Friday, June 01, 2007

Weekend Preview

Overview: I don't think anything will happen that will shake up the divisional rankings in a meaningful way. Cowtown Cat does have a chance to redeem himself and get back on track. While the Aristides at Churchill could identify a top sprinter who may go on to later impact the division. Out West the Californian is serving as a major prep for the Hollywood Gold Cup. Expect at least the top three finishers to go to face Lava Man and Molengao.

Just a reminder with the handicapping selections at Kennedy's Corridor. These are not attempts to pick the first 3 finishers. Every horse listed as a selection is a win selection. In some races there are singles in other races there are more horses. It is more likened to selections for a multi-race exotic than the typical win, place and show spots.

Nassau Stakes
I never like to say that a horse can't lose but Strike Softly definitely appears to be a single in the Woodbine feature. Her current form is razor sharp, her Turf record is excellent and she simply appears to be better than everyone else. Essential Edge, who did beat her last year, has been off form for a while. I don't think she has improved as a 4yo. May Night and Elle Runaway should chase Strike Softly all the way to the line but I think this race is really a formality for the Sam-Son filly. Her sire Smart Strike has been having a decent run as well.

Strike Softly

Californian Stakes
Who says the fields in California are always short? The Cushion Track may have something to do with it but it is impressive that they got 12 high quality runners for this G-2 event. There are 5 G-1 winners in the field and 4 millionaires. After seeing Spotsgone romp at 81/1 in the Hanshin Cup last week I'm a little wary of tossing anyone. There is no question that All-Weather surfaces toss some odd results. I think the reason for this is because most horses are not tested on it and many jocks have not figured out the best way to ride it. One horse who is tested on the surface is A.P. Xcellent. He is 3 for 3 on this track and 0 for 7 elsewhere with just one in the money placing. Clearly they'll want to run this horse at Hollywood as often as they can, but he drew the 12 post. With a short run to the first turn this speed horse may get the worst of it. Kip Deville is coming back off 5 days rest and makes his debut on the surface. It's possible that he could "freak" although he is less effective beyond a mile. Unless the surface totally changes him I don't think he'll pull it off so I'm going against him. Perfect Drift has adapted very well to the surface but is there a more consistent loser in all of racing? He has now lost his last 13 starts and this is a step up in company for this 8yo. Use him in your trifecta's but not in the win slot. The horses I'm going to focus on are Boboman and Buzzards Bay. I think if they're 100% these are clearly the two best horses in the race. Buzzards Bay is in the 9 hole but there is not a single ounce of speed to his inside. I think he'll have very little trouble gliding over and he may just control the race. A.P. Xcellent will likely be used to get in front of him but I think his chances of slipping away are greatly inhibited. Buzzards Bay did not run badly in his reappearance and should come on for the effort. Last year he looked phenomenal in the Oaklawn so we know he has a big performance in him but I expect he prefers to be right on the pace as opposed to 8 lengths back as he was in his last. Boboman looks the more dangerous of the pair. A G-1 winner on the grass and G-1 placed on the dirt he is a versatile horse who has really stepped up his game in the past few months. He gets blinkers on which is an interesting switch and he has been working superbly over the course. He should be placed mid-pack and generally the course is pretty fair. He has a great closing kick and should get to Buzzards Bay in time.

Buzzards Bay

Dogwood Breeders Cup Stakes
Maybe I'm just in a confident mood but Lady Joanne looks an awful lot like a single as well. Last year she looked like an Oaks filly but she wasn't ready for her debut until days before the Oaks. She won the 6f event that day despite the distance being short in my opinion. She runs for the deadly Nafzger/Borel combination and her last work was blazing. I think she's ready to go and build on her campaign. This race is no walkover though. Silverinyourpocket and High Again figured to give her all she can handle. High Again will like the move back to one turn but it will still be a task for Mott to get her back into top form. Her recent work does offer some encouragement in that regard. Silverinyourpocket is also a contender as she is still unbeaten on conventional dirt. The one charge I do hold against her though is that she has not seemed to improve. In the La Troinne last time out she really did not do any better than she did in her maiden or allowance wins, speed figure wise. Perhaps she has peaked, Lady Joanne on the other hand looks to be on the cusp of a big move forward and she should have the beating of this field here.

