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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

LIFT OFF ON LONG ISLAND

Of the 12 fillies and mares that made it into the body of Saturday’s Grade 3 Long Island Stakes , only three are graded stakes winners–one was in Argentina and the other on Woodbine’s synthetic track. But dangle $400,000 in front of horsemen and they will come, in droves.

And that makes for an outstanding betting race in which, by our count anyway, exactly half the entrants can win. We will effort to beat the two early favorites, not to be a wise guy but because they look good but not necessarily great.

Si Que Es Buena (3-1) is that lone U. S. graded winner but that was on yielding ground on Gulfstream Park in January. There is sure to be cut in the ground here this time of year and she was beaten only 4-1/4 lengths in WO’s G1 E.P. Taylor in her October return. Graham Motion taps Joel Rosario and legs up Irad on her uncoupled mate, Empressof the Nile, the “now” filly in here.

But why not Lift Up (10-1) instead? Her figures are competitive, switches to Bravo, aboard for her AUG 3 win, and won the synthy G3 Maple Leaf last out despite a tough trip for Michael Dickinson, a profitable 23% with repeaters–same story going synth-to-turf and with Jersey Joe aloft.

We’ll take her to win at half her morning line odds or more, keying exacta boxes with the Motion misses, and will sprinkle Decorating (12-1), Romantic Pursuit (12-1) and Homeland Security (6-1) into the super-exotics mix.

YESTERDAY: Results pending

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