Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, March 8, 2008
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes
by Seth Merrow

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

Aqueduct, Race 9, Texas Wildcatter.
Gulfstream, Race 9, J'ray.
Fair Grounds, Race 7, Fracas.
Santa Anita, Race 9, Ariege.

Aqueduct: Togboggan Hcp G3 $100K

Santana Strings...Never been a big fan of this Asmussen trainee as he is one of those that can toss a big one in at any time -- you just never know when that will be. Well, he did it last time, at nearly 50-1. Will he put two together? We'll know later today -- but if he can he'll be formidable in here.
City Attraction...Beaten fave last time without much of an apparent excuse but capable of rebounding and Dominguez onboard.
Sir Greeley...Like many of these, when he's good, he's very good. It's just hard to know when he'll give his best. Has been working well in Florida for 2008 debut.

Wager: $3 exacta box top two.
...$1 tri key Santana Strings over next two.

Aqueduct: Gotham G3 $250K

Texas Wildcatter...Seems like Pletcher gets some 'second-stringers' to step up and score in some of these Derby Trail races every year. This one might have gotten some education in his first try on this track and in stakes company last time.
Giant Moon...Undefeated in four starts, including three stakes. NY-bred certainly has connections thinking 'Derby' -- but needs to keep it going in order to bank graded earnings.
Roman Emperor...Beyers have been improving with each start and he just missed last time in the Whirlaway at the same distance over this track.
Saratoga Russell.

Wager: $5 WP on Texas Wildcatter.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Gulfstream: Richter Scale G2 $200K

Chatain...5YO with only nine starts has never really had a chance to live up to the potential he has shown on occasion -- but maybe he'll start to string a few together this season.
Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk...We liked him in the first two starts at the meet -- but clearly gets a big test today.
Commentator...We could easily have egg on our face after this race by putting this guy in the third slot. Ran a hole in the wind on this track in latest. But this guy has tended to disappoint in big events so we're willing to take a stand against today.
King of the Roxy.

Wager: $5 WP on Chatain.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Gulfstream: The Very One Hcp G3 $100K
NOTE: Because of 'yielding' turf conditions the distance of this race is now 1 1/8M.

J'ray...We were high on this horse all last year -- and found it disappointing that she lost those two NY-bred stakes that she should have dominated. But her just-miss here last time indicates she's running well again.
Mauralakana...Solid graded-stakes performer from Clement.
Cliffrose...Sheppard/Augustin turfer could be interesting in second start off of a long layoff.

Wager: $5 WP on J'ray.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Fair Grounds: DF Kenner $200K

Noonmark...Liked him a couple of years back on the Derby Trail. Never really lived up to that potential as a 3YO but the latest could indicate he's matured into a good one.
Semaphore Man...Solid win in Oaklawn stake last time. Repeat puts him in the thick of this.
Roi Maudit...Better than last.

Wager: $5 WP on Noonmark.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 tri key Noonmark over next three.

Fair Grounds: New Orleans Hcp G2 $500K

Grasshopper...4YO debut seemed to confirm 3YO potential.
Silver Lord...Lightly-raced 5YO might still have some upside. Nice second to top pick last time. Could be the lone speed here.
Magna Graduate...It's a theme today -- when he's good, he's very good. Will it be today? Adds blinkers.
Brass Hat.

Wager: $5 WP on Grasshopper.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 tri key Grasshopper over next three.

Fair Grounds: Muniz Memorial Hcp G2 $500K

Fracas...Solid form in Europe. working well for Tagg for US debut. Adds lasix.
Daytona...The one to beat off of the nice win here last month.
Proudinsky...Lightly-raced 5YO from Frankel looks dangerous.
Twilight Meteor.

Wager: $5 WP on Fracas.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Fair Grounds: FG Oaks G2 $400K

Indian Blessing...In the short, four-horse field she is likely to be very tough to catch in the stretch.
Proud Spell...If Indian Blessing is caught this is the one to do it.

Wager: $5 exacta Indian Blessing over Proud Spell.

Fair Grounds: La Derby G2 $600K

Tale of Ekati...Off since running fourth in the G1 BC Juvie. Liable to have gained some maturity during the layoff. Working well.
Pyro...Eye-popping stretch run in the G3 Risen Star. Impressive but that style will always leave him with some work to do and very little margin for error while doing it.
Majestic Warrior...Like the top pick this one is probably better than his season finale and could benefit from the layoff.
J Be K.

Wager: $5 WP on Tale of Ekati.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Santa Anita: SA Oaks G1 $300K

Ariege...Frankel's Euro import tries the synthetic -- but we saw this trainer miss with Champs Elysees in the G1 Big Cap. Filly has worked well over the main track and there don't seem to be any world-beaters in this edition of the Oaks.
Lovely Isle...Barnmate of top pick, this gal looks like the one to catch.
Golden Doc A...Plenty of experience -- including a G1 win over this track last time. Dangerous.
Sunday Holiday.

Wager: $5 WP on Ariege.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

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


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