in a respectable 3rd, beaten 4.25 lengths by the top selection in his last, but poor management of his talent has rendered him a confused horse that we won’t support in this spot despite his undeniable talent.

10- DANNIE’S DECEIVER (30-1): Has raced well enough in his last three against optional claimers, averaging a BRIS Speed Figure of 100 and delivering two places and one win over that span. In deeper here, though.

11- A.P. INDIAN (5-2): Undefeated on the year and at this distance over his career, having defeated four of these foes in his last two races. Was gritty in winning an scintillating stretch duel last out against today’s foe Marking, and also showed ability to rate in that effort, which could be beneficial as he draws wide here. Shows the highest speed figures in the field (107 Beyer, 106 BRIS) and tops the east coast sprinting division by a mile coming into this; will take a lot of beating.

12- MARKING (3-1): Was just a head from beating the top selection at this distance at Belmont in his last (102 Beyer, 101 BRIS), so he merits inclusion logically off that effort in his third start since shipping back from Dubai, especially receiving six pounds from that one and losing by just a head. We are willing to overlook his Met Mile, where he finished a distant 4th while playing rabbit for Frosted, who turned in arguably the performance of the year that day.

Picks:

  1. A.P. Indian 5-2
  2. Catalina Red 8-1
  3. Marking 3-1
  4. Anchor Down 10-1

 

10- SWORD DANCER, 12f, 3:49

6- FLINTSHIRE (1-5): Simply towers over this field, and there is no need to waste time discussing the other six runners, as there are no attractive outright wagers here. Nearly all Pick 6 and Pick 4 wagers will have him singled, and if he somehow loses the payoff will be astronomical, but there are no angles to play here aside from him falling down. This essentially turns both pools into Pick 5 and Pick 3 wagers, but there are enough prices on the board to be content to take the free square here.

 

11- TRAVERS, 10f, 4:44

1- ARROGATE (10-1): Baffert runner ships east and takes a big class leap here off optional claiming win where he put up a big figure two starts back in a wire to wire win (103 Beyer, 100 BRIS). Baffert hasn’t won a Grade I race at Saratoga in a long while and this is not the spot to side with that trend being broken with the combination of his post and running style on the stretchout.

2- AMERICAN FREEDOM (6-1): Goes blinkers off here, which is somewhat puzzling given that his best races have come near the lead, but perhaps Baffert wants to conserve energy as he stretches out to 10f. For all the talk about Exaggerator being a slop specialist, it bears mention that his best races have also come on muddy tracks, which he won’t get here, and he’s also yet to win beyond 8.5f. While he ran a solid 2nd in the 9f Haskell, it is concerning that he led through the stretch and then faded; is this really a colt that wants a furlong longer here? He stacks up on figures for his win in the 8.5f Iowa Derby, where he showed extension, (96 Beyer, 103 BRIS) but meets tougher in this spot.

3- MY MAN SAM (20-1): Was a longshot play of ours in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished a middling 11th in his fifth career race. He came back to disappoint after a layoff in a 9f allowance, and doesn’t stack up on figures here. He will be one that will be coming from the clouds in a race that should set up with plenty of pace, but it is hard to be too inspired to support him any further than the bottom of exotics.

4- GOVERNOR MALIBU (12-1): There seems to be a great deal of wise guy support for this Christophe Clement trainee, who comes off a 4th place finish in the 12f Belmont Stakes (94 Beyer, 100 BRIS) and a 2nd place finish last out in the 9f Jim Dandy (99 Beyer, 99 BRIS), where he turned the tables on today’s foe Destin and was at a disadvantage due to sitting back off a crawling pace. Joel Rosario retains the mount and figures to place him in the second flight of horses, but he is still unplaced beyond 9f and his speed figures look middling in this group. Still, the feeling here is that this is a colt that has been pointing to this race and may have the most room for improvement of the price horses; useable on top, but needs a step forward figure-wise.

