1st: 6-1-2…Blonde in the City (6) drops back down after trying the grass at Belterra last time. Goes for a clever barn operation that wins its’ share. Rhodium beat this one three back and that mare has been on a roll. Shortens back up today and has 2 wins and 5 seconds in 9 starts at this distance. Dixie Lover (1) has won two in a row and three of the last four. Was claimed in her last out, with a career high Beyer. Moves up in class today. Jury Wise (2) has run second to Dixie Lover in the past two and was claimed after her last try, too. Still figures to be behind that one. I bet the 6 to win/place and then box the 6-1-2 in exactas.
2nd: 1-4-6-2…Astrea (1) just may give trainer Stephen Lyster the daily double in this one. She drops out of the MSW ranks to MC30 and figures to enjoy the class drop. Trainer is super good with this angle (.43 win percentage). Right On By (4) gets a class drop in this one, too, and is 4-5 choice in the ML for trainer Ian Wilkes. Numbers Game (6) goes for trainer Buff Bradley and drops from MSW to this level. Has two super nice works in a row. Looks to be getting better. Sales Call (2) has run two seconds in four career starts. May be able to grab a part of this one. I bet the 1 to win/place and then key over/under the other numbers listed above.
3rd: 1-2-3-5…My Mystery (1) is 2-5 ML and may go even lower. Figures to be the best in this one by many, many. Drops to the bottom ranks and has hit the board in five of her six career starts. If she breaks well and is not compromised by bad luck, I can’t see her losing. Not here. Not today. Not against this bunch. I bet the 1 to win and then key over (only).
4th: 2-4-6-1-5…Simple Surprise (2) is a speedster for the barn of Steve Asmussen and has run ITM in 9 of 11 starts. Has hit the board in 6 of 7 on the grass, and all 6 of her starts at this sprint distance. Game in every way. Melaleuca (4) is another one that wants to be out front, and has hit the board in 11 of 15 starts on the grass and at this distance. Clairenation (6) won four in a row last year. Will try to get back on a roll starting today for trainer Greg Foley. I bet the 2 to win/place and then box the 2-4-6 and the 2-4-1 in the exactas.
5th: 3-5-2-1…Timido (3) gets the “dot” (must use) in this spot for trainer Ben Colebrook. Gets a nice class drop and looks to prefer the dirt over both the turf and synthetics. Ran a good one four back at Keeneland. If she duplicates that effort, she will find the circle against these. Grantastica (5) is a consistent sort for the barn of Jack Van Berg, who has one win and three seconds in 6 starts this meeting. Training well for a return to the races after a short layoff. I bet the 3 to win/place and then box the 3-5 and then the 3-5-2 in the exactas.
6th: 5-7-9-10-11-8-1…United Stand (5) figures best in this one, coming off his best race ever. If he can muster that same effort again, then he should graduate for a solid barn. Hour City (7) ran a huge one against a very nice colt in McCormick three races back. McCormick just ran a huge second to Hence in the Iowa Derby. If trainer Buff Bradley can find that magic race again, he will romp today. Exit Laughing (9) had an unpleasant experience in his first race, at Churchill Downs last fall. He hit a fallen horse and then fell himself, and he looked to be running a pretty good race for his career debut. This son of Distorted Humor is back now for trainer Bill Mott — who hasn’t hit the board in his first three starters at Ellis this meet. I bet the 5 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the other numbers listed.
7th: 7-5-2-1-6…Seven Trumpets (7) is a first timer for the barn of Dale Romans. He cost $205,000 at Ocala this spring, and has been training very well. Could pop at first asking. Fight On (5) is another first timer, and goes for trainer Steve Asmussen. This one cost $340,000 as a yearling, and has been training lights out at Keeneland and now at Ellis Park. Watch out. Big Iron (2) has a chance for trainer Bernie Flint, too. Made a nice run for half of his career start before faltering, and has come back to work lights out. I bet the 7 to win/place and then box the 7-5-2 in the exactas.
8th: 7-4-9-5-2-1-11-10-8…I go with Bonnie Arch (7), who has run three good ones in a row for trainer Ian Wilkes. If she runs anything close to those tries, she will be tough to handle in this spot today. Egg Roll (4) has been very consistent in her first three starts and it won’t take much improvement at all to move into consideration for this one. Little Irishdancer (9) had a troubled start in her last and didn’t run a step. Throw that one out and she figures to right with this bunch. I bet the 7 to win/place and then key over/under all the other numbers listed here.
9th: 2-5-8-1…Social Icon (2) has speed and that may be enough in this one. Zero (5) is a first timer for trainer Buff Bradley, who does not gear them up for an initial race appearance. But she may be good enough off works alone to win this one. I Miss You (8) is another first time starter, but she is by English Channel. I bet the 2 to win/place and then box the 2-5-8 and the 2-5-1 in the exactas.
Good luck &
All the Best/Gene