A very tough weekend to find some good plays. I have to admit the four 2yo Graded Stakes this weekend all have me opting to watch instead of play. Congrats if you've got a good solid idea in the 2yo stakes races, I sure don't. There will likely be little drama in the Gazelle with Music Note laying over that field so it really only leaves this race as the lone headliner that may also be a good betting opportunity for me. The is race is about Big Brown, it only exists because of him and every handicapper who looks at it must decide what to do with him. I think Big Brown has every chance to win this race, most of the contestants are G-2 or G-3 types at best. Big Brown is a bit of a freak and his turf form looked extremely good as well. I'm not, however, going to concede him the race. It's one of the classic rules of handicapping that you are to oppose favorites who are trying something new. Older horses on turf that should be less than firm is something new for Big Brown. I think if you use him it must be trifecta's and such, he won't be any value in the win pool. That's how I'll be looking at this race. I'll oppose him with straight win bets but support him in the exotics. The horse who I think will get quite overlooked is Kiss The Kid. He is actually a phenomenal horse who has the misfortune of being in a poor barn. His campaign has been all over the place yet he still puts in high level performances. I think this race hits him right between the eyes. He's best on the grass and he's quite good at Monmouth. He actually finished ahead of Kip Deville on this course. He's got good tracking speed which will allow him to keep an eye on Big Brown and hopefully he'll be able to snap his 7 race losing skid. The other horse I'd use against Big Brown is Proudinsky. This play is based on the assumption of less than firm turf. If it comes up firm then I would not use him. But on soft-ish ground Proudinsky is as good as they come. He did not run poorly last time out he simply doesn't have the same kick on firm ground. I think his form is good he just needs the conditions. Other dangerous horses are Silver Tree, Drum Major and even Ballonenostrikes. They're good logical horses to use underneath, they should like the course, distance and conditions. If Big Brown totally flops I could see them even winning but I'm actually assuming that Big Brown will run well. That's why I've focused on horses who could possibly step up and beat Big Brown even if he shows up. I don't like Shakis on soft ground and I've never trusted him much anyway. Though if you're going to play him at any condition it's 9f on a firm course so if the course is hard he must be regarded as a live contender. I'm not sure if he'll have enough pace to run at but Shakis is a horse I've always had problems reading so I might just toss him in if it's firm.
Kiss The Kid
Proudinsky (Softer than Firm)