Santa Anita Day 2: Pick 5

Discussed the first two races here. Let’s take a look at the next 3 to put together a Pick 5:

Race 3: MSW, 2YO Fillies, 5.5f

This is the first race where the Pick 5 gets interesting. Lots of FTS in a potentially deep race. On the rail, there’s Fantastic Style (#1, 7-2), an expensive 2YO purchase on debut, trained by Baffert and owned by Shah. It’s a blind bet into the 3rd race with the P5 (as opposed to the first two legs where you can get double probables), so there’s no board information to use. I’d use her, but also use Ben’s Duchess (#4, 6-1). Should improve today and has experience at this quirky distance.

Race 4: $32K Claiming on the Turf, 9f

A nice solid group of some hard-knocking winners here. Starts with Tigah (#4, 3-1), who will certainly give a game effort and is well-placed. Don’t see him as single-material, especially with pace questions, so I suggest going a bit deeper in this race. Buymeabond (#7, 12-1) is versatile for Hollendorfer and is also back in for the tag. Jomelo trying to make the slight move up the class level for D’Amato, who can keep them hot.

Race 5: Midnight Lute Stakes, 6.5f, G3

Secret Circle (#6, 4/5) has many advantages. Stamina advantage, trainer angles, plus a likely decent pace set-up.  Distinctiv Passion (#7, 4-1) is one that scares a bit. I expect him to be relatively clear turning for home; he seems sharp and may be stubborn through the lane. Add in the fact that Secret Circle is still winless this year, and, as much as I’d like to single him, I’d back him up here.

Using all these horses is a $24 ticket. Good luck!

Image: Salina Canizales, Copyright 2014.

Aqueduct Saturday “End of Day” Races: Remsen Stakes (G2) & Cigar Mile (G1)

Two fun graded stakes to finish off the day at Aqueduct. With the move to the inner track looming, let’s enjoy this top-class dirt racing!

Race 9: Remsen Stakes, 3:48 ET:

Two turn, 9f event for 2YO’s.  Looking to begin to define the Derby trail here — the race should begin to clarify some very early contenders. As for today, I’m generally want horses with a bit of base under them, so I’ll use the following:

The Truth or Else (#9, 20-1): He’s got some good conditioning under him, and is making only his second career start on dirt. In this relatively tight-packed race, he should offer some value. Speed is close, but we’ll have to see a bit of improvement, but price makes it worthwhile. I’ll also use him under the main contenders (Classy Class, Ostrolenka, Frosted) in exactas.

Ostrolenka (#11, 4-1): Been very impressive so far, and I’m not terribly worried about the step up in open company. Not everyday that Musket Man, who stands for $2,500, finds himself with his first Graded Stakes starter (from his first crop.)

Of the last out maiden winners, Classy Class (#10, 7-2) worries me the most on the stretchout, but I’ll leave him off in favor of dutched (essentially more on the lower odds horse) win bets on The Truth on Else and Ostrolenka and the exactas mentioned above.

Race 10: Cigar Mile 4:17 P.M. ET

I’m staying away from Secret Circle (#6, 2-1) on the stretchout. I remember his early races in pursuit of the Derby well, and he never seemed as happy as he did while sprinting. I’ll like him cutting back out of this race, however, a great deal. As for Itsmyluckyday (#2, 5-1), a horse that I’ve always been a big fan of, I wonder how much the pursuit of the G1 took out of him. I never liked the switch to blinkers — even after it was successful, and I’m worried how much has been taken out of this horse.

I’m intrigued by Bourbon Courage (#9, 10-1) to come from off the pace. He’s in career form, and he’s always been a solid horse. In a race full of questions and horses moving in different directions, that’s enough for me. He’ll be the win bet and also complete those small doubles. He’ll also be used in exactas under the main contenders (Private Zone, Itsmyluckyday, Secret Circle) because I’m very aware that I could be both right and wrong in my opinion.

Good luck finishing the day at Aqueduct and the rest of the weekend!