Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Thursday, May 12, 2016
On Thursday, we’re headed back out to Belmont where we’ve got FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS from returning handicapper Greg Smethurst (@gsmethur).
Greg has provided us with his top three selections for each race, multi-race suggestions and Best Bet/Longshot plays of the day. We’re looking forward to it and wish you luck if you’re playing along.
Be sure to give Greg a follow on Twitter when you get a chance. Take it away, Greg…
BEST BET OF THE DAY: RACE 3 #5 EVOLUTION 2/1
LIVE LONGSHOT OF THE DAY: RACE 6 #8 MONEY CHANGER 8/1
SUGGESTED $0.50 EARLY PK5: 2,5/3,5/5/1,2,4,6/2,3,6 = $24 TOTAL BET
#5 Fundamental 6/5
#2 Montclair (IRE) 5/2
#3 Bigger Picture 6/1
Fundamental looks to be getting a bit of class relief here today exiting a few Florida-bred stakes races as well as a G1 and G2 event. He has never been this far in his career but has been closing very well at shorter distances suggesting he will be able to handle it just fine. Chad Brown has been off to a very hot start at Belmont so far and turns to Irad Ortiz Jr. who was aboard the last time this colt won. Montclair (IRE) won very nicely last time out at Gulfstream Park and now hasn’t been seen for the last three months. He does though look to have a fairly steady work pattern and Christophe Clement is 24% with horses off similar layoffs. Bigger Picture looks like a horse even though he has 14 career starts could still be improving. Beyer wise, he ran the best race of his life last time out (90) and that was also his first start since being claimed by Mike Maker. He could improve again today in his second start off the winter layoff.
#5 Warriors Diva 5/1
#3 Game Girl 9/5
#2 Indigo Tigress 3/1
Warriors Diva is a rarely seen Texas-bred who we may have not seen the best of yet. Look at the comments in her running line, they are littered with trouble and reasons she could improve here today. In a $30k maiden claiming race you will pretty much always have favorites with big question marks and any reason you can find to like a bigger priced horse, you run with it. Game Girl is that aforementioned favorite that may not be the best bet on top today at a short price. Her best race to date was her last where she ran a 56 Beyer over a sloppy track. Take that race off her PPs and she no longer stands out at all. She is also taking a slight step up in class here today. Indigo Tigress looks like she will try to take this field wire-to-wire. She had a pretty easy lead going this distance last time and faded to finish fifth. Look for her to do the same today but stick around underneath in the exotics.
#5 Evolution 2/1
#2 Lilly’s Finale 3/1
#1 In Condition 4/1
Evolution looks like a new horse since switching over to trainer David Cannizzo. He broke his maiden and then came right back to nearly wire a field going a little bit longer than he may have liked. Cuts back to 6F today and gets Joel Rosario on board who typically rides speed horses the proper way. Lilly’s Finale looks like a real wildcard on paper. The turf experiment clearly did not work out last time and he now comes in as a first time gelding off about a three month layoff. Very interesting to see Irad Ortiz Jr. hop off our top choice in here to ride this one instead. In Condition is the most lightly raced horse in the field with just two starts under his belt. He hasn’t done much wrong so far in his career taking a huge step forward from start number one to start number two. However, don’t see him getting as easy of a lead as he had in his win and he also faces winners for the first time today.
#4 For Later 8/1
#6 Pretty Bullish 6/1
#1 True Desire 5/2
For Later is the tepid choice in a wide open, head scratching race. She is coming off a pretty nice effort closing to finish fourth in a big twelve horse field. The extra 1/16 mile looks to benefit her and she is the one the frontrunners will have to hold off late. Pretty Bullish showed nothing in the debut on 4/8 at AQU. However, Steve Asmussen is a 25% trainer with second time starters and Javier Castellano is called on to ride her today. True Desire ran better than expected in her debut. She was near the lead behind some pretty fast fractions for this level of horses. She stuck around for awhile before fading to finish third. Perhaps she has more stamina today in her second start and can stick around a little longer.
