Stakes analysis, picks (Arlington Park, Albuquerque, Saratoga)

Today I cover 7 races for you, 5 consecutive at Arlington Park, 1 at Arapahoe Park, and 1 at Albuquerque for the Enlightened Trails.   Not much time before they race at AP, so I’ll post just my top 3 and detailed analysis of my top pick only, and any possible overlays based on morning-line.
At AP first, race 5 is the BRUCE D MEMORIAL, 75k for 3YOs going 1 mile on the all-weather track.  Top 3 are Yo Carm, Runningfromthefeds, and Michael J.   No favorites in the top 3 so I’d key it for playing against favorites.
Yo Carm is 9-2-2-0 lifetime, returning to his home track yet has never run on the AW track here. Winner of an optional claimer in January, he’s failed to place in Graded events. Best mile speed figure for the field, achieved in that OC race. Only horse to win fresh off layoff. Slight bounce risk as he gained 9 points in last race on 6/18. Best workouts of the field, with 5 at AP, 2 very fast.
Overlays: Yo Carm.

Next at AP is the 1-11/16 mile American St. Leger, which I supposed is patterned distance-wise against its comparable race in the UK. Indeed there’s quite the European presence here. This is run on the turf course, a G3 event for 300k, 3YO+. Top 3 are Da Big Hoss, Montclaire and Tobias.
Da Big Hoss is actually the big favorite here with no real competition. 10 wins in 19 lifetime including the KY Turf Cup, the JB Conley, the Elkhorn and the Belmont Gold Cup at the Graded level. Last time out he scored a mighty 106 in the latter race, best turf speed of the field. Unquestionably he is the speed horse. I also like his works, 7 in all, with 2 bullets. Only horse with prior win while moving up in class in the field.
Overlays: My 2nd choice, Montclair is best of the rest for value. After racing at the top level in France, he’s raced rather competitively in the US, with an optional claimer win at Gulfstream, and a 2nd place finish in an ungraded stakes event last summer at Delaware. He and Da Big Hoss have best turn times of the field, and I like his progression against the leader last time out, prior to reclaim.

The SECRETARIAT STAKES is a Grade 1 event for 3YOs going 10 furlongs on the AP turf course, for 400k.   Top 3 are longshot Cordon, Surgical Strike and Beach Patrol.
Cordon with a win and 2nd lifetime in 2 starts, winning at the 32k maiden level here at 9 furlongs on turf. He won that race after 4 months away, and improved by 10 points at the 2nd call, 9 overall. 2 works since here, 1 a bullet.   He is the lone overlay of the field, in a race where I can remove the favorites out of the top 2.

The BEVERLY D Stakes is for fillies and mares 3YO+ going 1-3/16 miles on the turf. This is a 700k race at the Grade 1 level. Top 3 are Al’s Gal, Fauflier and Coolmore.  Another race with no favorites, and absolutely ripe for value.
Al’s Gal is 23-6-7-3 lifetime, winning the Keertana at Churchill 2 races back in late May. Prior to that she scored matching triple-figure Brisnet speed figures, running 2nd in the Bewitch at Keeneland. This mare does her fastest running on the backstretch and seems to have the best speed figures if measured that way.  Bumped against the eventual winner last time out in the Modesty here in July while still running a 92 score.

Overlays: Al’s Gold plus these:
Lots o’Lex has 5 wins in 14 lifetime tho no stakes wins yet. She hasn’t raced since October at Hawthorne, and is stretching out from 8.5 furlongs. Best works of the field, with 3 bullets in the 10 month layoff.

Personal Diary has had mixed blessings in her runs. She ran very close to the lead last time out in the Ellis Park Turf on July 9 with a slight gain on leader midway through the race. I’m banking on the idea that she can improve further.

Zipessa, my 2nd choice overall has 4 wins in 7, including the Grade 3 Dr James Penny Memorial at Parx last time out.  That race was actually a downtick in her speed figure to 89. Best turn time gain of the field.

