The best horse in training doesn’t reside at Saratoga, or Del Mar, or even in North America. She’s in Europe, in the care of John Gosden, and she’ll likely attempt a second straight assault on some of America’s best horses this fall.
I’m referring, of course, to Enable, who turned back all comers in the Group 1 King George Saturday at Ascot. She’s won all but one of her 13 career starts, earned two straight victories in the Arc de Triomphe, and got her picture taken following last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Juddmonte had another superstar in Europe earlier this decade. That was the undefeated Frankel, who was dazzling in romps over all comers during his sensational career. However, given Enable’s track record, her ability to go a longer distance of ground, and her win in the U.S., I think any comparison between the two would be incredibly fair.
SATURDAY’S RESULTS: Ya Primo ran well in the Bowling Green, but could only manage second. Still, thanks to the presence of a $10 place bet, we only wound up dropping a dollar.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: I’m going to focus on the early Pick Four, which I think can be played pretty cheaply and hit multiple times. My $1 ticket, which starts in the second race, reads as follows: 2,7,8 with 2,6 with 5,6 with 4,10. I’m against #3 FOOCH in the third, and if a non-favorite wins that race, payoff potential goes up significantly.
TOTAL WAGERED: $24
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BEST BET: Runningwscissors, Race 4
LONGSHOT: Pendolino, Race 8
Brian’s Last Song
#4 CLEON JONES: Was one-paced when favored in his debut, but comes in off of a very sharp local drill and may be worth another shot. Improvement is logical at second asking for the colt named for the former Mets outfielder; #7 BRIAN’S LAST SONG: Hammered for $180,000 here last summer and has been working steadily for trainer Todd Pletcher. He looks well-meant, but it’s curious that first-call rider John Velazquez doesn’t have the mount; #3 STANHOPE: Sold for $150,000 as a yearling and boasts several strong moves ahead of his unveiling. If there’s any hesitation here, it’s because this barn’s horses often need a race or two to get going.
Air On Fire
#8 LASER LOOP: Was claimed by an astute barn last time out and drops way down in class for this event. He should relish the shallower waters, and it’s encouraging that Saez hops aboard; #2 AIR ON FIRE: Splashed his way to a runaway win last month at Belmont and takes a step up in class here. He seems to be in strong form, and he’ll be particularly dangerous if the track comes up wet; #7 DESERT LIGHTS: Has never finished worse than third in five tries at this distance and merits respect for a solid barn. He could sit a nice stalking trip and seems like a must-use in exotics.
One Last Buck
#6 TENURE: Graduated with ease last time out at Monmouth and tries winners for the first time. He gets the benefit of a short field, and while he’s got plenty of speed, it helps that he doesn’t seem to need the lead in order to run well; #2 OUR LAST BUCK: Comes back to turf in his first start since February and merits respect despite the layoff. His lone poor effort came in the mud at Aqueduct, and Lezcano opts to ride him back for Weaver; #3 FOOCH: Has burned plenty of money when favored in his last three starts at this level, and he figures to take action again here. He may be the main speed, but he seems tough to trust at his likely price.
#5 RUNNINGWSCISSORS: Makes his first start for trainer Tom Amoss and looms large in this event. His lone start at this distance was an impressive win at Santa Anita, and he exits a pair of second-place efforts against stakes foes at Emerald; #6 DADDY KNOWS: Won earlier in the meet and tries winners for the first time here. He ran well twice around one turn at Belmont, and this barn tends to keep horses on the right track; #3 BUSTIN HOFFMAN: Could hit the board at a price. His record looks miles better if you toss the two Aqueduct efforts, and he may take a step forward second off the bench.
#4 SPORT: Was pulled up last time out in an off-the-turf event and returns to his preferred surface here. He won impressively here last summer and should be rolling late; #10 MO GEE: Will have to overcome a tough outside draw, but he drops back to the right level after a failed shot for a $50,000 tag last time out. He’s run well going two turns before and could be tough if Saez can negotiate a trip; #7 QUALITY CHOICE: Drops back in for a tag after a rough trip against starter allowance foes earlier in the meet. He seems to find trouble with alarming frequency, but he would be a contender with smooth sailing.
