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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

JICHA ON BCUP SATURDAY

FILLY & MARE SPRINT

COVFEFE was compromised more by the post draw than any of those regarded to be at the top of their division heading into the big day. Breaking from the rail she’ll have to gun right out of the gate, lest she be buried down on the fence. This exertion could take its toll in the seventh furlong. Covfefe’s misfortune is SPICED PERFECTION’s big opportunity. Sitting on the outside, Johnny V will be able to react to what’s going on inside him and work out a trip, something at which he is a master. COME DANCING’s 2019 form is almost flawless but, with the exception of Bar of Gold’s improbable score two years ago, this race has not been kind to New Yorkers.

I was going to single Covfefe because I think she is the quickest of the quick. After the draw, I’m going to use Spiced Perfection equally on multiple race tickets. You have to draw the line somewhere. I’m drawing it through Come Dancing.

TURF SPRINT

EDDIE HASKELL is the course specialist and he has the perfect style to sit just off what figures to be an insane pace and run them down late. SHECKY SHEBAZ is wickedly fast and will be a handful if he’s able to clear. Problem is, with other speedballs, notably PURE SENSATION, it’s difficult to see anyone getting clear.

When I regarded Covfefe in the previous race as a single in Pick 3’s, I was thinking of hitting the “all” button here. Every year there is a 30-1 shot somewhere on the card. This race looks like a top candidate for an upset this year. I intend to proceed carefully with a few win bets at a price and save the bulk of my bankroll for later.

DIRT MILE

OMAHA BEACH will probably be singled more than any horse on the card with the exception of Sistercharlie. Be careful. That Santa Anita Sprint Championship off a six-month layoff could have been deceptively taxing. Bob Baffert has been talking up IMPROBABLE and he was only a length off Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby at a furlong further. COAL FRONT was good enough to win the Godolphin Mile last spring. The trip and/or the competition in the Met Mile was too much for him but he has gotten good again.

With a single coming up, I’ll use all three to start a Pick 3 with an extra ticket on Omaha Beach, because of the price. Also a win bet on Coal Front.

FILLY & MARE TURF

No logical case can be made against SISTERCHARLIE.  The only argument is they all get beat some time, which is a non-reason. MIRTH is at the top of her game under super sharp Phil D’Amato and could try to steal it. FLEETING has had more tough trips than an Uber driver in midtown Manhattan.

I’m singling Sistercharlie backward and forward in pick 3s. Backward with my three picks in the Dirt Mile and forward to the Sprint picks. Also start a new pick 3 with Dirt Mile picks-Sistercharlie-top 4 in Sprint. Just in case win bets on Mirth and Fleeting.

SPRINT

MITOLE is the best horse in America up to a mile. His only blemish was when he got stuck down on the rail at Saratoga when that wasn’t the place to be and IMPERIAL HINT fired a track record. The latter is a danger to do it again if Mitole falls into a poor trip. However with The Juice Man’s one dimensional SHANCELOT sure to blast off, Imperial Hint will be hard pressed to keep up. John Sadler made the most curious decision of the BC when he skipped having CATALINA CRUISER take on Omaha Beach to go against the top 3 here. But if there’s a wild speed duel, Catalina Cruiser has the right style to spring an upset.

I’ll use the four I mentioned in my pick 3’s but will lean extra hard with additional tickets with Mitole.

MILE

There is ample precedent for a filly beating the boys in this race. It’s happened eight times. Goldikova did it three times and Miesque did it twice. UNI can join this illustrious list with any kind of decent trip. Post not a big detriment since she’s going to take back anyway. CIRCUS MAXIMUS is the most touted Euro but he’s no superstar. WITHOUT PAROLE is a Frankel going first time Chad. Can’t be left off. GOT STORMY has to be included on multiple race tickets.

With Sistercharlie a single, I’ll go four deep with her with my top four in both the Sprint and Mile. Win tickets on Uni and Without Parole. Also a late pick 4 starting with these four.

DISTAFF

MIDNIGHT BISOU undefeated this year. The last time she lost was to Monomoy Girl in this race last year. There’s no Monomoy Girl this time. SECRET SPICE fires every time and Baltas-Velazquez a potent team. STREET BAND has been slowly developed into a top filly but faces older for the first time.

With spreads in a couple of races, Midnight Bisou is a necessary single in all multiple race bets. This includes a late pick 3 if the first leg of the pick 4 bombs out.

TURF

BRICKS AND MORTAR’S only serious foe is the final two furlongs. However, the way he’s handled up to 10 furlongs, there is no reason to think he won’t get the trip. ANTHONY VAN DYCK won the Epsom Derby and was second in the Irish Derby, both at a mile and a half. So if Bricks and Mortar comes up short, he’s the most likely beneficiary. OLD PERSIAN has Grade 1 wins at the distance in Dubai and Canada. Charlie Appleby (50 percent at the BC) is becoming Europe’s Chad.

Use all three—extra tickets on Bricks and Mortar—in multi-race bets. Win bet on Old Persian and small saver on Acclimate, who could steal it given the dearth of speed.

CLASSIC                

McKINZIE has every reason to win but somehow finds a way to lose twice as often as he gets home first. He’s super talented but if you look at his races, he isn’t a fighter in the stretch. Still he has to be used. ELATE and CODE OF HONOR have established form at the distance. Small edge to Elate. Shug McGaughey is great getting a horse up to a specific race—see the Travers—but this was an afterthought.

If your multiples are dead and you’re down to this race, key McKinzie first and second in tri’s with Elate, Code of Honor and Seeking the Soul. The latter is better in Kentucky but Dallas Stewart has a knack for hitting the board in the biggest races.

Let’s hope that everyone gets home safely.

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