The Arlington Million is the featured event, 1 million dollars at stake for 3YO+, a 10 furlong distance on the AP turf course.  Top 3 are Dubai Sky, Pumpkin Rumble and The Pizza Man, last year’s winner of this event.
This race is another where there will likely be no real value in the top 3 and is one to shell out more dollars.
Dubai Sky is 6-4-1-1, with wins in the Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream last year and also the Spiral Stakes (Grade 3). The big difference for me is turn time, where he’s the only horse to gain out of the field and also doing so while lowering his speed figure (down from 103 to 93). William Mott is 10-3-1-2 for the meet and has done a good job with this horse. Gaining 4 lbs for this race, a move which gave Dubai Sky the Spiral win, plus a switch back to his jockey for that win, Jose Lezcano. Not to mention, but I will mention, his works are best of the field, with 5 at Churchill in prep, last 2 were breezing and very fast for 4 furlongs.
I also like these as overlays: Pumpkin Rumble is 19-4-3-4, whose last stakes win came last summer at Canterbury. Only horse in the field with improving pace form: Small new top to 96 running 3rd in the Stars and Stripes here on 7/9. He made a late wide move to stay in the money in that race, and I really think he fired too late. He’s also the only horse racing under reclaim (4th race under Gary Scherer).

As for The Pizza Man, since last year’s Million, this 16-time winner was 5th in the Breeders Cup Turf, won a Grade 2 event at Del Mar, then 5th in the Gulfstream Park Turf, 4th in the Wise Dan, then 4th in the Stars and Stripes. Best lifetime turf score of 111, plus best track speed of 103. He’s 10 of 14 at AP.
Shifting gears a bit as we go to Albuquerque Downs for the next race in my Enlightened Derby Trail series. The big race is the 50k Manzano for leading 2YOs, going 6 furlongs . Top 3 are General Council, Ranger Rod and Stem The Tide, removing the favorites from the top 2 here.
General Council won here at this distance last month against 15k maidens, taking the lead at the top of the stretch.  His 61 figure is best for the distance of the field, and is the only horse who does his best running on the backstretch. Turn time of 22.4 also leads here. He is the lone overlay of the field.
Last up for today is the Fourstardave Handicap, a Grade 1 event at Saratoga, 1 mile on the inner turf course, for 500k.  Top 3 are Tourist, Grand Arch and Blacktype.
Tourist is 15-4-3-3, with his last wins coming in the More Than Ready at Kentucky Downs last year, and the Sir Cat on this track. Best overall pace of the field, running with a high 90s pattern. 3-wide trip last time out running 2nd in the Shoemaker Mile, at Santa Anita in June.
Overlays: King Kreesa won the Forbidden Apple at Belmont last time with big gain in speed figure to 100. Owns the best figures for distance and the Spa along with turf. Could bounce from the 100 number. I project him to be fastest along the backstretch where he does his best running.

A fine day of wagering should be had at Arlington, especially with the Beverly D and the Million.

Later today I’ll give my thoughts on the Longacres Mile at Emerald.

Enlightened Derby/Oaks Trail: Stakes analysis for 8/31/14

Today the Enlightened Derby and Oaks Trails take us to Monmouth Park, Saratoga Race Track, and to Albuquerque Downs. 

As mentioned in the prior post, Sunset Glow leads all fillies in the Filly Trail thanks to her win in the Del Mar Debutante, the first race on the trail at Graded status, offering more points. She has 250 points, followed by 6 others with 100 each.
In the Derby Trail, 6 horses are at 100 points each. Gotta Get Paid, 2nd in the Evangeline Downs Star joins 5 outright winners in the 6-way tie.

 
First we go to Monmouth. The Sorority has 8 2YOs going 6 furlongs, 75k purse.

1 SAVE ROCK AND ROLL won maiden debut here on 8/2, 87 Brisnet, fastest on this track of the field. Trevor McCarthy & Joseph Orseno have 2 wins and 3 placings in 8 starts together the last 60 days, for a 5.93 ROI. Was wide in the stretch run but otherwise a good trip in debut. Considering she’s on rail here, like her inner post previous, thinking she’ll like the post. ML odds: 4/1. My odds: 8/5. Contender, maybe overlay.
2 PERPETUAL NOVENA won maiden debut here in June, then was 2nd in the Colleen earlier in the month. Paco Lopez has a 29% win rate, and Ed Plesa Jr. is saddling 20% wins.  Track bias in her favor, the only sprinter from an inside post in the field. Sprinters at 6 furlongs are winning 44% during the meet, along with 15% wins generally from the first 3 posts.  ML odds: 5/2. My odds: 20-1. Dark horse.
4 COMFORTER with 2 runs at Delaware, improved while graduating in last start with a 9 length win, and an 89 Brisnet score. Concerned about a bounce here. ML odds: 9/2. My odds: 10-1. Contender at a price.  

