Friday, May 11, 2007

Weekend Preview

Overview: Not very many high profile stakes or stakes horses in action this week. The Lone Star Derby is contentious but has very little quality. Slew's Tizzy with a score of 39.08 is the 12th ranked 3yo and will not be able to break into the top 10 even with a victory. The biggest race of the week is the Jim Murray from Hollywood. On The Acorn (75.20) is ranked 22nd overall and 3rd in the Turf division but he stands to become the #1 turf horse and break into the overall top 10 if he can manage victory. It's a shame this race lost One Off and Fourty Niners Son, none of the other entrants are really worth noting at this point. The sprint division may see some major players emerge this weekend with Songster reappearing in the Bold Ruler (G-3) and Peace Chant stepping up in the Los Angeles (G-3). Both horses have considerable promise.

Lone Star Derby
The Texan version of the Derby would never be confused with Kentucky's version but they still pay the same currency for winners and it may be the best field going this weekend. Asmussen has three starters in here and although I think ultimately that Forty Grams will prove to be the best of the trio I don't think he will necessarily show that today. I think he needs things to go his own way to really produce his best and he has a penchant for giving up in the straight. The only races where he didn't lose ground in the final furlong were at the Fair Grounds. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) the only two races he has ever won. I can't use him on top here but if you're going for some exotics he makes sense to include. The best Asmussen horse on this day will likely be Reporting for Duty. I know he comes out of the Illinois Derby which produced Cowtown Cat but he was doing pretty well that day. He was really the only one coming into the slow pace and he fought all the way to the line. He is stuck in a bit of a rut but he is the strongest closer in the field. If we get a good pace, and I think we will, he will have every chance. However he has also found ways to lose his last 4 races despite running well. You could make the excuse that he's been running into slow paces in his last two and the start before that he was soundly beaten by the impressive Ketchikan. But still he may not be a winner. I'm drawn to Harrow Land, his figures are not very good but this is a pretty mediocre field. I think nearly any horse is capable if they step up. Harrow Land got no run at all in his last race and if not for the traffic he would likely be a perfect 3 for 3 around two turns. He prefers to stalk from midpack and I think the pace will be good for him. The only question is the trip, Razo replaces Thompson and perhaps that will spark a return to his best. I think Slew's Tizzy is a very beatable favorite. His only good effort have come when he is put right on the lead and allowed to set a moderate pace. I think Mr. Lightlinger will keep him honest, it's a whole lot easier to steal away at 40/1 than it is at 5/2. Moyer's Pond looks interesting on bare form but I'm not going to use him. I think he got the perfect setup last time out and he was unable to improve on his sprint form. He's had just one work in the last 7 weeks, I'll pass. My unconventional play in this race is Reata's Rocket. I know he looks like a sprinter and he ran out of gas in the Rushaway but there are things to like. First of all his Rushaway performance was not too bad. It was his first try around two turns and he did it on the testing Polytrack where we clearly saw that horses needed a good endurance foundation to be successful. He had none of that foundation but still managed to record an 85 Beyer which is close to his lifetime best. Add a few points for the discrepancy between Polytack and dirt and it comes out as his best ever performance. What's better is that he should move forward from that effort. He has had time to recover and should be stronger endurance wise for having gone that trip. He drilled a bullet in his last which is unusual for him and Rajiv Maragh has come all the way to Texas to ride him. I expect a huge effort from him.

1)Reata's Rocket
2)Harrow Land
3)Reporting For Duty

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree with an earlier KC posting that the 3 year old division is subject to change/ street sense is still my guy, but in regard to the Preakness, i want to see how he and the others do prior to may 19th// specifically, i am suspect of his his come from behind running style and he leaves himself a lot to do most of the time// eventually it will catch up with him// / regarding the bold ruler, i agree with KC on songster//he should be tough at a short price// in a difference, i like slew's tizzy in lone star derby, but he too will be a short price and i am concerned about the fact that his only wins came on the poly track// i guess i look at it that taking the blinkers off produced a big difference for the colt last out// i expect that to continue and the fact that his sire ran well on the dirt and the distance is probably just right is something i considered // looking elsewhere, i like rush bay in the 6th at churchill// one might be able to get a bit of a price as he is coming off a layoff and free thinking will take some money// it's always tough in these situations because one doesn't know if your going to get a mystique's approval type flop or a big performance like sweet return the first race back/ off a layoff/ i am just going with the thought that he will come out and run big// looking for a very big price, i am looking at floral park in the 9th at churchill// looking for a good price or a price, i am taking rabbi in the 10th at churchill// rabbi will have to make a change in running style to win from post 12 to win// he will need to stalk and pounce// am counting on this and that he will have a kick late// at Arlington Park, my home track, i am looking for a good price with first starter heart of the storm in the 5th// at Arlington Park, i will be looking for a bit of a price with starlet sky in the 7th coming off the claim and taking on better// good luck to everyone// chicago gerry