5- FOREVER D’ORO (30-1): Easily beaten by four of today’s foes and difficult to support unless the race completely falls apart, as he is one who will drop far back early and make one late run. Bombs away for the bottom of your superfecta, but not ours.

6- ANAXIMANDROS (50-1): Closed well to get 4th in a pretty weak West Virginia Derby last out, and looks way in over his head in terms of figures. Pass.

7- EXAGGERATOR (3-1): Perhaps we missed something, but the Kentucky Derby was run at 10f on a dry track, correct? Well, this race will be run under identical conditions and should play out into a similar pace scenario, and this son of Curlin closed well for 2nd that day, and still owns the fastest speed figures at the distance in the field (101 Beyer, 103 BRIS). Experts will be jumping off of the classiest, most accomplished colt in the field on a dry track, and we expect to get better than 3-1 on him in this spot, and for him make it two in a row for sons of Curlin in this race regardless of track condition.

8-DESTIN (10-1): Todd Pletcher trainee enters off a somewhat flat effort when 3rd last out in the 9f Jim Dandy (99 Beyer, 99 BRIS). His running style should allow him to work out a somewhat ideal trip behind the speed from the middle of the field, but the feeling here is that he simply hasn’t shown that much improvement since the winter compared to some of these and may have leveled off. He did turn in a respectable effort when 6th in the Kentucky Derby (93 Beyer, 97 BRIS), so does technically own the third best speed figure at the distance, but it is difficult to elevate him above the two foes that defeated him last out and seem to be improving more rapidly, especially as he ran closer to the slow pace that day and therefore had less of an excuse to not overcome it.

9- GIFT BOX (12-1): Turned in a decent effort when beaten a length as favorite in the 9f Curlin Stakes last out (99 Beyer, 96 BRIS). He takes a step up in class here, and pedigree wise, looks more like a 9f horse than a 10f one; looking elsewhere.

10- CONNECT (4-1): Son of Curlin won his sire’s namesake 9f race in his last, showing a half length extension from the field through the stretch (101 Beyer, 97 BRIS). On paper, it wouldn’t appear that 10f would be a stretch for him, being out of a Holy Bull mare. However, he does take a step up in class here as he attempts to run longer than he ever has before, and it’s worrisome that he appears likely to get locked up early in a speed duel. He has potential, but as the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, is not for us against more experienced runners.

11- MAJESTO (30-1): Adds blinkers today to re-focus after finishing off the board and beaten a combined 46 lengths in his last two races by nearly half of this field. Would require a great leap of faith; not usable.

12- CREATOR (15-1): Turned in a horrendous performance in his last, where he didn’t run a lick when finishing 6th in the 9f Jim Dandy. He closed like a freight train to win the 12f Belmont before that though, and didn’t really get any pace to run into in his last; he should here. Looking over his form line, he appears to alternate between really bad races and really good ones, and would be in line for the latter in this spot. In any case, we expect an improved effort as the added distance should only help for the strongest closer in the field.

13- LAOBAN (15-1): Front-running type turned in a career best effort in his last when wiring the 9f Jim Dandy and posting field high last out speed figures (101 Beyer, 101 BRIS). He got a perfect setup that day as he was allowed to lop along on the lead through easy fractions (:49.0) and we don’t anticipate a similar scenario here, especially as he will be forced to clear the entire field to make the lead from his wide post. He did post a bullet 5f work leading up to this, the fastest of 32 workers that day, but it is difficult to see him carrying his speed the extra furlong in this spot.

14- GUN RUNNER (10-1): The bronze medalist in the Kentucky Derby turned in a sub-par effort in his last when 5th over a sloppy track in the Haskell. We’ll draw a line through that race, as his only two career off the board finishes have come on sloppy tracks. The wide post does him no favors, but he has proved rateable and professional in the past, and still does have the second fastest speed figures at this distance off his Derby effort (96 Beyer, 99 BRIS), where he was the only runner near that blazing pace besides the winner to stick around for awards. The distance is probably a touch beyond his best but he should be able to put himself in position to make an impact late; we’ll go with the same three on top that we did on the first Saturday in May, and in the same order.

