Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekend Picks And Analysis

Elkhorn Stakes
A tough and deep renewal of the Elkhorn. I think it's a good betting opportunity because of the presence of some recognizable names but those big reputation horses have some knocks against them. Better Talk Now is one of the most loved horses in the nation but this is his first start of his ten year old season and he wasn't that great as a nine year old. Champs Elysees has talent but he is notoriously picky. some days he feels up for it and other times he doesn't. Frankel has been cold at Keeneland and I expect that streak to continue right up to this race. Brass Hat has never won on the grass I don't see where connections think he has a great shot here. I think many horses have a chance but I'll focus my attention on three of them. Always First is a class benchmark. He loves the course and he loves the distance. I think he'll run a very nice race, I do think though that this renewal is tougher than fields he has faced here in the past. He's dangerous but not worth anything less than 6/1. Admiral's Cruise will be my primary selection. He spent a good year and a half away from the races when he came to America and targets like this were always the reason he was sent. He's earned some nice figures in dirt races as he's raced back into shape and I think he's ready to show the form that saw him be competitive with horses like Sixties Icon and Maraahel. Another horse I like is Musketier. On form he looks inferior to his stable mate Spice Route, who by the way has a huge change of hitting the board, but it caught my notice that Prado had the choice between the two and went for this guy. I backed him last time out and he looked decent when running fourth but like Admiral's Cruise it was just his second race back from a really long layoff. He's a stayer and he's going to enjoy the distance. Attfield is a very good conditioner and if Prado is on this horse based on his recommendation it means he's set for a big one.

Admiral's Cruise

Derby Trial
I'm not quite sure if Hull has more gate speed than Silver City but it may not matter since rating might be high on the list of things to learn for the talented son of Holy Bull. He has looked quite special in his first two starts and although he has to face the frightening speed of Silver City I think he's well positioned to move forward. He regressed slightly in his second start which is to be expected but I'm looking for a big step forward here. Rumor is that he's quite a special horse. This is his chance to prove it.


San Francisco Mile
I think at one time this race would have been meat and drink for a horse like Bold Chieftain but he has not looked as convincing this year and it might be a good time to go against him. The now horse is Ferneley. He blew away Bold Chieftain last time out and earned the best Turf Beyer Speed Figure of the season. People are going to bet him off that number. He has performed consistently well but has struggled to find the winners circle unless he's in allowance company. I do think he is better at a mile than going further and he has a huge shot in this one but I think the value will be lacking. The inexperienced elder, Mr. Wolverine, is the horse I'll take here. He became a different and much better horse in 2008. I think it was simply because his fitness held together long enough for him to develop. This seven year old has some further development in him I think. I think he is perfectly suited to the distance and he also should get a fast pace which should help. I like the sharpness he showed in his first outing of the season. It sets him up well to stretch out. Ferneley, Bold Chieftain and Mr Napper Tandy should be used in all spots underneath.

Mr. Wolverine

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