Firstly a not so happy recap of yesterday.
6 races at Emerald to handicap, starting the day 6th in the tournament which runs until late September. I picked out 3 horses of value, then 3 favorites. In this tourney, you get one horse per race, earning what ever straight tickets are there to be earned. I usually average $35 per day.  The top 3 players are averaging $36 to $38. I am $41 out of the top 3, one day’s effort.  I’ll need to hit my share of longshots to have a shot, but I always play my top pick regardless of value.
 Races 4-9 picks were 1-1-2-3-2-1. Results were 3-5-7-4-2-7, earning 1 win with the largely bet Trackattacker (looked like it, too), a place with Grand Destination, also heavily bet, and a show with He’s Zuberrific.  Contest consensus picks found two surprises, 5-1 Hey Little Missy, and 15-1 Lake Piru. I’ve had a run of bad luck, not finding many multiple win days outside of a $55 day on August 10.  It’s been about a month since I picked a winner with at little as 11% of the other contestants doing likewise. When I pick with 13% share or less, the prices tend to be a lot better than heavily bet faves at, say, upwards of 25%.  I’ll post Emerald Downs picks on Twitter and communicate overlays before each of the contest races, which today are races 5 through 10. I begin tonight in 11th place.
 
I’m looking forward to Remington Park and the ThoroEnduro competition. I won $1000 in this contest.  The rules are a bit complex. You get 3 fixed races to play most days and you must have 1 horse in the top 4 on any of the races to survive. You get 3 strikes along the way, plus you get bonus lifelines for surviving at various points.  There is also ‘the barn’ where if you’ve used up all your lifelines you get a ‘reset’ and one life to work with. The resets go on until a certain point in the competition.  Care to take me on? Join up at http://thoroenduro.com/
 
As for my analysis of stakes action at Arlington…here’s how my top 3 and overlays fared:
Race 5: 1-5-2 finished 6th, 3rd, 5th.
Race 6: 7-8-4 finished 4th, 7th, 5th.
Race 7: 8-3-11 finished 6th, 10th, 9th.
Race 8: 6-7-1 finished 1st, 6th, 4th. Overlays 5 and 7 finished 3rd and 6th.
Race 9: 7-8-5 finished 4th, 6th, 2nd. Overlays 3,7, and 8 finished 7th, 4th and 6th.
Arlington Million 1-4-6 finished 1st, 5th and 7th. 1 was the lone overlay.
Race 11: 7-6-8 finished 6th, 3rd and 9th.
I had the worst time accessing any streaming audio so I could not accurately report overlays in real-time or witness any races.  Today I expect better results on all fronts.
***
Two stakes in focus here, one is part of my Enlightened Derby Trail, the other is the lone Grade 1 race on the continent.  
First we go to Colorado and Arapahoe Park, for the Gold Rush Futurity. Top 4 horses receive points on my version of the actual Kentucky Derby Trail.  Very difficult to give an edge to any one horse thus far.
#1 Red Carpet Runner won the Silver Cup Futurity, $35k last time out, strong new lifetime best  speed figure of 75 Brisnet. He was close early, and led by the 2nd call, extending lead to 9.5 furlongs at the line. Jockey Travis Wales has 25% win rate in the meet, trainer Kenneth Gleason 15%. Morning line: 8-1. My odds: 14-1.  Outsider.
#2 Social Request won an $80k maiden race last time out at Del Mar, surged to an 80 speed rating with that win. One of a bunch here who also comes out of a strong pace gain. No other evidence to support this horse’s chances.  Morning line: 7/2. My odds: 31-1. No chance.  
#3 Bessie’s Boy ships from the East Coast. He won the Tremont at Belmont 2 races back. Has best early fractions of any of the horses in this field, which is loaded with speed.  Was a disappointing 7th in the Grade 3 Sanford, so I think a bounce back is likely. Morning line 3-1. My odds: 8-1. Contender. 
#4 Ms. Battlefield has 3 wins and a show lifetime, all at Arapahoe. Surged from a 57 to a 73 in winning the filly version of the Silver Cup Futurity by 7 lengths.  Morning line: 10-1. My odds: 31-1. No chance.
#5 Grand Bierstadt only graduated last month in a 10k maiden race. Also put up lifetime best score last time out, moving from a 49 to a 71. He comes back in a middle post, same general area where he won from. Morning line  12-1. My odds: 5-1. Contender, overlay.
#6 Passed Due impressed on 5/31 here with a 10 length win in a 10k maiden effort, and has been on the bench since. Nice looking pedigree here (Pass Rush-Swift Empress out of Empire Maker). This sprinter has had 5 works during the layoff here. Track bias also in the colt’s favor: Sprinters are winning 43% of the time in 6 furlong races, and posts 4 through 7 are winning 15%. Morning line: 15-1. My odds: 5-2. Contender, and overlay.
#7 Justgimmetenminutes is the lone closer and only late threat. Gained from 54 to 62 last time out, winning a $10k maiden race. He’ll have to race a lot faster to pull off the same trick. Morning line: 15-1. My odds: 31-1. No chance.
#8 Ed N Fred was 3rd in the Silver Cup last time out, and has a pair of speed figures in the high 50’s ahead of his debut race. Trainer Monk Hall has 2 wins and 4 total placings in 7 races racing horses who are on Lasix for the 2nd time, a payout of $5.09. Morning line: 20-1. My odds:  14-1. A dark horse and possibly an overlay.
#9 Stratagem is 2-for-2, won the Wyoming Thoroughbred Futurity by a neck last time out. He was claimed by Gary Barrow after a 5 length win in debut, then reclaimed by Cole Jackson after the Futurity win. That has to be a positive. Morning line 9/2. My odds: 28-1.  No chance.
#10: Sky T is also 2-for-2. Winner of the CTBA Futurity last time by 9.5 lengths.  Best track and distance speed by a winner at Arapahoe, an 83. Certainly has the inherent capability to win.  Morning line: 6-1. My odds: 7-1.

