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Road to Kentucky Week 4

We move to Gulfstream Park today for the Fountain of Youth. Two additional bonus races for the contest are the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and the John Battaglia at Turfway Park. Plenty of racing action today, good luck!!

Race 1: This was an msw40K for 3yo at 6f. I went to the favored outside horse All the Bases (ML 5/2) exiting two troubled trips while being competitive. He holds the experience edge over a field of first timers and moves outside to attack post nine. He looks extremely tough at a short price. First time starter Valid Name looked interesting for trainer Dutrow as an alternative selection. A lot of unknown quantities in this one.

The Result: Snapshot was the other experienced runner and he was ready to fire off the layoff for trainer William Mott at 6-1 odds. Longshot first timer Juliano finished second over the heavily bet favorite All the Bases. Juliano was the top contest scorer in this race, finishing second at 40-1 odds. He was capped in the place pool at $40. The winner was trying conventional dirt for the first time and easily popped to the lead in very fast splits.

Maximum Points: Juliano 502
Maximum Score: 502
My Score: 22

Race 2: This was an msw40K for 4+ at 1mile. I tried another favorite, Bet the Limit, as he was a strong second in his first start off the layoff and finished ahead of a few other runners in this race. Seven Halo’s, Empiror and U S Treasury rounded out my contender group.

The Result: U S Treasury won a tight three-way photo with Bet the Limit and Seven Halo’s. Seven Halo’s was disqualified from second to third for interference in deep stretch. U S Treasury was the 6/5 favorite. Bet the Limit was 2/5 early and drifted up to 9/5 at post time but couldn’t get the money.

Maximum Points: U S Treasury 96
Maximum Score: 598
My Score: 70

Race 3: This was an OC100K/C48K for 4+ at 1m1/16 on the turf. I went to the rail horse Pickapocket who makes his second start of a layoff for Mott. I’m hoping for a little improvement and a good trip from post position 1. Nergal, A.P. Arrow and Ghost Hour rounded out my contender group.

The Result: Ghost Hour grabbed the lead and went wire to wire over Cherokee Triangle and Musketier. Another wire to wire score on the Gulfstream lawn, the speed has been holding for awhile. My selection was 7/2 and in good position turning for home but was outkicked to the wire and finished 5th.

Maximum Points: Ghost Hour 246
Maximum Score: 844
My Score: 70

Race 4: This was an mcl30K for 3yo’s at 6f. I tried an unknown runner Coach Abs who has had two bad races with significant trouble in each race. He shows three workouts since his last start and if he breaks cleanly he could factor. He opened at 7-1 from a 15-1 ML. He’s first off the claim for James DiVito.

The Result: Another Success destroyed the field at 3-1, with Wise Vision second and Bold Vindication third. Coach Abs showed brief speed and faded.

Maximum Points: Another Success 152
Maximum Score: 996
My Score: 70

Race 5: This was an mcl80000 for 3yo fillies at 6f. I selected first time starter Mary’s Somg, an Unbridled’s Song first time starter trained by Chad Brown. The morning line was 10-1, she opened 5-1 on the board.

The Result: Smarty Jones first time starter Smarty Bull crushes at 7-1 with Mary’s Song finishing second and Unbridled Prayer running third. First time starters run 1-2 in this race. Smarty Jones first time starters are live!

Maximum Points: Smarty Bull 336
Maximum Score: 1,332
My Score: 210

Race 6: This was an Alw44000 for 4+ at 1m1/16 on the turf. I tried Broad River who will hopefully get the early lead. The turf course appears to be favoring speed. Several scratches in the race so my original 12-1 ML is currently 9/2.

The Result: Arctic Cry scored at 7-1 narrowly over Broad River and Baletti. Favored Big Stick was nowhere in this one. Once again, the near the lead horses finished on top on the turf.

Maximum Points: Arctic Cry 272
Maximum Score: 1,604
My Score: 344

Race 7: This was an OC62K/N$Y for 3+ at 7f. I tried Motovato off his freakish 111 speed figure last August at Calder. He hasn’t been seen since that race and returns with a bullet workout. Four scratches left a field of six. Pictural and Freedom Bay look like the main threats.

The Result: Pictural won easily at 2-1 with Da’Tara second and Motovato third. Not a lot of points available in this one but an impressive race by Pictural.

Maximum Points: Pictural 130
Maximum Score: 1,734
My score: 374

Race 8: This was the 43rd running of the Canadian Turf Grade III. I tried Buddy’s Humor from post 11 as he has enough early speed to get a good position and is 2 for 2 at the distance. 12-1 ML but opened at 6-1.

The Result: Twilight Meteor got a perfect trip and scored from just off the pace over Buddy’s Humor and Buffalo Man. I got the lead early with Buddy’s Humor but he wasn’t good enough today.

Maximum Points: Twilight Meteor 274
Maximum Score: 2,008
My Score: 516

Race 9: This was the featured 63rd running of the Fountain of Youth for 3yo’s at 1m. I tried Theregoesjojo for McPeek and Desormeaux, a 15-1 ML horse who opened 7/2 on the board. This might be the deepest Derby prep to date, the lukewarm favorite is Capt. Candyman Can.

The Result: Quality Road scored an impressive victory over Theregoesjojo and Beethoven. Trainer James Jerkins has a good one in Quality Road. Theregoesjojo defeated Quality Road in their last start but Quality Road turned the tables today. Both of these colts look strong on the Road to Kentucky!

Maximum Points: Quality Road 480
Maximum Score: 2,488
My Score: 708

Turfway 11: This is one of the bonus races, the 27th running of the John Battaglia Memorial. I selected Stratos who won his debut at Turfway easily by six lengths sprinting and then had some trouble at Oaklawn in another sprint. The heavy favorite is Parade Clown who exits a winning race at Turfway with a 90 speed figure.

The Result: Proceed Bee won it at 4-1 over favored Parade Clown and Toccet Rocket. Stratos did not fire at all. Proceed Bee was in from Oaklawn where he had some trouble in his last start. He had tried the synthetic surface one other time, winning his debut at Arlington Park.

Maximum Points: Proceed Bee 360
Maximum Score: 2,848
My Score: 708

Race 10: This was an msw40K for 3yo’s at 1m on the turf. In a total guess, I selected Indian Fog who has good turf breeding and is 20-1 on the Morning Line. He had trouble in his lone start to date.

The Result: Indian Fog tracked and faded around the far turn as first time starter Affirmatif scored at 9/2. Longshot Laureate Conductor finished second and Seeking the Sluice was third. Laureate Conductor got the most points for his second place finish.

Maximum Points: Laureate Conductor 280
Maximum Score: 3,128
My Score: 708

Santa Anita 9: This was the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita at 1m1/8 on the synthetic. All the hype surrounded my selection The Pamplemousse as he has been dominant out on the west coast in front running fashion. No value in this selection, but I simply couldn’t find an alternative.

The Result: The Pamplemousse did not disappoint as he cruised wire to wire by an authoritative six lengths at ½ odds. Second choice Take the Points finished second and third choice Mr. Hot Stuff was third. A very formful running of the Sham as a very impressive three-year old stamps himself as a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby. At least I had one winner today even if he was only ½ odds.

Maximum Points: The Pamplemousse 160
Maximum Score: 3,288
My Score: 868

Summary: No huge longshots today but a steady dose of 6-1 shots made the maximum points available get above 3,000 today. Anything in the 2,000 range should contend for the weekly prize. We saw some live runners in The Pamplemousse and Quality Road this week. Good Luck if you were around 2,000 points this week!!

The Oracle