 

PICKS:

  1. Exaggerator 3-1
  2. Gun Runner 10-1
  3. Creator 15-1
  4. Governor Malibu 12-1

 

MULTI-RACE BETS:

Pick 6:

I’m A Chatterbox/

Carina Mia/

Fish Trappe Road, Summer Revolution/

A.P. Indian, Catalina Red

Flintshire/

Exaggerator, Gun Runner

 

Pick 4:

Fish Trappe Road, Summer Revolution, Tom’s Ready, Rated R Superstar/

A.P. Indian, Catalina Red, Marking

Flintshire/

Exaggerator, Gun Runner, Creator, Governor Malibu

Arlington Million Festival Races Picks and Analysis

August 12, 2016

6- American St. Leger, 13.5f, 3:05

1- GENEROUS KITTEN (6-1, 97): Shows the second highest BRIS Last Race Speed Figure (97) in the field off his last, a close 4th place finish in the Grade 3 Singspiel at 12f. That was his first graded start, but he did defeat foe O’Prado Ole two back at 11f. He has made up ground in the stretch in all of his last four distance races and should benefit from the additional ground here for the Ramsey connections.

2-MONTCLAIR (15-1, 112): This will be a class jump based on recent form, although he is a Group 3 winner in France in the distant past and boasts the highest Racing Post Rating in the field (tie). Still, his last three races have come in optional claiming company, and he hasn’t contested a graded race since May of last year. Against today’s foes, he defeated O’Prado Ole three races back at a shorter distance, but lost to Billabong at 12f over a soft track at Longchamp.

3- HART HILLS ROAD (30-1, N/A): Looks overmatched as he stretches out to a marathon distance with only 1 win in 20 career starts in allowance and claiming company.

4- TOBIAS (30-1, 98): With only 1 win in 26 career starts, it is difficult to support him here, especially with a combination of slow recent speed figures and having been beaten handily by a few of today’s foes (Da Big Hoss, Generous Kitten, O’Prado Ole).

5- DA BIG HOSS (9-5, 109): A deserving morning line favorite off his last, an impressive score in the 2 mile Belmont Gold Cup, where he posted the field high BRIS Speed Figure (106) by a mile. That was two months ago, but he’ll cut back in distance here which should only help off that effort, as he’s won two of his prior three starts at the 12f distance, and this should be right in his sweet spot with Flourent Geroux aboard. He holds the largest BRIS Prime Power advantage over the rest of the field in this sequence (+20.7) and is tempting as a potential single here; versatile runner neither needs the lead nor a pace to run at and should sit comfortably mid-pack to wait for the call.

6- WASIR (12-1, 101): Group 3 winner at the 2 mile distance in Germany two back, but he’s been of the board in the other three of his last four starts this year in everything from stakes to Group 1 company. Doesn’t look to appear the most formidable of the Euro shippers based on current form or Racing Post Rating; should be close to the pace.

7- ROCKET PROFESSOR (30-1, N/A): Ramsey rabbit is not here to win, but to provide pace for his stablemate Generous Kitten. He has never run further than 8f.

8- CLONDAW WARRIOR (9-2, 112): 9 year old gelding has lots of experience at running long distances, often beyond 2 miles, and does share the highest Racing Post Rating in the field. He cuts back here following a 3rd place finish in a 2.5 miles stakes race after a disastrous close to his 2015 campaign, and it’s hard to know what to do with him here. He’s won at 12f as recently as last summer on a cutback but has raced just once this year; at his age it is hard to know what to expect off the ship and the two month layoff.

9- MESSI (scratched)

10- BILLABONG (10-1, 107): Appears the classiest of these, having kept company with Group 1 runners in three of his last five races, and showing a 2nd place finish at 12f from last summer and a 2nd place finish in his last. Comes off a five month layoff but first time Lasix angle makes seven year old the most appealing of the Euro shippers.

