Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, June 21, 2003
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

We said Sautrday morning that short fields would hurt the value -- and we managed our scores on those value-less races. We were vexed once again -- like last week -- in most of the other events.

First the good news, we had four winners on top in nine races (Belmont, 4.10; Calder, 4.20; Hollywood, 2.60; Woodbine, 4.00). We also had three cold exactas (Belmont, 9.00/$2; Calder, $10.20; Woodbine, $14.10). The frustration of the card was watching our tri boxes grab three the top four spots -- without cashing -- in four races.

In retrospect: Hackendiffy tripped us up in the Ohio Derby. Usually in these type of races I do like to throw in the hometown hero -- they can often add some value to the gimmicks -- but this guy just looked a notch below and had faltered in previous tries against open company. But certainly his appreciation of the oval was an angle one could have latched on to.

At Lone Star our fifth choice got up for the place -- obviously we liked him enough to mention him, so that was not a real surprise. At Monmouth only two of ours ran after scratches. They ran second and third -- the winner was certainly playable coming out of two wins at Churchill. We might have had her if we knew the other two were out. The winner at Churchill was clearly a contender -- we just liked our four better. But Mountain General comes from a nice barn and, if you could forgive his last, he was a juicy 10-1, and playable. And finally our other 'miss' was the 2YO stake at Hollywood -- and reviewing the PP's in a race like that shows a lightly-raced field of which virtually none of the entrants could be excluded from jumping up and doing well.

C'est la ve. Back next week...

WAGERED: $305.00
COLLECTED: $113.05

Turf wagers are turf only

Belmont: Ogden Phipps H'cp/Leg 1 of NTRA Summer P3

Sighseek 1-1
Take Charge Lady 3-2
Mandy's Gold 6-1

Wager: $10 exacta Sightseek over Take Charge Lady.
Collected $45.00 on the exacta ($9.00/$2).

Sightseek...Finished last year primed to move to the forefront of the division this season for Frankel. Then got mired in a "bridesmaid" pattern to begin '03. However, last seems to indicate a return to winning form and one try over this strip was a corker.
Take Charge Lady...Unlucky to get caught late last time by reigning champ Azeri. Went to the sideline after that with a minor ailment, which raises question of fitness. And is only 2-0-1-0 over the surface.

Thistledown: Ohio Derby/Leg 2 of NTRA Summer P3

Wild and Wicked 1-1
Hackendiffy 15-1
Midway Road 6-5

Wager: $5 WP on Midway Road.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 tri key Midway Road over next three.
Ran 3/1-5-6.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 3/1-5-6.

Midway Road...A little more battle-tested than most of these with a couple of graded tries including a decent second behind Funny Cide in the Preakness.
Private City...Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens doesn't his home base too often so it's wise not to ignore him when he feels it's worth the trip. Maybe they saw something in that last, nice win to inspire confidence.
Wild And Wicked...M/L fave is 2-2 and certainly might be this good, but McPeek trainee popped the triple digit Beyer in the slop and lacks enough experience that there are question marks.
On The Border.

Lone Star: Dallas Turf Cup H'cp/Leg 3 of NTRA Summer P3

Patrol 6-5
Slew the Red 4-1
Storybook Kid 15-1

Wager: $5 WP on Statement.
Ran 7th at 4-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-7.
...$1 exacta box top three.
Ran 3-4-7.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-7.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-4-7.

Statement...In a race loaded with speed we'll search for some closers to complete the gimmicks -- this guy put in two solid come-from-behind efforts at Gulfstream before running a non-threatening fifth in a G2 at Keeneland last time. Kimmel's OK off of this type of layoff.
Candid Glen...His best recent race was when there was some pace up front -- and he should get that today.
Storybook Kid...Another that looks capable of being heard from in the lane.
Slew The Red.

