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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, June 28, 2024 – Churchill Downs brings down the curtain on a meeting that celebrated a landmark Kentucky Derby 150 and concludes this weekend with Saturday’s renewal of the $1 million Grade 1 Stephen Foster.

Without ado, Tote Busters© A-B-C’s of the final six stakes races on the card, with its Derby City 6 which, of course, also contains the Late Pick 5 and Pick 4 sequences. The Jackpot 6 pol today is nearly $300K.


G2 WISE DAN                                                                Race 7

A: 2-Ottomon Fleet (1-1) most accomplished by far, Appleby profitable in U.S. with turf runners, on turf, and graded stakes, Prat takes second-time ride after having won

B:   5-Win for the Money (9-2) excellent early line value, progressive coming off incremental Thoro-Graph top, attracts en fuego Jose Ortiz. 3-Chasing the Crown (3-1) Horse for Course (4) 2-1-0, Distance (4) 2-2-0 and Maker profitable with LAY-3 runners.

C: None

G2 FLEUR DE LIS                                                               Race 8

A:  4-Scylla (6-5) brilliant mating, improved in both recent starts, fast and progressive, 3-for-3 at CD

B: 2-Shotgun Hattie (4-1) top figure winner last out, recent 47.20 breeze second fastest of 88 peers to work week of JUN 22 at KEE

C:  6-Xigera (9-2) multiple graded winner might shake loose, Bauer profitable 19% in LAY-3 scenarios.

AMERICAN DERBY                                                           Race 9

A:   1-Green Light (3-1) top figure maiden win, progressive, Course (1-1) and Distance lover (2) 1-1-0, pole sitting with Jose O.  6-Depiction (6-1) never a backward step at 4, progressive competitive figure, KEE 48.40 breeze 17th fastest of 116 peers working well week of JUN 22.

B:  7-First World War (4-1) multiple G3 winner this year earning competitive figure, 1:01.20 breeze 3rd fastest of 17 peers week of JUN 22, Frankie seeking repeat for Walsh

C:  4-Lagynos (9-2) poised for forward move, on schedule for Asmussen,  8 -Brilliant Berti (8-1) 2-for-2 on CD lawn

KELLY’S LANDING                                                      Race 10

A: 1-Anarchist (6-1) proven classy, consistently fastest, has won off long breaks, back in O’Neil’s barn. 6-Closethegame Sugar (7-2) has come to hand as 4YO gelding, exploding last out for Adam Rise, having profitable 2024.

B: 5-Hoist the Gold (3-1) was third in the G1 Met Mile last out, consistently fast figures—fastest run on wet track

C:  4-Tejano Run (4-1) has his moments but race shape here doesn’t help.

G1 STEPHEN FOSTER                                                      Race 11

A:  9-Skippylongstocking (5-2) freshened awaiting this, Saffie white hot, brilliant wors, (9) 4-1-1 this trip. 2-First Mission (6-5) returned better at 4, carefully pointed for this, beaten a nose this trip in 2023 Clark, Cox for Godolphin.

B:  7-Kingsbarns (6)first two at 4 highly promising, won and 2nd at 1-3/16s miles, mini-turnback suits. 4-Disarm (6-1) blinkers have moved him up, won here in 4YO debut, a good prep, Rosario for Asmussen.

C:   5-Dreamlike (10-1)”other” Todd attracts Irad, progressive here.

TEPIN STAKES                                                                     Race 12

A:  1-Simply In Front (4-1) never a backward step on turf, earned competitive Thoro-Graph last out, tactical finisher pole sitting with Saez.  8-Pipsy (7-2), fast, progressive, suitably bred for added ground, winning Prat takes return call.  11-Just Better (12-1) [4] 2-2-0 at 4. Excellent figures last two, Frankie 1st and 2nd in recent rides.

B:  3-Kathymarissa (5-1) improved for Dutrow in recent CD debut, profitable with this spacing and in non-graded stakes, class test. 9-Dancing IN Dixie (9-2) third inlast three good-figure runs in graded company, Jose O takes return call.

C:   5-Poolside With Slim (6-1) moved forward taking Penn Oaks at this trip last out, Arnold career profitable in all turf starts, attracts Tyler.

when more than one horse is listed in any category, preferences are listed in graded order

this is a live column that will be upgraded throughout the weekend

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8 Responses

  1. Just saw that NYRA announced that the winter meet in 2026-2027 will be conducted fully over the new Belmont Tapeta course. I understand that its business, but I am going to miss Aqueduct so much. It’s also a shame since the AQU turf courses happen to be fantastic. But its going to be the loss of a big piece of old school New York.

  2. The Big A is great too, ask Rick Dutrow if you see him. Doc I’m afraid old-school’s out, more and more each day.

    1. John, With Belmont going to run on the Tapeta surface in the winter, do you think some turf horses who would have gone to Gulfstream and Tampa Bay, stay home to run at Belmont?
      Happy 4th of July my friend

      1. They don ow Pete. Gulfstream and Tampa present two options class-wise.

        Og course, some turf horses prefer the All-Weather more, with or without qualifying pedigree.

        Anyway, Tapeta in NY is good for all; having been writing about this for a year or two.

        Too bad, however, we have to wait a year and a half.

        But NYRA need not be greedy. Use a “Covid” schedule — and run races without the fans; horsemen only.

        Have a Happy 4th as well Pete! Let’s hope it won’t be the last.

  3. I think we will see one thing for sure: some of those NY bred turf horses who don’t have any decent spot to run in for 3-4 months each year should be hitting the entry box and raising the field sizes vs the 5 horse specials we get now in January and February – along with the lesser turf horses who can now run in NY on Tapeta for more than they could in a turf claimer at Tampa.

  4. Doc, the main track will reopen in due time, of course. Old school will be back !

  5. Close Aqueduct and perhaps the land can be used for much needed housing. Time marches on.

    The Belmont Park reconfiguration has the potential to be a significant advancement for equine safety. As a fan, I am intrigued by the number of ovals and the variety of surfaces. How many other venues conduct racing on four tracks ?

  6. Excellent points all, Dan. Perhaps America’s only true venue for year-round racing — given those four surfaces …

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