1st: This is a “jump race,” so I leap right to the second…Good luck with the humps and the bumps.
2nd: 1-4-2-5-8-14-10…Iwishirish (1) is a NY-bred trained by HOF Steve Asmussen, who is winless so far this meet at The Spa. He will get off the snide soon, and it may come in this race. After 3 races at Rimington Park to start her career last year, she got to her first state-bred race on July 14. Ran a game third in that one, despite the long layoff. Has returned to post two public works. Should be more fit for this one. Hansen’s Help (4) got Lasix for the first time in her last and she still backed up. But she obviously needed that one, after being away for nearly 7 months. Should be fitter for this one, too. Tapceptional (2) is speed oriented in a soft field, and that is always dangerous. I bet the 1 to win/place and then box the 1-4-2 in one exacta and then key the 1-4 over/under the rest of the numbers listed.
3rd: 4-3-2-6…Hogy (4) had a horrible trip in his last, fanning 6-wide into the upper stretch, but this veteran has hit the board in 8 of his last 9 with 2 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds. Will be backed today, but should close fast enough to finish the deal if given a better trip by a cold jockey. Big Rock (3) is consistent, as well, and will be more forwardly placed throughout that the preferred choice. Will get the jump and try to hold off the closer. Backs up to 51/2 today and he will like that cut back and is 2-for-2 at The Spa. Danger. Angry Moon (2) has been working great for his return to the races since last year. I bet the 4 to win/place and then key the 4-3 over/under the 2-6 in the exactas. I take a solid 4-3 exacta box, too.
4th: 1-2-4-7…Royal Posse (1) and Good Luck Gus (1A) both come from the barn of Rudy Rodriguez, and both have a shot at hitting the top of the board in this one. They have not been sharp lately, but the former gets blinkers today and the latter is a first time gelding and the equipment changes should shake them up a bit. Most of all, both of these NY-breds get class relief. Becker’s Galaxy (2) and Beyond the Green (4) both have a chance, too. The former goes for trainer Danny Gargan, who has won three of his first five here. I bet the 1 across the board (trying to hit both) and then box the 1-2 solid. I key the 1-2 over/under the 4-7, as well.
5th: 5-10-3-6-9-4-2-1…This 2YO tilt is wide open, as most are, but I go to the “expert” in the “baby races” – trainer Wesley Ward. Senza Te (5) ships North from Ward’s training base at Keeneland and has been hitting it hard in the morning drills. If those translate to the afternoon, this daughter of Street Cry could be tough to catch. Ward’s other one in here is In the Mood (10), who has already gotten two starts. She was the beaten favorite in her last after gassing it on the front in for much of the 51/2Fs. Should benefit from that try. Bonnie Shot (3) and Jean Elizabeth (6) are both first time starters who have been working well. I bet the 5 to win/place and then key the 5-10 over/under all the other numbers. I take one 5-10 box.
6th: 1-9-10-5-7-2-3…R Lucky Charm (1) gets the nod in this one for trainer Jason Servis. Servis has hit with 3 winners and 2 seconds in his first nine starters here and this one is coming off a near miss at Belmont Park on July 7. Hexameter (9) and Lightning Dove (10) both will be stalking the pace in this one and have a shot, too. I bet the 1 to win/place and then key over/under all the other numbers listed above.
7th: 8-11-12-7-3-1-9-2…Enchanting Kitten (8) is a filly that I have watched all year and is my Best Bet of the Day. She was put into the race way too early in her last effort on June 8 and tired in that one. She gets JJ Castellano back in the saddle today and they hooked up for an impressive closing victory in the filly’s career debut at Gulfstream Park back in January. I expect them to be coming late for trainer Chad Brown. Danceland (11) is a deep closer for a trainer that loves the grass at The Spa. Will be hard to hold off, too. Tamit (12) is an Irish-bred filly that has run a couple of good ones against the very nice Stakes winner Fifty Five. Would be no surprise in here. I bet the 8 to win/place and then box the 8-11-12 in one exacta and then key the 8 over/under all the numbers in another.
8th: 4-5-1-8…The Birdstone Stakes …This is a 13/4-mile marathon, but the top choice may go right to the lead. Tu Brutus (4) has run three good Stakes since shipping here last year from Chile. He will try to go right to the front and take them all the way. Will be heavily bet, today, but likely to do just that. Scuba (5) gets blinkers today, but was no match for the top choice two back, and Hard Study (1) has hit the board in his last 8 starts – with 4 wins. Stepping it up and stretching it out today. I bet the 4 to win only and key over/under the other numbers listed above.
9th: 13-4-5-1-9-7…Silver Assault (13) is my top choice if he draws in from the AE List for trainer Bill Mott. After a slow start to the meet, the HOF trainer is starting to click now, and this one could add to the recent success. Will be making his first start for this trainer after shipping East, but had a huge work here at The Spa on July 14 and can pop fresh. Look out. If he doesn’t get it, I go to Dream Mover (4), who will be making his NA debut for trainer James Jerkens. This won nearly won a Group 3 in Italy last October, but the winner was a 30-1 longshot filly, who hasn’t raced since, either. Questionmark. Seize (5) is a speedster who just may be able to take them the whole way today. Goes for the connections of Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider. Watch out. I bet the 13 to win/place if he draws in and key over/under all the numbers. If not, I bet the 4-5-1 exacta box and then key the 4-5 over/under the 1-9-7.
10th: 4-5-8-10…Paz the Wine (4) and Scarlett Jo Hansen (5) get the edge in a soft field, but keep an eye on Got the Gist (8), who gets Lasix for the first time and gets her first start of the year for trainer Chad Brown. This one will be well supported at the windows, but may be worth it. I bet the 4-8 to win/place and then key over/under the “all button” in this one.
Good Luck &
All the Best/Gene