Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, May 14, 2005
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

Another pretty good afternoon, following our nice Derby Day last week -- but this one could have been much, much better.

Two winners in seven races (Monmouth, $3.60; Hollywood, $9.80) -- the frustration in that category was the second-place finish by our top pick in the Lone Star Derby, it was Shamoan at 19-1. The jock had ours in good position all the way 'round for his first dirt start, cut the corner nicely coming into the lane, and looked to be in a good spot, but just couldn't hold off Southern Africa. Three of ours ran 2-3-4 in that race at 19-1, 5-1, 8-1 respectively. But for a few lengths we might have ended up with a very nice exacta, and possibly a big, big tri.

But we were even closer to a big payday in the Genuine Risk at Belmont. Three of ours ran 1-2-4 at 8-1, 9-1, 10-1 respectively. We managed to grab the $146.00/$2 exacta. However, the tri, with a 9-1 we didn't use, came back $1272.00 -- we can only salivate at the thought of the return had our 10-1 shot gotten up late for the show spot...

But, while we experienced some frustration early, we celebrated late when the last race on our card turned out to be our best play of the day. It was the Mervyn Leroy Hcp at Hollywood Park and our top pick scored with our second and third choices flip-flopping underneath for the tri and our fourth pick completing the super (ex, $96.80/$2; tri, $334.80; super, $877.40).

And so, when we cranked the handle on the adding machine for the last time Saturday evening we ended up with a decent return on our plays...

WAGERED: $256.00
COLLECTED: $396.80

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

We managed a good day upstairs with the plays but we struggled down here in the Best Bets area. Forty Moves looked live as they went around the far turn but didn't have it in the stretch. Nophone seemed to take a little bit of late money and then shot out of the gate and lead them until far down the backstretch when he threw in the towel -- might be worth watching. Not thrilled with the ride on L'Argento. That one had thrown in two improved efforts over at Aqueduct and was close to the pace in both of those. Saturday, with a switch from Jose Santos to Alan Garcia, the horse was just never put into the fray and offered us no hope at any point. We don't like to use the jockey-excuse, but sometimes those rides are head-scratchers -- and the theme continued with Deputy Lad. He did show some speed two back -- but that was against optional claimers. In his stakes tries he tended to stalk, a few lengths back. Saturday, going a marathon twelve furlongs, Victor Espinoza sent him right to the front. Last time, in a similar stake down in Florida, he sat off the pace as they went :50.2, 1:15.1 -- Saturday he lead them through fractions of :49.2, 1:13.3. The pace took its toll and he backed up late to run last.

The bright spot was the performance of 19-1 Shamoan in the Lone Star Derby. No complaints on the ride there as Mr. Valdivia had him in good striking position throughout and he took the short way home as they turned into the stretch. He just didn't have enough to hold off the winner. In this race the mistake was ours -- like we did with 50-1 Giacomo last week, we should have made the play on Shamoan an across-the-board WPS. If we had done so we would have managed to squeak out a decent return on the Best Bets portion of the card to match our good day above. Live and learn...

Belmont, Race 8, Forty Moves... 4th at 10-1.
Monmouth, Race 4, Nophone... 8th at 9-2.
Monmouth, Race 9, L Argento... 8th at 7-2.
Lone Star, Race 9, Shamoan... 2nd at 19-1 (xxx, 16.60, 9.20).
Hollywood, Race 6, Deputy Lad... 8th at 7-1.

Belmont: Genuine Risk Hcp G2 $150K

Bank Audit 8-1
Sensibly Chic 9-1
Forest Music 9-1

Wager: $5 WP on Forty Moves.
Ran 4th at 10-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $73.00 on the ex box ($146.00/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-8.

Forty Moves...Ran a couple of nice races in Florida and might be an improved 4YO. Had trouble in both of those races and might pop here today with a clean trip.
Bank Audit...Last looks like perhaps one to toss. If she can rebound to prior good form she'll be a contender.
Forestier...On the improve for Pletcher.
Sensibly Chic.

