Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, May 4, 2018
Churchill Downs has one of its biggest cards of the season on Friday: Kentucky Oaks day! In addition to the preeminent race for 3-year-old fillies in the country, they’ve got a bevy of other great stakes races, including the La Troienne Stakes, featuring star filly Abel Tasman in her 4-year-old debut, and the Alysheba Stakes. That race features a showdown between last year’s Derby winner, Always Dreaming, and the Jim Dandy Stakes winner, Good Samaritan. It’s bound to be an awesome day of racing.
We’ve got FREE picks & analysis of the whole card from Richard Mattei (@RichMattei16). Richard has served as one of the announcers and handicappers for the harness racing action at Ocean Downs, near Ocean City, Maryland, and also works at Harrah’s Philadelphia racetrack and Freehold Raceway. We’re happy to have him contributing to Danonymous Racing today, and we encourage you to give him a follow when you get the chance.
Take it away, Richard!
Best Bet: Race 10) (6) Daddy Is A Legend
Race 1: The field is going to have to really step up if they want to beat (6) Go Google Yourself who is just clearly faster on raw speed figures. Two and three starts back, she was competitive in races in which were much tougher as we see two horses out of those races will run in the Kentucky Oaks later this afternoon. She also had a blowout win here as a two-year old. (1) First Alternate was up on a pace that fell apart last time out but she still managed to win, still needs to improve though. (4) She’s Pretty Lucky has been on turf the last two starts to no avail, now she finally gets to route around two turns on dirt. She also has a win over the track as a two-year old.
Race 2: (4) Killay could benefit from rain as she has run well with moisture in the track before. She is the only horse in the field to win a race even though she was eventually disqualified, but this filly should be well meant coming from a barn, which does well with this overseas barn and getting a top rider in Irad Ortiz Jr. You know (7) Dabinett is going to be dangerous second time out for the Chad Brown barn. In her first start she was left with too much to do, as the winner was a price that wired the field. The only thing about her is that she was on the wrong lead until well inside the eight-pole, but she should be more mature with a start under her belt. (12) Emmy Performance is an interesting firster, as she is a half to two multiple graded stakes winners on the turf. Like to see the nice pattern in her workouts for her debut.
Race 3: (8) Bugle Notes was an 825K purchase as he is a half to three horses that have made over 150K at the races. Consistent works show this one is ready to fire on debut. (7) Cummings has really impressive gate drills from the gate. He was purchased for 250K and is a half to a winner of over 183K. (6) Keros really should have won that race on debut as he ranged up to take the lead without being asked, then he started to hang a little bit as the horse that he passed around the far turn came back on the inside to beat him. They were a city block in front of the rest of the field though and he could improve second time out. He is also a half to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Blame.
Race 4: Lightly raced horse (6) Compass Zone is 2 for 4 lifetime and 2 for 3 on turf. This horse wired a field on the boggy going last time out but he has shown he can win from sitting off the pace as well. Could still be improving. (2) Sun Lover ran the best race in that field last time out as he was hung out near the back of the back while the winner saved ground around the course until swinging out. Then he was bumped repeatedly and still only missed by a nose but was put up via disqualification. (8) Galton has run well at Churchill Downs, as he is 3 for 6 with a third place effort as well. Unlucky to win 2 and 4 starts back as he will always be compromised by trip since he is a late closer. Move this horse up if rain is in the forecast, and the track is good or yielding,
Race 5 (Eight Belles Stakes): (5) Talk Veuve to Me was impressive in her second start, winning by more than eleven lengths. Her Beyer Speed Figure jumped thirty points higher from start one to two. The second place finisher out of that race also came back to win. Good solid works prepping for this race. (1) Amy’s Challenge is cutting back to a one-turn distance. Put up fast Speed Figures last year and this year, especially going a sprint distance. She also beat the boys as a two-year old up at Canterbury Park. She will be on the lead from that inside post and will go as fast as she can, for as far as she can. (3) Mia Mischief got a good set-up last time out stalking the speed out in the middle of the track, but she exploded down the lane to win by open lengths. It was the first time in a race where she wasn’t first or second early either. Should stalk once again.
Race 6 (The La Troienne Stakes) : The race really runs through (3) Abel Tasman who should win the race even though she has been off since November after her second place finish in the Distaff. Should get the right set up being right off the speed. (5) Apologynotaccepted raced well last time out as she was pace pressured throughout and was just collared within the final hundred yards. The pace shouldn’t be that honest in the race as it seems that there is a lack of pace which would be to her advantage. (1) Salty raced in spots last time out in the Madison. She was near the back around the far turn and was under a ride throughout and she finally started doing her best running in the final eighth, but that could have been her catching tired horses as well. Mixed feelings, but she can definitely win this race.
