It was great to be back east for a week. I saw my family, I picked some winners, and I ate good pizza, which, as any of you who have spent time on the west coast know, is very rare out there. However, there’s a concerning epidemic that I need to address, and unfortunately, I must be firm.
If you are a male heading to the track, and you feel the urge to wear pants or shorts that would qualify as “salmon?” Don’t. Just don’t. They look ridiculous, and you will be laughed at behind your back. I’m considering channeling Moe Drabowsky (a baseball player perhaps best-recalled for the prank known as “the hot foot”) and setting said pants on fire while people are wearing them. Consider yourselves warned ahead of my next trip east, whenever that may be.
MONDAY’S RESULTS: My early doubles went up in smoke when Discretionary Marq ran second in the opener, but we did cash a ticket later on in the card. Unfortunately, English Soul was bet down to 5/2 off a 15-1 morning line, so when she ran second, our $3 win-place-show stab only returned $11.85. In total, we dropped $17.15.
WEDNESDAY’S PLAY: I think the late Pick Four has the potential to pay well, so I’ll focus my energy there. My 50-cent ticket reads thusly (numbers, not names, so as to save space): 1,2,3,6,11 with 6 with 4,7,8,9,10,11 with 6,9.
TOTAL WAGERED: $30
Best Bet: Mr. Crow, Race 8
Longshot: Barrel of Dreams, Race 7
SPECIAL RISK: Is 0-for-12, and that’s usually too many chances for my taste, but she takes a considerable drop in class to the lowest level she’s ever run at. These connections are aggressive, and her best race likely wins this; RENEWAL: Is a regally-bred 3-year-old filly, so it’s very strange to see her debut for a $20k tag. She’s by Speightstown, and out of a Malibu Moon mare, and while the connections merit respect, her being offered up for a fifth of her purchase price is a red flag; COMMUNION MONEY: Didn’t take to the turf last time out and returns to her preferred surface. She figures to be prominent early.
Three Diamonds entry
CALL PROVISION: Was a good second earlier in the meet at this level and route. There appears to be some pace signed on here, which would benefit this one given his late-running style; TASIT: Was beaten less than two lengths by my top pick last time out. He’s been gelded since that effort, and that could make a significant difference; THREE DIAMONDS ENTRY: ALTAR BOY was a good second in his last turf marathon effort, while BONUS POINTS looms large if this race is rained off the turf and onto the main track. DIRT SELECTIONS: BONUS POINTS, ROYAL POSSE, TASIT.
Dunk a Din
Erik the Red
CORE PORTFOLIO: Gets my reluctant top pick in a race that can be described as a pari-mutuel mess. Many of these come out of races from earlier in the meet that are less than inspiring, and this one figures to get an easy early lead while dropping significantly in class; DUNK A DIN: Outlasted similar foes earlier in the meet and was claimed out of that race by Danny Gargan, who does strong work with new acquisitions; ERIK THE RED: Gets a two-turn route of ground, and he ran some solid races at similar routes this past winter at Aqueduct. Maybe he preferred the inner as opposed to two turns, but at his likely price, I’m inclined to use him in exotics.
More Than a Legend
SUBIC BAY: Showed some early zip in a turf marathon last month and cuts back to the route she probably wants. This spot also represents a slight class drop, which should help; MORE THAN A LEGEND: Was an OK third at this route earlier in the meet and adds blinkers here. The rider switch to Luis Saez is notable, as is her close second at this level last summer; SCHWARTZ ENTRY: I prefer ETERNAL VOW, who has a race under her belt and goes to the Todd Pletcher barn. DIRT SELECTIONS: TRANSACTION TAX, SCHWARTZ ENTRY, FOREIGN AFFAIR.
Misty On Pointe
AVERY MAEVE: Did everything but win last time out at this level and route. She missed by just a head to an OK turf sprinter despite being herded turning for home, and she beat a number of today’s rivals in that spot; HANNAH’S SMILE: Also exits that race, and is another that had an adventurous trip that day. The outside post is a bit of a concern, but note that she almost overcame this post last time out; MISTY ON POINTE: Ships up from Laurel Park for connections that have done well here this summer. That turf course has its quirks, but she’s 2-for-2 at this distance and should be running well late. DIRT SELECTIONS: R LUCKY CHARM, TARQUINIA, MARNESIA BIG GIRL.
SEAM: Ran well in her debut when closing to be second in the slop at Gulfstream. She hasn’t been seen since, but she sports a recent bullet drill and there should be some pace for her to run at; PRESUMPTUOUS: Is 0-for-13 lifetime, but has run well twice at this meet. Luis Saez gets on, and this barn has quietly had a very solid meet to this point; WISE STRIKE: Missed by a neck going longer at Monmouth and cuts back for formidable connections. She’s shown zip in several recent workouts and figures to be prominent early.
Stay Fond (MTO)
Barrel of Dreams
BARREL OF DREAMS: Loves Saratoga and should sit a perfect trip in this spot. She’s 3-for-4 over this turf course, including a win earlier this month, and there isn’t much other quality speed signed on; DURABLE GOODS: Faces winners for the first time after graduating last month. The pedigree says today’s added distance won’t be a problem, and this trainer/jockey tandem has been on fire this meet; PALINODIE: Hasn’t been seen since November, when she was beaten less than two lengths in a Grade 3 at Aqueduct. She’s shown talent, and while she may need this race, anything close to her best would put her right there. DIRT SELECTIONS: STAY FOND, JUST GOT OUT, BARREL OF DREAMS.
MR. CROW: Earned a freaky 109 Beyer Speed Figure when demolishing maidens early in the meet. This is a pretty tough race for this level, but this colt is strictly the one to beat; PATTERNRECOGNITION: Has hooked stakes-quality opposition in both prior starts at this level. There’s no shame in running second to Takaful and Coal Front, and he merits respect; CAVIL: Could be worth a look underneath. He likely needed his last race, and he had a horrible trip that day when chasing a good-looking winner. Improvement off that effort is logical, and he may be a square price.
EVALUATOR: Circled the field in his debut and won going away. Yes, he did that against state-breds, but the third-place finisher has since come back to win, and if he gets any pace to run at, he figures to be rolling late; TRUMPI: Wired the field at big odds in his debut, and he won’t be sneaking up on anyone here. The post position is not ideal, but he could be quick enough to clear most of the field early; EARTH: Was beaten at 3/5 in a stakes race at Monmouth last time out. His pedigree suggests he’ll love this distance, but the last-out clunker is a bit of a concern.
Climb the Ladder
UNDER SUSPICION: Was bet in her debut and ran well in defeat. She dueled early through a fast pace in the mud before finishing third, all for a barn whose first-time starters usually need the race. She should improve here; SALTY SMILE: Has worked very well ahead of her debut for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. It’s tough to go seven furlongs at first asking, but she could be ready to run right away; CLIMB THE LADDER: Was a distant second behind a runaway winner here last month, but she beat the rest of the field by six lengths. There are no such monsters here, so she could take another step forward.