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Road to Kentucky week 3

This week we go out west to Turf Paradise for the featured Turf Paradise Derby. Only nine contest races today so make them count! Good luck everyone!!

Race 1: This was a Clm6250 for Arizona bred fillies and mares 4+ at 1 mile on the turf. I selected Deb Doright (ML7/2) from the rail, who was the beaten favorite in her last start on the turf against open company. She has never won on the turf but has two second place finishes from three starts. Late last year she finished second to race rival Presentee. She appears to have the best late kick in a race with a fair amount of early speed. She should be rolling late…Herownagenda, Presentee and My Royal Girl were also part of my contender group.

The Result: Presentee grabbed the early lead and scored at 6-1 over Herownagenda and My Royal girl. Heavy favorite Deb Doright ran a dismal fourth as the heavy ½ favorite. I hope nobody bet real money on that terrible favorite! Presentee was a great price considering she was the 5/2 ML favorite. Two scratches changed the pace scenario in this race but the heavy favorite was going to be well beaten either way.

Maximum Points: Presentee 276
Maximum Score: 276
My Score: 0

Race 2: This was a Clm6250N3L for fillies and mares 4+ at 6f. I selected Silken Creek (ML 8/5) who has good early speed and dueled for the lead the entire race in her last start against stronger competition. Seth Martinez should have Silken Creek near the lead and will need to work a better trip on the drop. Peach Bellini looks like the main competition coming off a smashing victory against lesser competition.

The Result: Another speed duel developed with Mary’s Message benefiting down the lane and scoring at 9/2 with two longshot runner-ups. Mary’s Message was getting a rider switch to Morales and dropping back into claiming company after winning two starts back against n2l Company. There was more speed in this race than I had pictured when I selected Silken Creek. Two straight odds-on horses have missed the board so far!

Maximum Points: Mary’s Message 198
Maximum Score: 474
My Score: 0

Race 3: This was a Clm3000 for 4+ at 6f. I selected Pivot Pad (ML 3-1) as he has been facing the best competition lately and is running back second off the claim for Keith Bennett. Pivot Pad has some decent back class and a solid workout since his last start. Bodes Galaxy, Miller Peak, C My Secret, and Dbl Ott also merit consideration.

The Result: Pivot Pad grabbed the early lead and scored at 7/5 odds. Bodes Galaxy closed for second and C My Secret ran third. Runner-up Bodes Galaxy gets the most contest points for his second place finish at 7-1 odds.

Maximum Points: Bodes Galaxy 122
Maximum Score: 596
My Score: 110

Race 4: This was a Clm6250 for 4+ at 1m on the turf. I selected Wailea Warrior (ML 5/2) who is taking a very big hidden class drop in this race. Even though this race is at the same claiming level as his last four races, this is a significantly weaker group he is facing today. He has been competitive at near double digit odds in his recent starts but figures to be a pretty short price today. He has a powerful late kick and should be flying late. The main rival appears to be Latino Summer who is returning from a brief layoff.

The Result: Latino Summer was ready to roll off the layoff and scored at 8/5 over Wailea Warrior and Appointment. The top two finishers were well clear of the rest. My selection ran well but was second best at 2-1 odds. It looked like he had to wait a bit on the turn, who knows.

Maximum Points: Latino Summer 114
Maximum Score: 710
My Score: 168

Race 5: This was the Arizona Oaks 50K for 3yo fillies at 1 mile. I thought it was a fairly easy selection to take the Southern California shipper Vikkilee (ML 2-1) as she has a nice stalking style and faces by far the easiest field of her career. She should get a good race flow as there are several early speed stretchout types in this race. She should roll by in the lane. The main threat appears to be Carlsbad, who has yet to be challenged in her three career starts and stretches out to a route of ground for the first time today. She gets the distance and class test this afternoon.