#6 TURCO BRAVO: Has hit the board in every start since late-May of last year and stretches back out to two turns, which seems to be his preferred trip. He’s hit the board in five of seven local starts and could sit a great stalking trip; #5 ZULU: Drops in class for a sharp barn that must always be respected. He’s got tons of back class and would be scary if he found his old form; #1 AMERICAN LINCOLN: Has run well at this level and merits a look at a price. He’s got enough speed to secure a strong early position along the rail, and his third-place finish earlier in the meet was fine.
New and Improved
#1 CONFESSING: Has an experience edge on many of these and was an OK third in her turf debut at Churchill. Her pedigree says she’ll get better as she gets older, and progression would seem to make her the one to beat; #6 NEW AND IMPROVED: Debuts for Chad Brown and boasts a strong pedigree. She’s by Cairo Prince, and has a female family that includes second dam Tout Charmant, a Grade 1 winner going long on turf; #5 MAGICAL TIME: Is another daughter of Cairo Prince making her debut in this spot. Her dam is a half-sister to champion Halfbridled, as well as a full sister to the dam of Grade 2-placed filly Fully Living (who was precocious).
Blame It On Mom
#7 AMOS: Seems like the main speed in a rare sprint that doesn’t have much of that signed on. She’s improved with every start and may be tough to run down if she gets comfortable up front; #8 BLAME IT ON MOM: Has run second in both of her prior starts, but could be sitting on a bigger effort second off of a long layoff. She’s worked well here, and Rosario rides back; #2 PENDOLINO: Comes in off of a career-best effort, one where she was gaining on the winner with every jump late in the race. If they go faster than expected early on, she could be the main beneficiary.
#4 END PLAY: Makes his first start for Jason Servis and would benefit from the likely race shape. He’s a closer in a race with lots of speed around him, and the presence of Irad Ortiz, Jr., is a plus; #2 FIXED POINT: Made my meet last summer when he wired a field at this route to finish off an $820 Pick Four I gave out in the bankroll section. Personal sentiments aside, though, he seems like the main speed, enjoys this route, and has run up against some tough company this year; #3 SO CONFLATED: Seems like this race’s wild card. He hasn’t run in more than a year, but his running lines feature some very fast horses and his turf sprint efforts at Santa Anita back in 2018 were pretty good.
Night of England
#3 DYNA PASSER: Was sent away at odds of 43-1 in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, but she actually didn’t run badly when fifth behind the very talented Concrete Rose. She’s won at this distance before and could still be improving; #9 GIANT ZINGER: Was third in a strangely-run race on opening day and possesses lots of back class. She ran in three straight graded stakes races before that and figures to be up close early on here; #7 NIGHT OF ENGLAND: Will likely be favored, but I think she’s beatable. She comes off a long layoff and likely won’t be alone on the front end. If there’s a time to try to beat her, I think it’s here.
#6 NITROUS: Was flying late when second in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens and seems to have found his niche as a one-run, one-turn closer. He’ll almost certainly get a fast pace to run at here, and if one develops, he may be the one they have to hold off late; #5 HONEST MISCHIEF: Was up fairly close to the scorching-hot pace in the Woody Stephens but was beaten just three lengths that day. His win two back was excellent, and he may get first run on the leaders turning for home; #12 SHANCELOT: May very well simply be a freak. He’s run two very fast races and may wind up favored, but there’s a lot of early speed to go with him early, and I can’t trust him at his likely price.
#4 ABBY NORMAL: Comes back to the turf and gets a tepid nod in a wide-open finale. She’s closed well in her races on firm turf, and this turf course has played kind to that style this meet; #7 FUSI: Ran well in two starts prior to being claimed by Brad Cox, who’s one of the best in the game with new acquisitions. Joel Rosario hops aboard, and she’s another that could be rolling late; #5 DEJA RACONTE: Comes in off of two strong workouts and may not have to be much to pick up a check here. This barn is off to a very good start at the meet and knows how to win with a firster at this level.