Enlightened Trails update (Fair Grounds, Sunland Park)

You have to love this time of year, as MLB slinks into view via Tokyo….and March gets Mad with the Madness. Yes I have a post about my 4 brackets coming later tonight. This post focuses on the Enlightened Trails. This weekend’s version involves Fair Grounds and Sunland Park.

FAIR GROUNDS OAKS: 3YO fillies, 8.5 furlongs, 400k purse. Grade 2.
Top 3: 6-1-2 Eres Tu, Speedette, Serengeti Empress.
Overlays: Eres Tu, Speedette
ABC chart: 6/1,2/4,8
Throw-outs: 3,5,7
This race promises some very good value with overlays over favorites.
Eres Tu barely qualifies as an overlay, but there she is. For her 3YO campaign, she was 2nd in the Silverbulletday, 3rd in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra. Both races set new tops. She is the lone late closer, and likely needs a fast pace that collapses. 4 local works, 2 very fast, 1 a bullet.
Speedette finally broke maiden while debuting at 3, and setting a 4th straight small new top. Waiting since 1/21 to stretch out in distance. Track bias should be kind; 38% of all races at this distance have been won by her stalking style, and 19% from posts 1 through 3.

LOUISIANA DERBY: Grade 2 event, 3YOS, 9 furlongs, 1000k purse.
Top 3: 3-6-8 Limonite, War Of Will, Country House
Overlays: Limonite
ABC chart: 3/6/2,4,8
Throw-outs: None!
Another good and competitive race all around.
Limonite was 3rd in the KY Jockey Club, first time on a non-fast track and scored a 92. 3 months later, he threw in a solid 87 finishing 5th in the Risen Star here on 2/16. 4 local works, 1 bullet. Looked great in the Risen Star first after layoff, with a good gain on the leader and sharper 2nd call. It probably helped that he got a nice jockey change as well as shipping credentials, and a move from a sloppy track to a fast one.

SUNLAND PARK OAKS: 200k purse, 3YO fillies going 8.5 furlongs.
Top 3: 5-9-4 Backflash, Bellafina, Peaceoutyourhonor
Overlays: Peaceoutyourhonor. The morning-line high priced horse deserves a good look here. She did go unplaced 3 of her last 4 races. What I do like, and you know about this angle from me as I play it enough times, is that she bounced soon after scoring a small new top that was better than her 2YO score.
Backflash is the top pick for me here. 4th in the Trapeze (EDT points), a win vs 50k optional-claimers, and 2nd in the Island Fashion here last out on 2/24. Best pedigree here (Medaglia d’Oro/Time Top Tap, out of Tapit) Definitely best of the rest last time out, she had no chance vs the winner. Hoping she improves off the 74 score.

SUNLAND PARK DERBY: 9 furlongs for this Grade 3 event, 800k purse for 3YOs.
Top 2: 1-4 Musto Gusto, Wicked Indeed. I can’t put enough trust in the other horses.
Overlay: Collusionist. Winner of the Silver Cup Futurity at Arapahoe, 2nd in the Gold Rush Futurity (EOT points). Disappoined first race at 3 vs 19k allowance horses, then 6th in the Mine That Bird Derby. That latter race actually represented a small new top compared to age 2.
ABC chart: 1/4

That’s how I see these races. Coming up, how I see March Madness.

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