Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, November 20, 2004
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes

We'll define this as a "quirky" afternoon. Spent most of the afternoon with our head in our hands in despair as we suffered through some questionable rides, lack of value scores, and/or a non-pick getting up to ruin our exacta/tri's.

After all this however we still managed to squeak out the smallest of profit.

How the day unfolded: Only one winner on top Churchill ($9.00). But a second winner was tantalizingly close as 9-2 Then She Laughs -- our top pick in the co-feature at Aqueduct -- fought through most of the lane with the winner, and being on the outside, that's the horse which will usually prevail, but not this time. Through the last one hundred yards it looked like ours would go by at any moment. But the photo told a different story -- a loss by the barest of noses.

In the other from Aqueduct, the Red Smith, ours proved completely disappointing after all being in striking position coming into the stretch. In the Churchill under-feature, one of ours scratched and our other three ran 2-3-4. Doh! Our only winner of the day came in the feature at Churchill when 7-2 Aud made up for that nasty beat at Aqueduct by sitting far back early then closing late to just get up in the shadow of the wire. Still, at this point we were off to a slow start as none of the rest of ours could get up to complete gimmicks.

In the Laurel Futurity, we kicked things off well in that first of six stakes on the Pimlico card by getting a reverse exacta and then having our third pick complete the short tri. But the short field meant little value -- and we took a stand on the tri with our top pick on top.

We finally managed to grab a basketful of gimmicks in the Selima at Pimlico. Our top four filled the first four spots for boxed plays. In the Stefanita we were a little surprised by the price on the winner, we were expecting more than 4-1, our comments from Saturday morning were, "Sensibly Chic...Interesting runner makes third start off layoff and might provide some good value if able to make another move forward. She won, but it was another race where we couldn't get one of ours up to complete the exacta.

The Hadry at Pimlico could rank as the disappointment of the day... Our top pick, 9-5 Bowman's Band (kind of surprising that sprint specialist Gygistar was the 3-5 fave -- he finished fifth) couldn't get up in the stretch but we were happy to see him run second behind our 13-1 fourth pick because it meant juicy gimmicks. We grabbed the $87.20/$2 exacta -- but doh! -- Torch the Halls, our 21-1 third pick was right there to complete our tri until very late when he got passed for the show spot. So we missed the tri -- but what could have been: With a 13-1, 9-5 and 8-1 in there the tri paid $317.80/$2.We can only salivate thinking about what we might have had if our 21-1 had held on to beat that 8-1...

So here we were, late in the afternoon on Saturday, eight races down, three to go, and we were hitting a little, just missing a nice one -- but overall it was kind of a struggle...

Things didn't improve as our top pick, 5-1 Silmaril, looked good until late when she went a little flat. Our others went 1-3-4. Another exacta foiled.

And then came the afternoon-maker: The G1 DeFrancis at Pimlico. Our fourth selection 16-1 Wildcat Heir held off 6-5 Midas Eyes for the upset win. That gave us the $138.40/$2 exacta. And with Clock Stopper completing the tri we pulled in some of that $551.00/$2 ticket.

We hoped to pad our bankroll a tad with the nightcap -- the Prevue at Hollywood. But it wasn't meant to be. Instead we ended our quirky day with a most modest profit. Had we been able to add that potentially nice tri in the Hadry it could have been a very good day.

WAGERED: $492.00
COLLECTED: $492.80

Turf wagers are turf only

Aqueduct: Safely Kept $60KG

Stork Minstrel 9-2
Then She Laughs 9-2
Dreamadreamforme 42-1

Wager: $5 WP on Then She Laughs.
Collected $14.50 on the WP (xxx, 5.80).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-9.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-4-7-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-4-7-9.

Then She Laughs...Got especially good in late spring/summer. Fade job last time is a huge concern -- but if that was a fluke and she can rebound to good form she'll be tough with the cutback to 6F.
Gilded Gold...Another that put it together this summer and faltered somewhat last time. Prior form was too good to ignore. Note: Owned by Food Network celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
Mayfield...Needs to step it up in stakes debut but is solidly undefeated in two starts for Jim Jerkens.
Ambition Unbridled.

Aqueduct: Red Smith H'cp G2 $150K

Dreadnaught 5-1
Certifiably Crazy 8-1
Alost 22-1

Wager: $5 WP on Dr Brendler.
Ran 6th at 3-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 4-6.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 4-6-8-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 4-6-8-9.

Dr Brendler...Trainer's having a pretty good year -- including a win in the BC Turf. This one came back from over a year on the bench to just miss last time. Could be tough under Santos if able to move forward off of that effort.
Irish Colonial...NY-bred has been in good form since mid-summer. Loses services of top jock however.
Evening Attire...Ran against some of the best on the dirt this season -- but proved turf is not a problem when second in Knickerbocker last time.

Churchill: Caressing H'cp $70K

Sweet Talker 3-1
Dynamist 4-5
Dianne's Debut 5-1

Baby Needs Shoes scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Dynamist.
Collected $7.00 on the WP (xxx, 2.80).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 2-3-4.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 2-3-4.

Dynamist...Superb, winning debut over the turf, around two turns at Meadowlands. Need only repeat that effort to win.
Dianne's Debut...Expect a rebound to top form with return to turf.
Baby Needs Shoes...Stepped way up when introduced to grass.

