HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, April 20, 2013 – Taking a bit of a respite from Derby 149 to check out the action at Keeneland, Laurel and Oaklawn Park. Those stands are winding down but HRI’s main focus will feature the hot weekend in Hot Springs. First, a look at Friday’s feature in Lexington:
KEENELAND RACE COURSE [FRIDAY]
G3 DOUBLEDOGDARE Race 9
The Skinny: This 1-1/16 miles on the turf is always interesting and what this renewal lacks in numbers–eight are entered–it makes up for competitiveness despite the presence of a classy favorite. 4-Interstatedaydream (6-5) drops from the G2 Azeri where she was as good third to Secret Oath last out. The value here is faster 3-Frost Point (12-1), shipping in from the Big A for Bill Mott, given plenty of recovery time from a recent top last-out figure score.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Interstatedaydream
WIN-VALUE. Betting Frost Point to win at 6-1 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-3-4 [2-Green Up Is a fresh, talented Pletcher trainee, 3-1]. Exacta Box 3-4-7 [7-Hidden Connection is class tested, good energy distribution, 4-1].
OAKLAWN PARK [SATURDAY]
VALUE OF THE VAPORS STAKES Race 9
The Skinny: 2-Merlazza (8-5) has the look of another star three-year-old for Brad Cox. In her three-race career she owns two recent wins after the removal of blinkers and a stretch-out to two turns which she won in hand. Her pedigree indicates that distance and experience are an advantage. The filly to beat is 4-Klassy Brigade (5-2) who won half her six sprint starts, has stakes experience including a win two back, and has a two sided pedigree that gets you today’s mile and eventually beyond.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Merlazza
WIN-VALUE: 3-Santa Fe Gold (8-1) to win at early line odds or greater [sharp and Calhoun 28% with shippers; profitable 23% with repeaters]
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-3-4. Exacta Box 2-4-9 [Exponential Star, 5-1, moved forward first time long for barn that 23% profitable with its routers]. Trifecta Key: 2 // 3-4-9
G2 OAKLAWN PARK HANDICAP Race 10
The Skinny: Our best advice is not to take the recent defeat of 7-Charge It (8-5) too seriously. It’s difficult to turn back to a one-turn mile at Gulfstream after coming off a soft two-turn score previously; full stop. But if you need more convincing, winning Endorsed was a super sharp Mike Maker one-turner who matched up well on the Thoro-Graph scale.
We understand the love afforded 2-Last Samurai (2-1) by the Oaklawn linemaker, as this 5-year-old never has raced in better form and comes off a pair of top-figure scores. And therein lies the rub. Further, those efforts came at a shorter trip; the added sixteenth might flatten his patented late foot. 3-Stilleto Boy (8-1) benefits from the oddsmaker’s early line largesse The Big ‘Cap winner turns back a furlong but was an excellent third in the rapidly run Pegasus World Cup at today’s trip in prior.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Charge It
WIN-VALUE PLAY: Stilleto Boy to win at 5-1 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Key-Box 7 // 2-3-4 [Proxy, 4-1, game Big Cap runner-up reunites with winning partner Rosario]. Exacta Wheel: 7 // 2-3-4. Trifecta Key: 7 // 2-3-4.
BATH HOUSE ROW STAKES Race 11
The Skinny: Unforgiving horseplayers would think of this a Battle of the Disappointing, but both 4-Red Route One (2-1) and 6-Victory Formation (3-1) had legitimate excuses; the former broke poorly in the G1 Arkansas Derby and the latter got hung out from post 13 chasing a very hot pace from post 13 in the G2 Risen Star.
We will say that ‘Red’ is a break-your-heart, from-last finisher that is clearly pace dependent–something he might get here; that and class relief. Victory Formation won three straight prior to his last-out debacle, is fresh, a d has recent flashy works for this. These two will vie for favoritism and each has a running mate. Powerful likely will help heat up the early fractions for ‘Red” while ‘Victory’ has 9-Tapit Shoes (7-2) who’s developing nicely in late spring and training well a long time for this–interesting that Cox has named Kent Desormeaux, whose riding style should suit this guy perfectly.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Red Route One or Victory Formation
WIN-VALUE PLAY: Tapit Shoes to win at 7-2 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 4-6-9. Exacta Key-Box 9 // 4-6. Superfecta Wheel: 4-6-9-// 4-6-9 // 1-4-6-7-9 // 1-4-6-7-9
Per usual, suggested exotic plays are at minimums available, straight wagers in $2 units
this is a live column that will be updated throughout the weekend
RACING AT LAUREL PARK HAS BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
LAUREL PARK [SATURDAY]
HENRY S. CLARK STAKES Race 8
d.The Skinny: Today’s nominal feature at Laurel is an interesting handicapping puzzle that pits a Horse for Course vs Distance Specialist vs Developing 4-year-old.
1-Sky’s Not Falling (6-1) just loves it here, thrilled to be back on a course over which he’s never been out of the exacta [(4)2-2-0]. He will also appreciate a switch back to his winning partner, Victor Carrasco. 8-English Bee (2-1) is a proven old pro who never fails to fire. He loves this trip, as his 4-for-10 lifetime slate at 1-1/16 miles attests. Further, he’s well placed in a listed stakes level by Graham Motion.
However, we’re a sucker for horse on the come. 2-Smokin’ T (3-1) did what you want to see in his first two starts at 4–showing development with two improved Thoro-Graph figures beyond what he earned in 2022. Given sufficient spacing, he ships in seven weeks fresh by Shug McGaughey, who is a very worthy and profitable 28% efficient when shipping into Laurel per TG stats.
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: English Bee
WIN-VALUE-PLAY: Taking Smokin’ T to win at 5-2 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 1-2-8. Exacta Key-Box: 2 // 1-8
Just a quick Thank You John as your “taking a bit of a respite from Derby 159” actually resulted in filling my bank roll going into 159. Thanks to your narrative I was able to cash on the Race 11 Tri and SF at OP, as well as the FRA at GP collecting on a nice exacta and tri as well. Now a few pounds over headed into CD and glad to be counting on the extra cash to attack the Win, Ex, Tri, and SF at the big dance in Louisville. Thanks, McD
Love it when the HRI Faithful do well, that’s the job!
Hate being a sore winner but that was a tough photo that cost 5-1 on win end, and exponentially bigger tri, super, etc. in that race.
One more weekend, and then the Dance!
Thanks for your feedback, McD…