Ellis Starr, a.k.a. “Ubercapper,” is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase. He publishes detailed analysis and selections for Keeneland and other tracks regularly which can be found at Equibase, Keeneland Select and other web sites. Ellis writes a widely distributed “Race of the Week” article which appears on the Equibase web site as well as America’s Best Racing.
Ellis will be posting his analysis daily for one race taken right from his complete selection and analysis report. Additionally, you can follow Ellis’ insights on twitter @ubercapper.
#1 Blacktype - Minimum odds 3/1
#8 Inspector Lynley - Minimum odds 7/2
#12 Bondurant - Minimum odds 4/1
#4 Bolo - Minimum odds 4/1
Other contenders, listed later in this analysis for exacta wagers, are #2 What a View, #9 Heart to Heart & #11 Western Reserve.
This year's Maker's 46 Mile has a Breeders' Cup World Championship quality feel to it, with 12 horses entered, among them eight graded stakes winners. Four of the entrants have banked over a half-million to date, with one millionaire in Heart to Heart in the field as well.
Pace: The early pace of the race often decides what happens at the end, particularly if two or more horses battle for the lead on faster than average fractions. In most cases these battles take their toll on the pacesetters and they may tire late and be susceptible to being passed. However, the better quality the horse, the less likely this is to occur. Two horses of note in this field – What a View and last year's Maker's 46 Mile runner-up Heart to Heart both nearly always want the lead from the start and both can run very fast from start to finish. Personally, I am taking a stand neither can withstand the pressure they will be putting on one-another and the fast fractions they usually run. However, since combined they have 18 career wins and earnings of $1.8 million combined, they must be respected. Furthermore, if either withdraws the other is going to be very tough to catch, and even if both run and they don't win they are tremendous athletes that can still hold on to second position at the end.
Still, based on the scenario where the early pace will be very fast, the horses with the best closing kick are the most probable, and barring traffic issues where those horses may lack a clear path to run in the stretch, those are the top contenders.
Foremost among them is Blacktype, who has won three of his last five races including the Commonwealth Turf Cup at this mile turf trip last fall off a layoff. He returns off a layoff again and his trainer (Clement) is exceptional at having horses ready to run off the bench. Blacktype can run the final quarter mile in under 23 seconds, which is "smoking" by any standards, and so he should be passing most if not all of these in the stretch.
Inspector Lynley is a newly turned four year old who faced older horses for the first time in February in the Tampa Bay Stakes and won, beating multiple graded stakes winner Kasaqui, who returned to be beaten a neck in the Muniz Stakes recently. With top jockey John Velazquez riding him right back off the win and choosing him to ride over American Patriot, who Velazquez also just rode to victory, this colt is another with a big shot to succeed.
Bondurant has only raced eight times in his career, all on turf, earning three wins and two second place finishes. He earned a career best 115 Equibase Figure in his second start of the year and second off a layoff last month when finishing fast to miss to Heart to Heart by under a length and that figure stacks up nicely with the 116 earned by Blacktype recently and the 113 Inspector Lynley earned in his most recent race. Likely to drop back to last, or nearly so, from the start from his outside post and with a stellar 22.6 last quarter mile from his last race to repeat, Bondurant is yet another likely to make this year's Maker's 46 Mile very exciting.
Bolo, like What a View, ships from California for this race, with a 5 for 11 record and nearly a half-million in earnings
on grass. Following a seven month layoff, Bolo won the similar Arcadia Stakes by a head on the wire in February, with a career best 121 figure that is tied for the best in the field with what Heart to Heart earned when second in this race last year and tied with the 121 figure What a View earned in his most recent race. Bolo regressed second off the layoff when third behind runner-up What a View last month but Hall-of-Fame jockey Mike Smith travels from California to ride and it must be noted this is his only mount of the day. Considering Bolo gets a ground saving inside post, with a good trip he has a right to repeat his effort in the Arcadia, which is good enough to win this race.
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