Earlier this week, a number of members of the horse racing media fell victim to a fake story involving prominent sire Tapit and an, um…interesting way of collecting some of the most valuable sperm in the breeding industry. Search for Tapit on Twitter, and many of the pieces will start to come together.
Long story short: If you fell for it, or even for a second considered it to potentially be true…REALLY?!?!?!?!?!
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS: Turning 1/2 odds into 5/2 odds doesn’t sound so flashy, but doing so in the late double led to a nice score. Carina Mia was odds-on, and when she and Todd Pletcher firster March X Press both won, we turned our $30 investment into a smooth $105. By comparison, had we simply bet that $30 to win on Carina Mia, we’d have cashed out for a mere $46.50.
THURSDAY’S PLAY: I’ll keep this pretty simple. I think the fifth is a two-horse race between #2 MAD DOG MATTERS and #5 SENZA TE. I’ll box them in $10 exactas and use them to close out $5 doubles that begin with fourth-race single #2 BECKER’S GALAXY.
TOTAL WAGERED: $30
Best Bet: Becker’s Galaxy, Race 4
Longshot: Mad Dog Matters, Race 5
For Goodness Sake
SARAH JOYCE: Won two in a row before misfiring last time out over soft ground. Judging by her past clunkers across the pond in races on that kind of turf, she wants it firm, and she’ll be tough if she gets those conditions; FOR GOODNESS SAKE: Beat my top pick two back but got six pounds and a favorable setup that day. That said, her best is good enough to win this; AMAZING ANTHEM: Broke her maiden over hurdles two back. This is a major class test, but she gets a hot rider, and the race seems wide-open for underneath honors behind my top two.
Love You Dearly
IWISHIRISH: Took a big step forward off a long layoff downstate. The rail draw isn’t ideal for her late-running style, but there’s plenty of speed signed on and these connections merit respect; DESERT AFFAIR: Did all the dirty work and was nailed on the wire last time out. She’s got a habit of collecting minor awards, but she could sit a dream trip if she can clear some of her inside rivals out of the gate; LOVE YOU DEARLY: Showed speed in her debut at Finger Lakes and ships in for a barn that popped with several similar horses here last summer. She figures to be very prominent early on.
HOGY: Gets the top pick in what struck me as a two-horse race. He’s been running against much better horses for most of his career and exits the Jaipur, where the victorious Disco Partner set a world record; BIG ROCK: Was 2-for-2 at this route last summer but hasn’t won since. The return to this configuration could wake him up; ANGRY MOON: Seems like the main early speed on paper and has a pair of triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures to his credit. However, he hasn’t run since November, and there’s a chance he needs a race to get going. DIRT SELECTIONS: ANGRY MOON, ANYTIME ANYPLACE, HEY JABBER JAW.
BECKER’S GALAXY: Drops back in to face state-breds after finishing a distant second behind Small Bear, who hit the board earlier this meet in the Curlin. Danny Gargan’s barn is firing on all cylinders, and this one is a logical wire-to-wire threat; RODRIGUEZ ENTRY: I prefer the returning GOOD LUCK GUS to the off-form ROYAL POSSE. The former ran against stakes competition for most of last year and will make his first start as a gelding in this spot; JET BLACK: Has run well at this route before and was claimed by Robertino Diodoro in his last start, which was his first since February. Improvement is logical at a bit of a price.
Mad Dog Matters
MAD DOG MATTERS: Has several strong drills in her worktab ahead of her debut for Rudy Rodriguez, who has snuck several talented 2-year-olds past maiden claiming ranks in the past (including Condo Commando for this ownership group a few years ago). 6-1 would be a very juicy price; SENZA TE: Is trained by Wesley Ward, who’s among the best in the game with first-time starters. The pedigree and workouts are both strong, and she could be ready to go right away; LADY BLESSINGS: Gets the services of Javier Castellano in her debut. This barn’s numbers with debuting runners aren’t great, and neither is the rail draw, but the workouts show that this filly may have some talent.
R Lucky Charm
AVERY MAEVE: Gets my reluctant top selection in a race where I’d strongly advise hitting the “ALL” button in multi-race wagers. She’s yet to run a bad race on turf and won at this route last summer; MAY FLOWERS: Ended a long winless drought last time out at Belmont and returns to a turf course she’s had success over in the past. Jose Ortiz stays aboard, and she’s a big price on the morning line; R LUCKY CHARM: Nearly prevailed in an off-the-turf event last time out and may be the main speed from her inside post. This barn can get hot in a hurry, and if she gets loose early, look out. DIRT SELECTIONS: R LUCKY CHARM, HEXAMETER, FIRST APPEAL.
KAHRUMANA: Graduated last time out while well in hand, and she hadn’t done much wrong in two starts before that, either. Her flexibility is a plus, and she could still be improving; DANCELAND: Closed well to be second last time out downstate, and her lone win came going a two-turn route of ground. There appears to be some speed to her inside, and the faster they go early, the better this one should like it; TAMIT: Was beaten less than three lengths in a Grade 3 two back and was up against it in a paceless race last time out. She’s another that will benefit from some early zip in front of her. DIRT SELECTIONS: COLORFUL CHARADES, OVERNEGOTIATE, CRIMSON FROST.
TU BRUTUS: Will likely scratch to await Saturday’s Whitney but is too good not to put on top in case the connections call an audible. Anything close to his races two or three back would make this a rout; SCUBA: Was probably the best marathoner in the country late last year but has disappointed in three 2017 outings. This barn has been hot lately, though, and if he finds his form, he’ll be tough; TURCO BRAVO: Won this race last year and should relish a return to this route. Javier Castellano was aboard that day, and he climbs back on here.
WHISKEY SEVEN: Generally runs the same race every time out and has run into some solid fields for this level of late. He gets my top selection in another turf race that doubles as a real handicapping puzzle; SEIZE: Showed speed in his 2017 debut before fading to sixth. He ran a nice race here last year from a tough outside post and could enjoy a return to this route; RUNAWAY POSSE: Merits a look in the event of a pace meltdown, which could happen given the big field that’s signed on. This barn has had success of late, and we may get a price. DIRT SELECTIONS: WHISKEY SEVEN, CURIOUS CAL, POP THE HOOD.
Scarlett Jo Hansen
Paz the Wine
WISH UPON: Took a huge step forward when second at this level downstate. There’s a chance at a bounce here, but a repeat of that performance could win this wide-open finale; SCARLETT JO HANSEN: Was beaten a nose by my top selection in her last effort, and like my top pick, she took a big step up that day. The question with her is if there’ll be enough early speed to set up for her late kick; PAZ THE WINE: Stretches out to a route after some solid races going shorter at Belmont. She was third in a two-turn race last year at Aqueduct and may have more tactical speed than she’s shown of late. DIRT SELECTIONS: MAJESTIC MAC, SCARLETT JO HANSEN, GOT THE GIST.