Canterbury Park, Shakopee, Minn logo

The Road to Kentucky Week 2

submitted by The Oracle

Week 2 of the Road to Kentucky contest is at Fair Grounds for the featured Risen Star Stakes. Twelve races in today’s contest, including the double point bonus race means a score of about 800 will be considered “break even”. A good contest score is about 1.5 times the “breakeven” and the winning score is generally about 2.5 times the “breakeven” mark. Machen will be the horse to watch in today’s feature as he has won both career starts by daylight and is the highest ranked horse on the DRF Derby Watch list. Good Luck!

Race 1: This is a state bred maiden claimer for 3yo fillies at 6f. I chose second time starter Sheza Tenpins (ML 6-1) who was 4th beaten a length in her debut.

The Result: Favored Sister Sip (1-1) prevailed by a nose over Whispering Express (9/2) and Lawson’s Lady (3-1). My selection showed early speed and faded at 4-1.

Maximum Points: Sister Sip 90
Maximum Score: 90
My Score: 0

Race 2: This is a Statebred Allowance sprint for 4+ at 6f. I selected Macho Regent (ML 8-1) who was recently claimed by Johnston and gets money rider Jacinto aboard. This horse shows strong early speed most of the time. That duo is winning over 30% of the time.

The Result: Yukon Bandit closed for the win at 9-1 over Hit the Road Lee (3-1) and Training Room (2-1). Nice pick if you selected this one as he was the highest money winner in the field! My selection got the early lead but faded in the final 16th at 5-1.

Maximum Points: Yukon Bandit 330
Maximum Score: 420
My Score: 0

Race 3: This is a maiden special weight for 3yo at 6f. In a wide open affair I chose Rack Daddy (ML 10-1) who exits a key race in his debut. The first three finishers from that race came back to win, including Machen who runs later in the featured Risen Star.

The Result: First time starter Bind was the real deal as he crushed the field at even money. Tale of the Dance got up late for second at 17-1 and Saracen grabbed the show at 9/2. Bind was a monster; he could be any kind down the road. Tale of the Dance got the most contest points for his second place finish. Nothing but a severe fade from my selection Rack Daddy at 9-1.

Maximum Points: Tale of the Dance 216
Maximum Score: 636
My Score: 0

Race 4: This is the Colonel Power stakes at 5.5f on the turf for 4+. Due Date will be the heavy favorite as he ran in the BC turf sprint last November, but I tried Don’t Shoot (ML 10-1) who was just claimed by the Lovell barn and has a strong jockey/trainer win%.

The Result: Heavily favored Due Date won at 3/5 over Strike Impact (17-1) and Sweetsouthernmoon (18-1). Strike Impact got the most contest points for his second place finish. That’s two heavily favored winners in a row for the public.

Maximum Points: Strike Impact 154
Maximum Score: 790
My Score: 0

Race 5: This is the Pan Zareta Stakes for 4+ fillies and mares at 6f. I selected Greeley’s Rocket (ML 8-1) making her third start off the layoff for Calhoun. She fired a big one last year in her third start off the layoff but will have to deal with a class hike today. Beautician is the early even money favorite.

The Result: Beautician closed from far back to win at 2-1 over a game Smoky Belle (11-1) and Simplify (4-1). Nothing from Greeley’s Rocket at 12-1. Smoky Belle got the most points for her second place finish as low priced winners continue to come in!

Maximum Points: Smoky Belle 144
Maximum Score: 934
My Score: 0

Race 6: This is a turf Allowance race at 1m1/16th for 4+. I selected Avenstoke (ML 8-1) who drew away in his last race and has worked sharply since. He opened 5/2 on the board.

The Result: This was a key contest result as Joshua Reynolds closed strongly for the win at 22-1! Bauers Got Hours was second at 8-1 and the favorite Harvest Home finished third. The longshot winner was lightly raced and had the top rated late pace figure in the field. Great pick at 22-1 if you found that one; he was 12-1 Morning Line! My selection finished fourth at 4-1. Not good!