11- O’PRADO OLE (12-1, 102): Early pace presence that always seems to find the board at Arlington, he was part of the blanket finish in the local prep for this, showing a competitive BRIS Speed Figure (96). He’s been beaten by three of these foes this year at shorter distances though (Da Big Hoss, Generous Kitten, Montclair), so we tend to give the form edge to those considering this distance could be beyond his limits.

Picks:

1) Da Big Hoss 9-5

2) Billabong 10-1

3) Generous Kitten 6-1

4) Montclair 15-1

 

7- Secretariat, 10f, 3:43

1- CHERRY WINE (12-1, N/A): Preakness runner up has had trouble finding a niche for himself. He may well have been assisted by the slop in that career best effort, and since then, he has been well off the board, finishing 7th in the 12f Belmont and 9th in the 8.5f Indiana Derby. Now he lands in between distance-wise but on a new surface. He contested turf races twice as a maiden, but to no avail. Lots of questions here for a horse looking to find his form and who likely needs a bit more pace to close into than he will see here.

2- AMERICAN PATRIOT (5-1, 97): Shows a field best Brisnet Speed Figure (100) and competitive Beyer (88) for his last race, an impressive draw away win in the 9f Kent Stakes. He seems to have regrouped since a disastrous performance in the Grade 2 American Turf on Derby Day, and trainer Todd Pletcher seems to have him heading in the right direction and rapidly improving. He figures to be forwardly placed in a field with very little true speed, and given the fact that he has been pulling away from fields in the stretch of his last two wins, the added distance is of little concern here. He should receive a ground saving trip near the lead from new jockey William Buick and be right in the mix for the win.

3- SCISSORS AND TAPE (30-1, N/A): Ramsey rabbit is not here to win, but to provide pace for his stablemate Oscar Nominated.

4- ONE MEAN MAN (12-1, 97): Winner of the local prep for this showed a tactical change in that effort, sitting back off the place and closing full of run. We expect to see a similar running style utilized here, but he will need to improve on his speed figures (87 BRIS, 84 Beyer) to see the winner’s circle again.

5- CORDON (30-1, N/A): Lightly raced recent maiden winner picks a tough spot to move up in class for his third start.

6- OSCAR NOMINATED (12-1, 101): Runner-up as the favorite in the local prep for this was arguably best in that race, having to bid between horses in the stretch after being bumped and just missed the win by a ½ length. He’s bred to run all day on turf and will finally get the chance to stretch out here with Corey Lanerie retaining the mount. Mike Maker wins with 27% of his beaten favorites in their next start, and the combination of the extra distance and his ability to rate near the pace and still close powerfully could make the difference here.

7- SURGICAL STRIKE (9-2, 104): Seems a middling contender in this group in terms of figures and form. He has kept company with Oscar Nominated, Beach Patrol and One Mean Man in his last four starts, but has beaten only the latter over that span. He was gaining ground at shorter distances, however, in those losses, so maybe he will appreciate the added ground here, and he does have a win over the Arlington course from last year’s American Derby, but there are others we like better to handle the extra ground in a race that figures to be a spread bet to begin with.

8-LONG ISLAND SOUND (5-2, 104): Lightly raced Aidan O’Brien entry holds a class edge over the field, having run a well placed 3rd to Hawkbill in a Group 3 at Ascot before that one returned to defeat older horses. He was 6th in the 10f Belmont Derby in his last, but was beaten just 2.25 lengths for the win. His entire form line reminds us of another O’Brien Secretariat runner, Adelaide, who romped here after no-showing in that same race. It may be difficult to elevate him over Beach Patrol after just having finished behind that one at the same distance, but he holds a massive BRIS Prime Power advantage (+20.1) off his three 8f wins in Ireland that merits inclusion in multi-race wagers.

9- BEACH PATROL (2-1, 105): Morning line favorite is the only other non-rabbit besides American Patriot that figures to be near the lead. He should be able to track behind the rabbit and work out a relaxed trip with Florent Geroux picking up the mount for Chad Brown. He finished 3rd in his last start in the Belmont Derby (90 BRIS) beaten just 1 ½ lengths for the win at this distance, and shows the field high Racing Post Rating. Once a need-the-lead type, he has learned to rate and conserve energy for the stretch; expect a big effort here from consistent colt.

