Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

Road to Kentucky Week 5

A big day of racing across the country today as several of the more prominent 3 year olds are running and also Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are making their seasonal debuts in preparation for their meeting in next months Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park. The contest is at Oaklawn Park with bonus races at Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita. We will be getting our first look of the year at Lookin at Lucky, Nobles Promise, and Super Saver today. Trainer Bob Baffert has called today’s race for Lookin at Lucky an “experiment” as he tries dirt for the first time and adds blinkers. Vulnerable??

Race 1: This is a Clm7500N1Y for 4+ at 6f. I selected Gold Ember (ML 6-1) who exits two bad trips where he was wide after bad starts and turns back from a route. He’s riding a long losing streak but did finish 2nd three starts back at 8-1 against similar.

The Result: Storm Boot Larry went wire to wire at 4-1 followed by Lake Kiowa (7/2) and Triple Nine Fine (17-1). My selection closed for 4th at 10-1. The 4/5 favorite trained by Asmussen didn’t fire from the outside.

Maximum Points: Storm Boot Larry 180
Maximum Score: 180
My Score: 0

Race 2: This is a Msw38K for 3yo at 1m1/16. I selected Tiz Dangerous (ML 5-1) who makes his second lifetime start after finishing third in his debut at 10-1. He is the son of Tiznow and was a 350K purchase. He finished about 3 lengths behind the race favorite New Madrid last time out.

The Result: New Madrid stalked the pace and won at 3-1 over Tiz Dangerous (7/2) and Smokin Star (11-1). Jockey A. Castellano Jr. wins both halves of the early double!

Maximum Points: New Madrid 150
Maximum Score: 330
My Score: 78

Race 3: This is a Mdn20000 for 3,4,5 yo f&m at 6f. I selected Rose Rock (ML 6-1) who ships in from Sam Houston and gets a trainer change from Willis to Von Hemel. She dueled for the lead on some quick early splits in her last start at Sam Houston against similar company.

The Result: Favored Santa Trinita won at 9/5 over 13-1 first time starter Easter Jade and Pollard’s Glance. Easter Jade got the most contest points fot her second place finish. My selection finished 4th at 4-1 after chasing the winner early.

Maximum Points: Easter Jade 184
Maximum Score: 514
My Score: 78

Race 4: This is a Md10000 for 3,4,5 yo f&m at 5.5f. I selected first time starter Korny Sue (ML 8-1) sired by Gilded Time and trained by Von Hemel. She debuts with Lasix and her dam has had six previous winners from six foals. She opened 12-1 on the board.

The Result: Denali Adventure won as a first time starter at 4-1 over Sagedust (8/5) and Korny Sue (12-1). My selection broke in a tangle but rallied strongly for third.

Maximum Points: Denali Adventure 196
Maximum Score: 710
My Score: 134

Race 5: This is a Clm40000 for 4+ at 6f. I selected King A.J. (ML 6-1) who turns back in distance for trainer Robertson. He broke poorly and made a mid-race move in his last start and should be finishing strongly today.

The Result: Success Success scored at 6-1 over King A.J. (9-1) and Cash McCool (5/2). King A.J. was probably best but had no racing luck today with a very troubled trip. The winner was a Fairgrounds shipper making his first start at Oaklawn.

Maximum Points: Success Success 270
Maximum Score: 980
My Score: 274

Race 6: This is a Clm10000N2L for 3+ at 1m. I selected Last Martini (10-1) who has been stuck at this level forever but has been on the board in 4 of 6 at Oaklawn. He draws the 11 post but is in pretty good form.

The Result: The first big price of the day hits as 21-1 Marquis Marksman won it over Cigar Break and Color Out. The winner was a sprinter stretching out and was lightly raced at 1 for 6. Congratulations if you used him! My selection ran 4th at 11-1.

Maximum Points: Marquis Marksman 748
Maximum Score: 1,728
My Score: 274

Race 7: This is an OC50K/N2L for 3yo at 1m1/16. I selected Ricky Tick (ML 10-1) who breaks from the rail for the fourth consecutive race. He scored at Fairgrounds back in December at 28-1 and gets Albarado aboard today. He opened at 5/2 on the board, not what I was hoping for.

The Result: Two good prices finished first and second as Drink With Pride won it at 7-1 over another longshot Groom. A Student rounded out the trifecta. Groom got the most points for his second place finish. My selection never fired at 5-1. Groom was stretching out for the first time and was second off the layoff for Von Hemel.

Maximum Points: Groom 340
Maximum Score: 2,068
My score: 274

Tampa Bay Derby: The first bonus race today is the 30th running of the Tampa Bay Derby at 1m1/16. I selected Gleam of Hope (ML 15-1) who is the second highest money winner in the field due to his win in the Cradle200K at River Downs last fall. He makes his second start off the layoff and was 2nd on the turf last time out. He would need to improve to beat this group but I’m hoping he can close for a share at a huge price. Trainer Reinstedler has been having a very good meet. The co-favorites on the board are Super Saver and Odysseus for Pletcher and Albetrani, respectively.

