My Charmer Handicap
I think race has shaped up as a very fair contest. Most of the entrants have a shot at victory and one could make a case for that all the different running styles have a fair chance. I personally think the pace will be solid and that Bayou's Lassie will be passed late as she has been routinely this year. Annabill should keep the pressure on from a close stalking position but I'm not convinced of her Turf class. Clearly she can run on the surface but can she run in this company is the question. If you're looking at class then clearly La Dolce Vita is the horse to play. She spends most of her time running against horses like Safari Queen, Hostess, Roshani and Honey Ryder. When she has stepped down in company this year she has won. Including a minor stakes at Calder earlier this year. La Dolce Vita is at the mercy of the pace but with the speed we have in here she looms as the horse to beat in my mind. J'ray is a questionable horse to me, she has not really run well since March and I'm not going to take a favorite who is cold like that. La Dolce Vita has not won since the spring either but she has been running well against far better horses. The horse I will use along with and maybe over La Dolce Vita is Redaspen. I'm not sure that I endorse the trainer change but Baker has not yet proven that she can't train so I'll assume it's business as usual. Redaspen has some hidden class and is a serious talent on firm ground. She is 5 for 8 on firmish courses and has never been out of the frame. She has won 2 of her last 3 starts and her loss came at the hands of Karen's Caper who is worlds above these horses and who set a course record in that race. Redaspen's best race is definitely good enough it's just a matter of whether or not she's fit enough to run her best race off the shelf. I would also only include Redaspen is the ground is firm.
La Dolce Vita
Tropical Turf Handicap
Like the My Charmer this is a very wide open race. I think you could go 5 deep and still not have the winner so I'm just going to choose one direction and stick with it. That direction for me is Fishy Advice. I do think many others have strong cases, most notably Minister's Joy who loves the course and will appreciate a return to the grass and Go Between who finally seems to be rounding back into the form that made him a crack turf horse as a 3yo. But I'm not sure it's a good risk reward to take several horses for the win when I could also justify backing Host, Ballast and National Captain. Fishy Advice comes into the race off a great win in the Knickerbocker where he beat the progressive Thorn Song. That will definitely affect his price but I'm still hoping for something around 5/1. Fishy loves the distance of 9f and many of his recent defeats were due to the distance. He was legitimately terrible in the Fourstardave but I can forgive him of that. He was just coming off a race that was far too long for him. Obviously Donk felt in retrospect that it took something out of him because he put him on the shelf. He looked good in the Cliffhanger but would have benefited from an extra furlong and a more patient ride. He got that in the Knickerbocker and won nicely. He does rely on a good pace in front of him since changing his style this year but I think he'll get it behind Giant Wrecker.