Picks:

1) American Patriot 5-1

2) Beach Patrol 2-1

3) Oscar Nominated 12-1

4) Long Island Sound 5-2

 

8- Beverly D, 9.5f, 4:21

1- BALLYDOYLE (9-2, 115): Aidan O’Brien shipper has been off form recently; in fact, her last race, when 13th and last as the favorite in the 10f Belmont Oaks, was almost too terrible to be believed. Is the added distance or soft ground causing her recent troubles, or is she simply heading in the wrong direction? She shows the field high Racing Post Rating and has won at 8f in Group 1 company overseas, so her back class must be respected, but there are simply a lot of questions here off her last, where she seemed without excuse.

2- AL’S GAL (30-1, 99): Made a good enough account of herself when closing for second in the local prep after sitting just off a slow pace. Consistent type has posted three straight 90 Beyers, which are actually fairly competitive here in a less than spectacular edition of this race. Sure, she takes a big class leap entering Grade 1 company for the first time having never won a graded race, but these odds are too high for the runner with the highest BRIS figure in the field (107). That number came at a longer distance, and maybe she needs that to be fully effective, but she is intriguing at these odds nonetheless, especially with so many total tosses at the same morning line number.

3- MARYPOP (30-1, 106): Ran too far off a slow pace in the local prep here but never showed much response, placing an uninspiring 5th without ever improving position. She stands to run with a bit more focus this time with blinkers added and does have some form lines to fall back on, but it is asking a lot for her to improve enough upon that effort to be a factor here.

4- NO FAULT OF MINE (30-1, 95): She ran an even 4th in the local prep here. It is hard to imagine missing the board in the Modesty and then hitting it in the Beverly D with such tougher competition entering here. Her low Racing Post Rating leads us to look elsewhere.

5- TUTTIPAESI (20-1, 103): Has run well enough in her past two starts both graded stakes, at 8.5f and 9f respectively, finishing 2nd and 1st in those races. She will need to improve upon her speed figure in her most recent start (87 BRIS), where she also finished two lengths behind today’s foe Zipessa.

6- COOLMORE (6-1, 106): The other contingent of the Aidan O’Brien contingent easily bested her stablemate when 3rd in her last, the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks at 10f. Front-running type should benefit from the slight cutback in distance here, although she did back up through the stretch last time. Still, she shows the field high Beyer from that race (98) and filly is Group 3 placed in Ireland at 7f. While we don’t support her for the win here, she is preferable to her stablemate based on recent form and seems a logical inclusion underneath, as she may be the speed that stays longest.

7- LOTS O’LEX (30-1, 97): This is a puzzling spot indeed for a runner coming off a 9 month layoff that has never won a graded race. Selling with both hands.

8- PERSONAL DIARY (30-1, 107): Her Racing Post Rating looks competitive, but if you are looking to play a longshot, it’s hard to ignore that she was easily beaten by two others here, Al’s Gal and Zipessa, in her last three starts. Has only 3 wins in 23 lifetime starts and is difficult to support here.

9-ZIPESSA (15-1, 99): Impressive in winning an 8.5f Grade 3 wire to wire in her last, but she stretches out beyond 9f for the first time, and has shown declining speed figures in her last four starts. Will be part of the speed, but we question her ability to carry it this far. Not for us.

10-SECRET SOMEONE (30-1, 102): Nearly stole the local prep by setting super easy fractions on the lead (:50.1), but still only managed to hold on for 3rd, and figures to see a bit more pace pressure this time around. Pass.

11- ELUSIVE MILLION (30-1, 85): Ummmm….first time Lasix and a weight break? That’s about all we can offer on a positive note for runner with the field low Racing Post Rating by a mile and who has never run beyond 8f, appears rabbit-esque for the favorite.