The Result: It was a heartbreaker for me as my selection loomed in the stretch at 42-1 and finished a close 4th. Odysseus was the 2-1 winner in a head bob over Schoolyard Dreams (5-1) and Super Saver (3/2). Schoolyard Dreams appeared to be the winner until the last bob when Odysseus rallied back between horses. A tight finish!!

Maximum Points: Odysseus 236
Maximum Score: 2,304
My score: 274

Race 8: This is the 23rd running of the G3 Honeybee for 3yo fillies at 1m1/16. I selected Bell’s Shoes (ML 12-1) who faced many of these last time out and finished 3rd at 31-1. She looks pretty versatile and should be a big price again today.

The Result: The winner was No Such Word at 6-1 over Beautician and Tap Tap Tapping. My selection pressed the pace at 12-1 but faded late. No Such Word was third off the layoff with two excellent 5f works since her last start which was also a win.

Maximum Points: No Such Word 250
Maximum Score: 2,554
My Score: 274

Race 9: This is an OC40K/N2X for 4+ at 1m1/16. I selected Gresham who fired a big one off the layoff at 7-1 in his last start at this level. Borel is off riding Rachel Alexandra today so Lenclud rides for trainer Baker.

The Result: The favorite Follow the Leader won it at even money over T.C. Champ and Sea Gaze. T.C. Champ was a big price on the board. He got the most contest points for his second place finish. He was claimed in his last race by trainer Chris Richard who wins over 20% first off the claim.

Maximum Points: T.C. Champ 162
Maximum Score: 2,716
My Score: 274

Race 10: This is the featured 50th running of the G2 Rebel at 1m1/16 marking the return of Lookin at Lucky. I selected Cardiff Giant (ML 15-1) who exits a 3rd place finish in the Southwest in his last start. He finished about a length and a half behind Dublin in that race and Dublin is currently 7/5 while Cardiff Giant is 25-1! Lookin at Lucky is even money as they head to post.

The Result: It was a head bob at the wire between Lookin at Lucky and Nobles Promise. Lookin at Lucky got the bob and Dublin finished third. The three favorites dominated this one all the way around. My selection was 5th no threat at 25-1. This was the fastest running of the Rebel since Smarty Jones in 2004. The connections of the top 3 finishers should be feeling pretty good as they head toward the Arkansas Derby!

Maximum Points: Lookin at Lucky 188
Maximum score: 2,904
My score: 274

Race 11: This is an Md10000 for 3,4,5 at 6f. I selected Sargent Marv (ML 6-1) who is turning back in distance and dropping in class. His last 2 sprint efforts were pretty good but he’s been running poorly in routes so he may have some hidden form.

The Result: Corralito’s Way won it in the final stride at 4-1 over the favorite Logic and Regions Reward. The winner hadn’t raced since December 2008 but trainer Moquett had him ready. My selection was a distant 6th at 11-1.

Maximum Points: Corralito’s Way 188
Maximum Score: 3,092
My Score: 274

The San Felipe: The final race of the contest is the 73rd running of the G2 San Felipe at 1m1/16. I selected recent maiden winner Erbeia (ML 20-1) who should catch a pretty honest pace to run at in this race with Sidney’s Candy stretching out for the first time. Trainer Mandella must like what he sees to put Erbeia in against stakes company right after a maiden breaking effort. Last year he finished two lengths behind Pulsion who is on the derby trail for Biancone at Gulfstream Park. One big price right here can win the contest for you.

The Result: Sidneys Candy got an easy lead and scored at 7/2 over Interactif (6-1) and Caracortado (7/5). The pace scenario I needed for my selection never materialized and he was well beaten at 47-1.

Maximum Points: Sidney’s Candy 360
Maximum Score: 3,452
My Score: 274

Summary: There was one big price today in Race 6 so if you found Marquis Marksman and had some of the other mid-range prices you have a good shot. The bonus races were pretty formful so if you are price hunting like me it was probably a tough day. Last week the scores weren’t as high as I was expecting so perhaps a 1,700 point total will be good enough. In other news Rachel Alexandra was defeated at Fairgrounds by Zardana, a different Sherriffs mare, while Zenyatta picked up where she left off last year in her victory at Santa Anita. That takes a lot of the luster away from the Apple Blossom next month and it will be interesting to see if the Rachel Alexandra connections go forward with that.

I continue to drop down the leaderboard as my price hunting ways haven’t been productive so far. On the other hand, I was about a length from a potential 2,000 point score in the Tampa Bay Derby which would have bailed me out of a lot of bad weeks! That’s the way this game is.

The Oracle