Race 7 (Turf Sprint Stakes): (5) Latent Revenge set a wicked fast pace last time out on the soft going, he is the speed of the speed in this race and he didn’t even really fall apart that badly after trying to open up around the far turn in his last race; He also cuts back half a furlong which could help and just missed in this race last year in what seemed like a tougher edition than this year. (7) Vision Perfect got a good set up last time out and he has enough speed where he won’t be too far back, could sit right off the speed and bounce; Also got a big figure in his last start. (1) Delectation was highly touted last fall as her first start in the states was ambitious. She now cuts back and could make that one run; also like to see her get first time Lasix and has won sprinting before in Europe on a soft turf course.
Race 8 (Alysheba Stakes): (4) Backyard Heaven seems like a horse that is lightly raced but seems to be on the improve. Got a big Beyer figure of 108 when last seen at Aqueduct and is aggressively placed in Graded Stakes today. He and the second place finisher were also fifteen lengths clear of the third place horse. Lots to like here. (1) Good Samaritan looked good closing into a somewhat slow-pace last time at the Fair Grounds. He also ran huge here in the Clark and probably was best as he made a wide move while the winner split horses. The only problem is that there is not much speed here but is good enough to overcome it. What do we do with the Kentucky Derby winner of last year, (3) Always Dreaming. He ran okay last time out but the winner really shook him off easily in that race. He could build off that race and has a big pace advantage today.
Race 9: It was a very professional debut from (3) C P Quality. She was right in behind the leaders taking dirt to the face and going around the far turn she even had to check a little bit. Unlike most firsters who would have went backwards at that point, she tipped out and blew right past the favorite and even lengthened her stride coming down to the finish. Could take another step forward second time out. (2) Electric Forest stalked the pace in her debut and even made a move to the lead around the far turn; She cleared in late stretch and kicked away nicely against a horse that seems like she’s even okay in her own right. This filly could also improve off her first start. (10) Sworn Silence was in a race last time where the pace held together. She can get a nice stalking trip from that outside post and has a win at Churchill Downs.
Race 10 (Edgewood Stakes): (6) Daddy Is A Legend might have run the best race last time out in the Appalachian Stakes. She broke 5 lengths slow, the was wide on the backstretch, made a sweeping move around the far turn and she even put her head in front of (11) Rushing Fall, who is the horse to beat, before fading in the final eight of a mile to finish fourth. Rushing Fall, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, and her, are not that far apart in talent. (7) Tionette got a perfect trip right behind the leader, but she ranged up around the far turn pretty easily, and went right on by. She could be a filly on the improve and her last Beyer Speed Figure puts her right in the mix.
Race 11 (Kentucky Oaks) : After the post draw (14) Monomoy Girl, who is the horse to beat, may be at a disadvantage, even though she seems like she has the speed to overcome it, the post is still a big question mark. The other question mark I have is on the second choice (10) Midnight Bisou, who made a big move from the back of the pack in the Santa Anita Oaks, is what she actually beat in Southern California. They have huge class edges on paper but there are still questions with both favorites. (9) Take Charge Paula’s race in the Gulfstream Park Oaks was a little funny as going around the far turn, after contesting the pace she looked like she was starting to lose ground on the leader, but all of a sudden she retook the lead and opened up, only to be run down by (2) Coach Rocks, who is my choice in this race. She seemed to relish the two-turns on dirt at Gulfstream Park, and was game in running down Take Charge Paula. She has also paired up Beyer Speed Figures in her last two starts and she seemed to be working lights-out over the Churchill Downs oval.
Race 12: (10) Gio Game has simply faced better horses than what she is seeing today. She also has the Beyer Speed Figures to back it up. The horse she finished second to last time out could be in Graded Stakes company next time out if she wins on the card earlier in the day, horse to beat. If it rains upgrade the chances of (4) Nucla, as her best races come when there is moisture in the track. She was much the best in her last race after being carried out in the stretch; she only missed by a neck. (1A) Villamay won on debut for Bill Mott, who has low percentages with first time starters. She now stretches out and could improve second time out.
Race 13: (9) Hanalei Moon ran last time out like she just needed the race, she is a long striding filly, and her dam was Multiple Grade 1 Placed going a distance of ground, so the added distance should help her and she should improve second time out. (5) Say It Softly, is cutting back to a one-turn race after not showing up going two-turns last time out. She raced well two starts back though making a middle move into a second quarter, where the leaders slowed down the pace. Should be more forwardly placed with the Blinkers-on today. (6) Tequila Sunrise has hit the exotics 5 of her first 6 starts. Exotic player, once again.
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