Friday, April 20, 2007

Weekend Preview

Bed O'Roses Breeders Cup Handicap
It's a five horse field but the pickings this weekend are pretty slim. I do wish there were more entrants in this race because it has the quality to be a good one. What is lacks is the variables that create value. If you added 5 more horses to this field I think I'd still see these horses as the main contenders but more bodies produce higher prices. I think the race is pretty straightforward. Any Limit is the controlling speed and Magnolia Jackson is the only horse who can keep her honest. If she decides to take on Any Limit than Swap Fliparoo should have no problem cutting them down in the lane. There is a threat from Carmandia as she should be sitting right in the pocket behind the speed but Any Limit was a different horse when she lost to Carmandia last fall. I'm looking for an all Jerkens exacta.

1)Any Limit
2)Swap Fliparoo

San Simeon Handicap
The downhill 6 1/2f turf course at Santa Anita probably boasts the strongest horse-for-the-course plays in the nation. At one time Siren Lure was the king of the hill but his colours were lowered in this very race last year and it sent him to the main track where he became a star in the division. Now he's back and it seems as though his connections are either looking to rejuvenate him or stay on turf because his last 3 races have been disappointing. I personally do not think he will regain the standing he once had. I think a new king of the hill is about to be crowned and he is Get Funky. This horse has tons of talent and was even able to win the Del Mar Derby at 9f but I believe that sprinting, especially on this course that favours horses with more stamina, will prove to be his forte. His last race was a superb effort where basically everyone but the early pace setter had severe trouble on the turn. Get Funky nearly clipped heels with Roi Charmont and was still able to regroup and win the race. The favorite in that race, Soul City Slew, ran on to be third but basically had no chance after he was carried way wide on the turn. I do think that Get Funky can beat Soul City Slew when they're both at their best but it should be a closer matchup.

1)Get Funky
2)Soul City Slew
3)Siren Lure

Keeneland Race #6
I do not have any strong opinions in the stakes races at Keeneland this weekend so I'll take an unconventional route and analyse a Maiden Special Weight. They pay the same currency for winner and sometimes the edge is better. Maidens scare some people because so much is unknown about the entrants. In this very race we could have a blend of future G-1 winners and future $5000 claimers. I think Counselled is the horse to beat but I may have a crack at him. He is untested on Polytrack and both his works over the surface have been rather slow. On Turf he might be a single, since he set a very quick pace last time out and yielded only late to a horse who came back to win at Keeneland already. I think Counselled cost more at auction than the rest of the field combined so he was obviously meant to be a good one. I just hope his time doesn't come here. Routes at Keeneland have been tough to take on the front end and I think his post nearly forces him to be on the pace early. Another horse I'm opposing is Diamond Fever, although Matz is white hot right now I think this horse is a loser. He had a textbook perfect setup in his last race and couldn't close it out. I like to bet against those types coming back. The fact that a horse with obvious talent is 0 for 4 suggests that he isn't the complete package mentally. One horse I'd use to oppose him is longshot Wood Be Me. He had a bit of a wide trip in his career debut but made the lead well only to surrender it late. He gets a positive jockey switch and is definitely eligible second time out. My key horse will be Pletcher's Hawaii Calls. In his debut he was well backed, he forced a quick pace and faded in the final 1/8th. It is rather common place for pletcher to get his maidens to flash speed first up then reign them in next out. The horse has been working well and his outside post is perfect. He should be in the catbird seat all the way around. Although Keeneland route races have favored horses with two turn experience the mile at Gulfstream is a very demanding distance to run. Especially if you're on the pace from the get go. Another longshot I'd toss in would be Sale Pending. I don't like that he is on the extreme outside but he comes in here third time out for the McPeek barn which is really starting to do well. In his last race he finished behind Diamond Fever but he had a far from ideal trip. The rail was not a good place to be and yet he was just 1/2 back of the Matz horse at the line. I wouldn't be surprised to see him reverse that order this time.

1)Hawaii Calls
2)Wood Be Me
3)Sale Pending

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