I have a lot of respect for my readers, and as such, I’m going to make a promise to you. That promise is as follows: With the exception of this one paragraph, I promise to never, EVER, call the 10-furlong Grade 1 race for 3-year-olds coming up later this month the Runhappy Travers.
This is not a slight on the horse or his connections (past and/or present). Runhappy was a brilliant sprinter who, for a five-month stretch in 2015, was probably the second-best male horse in training behind American Pharoah. Additionally, former owner James McIngvale has shown himself to be one of the most giving people around, especially in times of crisis. Having said that, Runhappy was never a 10-furlong horse, so even in an age where everything that moves is sponsored, this seems like a reach.
MONDAY’S RESULTS: We got washed out of the late Pick Four, and this was a good thing. Single (and subject of a small win bet) Flowers for Lisa got a perfect trip on the front end and looked home at the top of the stretch, but was run down and had to settle for second. We dropped $10.
WEDNESDAY’S PLAY: I’ll focus on the early Pick Four, again assuming all races carded for turf stay there. My 50-cent ticket starts in the second and is as follows: 3,6 with 1,3,4 with 1,7 with 3,4,7. I’ll also put $5 to win and place on #1 TEXAS MUSIC in the fourth race (my longshot of the day).
TOTAL WAGERED: $28
Best Bet: Tossup, Race 2
Longshot: Texas Music, Race 4
Cool as You Like
Quick On the Draw
#4 COOL AS YOU LIKE: Drops way down in class for Michelle Nevin off a long layoff, which is normally a red flag. However, this is far from a distinguished group, and the recent works hint that she’s ready to run; #2 QUICK ON THE DRAW: Is another dropper coming off an extended break. She has a win over this surface, which is a plus, but this barn has struggled of late with horses coming off of long layoffs; #1 OUR WHIM: Is impossible to endorse on top given her lack of a win in the past two seasons, but she’s been competitive at this level and could rally for a piece of it.
#3 TOSSUP: Broke badly in her debut, but managed to run second in a $100,000 stakes race. Her pedigree suggests she’ll get better with experience, and if she gets a clean start, look out; #6 ELEGANT ZIP: Was second earlier this meet in her unveiling for a trainer whose horses sometimes need a race to get going. I’m not crazy about the field she ran against, but she could improve and beat these; #5 MISS FLAMBE: Debuts following a steady string of local workouts, the most recent of which was an OK five-furlong drill. If she runs to that work, she could sneak into the money.
#4 GREATREVIEWS: Is 3 for 4 on fast dirt tracks and seems like the one to beat if the track doesn’t take considerable moisture. Her races two and three back were sharp, and I can toss the last effort based on the muddy surface; #3 POSSE NEEDED: May be this race’s lone closer and comes in off a win downstate in the mud. Irad Ortiz, Jr., had some options here, and this is the one he chose to ride; #1 BREAKING BREAD: Makes her first start for Jorge Navarro and returns to the site of her lone win to date. She’s been competitive against good groups and could improve on the trainer switch.
#1 TEXAS MUSIC: Didn’t break well earlier this meet and lost all chance due to her need-the-lead running style. That was against a better group, and she was bet that day. A clean break would make her the one to catch; #7 AVERY MAEVE: Hasn’t won in nearly two years and goes out for a cold barn, but takes a considerable class drop. She’s run well here in the past and could come running late; #6 BOWL OF KISSES: Tries turf after winning two in a row on the main track at Belmont. She doesn’t have much in the way of a turf pedigree, but she figures to be prominent early. DIRT SELECTIONS: HEXAMETER, BOWL OF KISSES, TEXAS MUSIC.
Don’t Tell Addie
#7 DON’T TELL ADDIE: Hammered for $125,000 earlier this year despite a very modest pedigree and has worked well at Churchill Downs. Steve Hobby almost never runs horses here, so it’s telling that this one shows up here; #4 D’S SIS: Is bred to be a good one. She’s by City Zip and out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, so she may want turf, but the works indicate she may be a runner; #3 BULL FEATHERS: Got shuffled back a bit in her debut and may have gotten something out of that race. She could improve at second asking for a patient barn.
#4 IMPERATORE: Was beaten less than a length at this route earlier in the meet and was claimed out of that event by Charlton Baker. Joel Rosario hops aboard, and he’s got plenty of tactical speed; #6 TURCO BRAVO: Hasn’t won in a while, but always seems to fire and drops a bit in class. He was a solid second when running for a $25,000 tag last month; #3 TAPIN MOJO: Is a very tricky read, given that he hasn’t raced in nearly two years. He has back races that are good enough, but whether or not he’ll channel that form is anyone’s guess.
Soar From Shadows
#10 PETER’S KITTEN: Ran well in her debut, when she was second going long at Churchill Downs. It’s not easy to debut at that distance, but she ran a big race and showed speed that could come in handy on the inner turf; #6 SOAR FROM SHADOWS: May have gone a bit too far last time out and cuts back to a distance she’s run well at in the past. We may get a bit of a price given the recent clunker; #8 CHARREADA: Is bred up and down for turf and tries the surface for the first time. Shug McGaughey has very strong numbers with similar stock, and she could be running well late.
Its All Relevant
#7 PROFESSOR SNAPE: Gets a tepid nod in a confusing race. He won first time off the claim for Gary Gullo last out at Delaware Park, and it helps that he doesn’t necessarily need the lead to run well; #2 STILL KRZ: Put it all together last time out at Belmont Park at a slightly higher level. He’ll certainly be prominent early, and given the aggressive connections, the drop doesn’t scare me; #1 ITS ALL RELEVANT: Hasn’t run since September, but is working well and has been gelded since that effort. The rail draw isn’t ideal, but Luis Saez signing on can’t be overlooked.
Shang Shang Shang
#3 SHANG SHANG SHANG: Won a Group 2 at Royal Ascot in June and sports a recent bullet workout ahead of her return. A repeat of the race across the pond would make her very tough to beat; #2 DRYNACHAN: Was impressive in her debut, when she rallied to win going away earlier in the meet. Unlike others in here, she doesn’t need the lead, which could help; #6 ELSA: Was impressive in victory at Laurel Park, where she won by nearly four lengths. She’s been working well, and Joe Bravo’s made the most of his mounts to this point in the meet.
#10 OVERNIGHT SUCCESS: Drops in for a tag and tries two turns for the first time, and either of those changes could wake her up. He set a solid pace last time out and has the tactical speed to clear most of the field from his outside post; #3 HEZA KITTEN: Drops back in for a tag and has been gelded recently. His start two back at this level was very good, and he’ll likely be running well late; #9 CALL THE CAT: Has questions to answer coming off the long layoff, but he’s a new gelding, the recent works are OK, and he’s protected from being claimed, which is always intriguing. DIRT SELECTIONS: RUCKSACK, OUR HONOR, CHATEAU.