Churchill: Cardinal H'cp G3 $150K

Aud 7-2
May Gator 51-1
Angela's Love 38-1

Wager: $5 WP on Aud.
Collected $33.00 on the WP (9.00, 4.20).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-5-8-9.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-5-8-9.

Aud...Has yet to finish first this season (lone win was by DQ) -- but last might signal arrival to tip-top form. Maybe. We'll take the shot that's the case.
Shaconage...Has been fairly consistent all year. Now makes third start off of a short layoff and looks ready to go well.
Classic Stamp...Canadian shipper has a marvelous record: Off the board once in fifteen lifetime starts. Never off the board on turf. 3-4 at the trip. Very, very dangerous.
On the Bus.

Pimlico: Laurel Futurity G3 $100K

Defer 3-5
Funk 6-5
Woody's Apache 7-1

Killenaule scratched.

Wager: $5 WP on Funk.
Collected $6.00 on the WP (xxx, 2.40).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Collected $5.80 on the ex box ($5.80/$2).
...$1 tri key Funk over next three.
Ran 2/1-3.

Funk...Pletcher 2YO moved forward nicely when stretched to two turns last time.
Defer...Won debut then ran second to talented Rockport Harbor in stakes follow-up.
Killenaule...Battle-tested from Pletcher/Tabor. Yet to miss the board in eight starts including stakes wins in last two.
Woody's Apache/Malibu Moonshine.

Pimlico: Selima $100K

Hear Us Roar 3-5
Take a Check 5-1
Gotta Rush 9-1

Jill Robin L ran 4th to complete the $97.20/$2 super.

Wager: $5 WP on Gotta Rush.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 3-4.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $5.80 on the ex box ($11.60/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $22.90 on the tri box ($45.80/$2).

Gotta Rush...Delaware shipper seems to be getting the hang of it.
Jill Robin L...Took awhile to break maiden but then dropped into a stake and ran well -- although erratically.
Take a Check...Just-missed in good state-bred stakes try last time.
Hear Us Roar.

Pimlico: Stefanita $50K

Sensibly Chic 4-1
Wallop 24-1
Thermal Abrasion 9-2

Wager: $5 WP on Tight Spin.
Ran 5th at 9-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 5-7.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-5-7.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.
Ran 1-3-5-7.

Tight Spin...Solid sprinter since summer -- but on grass. Will be tough if able to transition well with return to dirt.
Bronze Abe...Took a late summer break and hasn't shown a complete return to prior top form yet -- but clearly has the talent to get it done here.
Sensibly Chic...Interesting runner makes third start off layoff and might provide some good value if able to make another move forward.
Thermal Ablasion/Ambition Unbridled.
Bright Gold.

Pimlico: Charles H Hadry $100K

Irish Colony 13-1
Bowman's Band 9-5
Last Intention 8-1

Wager: $5 WP on Bowman's Band.
Collected $9.50 on the WP (xxx, 3.80).
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-5.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $43.60 on the ex box ($87.20$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-2-4-5.

Bowman's Band...Has banked over $400K this season while knocking heads with the best of the division. This is clearly the easiest spot he's been in all year.
Gygistar...Also has been meeting some good ones in 2004. Probably more sprint-meant but has shown some ability around two turns in the past.
Torch the Halls...Could be some value if able to repeat effort shown two back.
Irish Colony.

Pimlico: Anne Arundel G3 $100K

Essence 3-1
Rare Gift 9-2
Family Business 7-1

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

Silmaril...Like the nice improving form in two starts since returning from layoff.
Essence...Pletcher/Velazquez filly just stepped through NW1 condition but fits here.
He Loves Me...Solid since summer including a fourth behind Ashado in the G2 Cotillion last time.
Family Business.

Pimlico: Frank J DeFrancis Memorial Dash G1 $200K

Wildcat Heir 16-1
Midas Eyes 6-5
Clock Stopper 9-2

Wager: $5 WP on Champali.
Ran 8th at 5-1.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 2-8.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Collected $69.20 on the ex box ($138.40/$2).
...$1 tri box top four.
Collected $275.50 on the tri box ($551.00/$2).

Champali...A little bit of an overlooked talent in the sprint division. Looked good winning a G3 at Keeneland two back then had some trouble in the BC Sprint. Will need best effort but looks capable.
Midas Eyes...Disappointed at Lone Star but expect a rebound to that good form shown at Saratoga. And that will make him very tough to beat.
Clock Stopper...A 'wise-guy' pick for a lot of folks in the BC Sprint -- but he might need a shorter field to find the winner's circle. His style means he has to negotiate a clean trip through a large field.
Wildcat Heir.

Hollywood: Hollywood Prevue G3 $100K

Declan's Moon 2-5
Bushwacker 16-1
Seize the Day 3-1

Wager: $5 WP on Seize the Day.
Ran 3rd.
...$2 exacta box top two.
Ran 1-3.
...$1 exacta box top four.
Ran 1-3-5-6.
...$1 tri box top four.
Ran 1-3-5-6.

Seize the Day...Maiden win signals this one could be any kind.
Declan's Moon...Was not flattered by Roan Ruler's fifth in the BC Juvie. Is clearly talented however.
Beat the Chalk...Solid, improving string of three starts so far.

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


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