In addition to his weekly Wednesday column assessing the previous weekend’s graded stakes racing performances, each Friday GradedStakesRaces.com founder Keith Pettyjohn will provide a runner listed at 10-1 or greater on the early line to use in your multiple pool wagers
By Keith Pettyjohn — As stated, each week we scour that weekend’s graded stakes events looking for a horse that can add value to your exotic plays. That runner will be the horse I’m keying as a board-hitter to fill out the vertical exotics.
Unfortunately I had my first horse miss hitting the board last week. I should have gone with my first pick, Harvey’s Lil Goil.
She ended-up running third in the Alabama Stakes and helping to greatly enhance the returns that you would have gotten for the trifecta but I didn’t think she would measure up to the 10-1 goal. Well, that was last week.
And that’s the good old “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” anyway. For this week, we’re turning our attention to the Grade 1 Pacific Classic where “the turf meets the surf.”.
A major story is the rematch betweens Maximum Security and Midcourt. According to Bob Baffert, Maximum Security was only about 80% in his last race and should be better prepared for this effort.
As I look at the Class-Based Performance Ratings for Midcourt, and the pace figures for the other entrants, it appears as though he will be out on the lead again dictating the pace in this event. So I expecthim to give another big effort.
But for this week’s “Play-At-A-Price” pick, I’m focusing my attention on the #3 horse, Mirinaque. This horse is a lightly raced four year old having only made nine lifetime starts.
Although he’s making his first start in this country, he has proven in his native Argentina to be very versatile, having run in races from five furlongs all the way to 1 9/16 miles.
Mirinaque has won on dirt and has won on turf. In his brief career, he is yet to miss hitting the exotics board as he has tallied four wins, four seconds and one fourth-placed finish.
The trainer is Maria Munoz. She doesn’t ship up to America often. The last horse that she ran here was the Argentinian bred, Ever Rider, in 2014.
That runner finished fourth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational and fourth again in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap. Her horses always seem to be well prepared to run a distance of ground.
I believe his strength lies in his affinity for distance racing. The mile and a quarter trip should prove to be no problem for this four year old gray colt.
When you look over his past performances, you will see that he has competed in five of the toughest races offered in Argentina, including the world class Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini, the most prestigious event run in the Southern Hemisphere.
He’s won twice, placed twice, and ran fourth in the other. In his Pellegrini placing, he finished ahead of 21 of his 23 rivals. And did we mention he goes first-time Lasix?
It appears Munoz has chosen the right horse and the right spot for her return to North America. There is a lot of good racing around the country this weekend but this 1-1/4 miles clearly is the most meaningful.
Whatever you play and wherever you play, good luck, good gambling and always remember when playing this game…“It Only Takes One.”