First Post: 5 p.m. ET

1st: 5-3-8-9-4…Ailish’s Buttercup (5) is a first time starter for a barn that can click right out of the stall (.20 win percentage). This one turned in a nice work on June 16, and appears ready. Not crazy about he sire, who has disappointed at stud. But…In the Mood (3) goes second time for trainer Wesley Ward, who is known for tutoring his 2YO. Got a very nice field in that first go and should improve off that experience. Ashy Taty (8) goes for the first time today for a barn that normally takes a few to get race ready. But this one is working very well and this is not an overwhelming crowd. Appealing ML odds of 8-1. I bet the 5 to win/place and then wheel the 5-3 over/under the rest of the numbers.

 

2nd: 1-7-2-5-3…Yoou Den (1) comes into this one off two good races in a row, including a win in her last out. Cheyenne Blues, who won the race two back, came back and disappointed in her last effort, but I stick with the hot horse here. Daddy’s Memory (7) goes for a little-known trainer and lesser-known jock on the ship down from Indiana. These types normally don’t fare well here, but this one has been doing very well of late, and gets another class drop. Used to run here regularly and has posted 6 ITM finishes in 10 lifetime trips. Maybe. Angel Haze (2) takes a plunge down the class ladder in here, and that might wake up this 5YO mare by City Zip. But the speedster needs some waking up after two dull performances in a row this spring at Tampa. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-7-2 and the 1-2-5 in the exactas.

 

3rd: 3-2-6-7-1-5…Kapellmeister (3) takes a significant class drop coming off a win. Question mark? But the horse he beat came back and ran another good one. This one had back-to-back wins last summer and may be able to do it again. Zander Zone (2) takes a plunge for the barn of Tom Amoss, who is having another solid meet. Picks up Florent Geroux to ride and a return to old form could prove to be enough in here. Lomcevak (6) bit off a big chew last summer in the American Derby and hasn’t been seen since that debacle. Has been training well, though, and a return to old form makes this one tough here. I bet the 3 to win/place and then box the 3-2-6 in the exacta here.

 

4th: 2-3-4-12-10-7…Arrival (2) is a Tapit colt, who cost $800,000 as a yearling. Training well for a barn that can hit it big on the first go. Hollywood Star (3) is another one that cost a lot as a yearling – fetching $550,000. This son of Malibu Moon has started to perk up in the a.m., too. Spanned (4) is trained by Wesley Ward and owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey. They are hunting wins hard right now. Keep an eye out. Black Water (12) is a son of Bodemeister that goes for the first time today for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Winchell Thoroughbreds. These two normally team up very nicely. Working very well, as well. Tough group in this one and hard to separate, but I go with the 2 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the numbers.

 

5th: 4-2-1-8-11-5…Jill’s Firebird (4) hasn’t been seen since she backed up in a MSW event last summer at Ellis Park. Has been training regularly for the return and plummets to the $10K MC ranks today for an outfit wanting to win the owner’s title here. Looks like she’s ready and could be a nice claim pickup. Top Tiara (2) goes for a barn having a good meet, and it appears she may relish the shorter distance today. Will be gunning it early to take a shot. Cyclone Betty (1) gets a new rider today in Robby Albarado, who is super good with this barn (.44 win percentage over the last two years). Doesn’t finish very strong, normally, and that has kept her away from the circle. I go with the 4 to win/place and then key over/under the rest in the exactas.

 

6th: 4-1-2-6-8…Providence (4) comes right back after a nice MC victory here on June 10, and although I normally steer clear of winner’s taking on winner’s first the first time, this one can repeat today. After getting blinkers four back, this one has been right there and she ran a good one against My Eminence two back. That one came back to run well, as well, in a MSW event. Sheer Mayhem (1) is a Louisiana-bred that the connections thought so highly of early on that they nominated him to the Triple Crown. Roared out of the box to win a State-bred race in his opener for hot trainer, Brad Cox, but found the running a little tougher in State-bred Stakes. Training good for this return off a layoff. Has the ability to compete in open company, it appears. All Up In Lights (2) takes a dramatic drop in class and that might be enough to shake him up today. Had a nice little run before tiring in the last, and shortens up today. I bet the 4 to win/place and then box in the exactas with the 4-1-2 and the 4-1-6.

 

7th: 7-3-4-5-2…A good one…I finally settle on Beauly (7), who won her first time try in this country on May 26 for trainer Brendan Walsh, who is having a solid meet. That was a nice run coming off a layoff, and she beat a very nice field that included Res Ipsa, who came back to win here, too. This well-bred daughter of Sea The Stars is a deep closer and will need a little racing luck, but she could be one headed for stakes races up north later this summer. My Bet of the Day gets the edge here. Wessex (3) comes into this one off a huge, late run to win, as well. She picked up the blinkers for the first time on May 4 and that looked to be a huge help, as she roared by them all late in the stretch of a 11/16-mile turf event here. Both of the top choices stretch out today and the added distance should help them both, but I prefer the top pick. Sister Blues (4) comes off a win, as well, going longer at 13/8-miles. She has hit the board in seven of her last eight starts, and figures to be close again today. I bet the 7 to win/place and then key over/under all the others in the exactas.

 

8th: 3-10-11-8-9-4…The finale tonight is a wide open affair, with several would-be contenders. I finally settle on Firstrate Proposal (3), who was the beaten favorite here on May 26. This one shortens back up to a sprint distance and that could help return her to the winner’s circle. She was claimed in her last start, and goes for a new barn tonight. This operation is hoping to get off an 0-for-15 slide this meet. Big Blue Arrow (10) has not been anywhere close in her last five races. But she drops significantly in class tonight and picks up a huge rider switch to Corey Lanerie. Both those changes may be enough in this spot. Heavenly Daze (11) is another getting a huge class drop, and, from all appearances sake, she needs it. Goes for a wily veteran trainer, who knows how to spot them, though, and this could be her night, as well. I bet the 3 to win/place and then key the 3-10 over/under the rest of the numbers in the exactas.

 

Best of luck &

All the Best/

Gene