Monmouth: Decathlon $65K

Smokume 4-5
Vinemeister 7-1
Bold Days 13-1

Shake You down, Abbondanza scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Smokume.
Collected $17.00 on the WP (3.60, 3.20).
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 tri box top four.

Smokume...Stakes winner last year and seemed to be running her best as her season ended. Layoff is a concern -- but has fired a couple of bullets in the morning recently.
Shake You Down...Might have lost a step but can still compete in a stake like this.
Abbondanza...Bona fide sprint stakes competitor. Another coming off a layoff but showing decent works.
Bold Days.

Churchill: Matt Winn $100K

Razor 1-1
Crimson Stag 5-1
Sir Laff Alot 7-1

Around the Cape scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Eyeforglory.
Ran 7th at 7-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-7.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-7.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-7.

Eyeforglory...Three wins and a couple of seconds in five starts (DQ'd from one of those placings). Undefeated on 'fast' tracks.
Razor...Looked pretty solid in Louisiana and Arkansas this winter. Last looks like perhaps a troubled toss over the Keeneland strip. Look for a rebound.
Sir Laff Alot...Been off a couple months and these 3YOs can often return from a break as an improved animal. Working well and trainer having a solid meet.
Around the Cape.

Lone Star: Lone Star Derby G3 $300K

Southern Africa 7-1
Shamoan 19-1
Real Dandy 5-1

Wager: $5 WP on Shamoan.
Collected $41.50 on the WP (xxx, 16.60).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-11.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-4-11.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-4-11.

Shamoan...We've liked this horse in his last two -- a couple third-place finishes at decent odds. Looks to be improving and might wake-up with move to dirt. Has only raced on turf so far but works seem to indicate he'll take to the main track.
Awesome Twist...Stretches out off of a couple nice sprint wins.
Magna Graduate...Think he's better than his last two -- but he has to show that before we can support on top.
Real Dandy.

Hollywood: LA Times Hcp G3 $150K

Forest Grove 4-1
Areyoutalkintome 9-5
Woke Up Dreamin 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on Areyoutalkintome.
Collected $9.00 on the WP (xxx, 3.60).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$2 tri key Areyoutalkintome over next two.
Ran 2/3-4.

Areyoutalkintome...Started the year running well and ran his best yet two back. Perhaps bounced last time -- but certainly had some trouble there. Look for a return to prior form.
Woke Up Dreamin...Brings in good form and a string of fast works for Baffert.

Hollywood: Jim Murray Memorial Hcp G3 $350K

Runaway Dancer 17-1
Vangelis 7-2
Exterior 2-1

Wager: $5 WP on Deputy Lad.
Ran 8th at 7-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-5-6e-7e-8 [entry].
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-5-6e-7e-8 [entry].

Deputy Lad...Looks to be improving. Just missed in a similar stake at Gulfstream last time. Like the looks of those two 6F works.
Vangelis...Steady diet of G1s since coming stateside. Layoff is a concern but Frankel is OK in that area.
Sarafan...8YO will need to fire his best shot.
TH Approval.

Hollywood: Mervyn Leroy Hcp G2 $150K

Ace Blue 7-2
Ender's Shadow 9-1
Borrego 8-5

Anziyan Royalty completed the $877.40/$2 super.

Wager: $5 WP on Ace Blue.
Collected $40.50 on the WP (9.80, 6.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $48.40 on the ex box ($96.80/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $167.40 on the tri box ($334.80/$2).

Ace Blue...Trainer Paulo Lobo has this one improving nicely since arriving in the northern hemisphere. Last was best yet and he's the one to beat with a repeat.
Borrego...Showed some promise as a 3YO last year and third-place finish in Santa Anita Hcp indicates he's still a contender -- but we need to see some graded W's before supporting him in the top spot.
Ender's Shadow...Plenty of early speed. He'll be tough to run down if able to sneak away early.
Anziyan Royalty.

Coast-to-coast Archives...Picks, plays and results from previous weeks


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