Monmouth: Post Deb

Lake Kinneret 9-2
City Fire 7-5
Double Scoop 6-5

Ladyecho, Mt Kobla among the scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on City Fire.
Collected $7.50 on the WP (xxx, 3.00).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3.
...$2 tri key City Fire over next three.
Canceled after scratches.
...$1 tri box top four.
Canceled after scratches.

City Fire...Simply doesn't look like there will be any competition for this one on the front end.
Double Scoop...Very lightly raced but showed some quality last time with a solid second in a G3 at Churchill.
Mt Kobla...Steadily improving and should be ready to compete at this minor stakes level.

Calder: Unbridled

Hear No Evil 1-1
Whos Crying Now 5-2
King Cassia 4-1

The Name's Bond scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on The Name's Bond.
...$4 exacta box top two.
...$2 tri key The Name's Bond over next three.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-5.

The Name's Bond...Does pretty well over the course -- winning 20%, in the exacta 50%. Last was his best yet -- question of whether he might have 'freaked' a little over the off going, although he's not a wet track specialist. Let's hope it was just a sign of an in-form runner. If so he'll be tough.
Hear No Evil...Hasn't missed a top-two finish in seven tries over this surface. New front-running style has served him well lately.
Whos Crying Now...Seems like this one might prefer two turns -- so the overall record might help his value.
Hackleton's Cliff.

Churchill: Aristides H'cp

Mountain General 10-1
Beau's Town 8-5
Pass Rush 7-2

Wager: $5 WP on Pass Rush.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-4-6.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-4-6.

Pass Rush...Don't like the cutback for route to sprint -- but do like the nice second two back in G2 sprint stake on this surface behind the very good Aldebaran. If able to perhaps improve slightly over that try in this third start off of layoff he'll be tough here.
Beau's Town...Ultra-consistent with a 12-9-2-0 lifetime record. Only concern is the fitness level after a two month break -- but trainer is pretty solid in the department.
Strength And Honor...Lightly raced and eligible to be a nice one. Capable of being heard from here in third start of '03.

Hollywood: Haggin

Stalking Tiger 9-5
Perfect Moon 14-1
Dave the Dude 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on Blairs Roarin Star.
Ran 6th at 8-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-6.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-4-6.

Blairs Roarin Star...These 2YOs are always eligible to jump up and improve second time out. If this one does -- it's light's out.
Don'tsellmeshort...And here is one that did make such an improvement and recorded the field's best Beyer last time.
Dave The Dude...Another making his second start off of a nice maiden win.
Stalking Tiger.

Hollywood: Vanity H'cp

Azeri 1-5
Sister Girl Blues 12-1
Bare Necessities 5-2

Wager: $10 exacta Azeri over Bare Necessities (cancel if Bare Necessities scratches).
Ran 1/3.
...$5 tri Azeri/Bare Necessities/Tropical Blossom.
Ran 1/3/4.
...$2 tri Azeri/Bare Necessities/Sister Girl Blue.
Ran 1/3/4.

Azeri...At 127 she's carrying nine more pounds than our second pick and at least 15 more than the rest -- but it still looks likely that the competition is running for second.
Bare Necessities...Well, maybe they're running for third. This filly has come to hand lately and looks a clear second best.
Tropical Blossom.
Sister Girl Blues.

Woodbine: Queen's Plate (Sunday)

Wando 7-5
Mobil 2-1
Rock Again 9-2

Wager: $5 WP on Wando.
Collected $18.25 on the WP (4.00, 3.30).
...$5 exacta box top two.
Collected $35.25 on the ex box ($14.10/$2).
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $7.05 on the ex box.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-10.

Wando...Embarrassment of riches for owner/trainer combo which has both of our top picks. This one is 8-5-2-0 overall with the only dud being a poor try in the BC Juvie from a bad post position. Otherwise all start have been solid including four good stakes wins against open company.
Mobil...Could be the equal -- or better -- of top pick, but stakes wins so far have been in restricted company. We'll find out today which is the star of the barn.
Shoal Water...Impressive in seasonal debut and trainer is winning at 36%. Post position is a negative.
Button Wood.

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


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