Peter Pan Stakes
It's impossible to know what kind of horse Casino Drive is at this stage but I think he is worth betting against. We know he's royally bred and was impressive in Japan in his only start. But even an impressive maiden in the US is not usually enough to make me take them when stepping into G-2 company next out. There are a ton of variables here and I think romanticism is the cheif factor with his 2/1 morning line. Raw times are difficult to compare but 9f is 1:54 is exceptionally slow. I'd rather let him beat me because all signs point against him. I think the pace will be moderate. Neither Golden Spikes nor Mint Lane will want to make a duel out of this. I think that Golden Spikes will actually prefer to be just off the pace. He's a horse who is consistently inconsistent and although he looks tough on paper I will not be shocked to see him run worse than expected. Mint Lane is the speed horse I fear much more. If you give him the lead he's going to run a very good race and may prove tough to catch. He's a must use at the price. I'm also high on Ready's Echo. You have to love a horse that can close into any pace at all. Belmont should suit him perfectly and while he may not stay beyond 9f he should be able to produce his kick at this distance. I worry that he falls too far out of it but he's been working well and I think he's sitting on a big one. So in trying to beat the hype I'm covering both sides of the coin. I'll take the horse who should lead them and the horse who will be last in the early stages.
Los Angeles Handicap
I'm eager to see the prices in this one. Street Boss figures to be bet off that nice 106 Beyer in his last and Bilo is a G-1 winner on the track. I'm hoping all of this spells a bit of a price on Bonfante. Maybe something like 4/1. The seven year old McAnally trainee has never been better. Last year he was stuck in a bit of a rutt. It was typified by his race in the Cal Cup Sprint. Bilo led from start to finish but Bonfante looked as if he'd go past all through the lane. He just never got there. That was just 1 of his 4 tight losses in a 6 race losing streak. He broke out of that funk in fine style this year and his been carrying all before him. The switch back to the all weather surface should not be a problem. The pace will be hot with Bilo (who will also take some beating in my opinion) Sailors Sunset, Barber and even High Standards who will be forced to go early from the #1 hole. I think the figure Street Boss got last time is just dust and air, he's really not that far above these and really his class is a big question mark. He should be coming but not in time to catch the old warrior Bonfante.
Bold Ruler Handicap
This is a race I'll only play if the favorite Executive Fleet comes out. The Linda Rice trainee is the best horse and has the speed to ruin the chances of the horse I'd perfer to play. Executive Fleet is being considered for bigger prizes so there is a good chance he'll scratch. If he does most of the support should come in for Lucky Island. There are a lot of vibes going around that he could be a good thing but pace makes the race and if the favorite does come out it basically leaves the pace to Man of Danger. Not only is he the controlling speed but he's also got the best figures among the rest of the field. He gets Johnny V and will certainly be sent from the rail. They'll have a really tough time catching this horse.
Man Of Danger