6 CONCEALEDWITHAKISS won maiden debut by 11 lengths earlier in August here, 81 Brisnet. Best average winning distance from pedigree (Political Force/Bold Outlook, by Chief Seattle).  ML odds: 6/1. My odds: 20-1. Dark horse.
7 HEAVENLY PERFECT won debut narrowly here in August, 79 Brisnet. Linda Gaudet has trained 3 2YOs this year, with 2 wins and placing in all 3, for return of 3.67. ML odds: 8/1. My odds: 20-1. Dark horse.
8 COCO’S WILDCAT ships from Gulfstream Park, winning both maiden debut and the 75k Cassidy, nearly wiring the field in both.  On layoff for this race as with previous. I’ve rated him the speed of the field (under 22 seconds first quarter). 3 works at Monmouth as well. ML odds: 3/1. My odds: 8/5. Contender, chalky.
My top 4:
1 1 Save Rock And Roll
2 8 Coco’s Wildcat
3 4 Comforter
4 7 Heavenly Perfect
Overlays: 1
In a race with a ton of speed, I’m giving the nod to the lone closer in Save Rock and Roll.  Essentially this looks like a 2-horse race, not much value involved.

Next is the mile, 100k Sapling for 2YO colts. One horse of note here is Tapitsphere, who already has EDT points, finishing 4th in the Mountaineer Juvenile last time out.

1 WILD ZAMBEZI won 2nd maiden race 3 weeks back at the mile distance. Big score of 88 Brisnet for that one, best for distance and track of the field. Had the cleanest trip coming in as well.  Only stalking horse of the field, benefiting firmly from track bias. Stalking horses in mile races are 40% winners, and rail horses are 20%.   ML odds: 4/1. My odds: 8/5. Favorite, contender, maybe overlay. 
4 CHASE LANE won debut here earlier in the month with 77 Brisnet. Best AWD numbers of the field (Distorted Humor/Tejareb, by the mightly Sadler’s Wells). ML odds: 6/1. My odds: 20-1. Dark horse.
5 POSSE DREAMIN graduated in his 3rd try, here last month. 1st or 2nd in 3 lifetime. Forged lifetime best of 78 in that race. 3 local works since that July race.   ML odds: 10/1. My odds: 5/2. Contender, and overlay. 

7 SOUPER COLOSSAL won both lifetime races, including the 60k Tyro here earlier in the month, forging an 84 standard figure. Has the Lopez/Plesa connection aboard (see Perpetual Novena above). This is the speed of the field. Can benefit from an outside post.  ML odds: 3/1. My odds agree. Contender.
My top 4:
1 1 Wild Zambezi
2 5 Posse Dreamin
3 7 Souper Colossal
4  4 Chase Lane
Overlays: 1,5
Each of the speed horses to prevail here, some mild value all around.
 
Next we go to Saratoga for the Spinaway Stakes, Grade 1, 7 furlongs for 2YO fillies.  It’s the 2nd race on the EFT that involves extra points for finishing in the top 4 for Graded events. 
Every horse here has some ability to win.
1 CONDO COMMANDO ran a huge debut, winning by 12 on August 3 here, 93 Brisnet. That number is best on track of this field. With his sprinting ability, I’ve named him the speed of the field. Track bias firmly in his favor, too. At 7 furlongs, sprinters are 31% winners, and best post is the rail, at 21%.  ML odds: 4/1. My odds: 2-1. Contender and favorite.
2 ANGELA RENEE won debut with 90 Brisnet at Belmont in June, then was 2nd in the Grade 2 Adirondack, improving to a 97 Brisnet.  John Velazquez has 16% riding wins, Todd Pletcher 21% wins. ML odds: 2/1. My odds: 7/2.  Contender
3 LADY ZUZU 3rd in debut here on 8/8, 83 Brisnet. Best AWD numbers in field (Dynaformer/Indy Pick, by AP Indy).  ML odds: 15/1. My odds: 20-1. Best to avoid. 
4 BY THE MOON won debut here in July in top maiden company of 83k, 86 Brisnet. No problem at all with her trip. ML odds: 6/1. My odds: Above 20-1. Avoid.
5 DARLING SKY Won debut by 7 lengths at Parx earlier in the month. Trainer Robert Reed has saddled 2 winners, 6 placings this year in Graded races, for return of 6.87. Best horse for pace relevant to post position, as she returns to a middle post.  ML odds: 8/1. My odds: 5/1.  Contender.
6 WINTER DAWN won her debut, also at 83k maiden level, 83 Brisnet. ML odds: 8/1. My odds: Above 20-1. Avoid.
8 RYABINKA ships from Gulfstream, 3 good maiden runs, and then a 7th in the Cassidy.  She has the one win of today’s field in ‘off’ conditions, and there is precip in the area. Trainer Dorochenko has 1 win and 6 placings this year in Graded stakes, for modest return of 2.80. ML odds: 30-1. My odds: 16-1. Dark horse, but an overlay, especially if we have less than a fast track by the time the race is run.
9 BONNIE K debut at Pennsylvania in July, winning with 76 Brisnet. Has turned in 4 works, 1 at the Spa, last 2 were bullets. ML odds: 20/1. My odds: 8/1. Outside contender, and overlay for sure.
My top 4:
1 1 Condo Commando
2 2 Angela Reese
3 5 Darling Sky
4 9 Bonnie K
Overlays: 8,9
Once again, not much value to play with here, and speed should sustain. 
 
