Every now and then, an article gets posted about horse racing by someone who has no idea what’s going on. One that made the rounds a few days ago may challenge a blurb I saw in Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine that declared Orb the favorite for the 2014 Preakness Stakes, a year after he lost that race to Oxbow.
If you haven’t seen the article about Wonder Gadot on the Hollywood Life website, it’s on my Twitter page (@AndrewChampagne). Scroll down a bit, click the link, and if you feel compelled to create a drinking game out of taking sips upon seeing mistakes, be warned that you probably won’t finish reading it before reaching your tolerance level.
SATURDAY’S RESULTS: We scratched down to $16 worth of doubles, which turned out to be bad beats. Single Rushing Fall won the Lake Placid, and I was right about Midnight Bisou not wanting the Alabama’s 10-furlong distance, but we didn’t have 9-1 winner Eskimo Kisses. In a word, ouch.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: I’ll make this pretty simple, because I think #2 MO WHEELS UP could be an overlay in the seventh. She’s been working tremendously here, and was getting plenty of action ahead of her planned debut. She had to scratch at the gate that day, but it seems like she’s ready to run. I’ll put $30 on her to win and hope we get the 3-1 morning line price.
TOTAL WAGERED: $30
Best Bet: Mo Wheels Up, Race 7
Longshot: Timber Ghost, Race 2
Miss Aja Brown
DUBB ENTRY: #1 GLORY TO KITTEN and #1A QUEEN OF CASTLE could both conceivably win. The two mares are both dropping significantly in class for aggressive connections; #7 MISS NANCY: Makes her first start for Brian Lynch and has spent most of this year going against stakes foes. She’d benefit from a fast pace and figures to be running well late; #5 MISS AJA BROWN: Didn’t take to a sloppy dirt track at all last time out, so it’s easy to draw a line through that race. She romped at this level two back at Belmont, and while two turns may not be ideal, she’s run well here in the past.
#7 TIMBER GHOST: Ran two flat races at short prices at Gulfstream, but has worked very well since shipping to Saratoga. The favorites here don’t look overly imposing, and if he runs to his drills, expect a big step forward; #4 LEINSTER: Was second earlier in the meet at a big price and gets a rider switch to Luis Saez. He’s had plenty of chances, but it’s possible he’s figuring things out; #3 CANDIRITA: Didn’t do much running in his debut, but he adds Lasix for a patient barn and comes in off a very sharp five-furlong drill downstate.
Her Latest Film
#8 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: Ran an OK third in her debut last month at this route. She didn’t break particularly well that day, and chances are she’ll improve from that experience; #9 RARITIES: Fetched $700,000 at auction last year and is bred to love turf. She’s by City Zip and has been working well for a barn that’s much sharper than its record suggests; #6 HER LATEST FILM: Improved when cut back to a sprint last time out, and she figures to be one of the main speed threats beneath John Velazquez.
A Place to Shine
#4 MOONLIT GARDEN: Has not run a bad dirt race in more than a year and was a close-up second in a similar race last time out at Monmouth. She does not need the lead to run well, and that could benefit her; #1 AWESTRUCK: Hasn’t done much wrong this year, as she’s won two of four starts and fared reasonably well in a pair of stakes races. She was second in a $100,000 race last time out at Indiana Grand and gets Irad Ortiz, Jr.; #2 A PLACE TO SHINE: Has shown an ability to run well late, and that could be a plus given the likely race shape. She’s also run well on off tracks in the past, and she may get one here.
Tip At Tapit
#3 SHANNON’S GIRL: Is the only runner in the main body of the field with experience, and her debut was sharp. She came flying late going shorter and has a pedigree that suggests two turns won’t be a problem; #5 NEWSPAPEROFRECORD: Debuts for Chad Brown and sports an OK worktab that hints she wants to go long. It’s tough to debut at this route, but she could be a short-priced favorite; #9 TIP AT TAPIT: Is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Time And Motion and has flashed potential in the works leading up to her debut. This barn’s trainees sometimes need a race, but if she’s the runner her sister was, look out.
H Man (MTO)
#2 FAST GETAWAY: Took to turf like a duck to water last time out, as he graduated at a bit of a price after flopping when favored in his debut. There’s plenty of speed signed on here, and that bodes well for this closer; #3 VITSAL: Was second in an off-the-turf race earlier in the meet and comes back to his preferred surface. He has back class and will likely be favored, but he’s winless since beating a suspect group at Tampa; #9 NOT SO QUIET MAN: Shortens back up to a sprint and has done good work going short on grass. Javier Castellano sees fit to ride. DIRT SELECTIONS: H MAN, ROYAL HEIST, WE SHOULD TALK.
Mo Wheels Up
Flatter My Heart
#2 MO WHEELS UP: Was bet heavily prior to her planned debut, but was scratched at the gate and triggered a purse-money-only fiasco when her stablemate won. She’s worked very well here, and I’m hoping we get the morning line price; #8 FLATTER MY HEART: Has turned in an impressive series of works ahead of his debut. This trainer/jockey combination must be respected; #6 FILLY JOEL: Could be a big shot given a decent work tab and the combination of Rudy Rodriguez and Irad Ortiz. If you think she’ll run well on debut, you may be right (this is what we in the business call “low-hanging fruit”).
#3 BEHAVIORAL BIAS: Hasn’t won in five 2018 starts, but he’s consistently run well against some good horses. He was second in a swiftly-run event earlier in the meet, and a repeat effort would give him a big chance; #4 WONDERFUL LIGHT: Stretches out to seven panels after falling a nose short in a tough allowance event downstate. There’s nothing saying he won’t get the added distance, and the last two drills jump off the page; #6 PETROV: Drops in class after contesting the Grade 1 Vanderbilt. Those waters were too deep, but he won at this route last summer and could relish the softer competition.
#9 ADMISSION OFFICE: Won his debut with a big rally and nearly made it two in a row when beaten less than a length downstate. He adds blinkers and could be more involved early on; #10 STRIKE: Has shown ample early speed in both 2018 starts and just missed earlier in the meet. He must work out a trip from a far outside post, but he’s got enough tactical zip to potentially clear the field early; #2 VEGAS KITTEN: Adds blinkers second off a brief freshening, and that could help him given that his lone win came when he was very close to the pace. DIRT SELECTIONS: WOODERSON, TRES EQUIS, OWN AGENDA.
#8 FORTYTHREEOEIGHT N: Reacted well to coming back to dirt earlier in the meet, when he was a close-up third against slightly better competition. Franco sees fit to ride back, and he could get first run on the tiring pacesetters turning for home; #2 COMEONCOMEONCAT: Is one of several in here that will likely go early. He exits the same race as my top pick, but didn’t have an easy go of it that day given the quick early fractions; #6 SOUTHEAST: Could be a massive price in his first start for Gary Contessa, whose barn is quietly beginning to get going. He’s a closer that could benefit from a speed duel early on.