Lady Joanne

Ohio Derby
Support will be coming back in for Cowtown Cat in this race and I'm reluctant to get on board. Cowtown Cat was actually the most successful part of my Derby handicapping as I selected him to finish dead last and he more than obliged. So can he rebound here? This is certainly his type of horses and with the right setup he could win but I don't want any of that at 2/1 which is likely where his price will settle. I prefer a trio of horses with better prices. The first of them is Moyer's Pond. The Lone Star Derby seemed to be a disaster for everyone aside from Slew's Tizzy the winner but connections of Moyer's Pond may chalk it up to a learning experience. Much like Curlins race in the Derby. I think Moyer's Pond has a ton of upside and will be very tough to beat. I also like Asmussens late runner Reporting For Duty. He broke his string of second place finishes with a 5th in the Lone Star Derby but he had some traffic issues. I think he is the best closer in this race and he should come running in the lane. I think he is best blend of class and consistency in the race. Another horse I give a shout to is Delightful Kiss. His recent form looks spotty but he is a pretty good horse on the dirt. He's really never run poorly on the dirt and I think getting away from Street Sense and Curlin can only help the results he achieves. He moves Turf to Dirt and that was the key in his only win on the main track. He stays very well and if Starbase goes fast enough early maybe this field will come back a bit. I don't really like Forty Grams. He is consistent and he could hit the frame but I don't see him turning those 3rd place finishes into wins. Often horses who get stuck in a rut like that need a move backwards before they go forwards.

Moyer's Pond
Reporting For Duty
Delightful Kiss


Anonymous said...

i don't think my last post went through so i will try to recreate as best that can remember// admittedly, because of time restraints, i haven't done much homework, but i did want to comment on KC's "weekend preview" a bit and perhaps tomorrow, before the races give my thoughts on a race from my home track, arlington park if i can find a race with a good price potential // even though they claim arlington 'plays fair', i have not done well with any of the polytracks// my only salvation at arlington has been that i have done much better with the grass races // i have not purchased any racing forms this spring with west coast tracks in it// i regret that a little because i know i am missing out on some interesting races but right now i only have so much time to spend at the races and that is what gets cut out// i was interested however in a the Californian stakes which Kennedys Corridor addresses // i think it is interesting that kip deville is being brought back in 5 days as KC indicates// it makes on wonder what the trainer is thinking when he pulls a stunt like this// i will be interested to see if kip deville will be backed at the windows// if the trainer wants to try the horse out on the polytrack, as most of them do, you would think it would be in a softer spot as KC has indicated the Californian stakes has drawn a field of quality runners / to be continued // thanks / chicago gerry

Anonymous said...

Ohio derby// moyer's pond// great trainer stats// great running line // 4th and 5th calls show determination and the ability to get new distance / he and danny sez not nominated to triple crown going up against vaunted pletcher stable a i will face premier jockey, JR and cowtown cat's bullet workout // i will be pulling for moyer's pond i apologize for submitting my comments in segments but am having trouble with computer// continued/ cg

Anonymous said...

Ohio derby/ delightful kiss is another KC selection// great trainer stats especially with turf to dirt angle// trainer has better DRF stats percentages than overall win percentage; a great sign / this along with good pp's by delightful kiss is shows he will run a very good race // a case can be made for forty grams and reporting for duty// also, in my view, the fact that officer rocket is comng off a layoff will really help this colt// lastly, i will be using starbase// i really like what lukas has done with this colt in terms of workouts since april 14th // in looking at starbase and his last race, in conjunction with the workouts, both he and reporting for duty will be rolling by the field towards the end// it will be fun to watch// chicago gerry

Anonymous said...

haven't taken the time to handicap i should to to comment but i wanted to put in a few slections from my home track, arlington park // two of these will be short priced so i will need to put them in a double, pick three or a cold eacta which i don't like to do // two of these involve owner trainers and one i think will likely be a legitamate price // leslie k -10th is moving all the way from the 11th post posision to the 1st post position// this will help this short priced horse significantly and a top jock // proper carson in the 8th another short price with same top jock / proper carson is taking a nice drop to his original claim level two back/ also, he is owner trained// another owner trained horse is private opening using a jockey change and a drop in class // private opening is a shipper out of florida and you might get a bit of a price// lastly my longer priced horse is giant shift in the the 5th // he is 2nd off the layoff, is taking the blinkers off, and has trained at the keenland polytreack as well as arlington park// he is getting a good jockey and is taking, like some of the others a nice drop to non winners of 2 // good luck to all// thanks // chicago gerry