JUVENILE TURF SPRINT
Nothing like a little chaos to start the day; a gateful of 2-year-olds sprinting five furlongs. Wesley Ward, noted for his juvenile, especially on grass, has entered two here and either can win: Four Wheel Drive (3-1) has the fastest figure but Kimari (7-2) has proven her class and is so versatile.
But it’s the invading A’Ali (6-1) that’s coming out of the best races, European Gr 1s and 2s,. He handles any ground, quickens nicely and Frankie Dettori is 3-for-3 on him. The draw could have been kinder but hopefully the wise guys will avoid him, an opportunity for value.
I’ll take A’Ali at half his early line odds, will box exactas with the Ward duo and will use price shots, late running Chimney Rock (10-1) and probable pace setter Another Miracle (15-1) on the bottom of exotics.
Chaos, Part 2: Fourteen juvenIles going two tight turns, many unknowns, meaning half the field can win. No hedge, just an honest opinion.
The two favorites, Decorated Invader (4-1) and Arizona (5-2) are the most likely winners and are preferred in that order but we’re taking whatever value may be available with Vitalogy (10-1).
Everyone saw his excellent every wide, very late rally for the place at Keeneland so half the price is more likely. But his prior was no day at the beach, either, getting knocked off stride but still finishing well for third. Last time, post 14; today post 5, and Javier sticks.
And the racing goods owe Brendan Walsh one today. We’re taking Vitalogy to win at 5 or more, making an exacta box with all three, and will try to score out in exotics with bottom-fillers Peace Achieved (10-1), Andesite (12-1) and Structor (5-1).
Further, depending on the price, we may add Hit the Road (10-1) to exacta mix and would consider a win bet at 8-1 or greater. Prat depresses the odds but that might even out given extreme outside 14 slip.
Yes, Donna Veloce‘s (3-1) debut score was one of the more impressive maiden wins this juvenile season, and the fact it was at a tough hybrid distance of 6-1/2 furlongs makes it all the more worthy.
Further, we’re aware that Simon Callaghan is a profitable 23% first-time long. But I need to see a filly with one lone start do this, especially as the favorite.
To me, Wicked Whisper (7-2) is equally impressive. She is a rocket from the gate but is no run-off; this little lady has gears as demonstrated on debut; two-move horses on the lead will get me every time. Following the winning Spa sprint debut, Steve Asmussen stretched and tested her in the G1 Frizette.
Switching to Joel Rosario, today’s rider, when caught a flyer, immediately to the lead but she came back to him and he nursed her along. He open ground into the turn, relaxed a bit, then let her run after straightening away. Another two-move-on-lead winning performance. Is she a need to lead type? That’s why they run races.
Taking Wicked Whisper to win at 3-1 or greater, key-boxing exactas with the ‘Donna’, the very impressive Alcabiades winner and likely garden-spotter British Idiom (7-2) and multiple graded stakes winning Perfect Alibi (10-1).
Additionally, we will key ‘Whisper’ in TRIs, with these three, adding Bast from third and fourth. If Perfect Alibi is 8-1 or greater, a saver win wager is a distinct possibility. The tote will tell.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
This is the third turf event of the day and we look for the Euros to break up the deadlock, but to be honest it’s a coin flip for us. Is Daahyeh (5-1) better than Albigna (9-2) or vice versa. The tote may decide the straight betting issue for us but will go on record with Daahyeh as most probable winner.
Both fillies have met and has defeated some of the best group competition in Europe. We shaded the former because Albigna’s GR 1 score came over very soft ground on the Arc undercard.
Whatever we do with the invaders, we will have a straight bet on price shot Croughavouke (20-1). This filly keeps coming at you, wherever the vagaries of trip takes her. She’s fresh, has an inside draw going the two turns, and is first-time Flavien. Even with Prat, she should be double-digit odds.
We’re also making a four-horse exacta box including Joseph O’Brien-trained but American-owned Unforgetable (20-1), who has shown she can quicken nicely, can mix it up among rivals, is fresh, and gets a positive rider switch. She will be every bit of her early line or more.
Beyond those four, we will sprinkle strong-working Abscond (15-1) and the speedy Aidan O’Brien Tango (10-1), who might really enjoy hearing those tootsies rattle, into the exotics mix keyed by our inseparable Euros.
I don’t know Brendan Walsh but I do know he deserves better, and so did racing fans and gamblers because this was a legitimate three-horse high class contest among Dennis’ Moment (8-5), Eight Rings (2-1) and Maxfield (3-1). Unfortunately, the latter came up with a filling in her right fore and all are erring on the side of caution at Breeders’ Cup 36.
Well, the racing gods owe Dale Romans, too, who was in a similar position with Not This Time, who would up second in this event but was injured and never made it to the gate in Louisville the following year.
Sentiment aside, Dennis’ Moment appears to be a freak of nature, now he needs to prove it to the world on an international stage. Bob Baffert owns four Juvenile trophies, but this one belongs to Mr. Romans.
Beneath Dennis’ Moment, who likely will be to short a price for straight bettors, he will be the top key to any and all exotic pools, a mix that will include Scabbard (8-1), who finished well for place behind ‘Dennis’ in the Iroquois, and Storm the Court (20-1), who ran well but spottily behind Eight Rings, an issue Peter Eurton hopes to correct here by adding blinkers.
Dennis’ Moment will be a Las Vegas Derby Futures Fave if not already. Sorry about Maxfield who had a real shot as he is a good one, too. I remember the post parade one year where Johnny V was on a Pletcher entry and looked terrible but was allowed to race in Breeder’s Cup. Not fair to the bettors. Kudos to Mr. Walsh for not making this mistake with Maxfield. Always err on the side of safety. The horse has a big future, IMO.
I’m strictly a spectator on two year old racing.
Will root for Dennis’ Moment.
Maxfield does have a big future and their eyes, like everyone’s is on the Kentucky Derby. This year all are erring on the side of caution. The match-up, with Eight Rings thrown in, would have been a special event. Best laid plans…
Actually, the Breeders’ Cup incident was as much as Johnny’s fault as Todd’s, he could have had him scratched at the gate by the track veterinarian. Hey, we all make mistakes but Johnny wound up paying for his.
Really looking forward to the next two days. Safe trip to all, horses and bettors!
Everyone has expectation for Dennis’ Moment; now he’s just got to go out and do it; looking forward …
Good for you, Den. It’s not like betting is mandatory. Fun, yes, not required to enjoy seeing a horse perform.
Tough game. Better luck tomorrow, Saturday.
Freaky Friday was an apt description.
Denny, it is indeed, and I have the tax-deduction tickets to prove it…
Mal, will review all 14 races sometime Sunday and post, some observations you may find interesting…