In addition to his weekly Wednesday column assessing the previous weekend’s graded stakes racing action, 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 will 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 that I’ll be keying as a board-hitter to fill out the vertical exotics.
This week I’m looking at the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens: No Parole is listed as the 9-5 favorite and could very well be vulnerable in this spot. He’s coming out of the six hole and has a ton of early speed. In fact, he does his best running when out on the lead.
The problem for him is that there are three speed horses to his inside. The number #2 horse, Eight Rings, the number #4 horse, Echo Town and the number #5 horse, Mischevious Alex, all have early speed. Therefore several things could happen early in today’s scenario:
No Parole gets the front but has to expend too much energy doing so. Or he gets caught on the outside in a speed dual or he doesn’t get the front at all. “We’re going,” trainer Tom Amoss told the Saratoga Live audience this week.
So for those of you who may be looking elsewhere, we are leaning towards the mid-priced horses, like the 6-1 Three Technique or 5-1 Tap It To Win. Feel free to back them with gusto if you choose.
But all this brings me to my Play-At-A-Price horse; the 12-1 Shoplifted.
Steve Asmussen put blinkers on this colt two starts back. He made a strong move before flattening out late in a mile and an eighth race at Oaklawn Park back in April.
Then he returns in June in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and runs third behind No Parole and Echo Town. But note that since that race, he posted two strong bullet workouts, signalling he is ready for a maximum effort, especially if given the right setup.
Tyler Gaffalione, known for his aggressive, position-conscious style and strength in deep stretch, is just the type of rider who can work that all out.
When playing this type of game, “It Only Takes One.” Good luck everyone and enjoy some great racing from coast to coast this weekend.