Stakes Races Preview for Saturday, June 29, 2013
Summer racing heats up this weekend, with the final night program at Churchill Downs and the presence of Horse of the Year Wise Dan, competitive stakes in New York and Chicago, and two Grade 1’s on the West Coast. And Del Mar and Saratoga are just around the corner! Time to pad your bankroll for the big tracks……
Betfair Hollywood – The Shoemaker Mile (G1) – 1 mile on the turf – post time 5:01 ET
Hollywood has carded this race early; race 3 with a post time of 5:01 ET. Only five horses were entered for this Grade One, but it did come up tough. Obviously (5), 4 for 5 at the distance and coming off a 107 Beyer in the American Handicap, will be hard to handle on the front end. If Wilkinson (3) keeps him honest, Jeranimo (1),the defending champ, could make it interesting down the lane.
Betfair Hollywood – The Triple Bend Handicap (G1) – 7 furlongs – post time 8:00 ET
Comma to the top (4) faces a lot of upfront pressure here from Morning Line (1), Jimmy Creed (2), andCyclometer (6). The shape of the race indicates that Centralintelligence (7) just may run the favorite down in the lane. I’m playing him on top in the trifecta with the speed horses 2nd and 3rd.
Belmont – The New York Stakes (G2) – 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf – post time 4:45 ET
Grade 1 winner Lady of Shamrock (8) is the likely favorite but she races outside California for the first time in a while and may catch a soft turf course. I’m trying to beat her with Keeneland shipper Regalo Mia (3). She beat contenders Anjaz (2) and Starformer (6) handily this spring at Gulfstream Park. Tannery (4) seems to be improving most of the ones who have beaten each other in New York.
Belmont – The Victory Ride (G3) – 6 furlongs – post time 5:17 ET
Kauai Katie (1A) is the obvious chalk here; she broke badly in the G1 Acorn last out and was firmly beaten by Midnight Lucky and Close Hatches. This is a much softer spot; her main rival should be I’m Mom’s Favorite (6). That one is prone to find trouble but one of these days she will have a clean trip and could surprise…could be today.
Churchill Downs – The Bashford Manor (G3) – 6 furlongs – post time 9:05 ET
Debt Ceiling (4) is the only two-time winner in here and that is a huge advantage with 2-year-olds. He won the $75K Rollicking Stakes on Preakness Day and his jock travels with him from Maryland. D’cajun Cat (6) is the most impressive first-out winner in the Churchill meet and Rosie rides for Asmussen. Hollywood Talent (3)was equally impressive at Keeneland first-out for Wesley Ward.
Churchill Downs – The Firecracker Handicap (G2) – 1 mile on the turf - post time 10:11 ET
Defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan (2) enters with the well-publicized highweight of 128 pounds. I believe if Ben Huffman had planted 140 on his back he could still win this race. Seruni (7) or Lea (4) should complete a chalky exacta. Just enjoy Dan’s third trip over the Churchill turf, single him in the late Pick Four, or do a straight tri 2-7-4.
Arlington Park – The Chicago Handicap – 7 furlongs – post time 5:08 ET
Aubby K (7) exits a winning effort in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on Derby Day; she is unknown on Polytrack but she catches a potentially soft field here. Cozze Up Lady (6) is consistent regardless of the surface and is 2 for 4 on synthetic. Queen’s Award (10) was touted on track in her last at Keeneland but was no match for the outstanding July the Beauty; this spot suits her much better.
The best of fortune to you over the weekend……
Director, Mutuels and Simulcasting for Keeneland