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Road to Kentucky Week 6

Back to Gulfstream for the second time as the Florida Derby is on tap. Trainer Todd Pletcher is sending out Delta Jackpot and Sam Davis winner Rule and will wait with his top prospect Eskendereya until the Wood in two weeks. Rule is trying for his fifth consecutive win today. The rest of the card is very strong as well. Good Luck with your selections!

Race 1: This is an Alw48000N1X for 4+ at 6f. I selected Bimini (ML 5-1) who caught a sloppy track last time out and couldn’t make up any ground over a speed favoring surface.

The Result: Majestic Blue won it at 6-1 over Strasbourg (9-1) and Bimini (7/2). The winner was exiting the same race as my selection and was second off the layoff for trainer McLaughlin, who is a 30% trainer with that angle. He had a “ducked out start” trouble line in his last race and showed improved early speed today. This was his second start over a fast main track and his second victory. He scored in his debut at Saratoga last August and reverted to top form today after three subpar efforts. My selection was a bit unlucky down the lane and settled for a close third place finish at a bet down 7/2 price. He was well intended but third best today.

Maximum Points: Majestic Blue 262
Maximum Score: 262
My Score: 30

Race 2: This is an Alw48000N1X for 3+ at 1m on the turf. I selected Manhattan Fox (ML 6-1) who makes his U.S. debut for Clement who excels with this move. Three scratches gives us a field of seven so I’m not expecting 6-1 at post time.

The Result: Favored Saint Eligius gives McLaughlin and Garcia both halves of the Daily Double with an easy win at 4/5 over Manhattan Fox (9/2) and Soldier Field (14-1). Not a significant race for points! The winning favorite had finished a neck behind Florida Derby entrant Lentenor in his last race. Lentenor is a full brother to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

Maximum Points: Saint Eglisius 84
Maximum Score: 346
My Score: 108

Race 3: This is an Msw45K for 3yo at 6f. I selected first time starter Biloxi (ML 5-1) who is a son of Tiznow and trained by Richard Dutrow. Dutrow has strong win percentages in all categories and the Dutrow/Dominguez combo is winning at an unheard of 47% clip from 83 starters since the beginning of 2009.

The Result: Storm on the Moon won it at 9-1 for trainer Tagg over Biloxi (6-1) and Scary Good (11-1). There was an inquiry into the stretch run as the winner drifted out through the lane but there was no change. The winner had good early speed and had been beaten by Tampa Bay Derby winner Odysseus two starts back. He was also turning back in distance from 7f to 6f and was third off the layoff. The 9-1 odds seem generous.

Maximum Points: Storm on the Moon 382
Maximum Score: 728
My Score: 238

Race 4: This is an OC62K/N2X for 4+ at 1m. I selected Break Water Edison (ML 6-1) from the rail with the same connections as Biloxi in the last race. He makes his second start off a year layoff after finishing an even 5th in his last start at 7f. Go-to rider Dominguez switches on today.

The Result: Longshot Wingedlie scores at 25-1 on a turf to dirt move for trainer Negrete. Jove (7/2) was second and It’s Never to Late (5/2) was third. Wingedlie had four prior victories all over off tracks but he rallied strongly to be up in time today. He was exiting a fourth place finish on the turf at 30-1. My selection was in perfect position turning for home but flattened out at an underlaid price of 5/2.

Maximum Points: Wingedlie 830
Maximum Score: 1,558
My Score: 238

Race 5: This is an Msw45K for 3yo at 1m. I selected first time starter Speightsville (ML 12-1) trained by Trombetta who has excellent stats with his first time starters (28% winners from over 200 first time starters). Sire Speightstown gets 16% winners with his first time starters.

The Result: Our Dark Knight won at 3-1 over Avenging Spirit (5-1) and Grand Macho (35-1). The winner was second off the layoff after finishing 3 lengths behind Florida Derby starter Game on Dude in his last race. My selection never factored at 35-1.

Maximum Points: Our Dark Knight 170
Maximum Score: 1,728
My Score: 238

Race 6: This is an OC80K/N3X for f&m 4+ at 1m on the turf. I selected Cherokee Queen (ML 10-1) who won at this level two starts back and was a closing 5th in her last start against Grade 3 company. She has run first or second in 4 of 5 over the Gulfstream turf course and gets a jockey change from Rose to Leparoux.

The Result: Scolara won it at 3-1 over Cherokee Queen (5-1) and Pull Dancer (6-1). The winner was trained by Mott ridden by Desormeaux. Scolara was a stakes runner dropping to allowance level for the first time and scored an easy victory.