Maximum Points: Joshua Reynolds 796
Maximum Score: 1,730
My Score: 0

Race 7: This is the G3 Rachel Alexandra for 3yo fillies at 1m1/16. Lilacs and Lace was a late scratch. The big favorite will be Kathmanblu but I chose Tapit Dancer (ML 10-1) who can sit off what looks to be a fast pace on paper. She makes her first start since November. Kathmanblu opened 1/5.

The Result: Heavily favored Kathmanblu won it at 3/5 over Inglorious (4-1) and Gran Lioness (5-1). I thought it would be a fast race on paper as 4 of the 6 runners had a Q pace rating of 6 or higher but it never materialized. I might be setting a futility record for the most last place finishes!

Maximum Points: Kathmanblu 75
Maximum Score: 1,805
My score: 0

Race 8: This is the G3 Mineshaft at 1m1/16th for 4+. I selected Z Humor (ML 10-1) who looks like lone speed on paper. He didn’t get the lead last time and faded badly but the pace scenario should be better today and he has three solid drills since his last start. Three scratches leave only a field of 6.

The Result: Demarcation closed from last to win at 5/2 as a pace battle developed between Z Humor and Mission Impazible. Mission Impazible ran second and Apart was third. Z Humor faded to fourth at 16-1.

Maximum Points: Demarcation 134
Maximum Score: 1,939
My Score: 0

Race 9: This is the G3 Fair Grounds Handicap for 4+ at 1m1/16th on the turf. I selected Sleepless Knight (ML 8-1) who has rallied from far back to win his last two starts and has won 4 of 7 overall. He’s bet down early to 3-1.

The Result: The second bomber of the day won as Expansion (32-1) closed late despite a very slow early pace. Sleepless Knight was the lukewarm favorite and got up for second over Dubious Miss (8-1). Expansion was capped at 600 points for the win. Expansion was a tough one to find as he hadn’t hit the exacta for 15 months. He shipped in from California and knocked it out of the park for the Asmussen barn.

Maximum Points: Expansion 878
Maximum Score: 2,817
My Score: 94

Race 10: This is the featured Risen Star Stakes. Machen opened even money off a very suspect 6-1 morning line. I selected Santiva (ML 6-1) who makes his first start of the year and can sit behind what appears to be a fast pace today. Great betting race!

The Result: Mucho Macho Man got the money at 7/2 over Santiva (6-1) and Rogue Romance (2-1). Machen went favored and flattened out to fourth in the stretch. Disappointing effort from the favorite! Mucho Macho Man made a lot of sense after contesting the pace in a 1 turn mile at Gulfstream Park. He got a better trip today.

Maximum Points: Mucho Macho Man 336
Maximum Score: 3,153
My Score: 282

Race 11: This is a maiden special weight for 3yo at 1m1/16 on the turf. I selected Annual Update (ML 20-1) who makes his second career start for Michael Maker. He was pretty far back in his debut but closed some ground and horses often improve dramatically in their second career start. He opened 3-1 on the board.

The Result: The logical horse won it as Sporting Holiday got the money at 3-1 followed by Stunning Split (11-1) and Dynamaker (7-1). Stunning Split got the most contest points with his second place finish.

Maximum Points: Stunning Split 178
Maximum Score: 3,331
My Score: 282

Race 12: the finale is a claimer for state bred 3yo’s going 6f. I selected longshot Take the Town (ML 30-1) who has been trounced in both starts this year but may find the front end with a giant drop in class. Low% connections in play.

The Result: Favored Cy’s Hope won easily at 4/5 over Strikin Ike (9-1) and Louisiana Puddles (7-1). Strikin Ike got the most contest points for his second place finish.

Maximum Points: Strikin Ike 108
Maximum Score: 3,439
My Score: 282

Summary: Expansion and Joshua Reynolds were the key horses in today’s contest. If you found one of them along with Mucho Macho Man in the feature and a few others you should be page 1 material. Machen didn’t get it done today but we will likely see him in the Louisiana Derby at much better odds next time. Notice that 5 of the second place finishers today scored higher than the winners of those races. See you next week for Gulfstream Park!