12- FAUFILER (6-1, 111): Was incredibly impressive and proved us wrong in winning the local prep for this (96 BRIS, 92 Beyer), closing with authority into a slow pace in her first effort at the longer distance, showing a field high BRIS Late Pace Figure (106). She shows field high Speed Last Race and Back Speed, and has proven ability to close into a race shape that plays against her running style. Maybe the extra distance is exactly what she needed, and the price is right to find out against tougher company. She should get a better set up this time to boot, with the likes of Zipessa, Coolmore and Elusive Million signed on. The pick.

13- SEA CALISI (7-5, 112): Group 2 and Grade 2 winner holds a class advantage against this field (she’s also Group 1 placed at 12f in France). She had a terrible trip when just missing the win in the 10f New York Stakes last out (92 BRIS, 95 Beyer), and still only missed the win by ¾ of a length to a pretty tough mare in Dacita. She gets a rider switch to Flourent Geroux and is a deserving favorite for Chad Brown, but dare we say, a bit short in this spot and far from a sure thing at these odds? After all, her best races have come at longer distances and on softer turf than she is likely to see here. Certainly a must-use on top in exotic and multi-race wagers, but doesn’t offer much value outright.

14- PRETTY GIRL (15-1, 109): Lightly raced Argentinian bred gets first time Lasix here as she moves up in class for her fifth career start. She won a Group 1 in her native country at 10f in her first career start, but there are lots of questions as she will try to navigate a trip against tougher company from the widest post of all. The Racing Post Rating is quite competitive and she wouldn’t be a huge surprise underneath, but you can’t use everyone.

Picks:

1) Faufiler 6-1

2) Sea Calisi 7-5

3) Coolmore 6-1

4) Al’s Gal 30-1

 

9- ARLINGTON MILLION, 10f, 5:09

1- DANISH DYNAFORMER (30-1, 104): Winner of the Grade 3 Singspiel at 12f cuts back in distance here (98 BRIS, 94 Beyer). Before that, he was a distant 6th behind today’s foe World Approval in a 9f Grade 1. Seems middling in this field and may have found a better spot in the longer race, so we will look elsewhere.

2- DUBAI SKY (30-1, 96): Forwardly place type takes a big class leap here for Bill Mott, having raced just once in graded company in six career starts. He’ll stretch out to 10f for the first time, which doesn’t bode well for a colt that led and faded last time out at 8.5f.

3- GREENGRASSOFYOMING (30-1, 99): Won from off the pace in a blanket, four horse photo finish in the marathon local prep for this, but connections opt for the tougher spot with this six year old gelding. Trainer Mike Maker wins with 27% of his runners third off the lay but finds a tough spot here with a deep closer that may not get quite the pace he needs here in this event. This is also a big class leap for a runner that had not previously contested a graded event before his last.

4- PUMPKIN RUMBLE (30-1, 100): Just missed the win in the blanket finish in the local prep at 12f, and cuts back here as he takes a massive class jump. He has never won a graded race and is difficult to support in this spot.

5- THE PIZZA MAN (10-1, 115): Local favorite and defending champion will be overbet as usual for this despite his seemingly declining form since last summer’s monumental win. Sure, he is third off the lay here and always brings his “A” game at Arlington, but betting against him has become somewhat of a rite of passage. And seeing as how he has failed as favorite in his last three starts, showing speed figures at variety of distances that leave something to be desired (92-96 BRIS, 8.5f-12f), and meets a deeper, tougher field than he did last year, now seems the time to do that again.

6- KASAQUI (20-1, 106): Draw away winner of the local prep for this (98 BRIS, 97 Beyer) fits this race perfectly from a tactical standpoint, as he is able to sit near the pace but is clearly not compromised by the distance, having won at this distance twice in Argentina. He takes a class jump here but at these odds, deserves a look for the minor awards. We know he likes the track, and he showed a field high BRIS Late Pace Last Race (102) over it, so we know he doesn’t mind the distance. Price might be right to find out how much improvement he can make against a tougher field.