#3 Araqeel 8/5
#2 East Bay Lodge 10/1
#6 Gold Shield 5/2
Araqeel has been quite the closer in the first four starts of his career. He has shown he can close into any kind of pace scenario as well as a variety of distances. That being said, looking at his previous races it looks as though the stretch-out to 1 1/4 miles will only benefit him. Chad Brown calls on the jockey who was aboard for the maiden breaking score, watch out. East Bay Lodge is another who on his best day is capable of running a big race. Looking at his running lines, he usually needs one off the layoff and then runs an improved race next time out. He got his not so good race out of him on 4/22 at AQU and a much better effort should be expected today at a nice price. Gold Shield is also coming in second off of a good size layoff. He was a highly regarded horse last spring after breaking his maiden at Gulfstream while running a 90 Beyer. His season was ended prematurely after an allowance race in June at Belmont. Hopefully he just needed that race on 4/2 to get back into race condition and can come back and be the horse many people thought he would be.
SUGGESTED $0.50 LATE PK4: 8/3,4/3,5,7/3,4,5,7,8,9,10 = $21 TOTAL BET
#8 Money Changer 8/1
#1 Rock Eagle 5/2
#2 Country Money 12/1
Money Changer ran well at this level last summer at Saratoga just missing by a nose. If the race was any longer he would have won and he gets the extra furlong to work with today. He has shown he can run on turf as his lifetime top Beyer figures for turf and dirt are pretty close. The only concern might be the nine month layoff but Todd Pletcher is a 37% trainer with horses off layoffs of 180+ days. Rock Eagle was running some pretty big numbers last summer/fall before tailing off at the beginning of 2016. This will be his first start for new trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who wins with 25% of his starters in this situation. Getting the win machine Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard certainly will help his cause. Country Money has been way too far out of it in some of his races and expect a slightly more aggressive ride from Kendrick Carmouche today. The cutback to a mile should also help him make his closing kick that much more dangerous. In a race where there are many horses with questionable or no turf form he could upset the trifecta at a nice price.
#4 Picture Day 7/2
#3 Time for Angie 5/2
#8 Just Got Out 4/1
Picture Day is back at a more appropriate level today after testing the allowance waters last time out and not disgracing herself. She is the most lightly raced filly in this race and may still have some upside. Time for Angie is if nothing else quite the consistent horse. In her last five races she has gotten a Beyer in between 68-71. She will have to improve on that a little bit if she is to win this race. Just Got Out has switched stables quite often so far in 2016. It has turned out pretty well for them since she has two wins and a second so far this year. She will have to get back to some of the numbers she was running last year to contend for win honors but cannot be left out of the mix.
#5 Vulcan’s Forge 6/1
#7 Conquest Superstar 2/1
#3 Inspector Lynley 5/2
Vulcan’s Forge ran very well breaking his maiden in the first start of 2016. He came from dead last to nail a field of eleven on the wire. With this now being his second start of the campaign, expect another big effort for the always dangerous Todd Pletcher and Johnny V combo. Conquest Superstar is also coming in off of a very impressive race. He won his career debut at Keeneland and was well backed that day. Off that debut and the fact he was a $725k purchase last March, big things are expected with him. Not to mention his sire is the great Uncle Mo. Inspector Lynley gets a slight bit of class relief today exiting a G3 race (although this is a very salty allowance). He was not bad in getting third but just did not have enough to beat the top two. Just get the feeling this horse will always run his race but hasn’t yet shown the will to win that you need to be at the top level in this sport.
#9 Naked Empress 3/1
#5 Chocolate Smoothie 10/1
#3 Meatball Madness 12/1
Naked Empress has been steadily improving in her first four starts. She just missed last time out in her first try over the turf. That was also the first try going anything farther than 6.5F so maybe she built up some stamina from that effort and can break her maiden today. Chocolate Smoothie threw in an absolute clunker last time out and you have to be willing to forgive that to bet her today. Her first two career races were rather promising and if she can get over the turf today she could be dangerous. Meatball Madness is by Freud who has been a pretty good turf sire in NY recently. She wasn’t all that bad in her debut when she finished third and have a feeling the turf will improve her into contention today.
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