Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, May 21, 2005
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

We had a little bit of success -- but most of that was low value. So we spent most of the day swimming upstream.

Three winners on top in twelve races (Monmouth, $2.80; Pimlico, $3.00; Golden Gate, $4.80). Otherwise, some small gimmicks. We were all around it for much of the day but couldn't make anything really happen -- and a few of ours ran poorly enough that maybe it just wasn't meant to be this week anyway.

WAGERED: $490.00
COLLECTED: $214.20

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

We were clearly expecting a profitable day here when our first play of the afternoon came in and automatically took us to the break-even point. Anything else was going to be gravy. Landslide looked very good turning for home at Belmont but just didn't have it late. And we were a little disappointed that jockey Migliore didn't persevere late, but this is a very well-bred colt, so they're probably expecting good things and felt no need to push here. Also there was an especially long delay at the gate that might have taken the edge off of ours. Then Fortress Hill was a sure winner until one jump in front of the wire. Mere inches from turning a 'push' into a 50% ROI day... Ah well, better than losing...

Belmont, Race 7, Beautiful Bay... WON (8.00, 4.70, 3.90).
Belmont, Race 9, Landslide... 3rd at 6-5 (xxx, xxx, 2.40).
Delaware, Race 8, Fortress Hill... 2nd at 6-5 (xxx, 3.60, 2.40).
Pimlico, Race 12, Giacomo... 3rd at 6-1 (xxx, xxx, 4.80).

Pimlico: Preakness G1 $1 mil

Afleet Alex 3-1
Scrappy T 13-1
Giacomo 6-1

Wager: $5 WP on Giacomo.
Ran 3rd.
...$4 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-6-10.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-6-10.

Giacomo...Our third choice in the Derby and our value play at 50-1, we won't jump off the bandwagon today as there should still be some decent value considering this guy is now the Kentucky Derby winner. Coming into the big race two weeks ago we mentioned he was our top pick in the Santa Anita Derby and so we keyed on him that day and felt the race was better than it looked. Giacomo made a big move on the turn but the pace wasn't particularly fast that day and there was really no change down the lane in the SA Derby. We said a more brisk pace in the Ky Derby could allow Giacomo to sustain a better closing kick. Well, who knew? The blistering pace and a nice ride by Mike Smith helped everything fall into place. So right off the bat we were more of a believer in this one than many others -- and many of those are dismissing him today because they felt the win two weeks ago was a fluke. We feel he might just be rounding into top form. Remember the SoCal weather was very unusual this year and many runners were off-schedule as far as training routines. So, did the SoCal 3YO class perhaps get set back a race worth of fitness? Along with Giacomo, Don't Get Mad has come back to improve nicely off of his try in the SA Derby. And for folks worried about Giacomo being too far back early and having too much to do late -- note the races earlier this year at Santa Anita where he sat fairly close to fast paces. Sure, the post is a concern, but there's plenty of run to that first turn and enough speed that we should be able to find decent position early.
Afleet Alex...Wondering if perhaps he fired his best shot in the Ark Derby and the two-a-days haven't caught up with him. We'll know more today -- but even if he is climbing back to form after the effort in Hot Springs this guy has just been too consistent in the division to leave out of the mix.
High Fly...Right in the thick of things into the lane in the Ky Derby. He was up with the pace and then down inside in the lane -- not the place to be -- so he had real excuses for fading. Might be fitter now ff the two week layoff as opposed to five.
Noble Causeway...Like High Fly this Zito-trainee might have been at a little bit of a disadvantage off the layoff. Came into the Derby looking talented enough to make a dent in this division and we're expecting a rebound.

Belmont: Shuvee Hcp G2 $200K

Society Selection 9-5
Daydreaming 8-5
Bohemian Lady 7-1

Wager: $5 WP on Bohemian Lady.
Ran 3rd.
...$5 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.

Bohemian Lady...Looked promising early on in her 3YO season. Went to the bench early last summer and looks to be rounding back into top form and is getting to string a few together.
Daydreaming...Like top pick, had a good 3YO season and is rounding into good 4YO form.

Monmouth: Select $60K

More Smoke 2-5
Lieutenant Danz 8-1
Miracle Man 3-1

Attila's Storm scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on More Smoke.
Collected $13.00 on the WP (2.80, 2.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $5.20 on the ex box ($10.40/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $7.20 on the tri box ($14.40/$2).

More Smoke...Looks like an improved 3YO. Started season finishing behind the super-talented Lost in the Fog -- followed up with a big win at Keeneland.
Attila's Storm...Seems to be coming around and is ready for this minor stakes assignment.
Miracle Man...This is easier than the Derby Trial.
Lieutenant Danz.