7- TAKE THE STAND (15-1, 113): Impressive wire to wire winner of the 9f Muniz (96 BRIS, 100 Beyer) in his last, where he beat today’s foe World Approval and was flattered by that one’s subsequent efforts. That was over four months ago though, and he’s never run beyond 9f before. There are reasons for concern here considering he’s shown a propensity to fade on the lead at shorter distances. That combined with the layoff is enough for us to stay away.

8- DECORATED KNIGHT (10-1, 112): Stakes winner at 10f in England three back, he won a 9f Group 3 in Ireland in his last and enters with sharp recent form. He may prefer the turf a bit softer than he will see here, but does top the field in BRIS Current Class. There are others here that look a bit more impressive in terms of Racing Post Ratings, but we won’t dismiss him for the bottom of exotics and will give him a shot in multi-race wagers as a value play. He has the look of a colt that is improving at the right time and that has been pointed to this.

9-MONDIALISTE (8-1, 118): Classy son of Galileo boasts the field high Racing Post Rating. Though his best races have come at 8f, he has showcased an incredible turn of foot at that distance that appears to begging for more ground, and that notion was proven correct in his last, where he finished a close 2nd at 10f, beaten just ¾ of a length for the win in a Group 2 in England. His 2nd place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (104 BRIS, 104 Beyer) behind the other-wordly Tepin has been highly flattered since that event, and the feeling here is that he finds a great spot to unleash that closing kick in a race where he should get a decent setup to do so. Trainer David O’Meara has shown ability to ship and win before, as Mondialiste won the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile coming in from York just as he does today, and why worry about the distance with this pedigree? (10.4/9.4 AWD). The pick.

10- WAKE FOREST (5-1, 112): He has always seemed a middling runner to this space, and he proved us correct last year, finishing 6th in this race against a weaker group. He did recently close to win the 11f Man O’War (95 BRIS, 101 Beyer), but that may have been more a result of his competition in that race. He was fairly easily beaten when third in his last to today’s foe World Approval. He’s a deep closer cutting back in distance here and figures to be overbet; looking elsewhere.

11- WORLD APPROVAL (4-1, 114): The concern with him has always been distance related, but he blew that notion away in his last after winning the 11f United Nations from just off the pace, posting a field high last out Bris (99) and Beyer (105) figure. He faded after leading the Grade 1 Manhattan (98 BRIS, 105 Beyer) at 10f two starts back, but faced tougher foes that day, as none the likes of Flintshire or Ironicus are signed on today. Florent Geroux retains the mount, and it doesn’t hurt that colt won the 9f American Derby over this turf course a year ago. On speed figures alone, he appears the one to beat as he has duplicated the field high Beyer at the distance. His recent ability to rate makes him a must use on top.

12- TRYSTER (7-2, 117): Morning line favorite certainly has the back class to support such, as he’s the only multiple Group 1 winner (Dubai) in the field. However, he’s the rare Euro shipper that may prefer firmer ground, so beware if it comes up softer than expected today; his last two starts (after winning his previous three) were lackluster and came over soft turf. While he’s won a Group 3 at this distance, his Group 1 wins have been at shorter, so it’s fair to wonder, at this price and off the ship, whether this race is a bit beyond ideal. Is his talent enough to overcome that? It wouldn’t be a surprise, but there are enough questions to try to beat him outright, while using him defensively in multi-race wagers.

13- DEAUVILLE (6-1, 114): Aidan O’Brien trainee was the winner of the 3 year old restricted 10f Belmont Derby (92 BRIS, 94 Beyer) in his last, but connections opt to try the tougher spot here instead of the Secretariat. In doing so, he’ll attempt to become the first 3 year old to ever win the Arlington Million, and if he does, he’ll do it from the widest post of all, and at our expense. Figure wise, he doesn’t really stack up against the top contenders here, and the fact that he only beat Secretariat favorite Beach Patrol by 1.5 lengths after that one had the worst of it trip-wise leads us to play against and conclude he is in the wrong spot here.

Picks:

1) Mondialiste 8-1

2) World Approval 4-1

3) Tryster 7-2

4) Decorated Knight 10-1