Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, May 16, 2008
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes
by Seth Merrow

Will we head to NY with a chance for a Triple Crown? Will the filly add the second jewel to her tiara? Plenty of intrigue this afternoon in Baltimore.

Plus a few other stakes from around the country to spice up the action...

Good luck.

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

Pimlico: Race 7, exacta box, All Is Vanity/Dynaforce.
Pimlico: Race 12, WPS, General Quarters.
Pimlico: Race 12, $1 exacta box, General Quarters/Friesan Fire/Big Drama/Musket Man.
Churchill: Race 4, exacta key, Cloudspun over Fotografica/Taking Stock.
Churchill: Race 6, Stage Deli.
Churchill: Race 8, exacta box, Caroline B/Touch Here/Little Lady Smarty.

Pimlico: Dupont Distaff G2 $150K

Sea Chanter/Sklighter... Both halves of entry look capable. Sea Chanter is cross-entered at Belmont. But Skylighter might still have some upside potential early in her 4YO campaign.
Unforgotten...Faltered on off tracks in last two -- and might have to contend with that again. But she's better than that pair of efforts.
Striking Tomisue...Also cross-entered at Belmont. She contends here on her best effort.
Tammy's Victress.

Wager: $5 WP on Sea Chanter/Skylighter.
...$4 exacta box top two.

Pimlico: Schaefer G3 $100K

Ready Set...Fairly solid 3YO season - now makes second start as a 4YO. Needs to step it up off the seasonal debut but looks capable.
Cave's Valley...This company is probably a little tougher than he's faced in the last few -- but he was stakes-caliber last year.
Ea...Big Beyer at Charles Town looks a little inflated -- but will be competitive here regardless.
Real Merchant.

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

Pimlico: Gallorette G3 $100K

Dynaforce...Back form a long layoff -- but ran well off the bench in first start of 2008.
All Is Vanity...Should be set up to run well off of 2009 debut effort.
Shytoe Lafeet...Competitive this winter at Fair Grounds.

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

Pimlico: Jacobs G3 $100K

Nuclear Wayne...Tested today but improved through three starts and looks capable.
Taqarub...Might have bounced off the big effort three back. Coming back to form though.
Everyday Heroes...Solid undefeated record to start career at Oaklawn.
Despite the Odds.

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

Pimlico: Md Sprint Hcp G3 $100K

Ravalo...Should appreciate the return to dirt and the cutback to 6F.
Ah Day...And this one will definitely appreciate the return to sprinting.
Celtic Innis...Typically in the hunt.
Silver Edition.

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

Pimlico: Dixie G2 $150K

Kiss the Kid...Seems in good form coming out of three nice races at Gulfstream.
Proudinsky...Better than latest. Expect a rebound.
Parading...Could be dangerous on the front-end in third start of 2009.
Strike a Deal.

Wager: $5 WP on Kiss the Kid.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Pimlico: Preakness G1 $1mil

The wacky result of the Kentucky Derby seems to indicate that this 3YO class has yet to define itself. The filly Rachel Alexandra Looks like the best horse in the race -- on the numbers -- but we'll take a shot against her. We've never been enamored with change-of-plan horses in the Triple Crown, or the prep races, and this gal wasn't pointing to this race until her purchase late last week. She should also be tested here in a way she hasn't been in the filly contests this year. A win by Rachel certainly wouldn't be a surprise -- but we'll go against her and look for three Derby returnees and a new shooter to round out our play. Although, a case can be made for perhaps seven or eight in here... And, all that said, if the filly wins it will be a great story.

General Quarters...He's better than he showed in his troubled-trip Derby.
Friesan Fire...Ditto -- but this is a shaky pick. He ran so poorly in the Derby, and came out with some scrapes, that we're leery about this guy -- but he popped in a solid work in prep for this that makes us reluctant to leave him out.
Big Drama...Hard to knock the 7-5-1-1 record [with a DQ -- he's crossed the finish line first in 6-of-7]. Pace is going to be the question mark since he'll need to be sent from the rail. But he's shown the ability to sit just off the leaders -- so maybe Johnny V can hustle him away and hopefully find a good stalking position and get first jump when the real running starts.
Musket Man...Another one with an impressive record [7-5-0-2] that includes two "Derby" victories [Tampa Bay and Illinois. Contact in the Kentucky Derby might have cost him the place-spot.

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

Belmont: Shuvee Hcp G2 $150K

Seattle Smooth..Seasonal debut indicates she came back in top form and clearly looks like the one to beat here.
Sea Chanter...Cross-entered at Pimlico. Good try last time in first dirt start.
Striking Tomisue...Also cross-entered. Probably better than she showed last time -- although she was a dud in this race last year.

Wager: $2 exacta Seattle Smooth over Sea Chanter.

Churchill: Matt Winn $100K

Cash Refund...A repeat of the last -- even with a regression -- takes this.
Capt Candyman Can...Graded stakes winner.
Dance Caller.

Wager: $5 exacta Cash Refund over Capt Candyman Can.
...$5 exacta box top two.

Hollywood: LA Hcp G3 $100K

Siren Lure...8YO ran well this winter in NoCal. Particularly likes Hollywood.
Paul's Hope...Could have been a wake-up effort last time.
Soul City Slew...Won a G2 at Santa Anita in latest.
Guns On The Table.

Wager: $5 WP on Siren Lure.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri key Siren Lure over next three.
...$1 tri key Paul's Hope over other three.

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


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