Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, June 7, 2003
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

It was a pretty good day for us here on the page -- but a disappointing day as a race fan for the many of us who were rooting for the Funny Cide story to have a Triple Crown ending. It wasn't meant to be but certainly it was fun to see all the mainstream press coverage this five-week saga received, particularly over the last few days. And it was really heartening to hear the roar of the 100,000+ in attendance at Belmont when Funny Cide hit the track. A great story and all we can do now is hope for one or two rousing match-ups between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in 3YO events this summer -- perhaps in the Haskell and/or Travers...

Otherwise, we were pretty solid, collecting on seven of the nine events. Scratches saved us some money -- but didn't really hurt our wagers significantly. For instance, at Calder our fourth pick scratched but our top three still managed to hit the board for the exacta ($18.00/$2) and tri ($38.80/$2). We had a couple of cold exactas at Belmont ($7.70/$2, $33.80/$2). Our top four picks also accounted for four tri's (although we didn't play the winning Belmont Stakes tri).

We did manage a 20% ROI -- but as you can see from going down the page, none of the scores Saturday offered a whole lot of value. But ya gotta take what they give. That's just how it played this week. This week's heartbreaker was the finish at Churchill where our top pick won, our third pick completed the exacta but our 28-1 fourth pick missed the show spot by a half-length. If that one gets up we have the tri one-and-a-half times and it probably would have been decent -- it paid $64.60/$2 with a 13-1 in the show spot. But for a half-length we would have managed a much better day.

However, another reason to feel good about the afternoon was breaking our slump of the last couple of weeks for winners on top. We managed a very respectable five winners in top in nine races Saturday (Belmont, 3.70, 8.10, 6.30; Calder, 8.00; Churchill, 3.40). That added up to a total of $18 for a $2W wager on each top selection and a return of $29.50 for a superb 65% ROI on W bets.

Again, a nice day for C2C if not for the psyche a racing in general.

WAGERED: $296.00
COLLECTED: $354.50

Turf wagers are turf only

Belmont: Affirmed

Alchemilla 7-5
She's Got the Beat 7-2
Misty Sixes 9-1

Shawklit Mint, Message Red among the scratched

Wager: $5 WP on Call An Audible.
Ran 4th at 5-1.
...$2 exacta key Call An Audible over next three.
Ran 2/4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-4.
...$1 tri box top four.

Call An Audible...Tepid vote in a wide-open event. Has clearly shown some nice improvement as a 4YO and looks to have a good stalking style in a race that seems to have plenty of speed to shoot at.
Message Red...Also showing improvement lately. Will probably need to move forward a little here but looks capable. Undefeated in two starts at the trip and yet to miss the board in ten tries.
Shawklit Mint...Seldom misses a check. There are some distance questions however.
She's Got The Beat.

Belmont: True North BC H'cp

Shake You Down 4-5
Highway Prospector 3-1
Vodka 18-1

Here's Zealous scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Shake You Down.
Collected $15.75 on the WP ($3.70, 2.60).
...$3 exacta box top two.
Collected $11.55 on the ex box ($7.70/$2).
...$2 tri key Shake You Down over next three.
Ran 1/2-4.

Shake You Down...Has jumped up with three eye-popping performances since claimed by Lake. Hard to beat if able to run a fourth time at that level.
Gill/Shuman entry...These two ran first and third in a G3 sprint on the Preakness undercard.
Here's Zealous...Seems to be ready to get back to good form shown in 2001.

Belmont: Just A Game BC H'cp

Mariensky 3-1
Riskaverse 3-1
Wonder Again 5-2

Voodoo Dancer (entrymate of Mariensky) among the scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Mariensky/Voodoo Dancer.
Collected $31.50 on the WP (8.10, 4.50).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$2 tri key Mariensky/Voodoo Dancer over next three, sub next if scratch.
Collected $63.50 on the tri key ($63.50/$2).
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.
Collected $31.75 on the tri box.

Clement entry...Mariensky comes back to make third start of year only a week after monster win right here last week in G2 Sheepshead Bay. Hard to see the track being a whole lot better than it was when she relished it in that romp. Entrymate Voodoo Dancer had a super consistent season in graded company last year. Ran well in '03 debut and expect some improvement off that tightener.
Wonder Again...Has only throw in one clunker since moving to turf and rebounded from that one nicely in seasonal debut last out.
Delta Princess...Mott filly beat Voodoo Dancer and Wonder Again last month.
Love N Kiss S.

Belmont: Riva Ridge BC

Posse 3-1
Midas Eyes 4-5
Halo Homewrekcer 7-1

Wager: $5 W on Midas Eyes.
Ran 2nd by a nose.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $7.80 on the ex box ($15.60/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $26.00 on the tri box ($52.00/$2).