Maximum Points: Scolara 166
Maximum Score: 1,894
My Score: 334

Race 7: This is the 40th running of the G2 Bonnie Lass for 3yo fillies at 1m1/8. I selected Joanie’s Catch (ML 12-1) who has finished second in 3 consecutive starts at 26-1, 51-1 and 48-1! She is ridden by Lopez who had the longshot winner earlier in the card. She is the leading money earner in this field.

The Result: Devil May Care scored a 7-1 upset for trainer Todd Pletcher. Amen Hallelujah (3/2) was second and Joanie’s Catch (12-1) ran third. Devil May Care rebounded nicely after failing in the Silverbulletday at Fairgrounds at 4/5. This was her second start off the layoff and an easy victory today.

Maximum Points: Devil May Care 258
Maximum Score: 2,152
My score: 364

Race 8: This is the 31st running of the G3 Rampart for f&m 4+ at 1m1/8. I selected Miss Match (ML 12-1) who won her only start at Gulfstream two back. She has been in the money in 10 of 11 career starts and should be a big price on the board after finishing third in a minor stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs. She needs a move forward to contend today.

The Result: Unrivaled Belle gives Mott another winner at 9/5 with longshot Champagne Eyes (25-1) second and Miss Singhsix (6-1) third. My selection ran a close fourth along the inside at 30-1 odds. Champagne Eyes got the most contest points for his second place finish.

Maximum Points: Champagne Eyes 254
Maximum Score: 2,406
My Score: 364

Race 9: This is the 59th running of the G3 Appleton for 4+ at 7.5f on the turf. I selected Carson Hall (ML 10-1) who is trying graded stakes company for the first time. He was steadied and checked in his last two races and makes his third start off the layoff. He also gets a rider change from Decarlo to Dominguez.

The Result:
Society’s Chairman won a very close decision at 6-1 over favored Rahy’s Attorney (9/5) with Kiss the Kid (3-1) third. This was the winners first start off a three month layoff and he had been defeated by Rahy’s Attorney three times previously but he turned the tabled by a thin margin today. My selection ran sixth in traffic at 7-1. Dominguez is not having his best riding day today as he taken the worst of a few traffic incidents on track.

Maximum Points: Society’s Chairman 238
Maximum Score: 2,644
My Score: 364

Race 10: This is the 25th running of the G2 Swale for 3yo at 7f. I selected Hear Ye Hear Ye (ML 15-1) who finished 3 lengths behind heavy favorite D’ Funnybone in his last start at 35-1. He has wins at 20-1 and 11-1 on form and should show strong early speed from the rail today. Obscure connections should guarantee a big price.

The Result: Heavy favorite D’ Funnybone won it at ½ over Ibboyee (7/2) and Privilaged (35-1). It was a fairly easy win for the favorite. My selection was a well beaten 4th at 15-1.

Maximum Points: D’ Funnybone 73
Maximum score: 2,717
My score: 364

Race 11:
This is the featured 59th running of the G1 Florida Derby at 1m1/8. Rule is the name horse from the Pletcher barn and the one to beat but I selected Best Actor (ML 20-1) who appears overmatched at first glance based on speed figures but he ran a gigantic pace figure in his last start at Gulfstream Park at this distance in January. He bid into a sub-47 half mile and weakened late to finish third. It is the highest pace figure in the field. He needs another move forward but he returns from a short layoff and should be forwardly placed early on a speed favoring track and his price will be gigantic for a 24% trainer.

The Result: Big prices ran 1-2 as Ice Box got up in the final stride at 20-1 to beat Pleasant Prince at 25-1. Rule finished third at 9/5 after pressing a pretty quick early pace. The top two finishers were also-rans in the Fountain of Youth behind Eskendereya, although Ice Box had a wide trip that day and did make a mid race move. My selection was eased at 35-1. Wrong long shot!

Maximum Points: Ice Box 1,468
Maximum Score: 4,185
My Score: 364

Race 12: This is an Msw45K for 3+ at 1m on the turf. I selected Storm Galileo (ML15-1) who had trouble in his debut and then improved slightly second time out. He has an exceptional turf Tomlinson number of 403 and deserves another look at a big price.

The Result: The Great McGee was a front running winner as the 2-1 favorite and Trend (8-1) dead heated with Santa (8-1) for the place. Nothing from my selection at 20-1.

Maximum Points: The Great McGee 120
Maximum Score: 4,305
My Score: 364

Summary: Ice Box and Wingedlie were the two longshots of the day but you probably need Ice Box to win the week since it was a double point race. The top 3 finishers in the Florida Derby looked good and Eskendereya was flattered by the result also as he defeated the top two handily last time out. The other runners may show up for the Lexington or Blue Grass in search of more Graded earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby. Congratulations if you selected Ice Box today, he was coming off the wide effort in the Fountain of Youth and was a nice longshot play!

The Oracle