Big doings in 2 of the Enlightened Trails this week; indeed we’re into the final 3 weeks of racing within the Trails, with top 3YOs, colts & fillies alike, hoping to earn enough points for the Big Race on 5/7, 4 weeks and a day away. In this post, I have analysis of 4 races, and will follow up with thoughts on the 4th Future Wager pool.
We start at Turfway Park and the Bourbonette Oaks for fillies, 1 mile on their all-weather surface, for a purse of 100k, Grade 3 event. Top 4 earn 1000-500-250-125 in the Heartland division of my EOT. Chance of showers tomorrow, but not enough of a chance to factor in off-track conditions.
Here’s my top 3: (EDITED)
American Doll the local horse, 3 wins and 1 2nd, overall 6-3-1-1. 83 speed figure, backed with 82 prior to this here is best TP speed in field. Only horse in the field to run with recent small top eclipsing last year’s best. Solid pace numbers much of her career.
Wonderment ships from NY, comes in as the true speed, pace numbers dwarfing the others. First time adding Lasix in this race. One of two horses to improve at 2nd call first after layoff.
Egyptian Honey now my 3rd choice: Best AWD numbers of the field (Sire is Pioneer of the Nile, damsire Chief’s Crown) Pace bounceback in play after going 73, 80, 74 in last 3 races. One of just 4 horses to improve on leader between 1st and 2nd calls.
Suggested odds: Artesian 11-1, American Doll 4-1; Wonderment 9-5; Inconclusive 29-1, Egyptian Honey 8-1, Lookout Sister 11-1. I’ll communicate overlays via Twitter.
Entering this race, 2 horses have EOT points; Dorodansa with 50, and Marquee Miss with 100.
Next there is the Spiral Stakes, 9 furlongs on the all-weather course, a Grade 3 event for top 3YOs.
Don’t Be So Salty has shipped frequently across the country, with 3 wins in 8 races lifetime. Winner of the Display Stakes at Woodbine, the Florida bred owns the best all-weather speed rating of the field with a 92. Fastest overall pace numbers, 89 to 90 in his last 3. Lone early speed in the field. 2-for-2 on the surface, both coming after turf races.
Kasseopia a wild card, with 3 races in GB, 2nd in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine, 3rd in the 9-furlong El Camino Real at Golden Gate. No available pace stats via Brisnet for his overseas races. I’m taking benefit of doubt he is running his best races now, with 86 and 88 scores for his US efforts. 4 works at Santa Anita, 3 of them very fast, 1 a bullet.
Surgical Strike won the John Battaglia Memorial last out on this track just 3 weeks ago, lifetime best 89 Brisnet, small new top ahead of last year’s best 87.
Suggested odds: Don’t Be So Salty 7-5; Kasseopia 7-2; Surgical Strike 8-1; Strike Up The Band, Airoforce 11-1; Oscar Nominated 14-1. Overlays: Oscar Nominated, Surgical Strike, Don’t Be So Salty, Strike Up The Band. Lots of value here, as I am removing favorite Airoforce from top 3. I rank him maybe 4th or 5th in this bunch, waiting since February 20 to stretch out. Just not enough evidence for me to rank him higher.
Entering this race here are the horses with EDT points: Two Step Time 500, Kasseopia 250, Ralis 250, Airoforce 250
Now to Gulfstream Park and the GP Oaks, 8.5 furlong race for top 3YO fillies, Grade 2, $250k. Top 3:
Off The Tracks is a deserving favorite; 3 wins in 3 starts, winning the Schuylerville at Saratoga and the Margate at GP. Best AWD numbers coming in (Curlin/Havre de Grace, by Boston Harbor). True speed of the field; lifetime pace numbers are 91, 100, 79. Only filly here to win while either gaining in class or stretching out. 4 works in prep, 2 of them very fast.
Hold On Momma the big longshot here but not to me. Won her maiden debut at 40k, 4th a 50k optional claimer, then same in a 75k OC. First time with blinkers last time out, ran 3 wide for part of the race, finished with 82 speed figure 1st after layoff, including 91 2nd call score while returning to sprint. Gets Lasix for first time today.
Paola Queen broke maiden last time out after 4 tries, winning with 91 Brisnet, a lifetime best, coming at the 50k level. Only horse here improving in pace form. Early-pressers (horses doing their best run on the backstretch, or otherwise having strong tactical speed) have won 47%, 22, of 47 races at this distance here. Furtrher, posts 1-3 are winning at a 19% clip, 9 wins total here. Best turn time here coming in, 24.4 seconds.
Suggested odds: Off The Tracks 1-1; Hold On Momma 9-1; Gomo, Paolo Queen, 9-2; Go Maggie Go 29-1. Overlay: Hold On Momma.
No EOT points between these competitors.
Finally the Florida Derby, with 10 running for a $1 million purse. This race is 9 furlongs for leading 3YOs. Greatly hyped is the undefeated matchup between Mohaymen and Nyquist. My top choice is the best of the rest of these in Fellowship. Whether or not he is much value at all behind either in exactas and such remains to be seen.
Fellowship the GP/GPW specialist, winner of a 500k event in October, 3rd in the Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull in last 2, peaking with 95 Brisnet last time out. That race represents a small new lifetime top better than last year’s 91, achieved here on 10/3. Only deep closer in the field. Lots of early speed in here, so a fast pace will be ticket for him to achieve victory. Was wide in his last trip in the Fountain of Youth, still put up his best numbers, so I expect at least a rather fast effort.
Nyquist undefeated in 6, winning the San Vincente, the Breeders Cup Juvenile, the Front Runner, the Del Mar Futurity and the Best Pal. 103 last time out is small new lifetime best, ahead of his 102 in the Best Pal in August. Fastest of the field when measured by his 2nd call numbers. Owns the only shipping wins of the field. Stretching out from 7 furlongs, hasn’t run in 7 weeks. 4 decent works at Santa Anita.
Mohaymen 5-for-5, winning the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Bull, the Remsen and the Nashua. 102 Brisnet is best for GP of this field as well as for the distance. Fastest pace numbers overall. 3 works in prep, all 3 very fast, 1 a bullet. Last 3 Brisnet ratings were 102, 97, 102.
Suggested odds: Majesto and Chovanes 44-1; Fellowship 9-2; Mohaymen 3-1; Nyquist 1-1. Overlay: Fellowship.
Not a wager-friendly race outside of maybe a win bet on Fellowship. Still a must-watch race considering the actual Trail point drama. Entering this race here are those that have EOT points: Nyquist 500, Fellowship 50.