The Result: So much for that opinion. Carlsbad scored easily as the 3/5 favorite with Miss Bodine finishing second and Vikkilee running a distant third. Vikkilee’s performance could only be described as “dismal” by even the most optimistic race enthusiasts as she was hard ridden into the far turn and had no response. Carlsbad looks like a very nice filly as she passed her class and distance test with ease.

Maximum Points: Carlsbad 75
Maximum Score: 785
My Score: 189

Race 6: This was the Marathon15K for 4+ at 1m5/8 on the main track. This is very tough to judge who might handle the distance, I ended up selecting Presidential Cause (ML 7/2) as he was claimed two starts back by William Bainum and has some good back numbers. I’m expecting this one to be near a moderate early pace and hopefully will kick on when the “real running” begins. Anyone is eligible to win it with the exception of Molino Rojo who appears to be a true outsider in this field.

The Result: Presidential Cause saved ground and grabbed the lead first time through the stretch. He then held Geririg safe down the stretch to score at 9/5. Louder finished third. Geririg got the most contest points for his second place finish at 11-1.

Maximum Points: Geririg 126
Maximum Score: 911
My Score: 307

Race 7: This was the featured Turf Paradise Derby 100K for 3yo’s at 1m1/16th. Only two of these runners are Triple Crown nominated and they were both shippers from Southern California. I settled on one of those two, Pauper’s Prize (ML 7/2), a lightly raced maiden with two second place finishes in two career starts. His speed figures are competitive and he has a lot of upside potential. He tries conventional dirt and two turns for the first time today. He could provide a bit of value over the two probable favorites Mayor Marv and Hidden Bounty. Hidden Bounty was defeated by local horse Minnetonka Mist last fall at Turf Paradise.

The Result: Mayor Marv proved to be too good for the rest as he held Hidden Bounty safe, with longshot Just Jebicah running third. My choice Pauper’s prize took quite a bit of tote action but had an awkward break and couldn’t reach contention. Baffert comes and gets the money with Mayor Marv!

Maximum Points: Mayor Marv 170
Maximum Score: 1,081
My score: 307

Race 8: This was a Clm6250 for 4+ at 1m on the turf. I went to the rail horse Appealing Dream in this spot as an upset pick. This horse has been in sharp form on the dirt and trainer Frazier has some strong stats with turf runners and runners trying the turf for the first time. I’m expecting a pretty good price with other established turf runners in play here.

The Result: Peter’s Charity scores narrowly at 4-1 over Takeittothebank and longshot Point Dume finished third. Peter’s Charity gets his first turf win after running third in his previous two tries. Positive rider switch to Hernandez was the angle in play here. Rail runner Appealing Dream offered nothing in his first turf start at 5-1 odds.

Maximum Points: Rock Candy 174
Maximum Score: 1,255
My Score: 307

Race 9: The finale was a Mcl5000 for Arizona breds 4+ at 6f. I selected Chesterman (ML 4-1) making his second start off the long layoff for trainer Peter Pizzurro. Chesterman had some trouble at the start in his comeback race and returns with a decent workout. He gets the services of top rider Corbett and should be prominent throughout. Others to consider were Bit of Sunshine, Buck’s Trick, Brite Benton, Too Hot to Burn and Al Ghazi’s Tobin.

The Result: The day ends with Al Ghazi’s Tobin, a nice 9-1 price that was pretty logical as he was lightly raced and had flashed early speed in his prior start last year. He had a low percentage trainer and hadn’t raced since last April, which explains the 9-1 price. Brite Benton finished second and Buck’s Trick ran third. Favored Chesterman didn’t show any early speed and ran fourth at 7/5 odds.

Maximum Points: Al Ghazi’s Tobin 348
Maximum Score: 1,603
My Score: 307

Summary: The first and last races today offered the most points for today’s contest. If you found them both you will be in the mix. Using my 2/3 of total rule as a guideline, the winner should be in the 1,100 point range. It was a week where it was tough to gain a lot of ground and there weren’t any real Derby contenders running, but Canterbury was still giving away some good prizes. Congratulations to the winner and I’ll be back next week.

The Oracle