I spent a good part of my time in between handicapping and wagering on Thursday checking out The Weather Channel, hoping Mother Nature would toss us a break and cool things off a little.
I am down here in Florida and we had a beautiful day, and while I sat poolside having a cocktail Thursday evening I pulled up the weather in Louisville, and at 6:00 ET it was still 102 degrees.
The question is whether or not Churchill Downs is going to be able to run the Friday and Saturday cards, despite moving them back to a 6:30 ET first post.
As of late Thursday night the temperature at post time for the opener at Friday is forest to be 102 degrees with a heat index of 108 degrees.
My gut is telling me they will cancel, but are going to wait until as late as possible, hoping to get a break in the weather.
I'll reevaluate things on Friday afternoon for Saturday night's card, but as a backup if I think they may not go there is plenty of other racing to wager on.
Belmont Park has an 11-race card on Saturday including the $200,000 Dwyer (G2) and the $200,000 New York (G2).
With the possibility of no racing at Churchill, I may just take a closer look at the racing action at Prairie Meadows and Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday.
There are three graded stakes at Prairie Meadows including the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3). The race marks the return of last year's Eclipse Award winner Hansen, who will be making his first start since running ninth in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Also on the card are the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) and the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap (G3)
The feature at Betfair Hollywood Park is the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (G1), which drew field of eight including Turf Classic (G1) winner Little Mike and Arcadia (G2) winner Mr. Commons..
To purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Friday click here
Here is today's opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 The London Company (3:00 ET)
2 Malibu Way 3-1
4 Easy Crossing 8-5
6 Star Channel 7-2
7 He's a Fireball 10-1
Analysis: Malibu Way is coming off a game win in the Lamplighter at Monmouth Park and is a neck away from being perfect in his three career starts. He was beaten in a photo two back at Keeneland going nine furlongs against Alw-1 foes in his first start against winners. The runner that beat him was Sachem Spirit, who came back to run a goods second in the Arlington Classic in his next start. Clement also sends out our second choice who is the morning line favorite, but this guy looks as if he will offer a bit more value for the top spot.
Easy Crossing made a good late rally and came up just a neck short last out in the James Murphy on Preakness Day at Pimlico. Two back he beat Alw-1 optional claimers in a photo at Gulfstream Park. He has a nice pedigree, by Grade 1 turfer English Channel out of the turf stakes winner Humoristic ($526K). Despite that pedigree he was purchased for just $4K?
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7 / 1,2,4,6,7
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $25,000N1X (6:36 ET)
5 Kaleidoscope 6-1
1 Evasive Cat 3-1
7 Spare Change 5-2
9 Born Bullish 12-1
Analysis: Kaleidoscope makes her first start since February at Gulfstream Park where she caught a really tough group in her first start against winners. She was a good looking maiden winner two back in her second career start and then was not a threat in a fifth place finish last out in a highly graded race that produced three next out winners. The winner Zo Impressive won the Mother Goose (G1) in her last start and In Lingerie won the Black Eyed Susan (G3) in her most recent outing. She put in a quick work on June 24 and these are not nearly as tough as she faced in her last start.
Evasive Cat makes her first start since taking the field gate to wire back in January on the inner track at the Big A in her second career start. She finished third in her debut behind our top pick, a race contested in the slop and she was sent off as the 2-1 betting choice in that race. The barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with horses coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
WIN: #5 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,5,7,9
TRI: 1,5 / 1,5,7,9 / 1,4,5,7,9
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #7 He's a Fireball 10-1
R4: #8 Aridus 15-1
R6: #5 Three Zips 8-1
R6: #7 Overhead 15-1
R7: #7 Solengo 10-1
R8: #9 Born Bullish 12-1
Good luck today!