My predicted top 4:
1 #6 Passed Due
2 #5 Grand Bierstadt
3 #10 Sky T

4 #3 Bessie’s Boy
Overlays: 5,6,8

At Saratoga, the Sword Dancer Invitational is part of the Fantasy Capping contest that I’m playing in.  Here’s how I size up the field.

#1 O’Prado Ole won a maiden and allowance race at 3, but has done little since at age 4 outside of improving on his pace, which no other horse here is doing. He’s run in the 90’s in 3 of 4 races including a lifetime-best 96 last time out in a Grade 3 event at Arlington. He was 2nd all throughout that race.   Morning line: 15-1. My odds: 9-2. Contender and overlay.
#3 Amira’s Prince won 2 Grade 2 events last year. Proven to win off layoff. After running an 89 in the Gulfstream Park Turf in February, he improved to 100 in a Grade 2 event at Fair Grounds, then down to a 93 in the Grade 1 Man O’ War, finishing 6th. I’m betting on a bounceback here. Also has 2 recent wins from a middle post. Morning line: 6-1. My odds: 2-1. Contender and overlay.
#4 Main Sequence has run in Europe until her last start, winning the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth last month.  This deep closer set an amazing pace in the stretch in that race. A lot to hope for, and I can’t agree on the morning-line 2-1 odds at all. I think he’s more like 5-1. Contender.
#5 Imagining won the Man O’War earlier in the year. 1 win, 1 2nd at the Spa, with a field-best score of 99 among winners here. Joel Rosario has 16% wins, Shug McGaughey 23%. Another who has won off layoff. Has a whole bunch of works, most at Fair Grounds, the last 2 at Saratoga, and very good times between them all. Morning line 7-2. My odds: 3-1.  Contender
#7 Twilight Eclipse already with Grade 2 & 3 wins. Best lifetime turf and distance speed of the field, 111. Looked great last time out running 2nd to Main Sequence in the UN Stakes.  Morning line: 5-2. My odds: 10-1. Dark horse.
 
My top 4:
#3 Amira’s Prince
#5 Imagining
#1 O’Prado Ole
#4 Main Sequence.

Overlays: 1,3

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