1st: 2-1-5-4-3…Magician Man (2) takes the plummet from MC40K to MC7,500K today, and despite the last two non-performances, he gets the nod on the drop for a solid operation. Sunny Kitten (1) is a NY-bred, Kitten’s Joy that was claimed here a year ago. Hasn’t raced since, but should figure with these on the drop from MC25K. Creative Class (5) is a first timer with a shot in here. And, I have always liked Where’s Lew (4), who hasn’t shown a thing yet. I bet the 2 to win/place and then key over/under the rest of the numbers.
2nd: 1-2-4-3…Restless Rambler (1) is the model of consistency, and a horse everyone would love to own. He has been ITM in 11 of the last 12 starts – and was 4th in the only miss. Comes off an impressive win at Churchill Downs. Pick here. Roberto Gato (2) has started three times this year after being off since January 2015. Looks to be coming back into form. Como Se Llama (4) goes for a barn who lost this one two back and then re-claimed in the last. Look out at 12-1 ML. I bet the 1 to win/place and the 4 across the board, if he stays anywhere close to those odds. I box the 1-2-4 in the exactas, with a small key of 1 over/under the numbers listed.
3rd: 4-6-7-2…Funny Questions (4) is a true closer that picks up a hot rider right now in Jon Court. If he can turn in the same type of performance that he has had in the last four, he will be tough on the drop to this level. Mahalo John (6) is 6-1 ML, but likely to drop in odds by post time. Gets major class relief today and goes for great connections. I use. Dark Arden (7) has been wide in each of the last two, but probably won’t get much of a better trip in this one. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4-6 over/under the rest.
4th: 1-5-4-2…Princess Princess (1) draws the rail for this miler on the turf. Has only won once on the surface, but has 4 seconds and may like the shorter distance today. Goes for a new barn who is solid (win percent is .30) with newcomers to the barn. Frozen Hannah (5) ran up against Believe In Bertie in her last and that one is super good – especially right now. Will try to set the pace and carry all the way in her first out of the year. Runs good off layoffs for this barn. Whole Scoop (4) has faced three good ones in a row and would not be a surprise at all. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-5-4 in the exactas.
5th: 5-4-6-2-1…Soft Cheese (5) is my Best Bet of the Day. Despite being dropped in a tough stakes at Sunland in her last, she tried on the lead. Gets back to her level today and should be very tough in this spot. Lady Constance (4) will be close to the lead, and try hard, but hasn’t shown the finishing kick yet. Diamonds at Down (6) stretches out today for a barn that does well with the switch in distances. I bet the 5 to win/place and key in Doubles. I key over/under all the rest.
6th: 2-5-8-4-7-1…Title Ready (2) goes for the first time for a homebred of Charles Fipke. Training well at Keeneland and turned in a good a.m. work here, too. Should be ready to rock. Bantu (5) is another first time starter for a barn that doesn’t do too well with such. But training well at Churchill for a barn that had a good meet there. Tres Equis (8) goes for the barn of Mike Maker and has trained well, too. I bet the 2 to win/place and then key over the rest.
7th: 1-7-11-10-3-8…Upstage (1) goes for a very cold barn, but is the only part of the entry that I like. If she scratches out, then look elsewhere. She has run two huge ones in a row, beating Wholehearted and then running second to her in the last. A similar effort today and this homebred daughter of Curlin lands in the circle. Kitty Union (7) is another well-bred girl and switches to the barn of Brad Cox after making her debuts for Richard Mandella on the West Coast. Should fit nicely here. Bourgeois (11) had the misfortune of drawing Unchained Melody in her first out this spring. Is getting better and better. Would be no surprise in here. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-7-11 in exactas.
8th: 10-3-12-9-2-8…If Rattataptap (14) draws in, you have to reshuffle the cards for the first Stakes race of the meet – the Ellis Park Turf. But if she does not, the field is still very solid. Burma Road (10) goes for Ian Wilkes and she has been tough all her life – hitting the board in all of her last seven starts. Will be close to the lead and just may be there at the end, too. Susie Bee (3) is solid and comes off a win in the Christmas Past Stakes at Gulfstream in May. Will be tough. Improv (12) catches the far outside in a 11/16-mile race – which is not ideal, but she has speed and may be able to clear early with Joe Rocco in the saddle. If she does and likes the surface switch (first try on grass), then she has the breeding to be a Stakes Winner. I bet the 10 to win/place/show and then key over/under all the rest.
9th: 5-1-6-10-9… More Than Kisses (5) gets a huge class drop in here and should be very tough at this level. Brilliant Kitten (1) is well bred and probably worth the claim drop in this spot. Broke her maiden in a romp in last out. Open Invitation (6) gets the blinkers today for a new trainer. This barn hit with their first one this meet and may score another. I bet the 5 to win/place and then box the 5-1-6 in the exacta, and then key the 5-1-6 over the 10-9 in another.