Midas Eyes...Hard to go past off of the two impressive G3 wins since moving into Frankel barn.
Bishop Court Hill...Has improved nicely in each of last three starts and while we probably won't get another 15-20 Beyer jump he certainly can move forward enough to hit the gimmicks.
Posse...Seems to have matured into a nice 3YO sprinter and is already a graded winner at the trip.
Halo Homewrecker.

Belmont: Manhattan H'cp

Denon 2-1
Requete 6-1
Dr Brendler 22-1

Patrol was among the scratched.

Wager: $5 W on Denon.
Collected $15.75 on the W ($6.30, $4.20).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Collected $33.80 on the ex box ($33.80/$2).
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $16.90 on the ex box.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-8.

Denon...When going well he was one of the top turfers last year. Frankel 5YO had a useful run in '03 debut and should be ready to show best stuff.
Requete...More Frankel. Nice closing second in G1 stake on Derby card showed he's capable of competing with this kind.
Patrol...Mott turfer has some question marks but might be able to surprise them on the front end if able to get out there alone early.

The Belmont Stakes

Ten Most Wanted.

Empire Maker 2-1
Ten Most Wanted 9-1
Funny Cide 1-1

Wager: $5 W on Funny Cide.
Ran 3rd.
...$10 exacta Funny Cide over Dynever.
Ran 3-4.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-4.
...$1 tri box top three.
Ran 1-3-4.

Funny Cide...By 7PM Saturday I think we'll all be scratching our heads and saying, "Yeah, looking back it was obvious." Seems to have moved to a new level since the Wood and has thrived in the Triple Crown. Speedy workout Tuesday has raised some questions marks that won't really be answered until he runs -- but remember, in '82 Conquistador Cielo broke a track record winning the Met Mile over older horses, and then went on five days later to win the Belmont. This one has just looked too good in the first two jewels to go against today since he's already beaten three of these -- and neither of the two new shooters looks ready to get to him today. TRIPLE CROWN coronation.
Dynever...The unknown factor certainly has shown talent in brief career. Gets tested today but still has some upside potential.
Empire Maker...There's been a lot of pedigree comparison between this one and the top pick -- the upshot being a belief that Empire has a superior chance at the distance. However, in the stretch of the Derby it sure looked like Funny Cide was going better late. Yeah, the bruised foot has since become a convenient excuse for this one -- but what are we to believe, the pre-Derby Frankel who said he was in top shape and ready to win, or the pre-Belmont Frankel who says he was not in top form going into the Derby but he's good to go and ready to win this classic. You won't get me to knock Mr Frankel -- who over the past couple of years has put together a mind-boggling stretch of training success at the top level -- but clearly Empire is getting a big boost on the trainer's reputation. Don't forget, this one has run in five stakes and only won two of them. So he's clearly not invincible.

Monmouth: Wolf Hill

Native Heir 1-1
Jeb's Wild 5-2
Go Rail Go 11-1

Boston Brat (entrymate of Native Heir), Manofglory among the scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Jeb's Wild.
Collected $8.50 on the WP (xxx, 3.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Collected $9.00 on the ex box ($9.00/$2).
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $4.50 on the ex box.
...$1 tri box top four.
No tri offered after scratches.

Jeb's Wild...Put in a pretty good run two back in a similar stake at Gulfstream. Can contend here if able to repeat that effort.
Buzzy's Gold...Plenty of early zip and the trainer is red-hot at this meet. Should go well if takes to turf and should go better if race is washed off.
Boston Brat...Gill/Shuman sprinter was a superstar in Florida. A dud however last time in Mountaineer stake. That leaves some questions marks -- turf, and return to good form.

Calder: Ponche H'cp

Built Up 3-1
Lord Abouding 4-5
Danaher Steve 5-2

Juggernaut scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Built Up.
Collected $27.50 on the WP (8.00, 3.00).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $9.00 on the ex box ($18.00/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $19.40 on the ex box ($38.80/$2).

Built Up...Expecting a good run in third start of the season.
Danaher Steve...Beat top choice last time and has been going well this year.
Lord Abounding...Led until late in a pretty good G2 at Churchill. The cutback in distance should help.

Churchill: Jefferson Cup

Senor Swinger 3-5
Remind 5-1
Rapid Proof 13-1

Wager: $5 WP on Senor Swinger.
Collected $15.00 on the WP (3.40, 2.60).
...$5 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-7.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $7.30 on the ex box ($14.60/$2).
...$2 tri key Senor Swinger over next three.
Ran 1/2-4-7.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-7.

Senor Swinger...Was a convincing winner in his turf debut right here on this track two back in a similar stake. Right back with return to the weeds.
Willard Straight...Pletcher 3YO is improving and should go well in first stakes try.
Remind...Mott turfer was second to top pick in latest.
Moonshine Hall.

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


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