It's do or die time for my boy Imperial Council and I really feel that he can get it done here. I know he got killed by I Want Revenge in the Gotham but he received a horrendous ride that day and I Want Revenge freaked out. Imperial Council should be closer to the pace if not right on it and his price should be just a bit better than what you'll get on I Want Revenge. I think his connections are looking for him to make a big jump forward. All really good horses make that jump at some point in their career and I'm hoping this is his time. I'm looking for a reverse Gotham exacta in this one.
I think it's all set up for Stardom Bound's fabulous five race win streak to come to an end. She was very nearly denied in the Santa Anita Oaks and many of her challengers that day return for another shot. She also has to deal with a new type of surface and a few new hotshots. At 6/5 she is a poor gamble. I think Nan has been cycling up to a breakout performance and this is her shot. She very nearly ended the streak last time and probably would have done with a clean trip. She had to weave like a basket to find room in the lane and it surely cost her more than the half length she lost by. Dollase is a very savvy shipper and Nan's morning works have gone from good to super since her last race. She'll stay the distance well and she ought to be able to outclose Stardom Bound as odd as that sounds. Sentimentally I'd really like to see a big race from Hooh Why. I actually backed her in both of her last two races and she was just denied on both occasions. I'm not sure that the extra distance helps but I'll be rooting for her. What a Pear and Gozzip Girl are wildcards in my opinion. No result involving them would be a surprise. I'm not selecting them merely because I'm not sure what to expect whereas with Nan I know exactly what I'm looking for.
Santa Anita Derby
I probably wouldn't even bother with this race except that I'm hoping the outside post might scare a few people off The Pamplemousse. I think he is so much the best horse in this race that afterwards we'll wonder why we ever thought Pioneerof the Nile was a big deal. The Mousse is a bear right now and I expect this front running juggernaut to continue his roll into the Derby. Normally I would say something interesting about one of the other contenders but I think they're too slow to run with this guy.
I love playing mile races on the grass because I feel like focusing on specialists gives me an advantage over the rest of the public who may not be closely attuned with specific distance preference. Global Hunter, Dixie Chatter and Madeo are the milers in this race and it may not be a bad play to simply box the three of them in a trifecta. Global Hunter might just be the inferior one of the three. He always runs a good race at a mile but he seems to struggle whenever he faces other good horses. His only win on this continent came in a race where virtually no one else showed up. He has performed with credit in three top class mile races and I expect the same from him again but he finds ways to lose so I'll only use him underneath. Somewhere inside Dixie Chatter there is a very good horse. It was evident right from the earliest stages with him but Mandella has struggled to coax top efforts from him on a consistent basis. I think a mile on the grass is really the best fit for him and he probably ought to be favored in this race. I definitely fear this horse but the one factor that biases me against him is his tendency to lose ground in the stretch. He doesn't finish out races as strongly as he might so I'm going to focus on a horse that does. Madeo could be the next big thing to emerge from a stable that is truly blessed. Giacomo, Tiago and Zenyatta have all given the Moss family and John Sherriffs thrills to last a lifetime. Madeo has been a mere footnote compared to that trio but people may stand up and begin to notice the merits of this horse. He got off to a late start in his career but was a useful 3yo. He managed to beat Gio Ponti and Dixie Chatter in races last season but I think they found that stamina is a bit of an issue with him. 2009 has been the best and the worst for him. In his debut he was pulled up and vanned off but obviously whatever troubled him that day was no longer a problem because he came back in march and ran a career best effort in a mile allowance. This race was an absolute text book perfect performance for a miler. He showed some tactical speed, the ability to shut off and most of all that rapier turn of foot that floors so many rivals at this distance. All the best milers have a flashy turn of foot and Madeo exhibited that in a big way. Coupled with that is the fact that he's a stout finisher who really does get 9f. I think he'll cut down Dixie Chatter here and announce his presence as a first rate miler.