Delaware: Sweet and Sassy Hcp $75K

Annika Lass 5-1
Fortress Hill 6-5
Storm Minstrel 7-2

Wager: $5 WP on Fortress Hill.
Collected $9.00 on the WP (xxx, 3.60).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $14.30 on the ex box ($28.60/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $44.50 on the tri box ($89.00/$2).

Fortress Hill...Blew through conditions bingo-bango for Pletcher. Finds a nice place for stakes debut.
Storm Minstrel...Third start off layoff and has improving numbers in first two.
Annika Lass...Sat off about a month and a half and seems to have returned as an improved 4YO.

Pimlico: Woodlawn $100K

English Channel 1-2
United 11-1
Holy Ground 8-1

Wager: $5 WP on English Channel.
Collected $13.50 on the WP (3.00, 2.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-8.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-8.

English Channel...Nice win last time indicates he might be a good one to keep our eyes on.
TD Vance...Very lightly raced. Made turf debut successfully last time in a nice Gulfstream grass sprint. Looks ready.
Mighty Mecke...Thrown to the wolves last time in G1 Florida derby, but mid-pack finish was no disgrace. Should be in the mix if takes to grass.
Holy Ground.

Pimlico: Gallorette Hcp G3 $100K

Film Maker 2-1
Briviesca 9-2
Humorisitc 32-1

Wager: $5 WP on Path of Thunder.
Ran 6th at 2-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $17.80 on the ex box ($35.60/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-5-6.

Path of Thunder...Another that seems to have returned to races as an improved 4YO.
Briviesca...Has been competitive since arriving in Mott barn. Soft turf experience in Europe might be a plus today.
Film Maker...Second behind the champ Ouija Board in BC F/M Turf. Clearly very talented but layoff is a concern.
Changing World.

Pimlico: Md BC Hcp G3 $200K

Willy o'the Valley 7-2
With Distinction 9-1
Take Achance On Me 6-1

Wager: $5 WP on Gators N Bears.
Ran 4th at 2-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-8.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-8.

Gators N Bears...Defending champ hasn't won yet in 2005 -- but cuts back to best distance.
Primary Suspect...A couple of wins this year -- and a couple of finishes behind the very good Forest Danger.
Will o'the Valley...Going well right now and makes first start for trainer with eye-popping first-out stat.
Take Achance On Me.

Pimlico: Dixie G2 $200K

Cool Conductor 11-1
Artie Schiller 3-5
Good Reward 7-2

Wager: $5 WP on Artie Schiller.
Collected $6.50 on the WP (xxx, 2.60).
...$4 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-4.
...$2 tri key Artie Schiller over next two.
Ran 2/3-4.

Artie Schiller... Was part of that phenomenal 3YO turf class last year and Keeneland win shows he's held his form as a 4YO.
Better Talk Now... We though BC Turf champ might need one but he won Ft Marcy nicely. Won't be hurt if turf is soft.
Good Reward.

Pimlico: Sir Barton $100K

Pinpoint 4-1
Smokescreen 5-2
Killenaule 6-1

Wager: $5 WP on Sunshine Stalker.
Ran 7th at 5-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-7.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $22.00 on the ex box ($44.00/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-7.

Sunshine Stalker...These undercard 3YO stakes often get some late developers who can turn out well. this guy looks to fit the bill. Looks to be getting the hang of it and on the improve. Trainer having a good meet.
Smokescreen...Just missed first time around two turns. Should benefit from that experience.
Reel Legend...Another lightly raced runner on the improve.

Pimlico: Schaefer Hcp G3 $100K

Zakocity 2-1
Clays Awesome 11-1
Royal Assault 9-2

Wager: $5 WP on Alumni Hall.
Ran 8th at 2-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $41.70 on the ex box ($83.40/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-6-8.

Alumni Hall...Hmm, is he moving in the right direction -- or did he just like the Keeneland surface. We're tilting towards the former but we'll know more this afternoon.
Zakocity...Usually in the hunt and we expect no less today.
Contante...Been a little in-and-out since arriving in US but is clearly talented.
Clays Awesome.

Hollywood: Barrera Memorial G2 $150K

Storm Wolf 2-5
Dover Dere 5-1
Ransom Demanded 20-1

Wager: $5 WP on High Standards.
Ran 6th at 5-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-6.
...$4 tri key High Standards over next two.
Ran 6/1-2.

High Standards...Battle-tested graded stakes winner should appreciate return to dirt.
Storm Wolf...Two wins so far this year were eye-popping and make him the one to beat.
Dover Dere.

Golden Gate: Yerba Buena BC Hcp G3 $100K

Pickle 7-5
Marla Bay 11-1
Midwife 5-2

Wager: $5 WP on Pickle.
Collected $19.50 on the WP (4.80, 3.00).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-5.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-5.

Pickle...Going well since arriving stateside, including a G3 in SoCal last time.
Ramatuelle...Undefeated and the two dirt wins should set her up well for this.
First Draft...Going well now.
Marla Bay.

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


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