Finally to The Downs at Albuquerque for their best race to represent the Trail, the Manzano Stakes, 6 furlongs for 2YO colts, 50k.
EDT fans, take note of 2 horses in particular who have placed in prior EDT races: Stratagem finished 2nd in the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park, good for 50 points.  Winner of that race was Passed Due, nosing out his new rival for 100 points.  Both horses duel here again.
1 JUSTGIMMETENMINUTES has the top AWD numbers here (Temple City/Shezaharleygirl, by Harlan’s Holiday). Forged lifetime best of 62 Brisnet 2 races back in breaking maiden status. Disappointing 6th in the Gold Rush Futurity, so there’s reason to aim for a bounceback. Lone closer. ML odds: 12/1. My odds: 13-1. Dark horse.
2 STRATAGEM was reclaimed by Gary Barrow after maiden debut win, then reclaimed by Cole Jackson after narrow win in the Wyoming Thoroughbred Futurity. Then re-reclaimed by Barrow after being nosed out by the aforementioned Passed Due in the Gold Rush. Scored a 74 in the Gold Rush with good stalking trip. ML odds: 5/1. My odds: 10-1. Outsider.
3 Z SMOKING GUN broke maiden in 3rd try, looked good in late closing effort.  Scored lifetime best of 69 2 races back, tho trailed off to 59 in the win. I have to believe he’s better than his last this time around. ML odds: 8/1. My odds: 5-1. Contender, possible overlay.
4 DIRT MONSTER makes his debut in this stakes race. Last 4 works have been at Albuquerque, 2 of the last 3 were bullets.  Ry Eikleberry is 2 of 5 during the meet. Justin Evans has 26% wins. ML odds: 8/1. My odds: 9/2. Contender, overlay.
5 PASSED DUE’s win in the Gold Rush earned him a 74 Brisnet, strong above his maiden debut, which was a 63 Brisnet and a 10 length win.  The 74 score is the best for the distance of the field. 3rd straight in a middle post, which certainly may be his preferred place.  ML odds: 3/1. My odds fully agree.  Contender, favorite.
6 BOAST won his maiden debut with a 66 Brisnet in late June, put in 3 works since. One of a few with a good trip and may get some help from track bias given his post. ML odds: 10/1. My odds: Above 20-1. No chance.
7 TROPIC VISION yet to break maiden status, with 3 straight 2nd place finishes, all in the 60-70 Brisnet range. Inside post may be helpful but no evidence to suggest he breaks further here.   ML odds: 10-1. My odds: Well above 20-1. No chance.
8 YOU’VE BEEN DUPED may prove to be the best speed here. Won a 45k stakes race 2 races back with a 69 Brisnet, fell back to 48 with a 6th place finish in a 5k stakes effort  after. So I’m believing he will bounce upward from this. Coming off of 6 week layoff, noting he had won off of a 10 week layoff prior. ML odds: 12/1. My odds: 6/1. Contender, overlay.
9 ROUSANNE was 3rd in the Debutante at Churchill last time out then went on layoff and was claimed. Having won her maiden debut, contending would not be a surprise, but he lacks some evidence of doing so.  ML odds: 4/1. My odds: Well above 20-1. Stay away.
10 SKIM THE RAIL was 2nd in debut, then won last out by 2.5 lengths, pushing to a new top of 70.  The 70 score is the best performance from this field on the track. ML odds: 8/1. My odds: Well above 20-1. No chance.
My top 4:
1 5 Passed Due
2 4 Dirt Monster
3 3 Z Smoking Gun
4 8 You’ve Been Duped
Overlays: 3,4,8
Passed Due I think will be the first real star out of the EDT with a 2nd win. This may prove to be a good betting race as I don’t see it as one horse dominating.
 
Keep watch on Twitter at @idealisticstats as I’ll provide updates to picks and overlay selections, along with my Emerald Downs and Del Mar contest selections.