At the Gate - Saturday
November 17, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
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Perhaps we have a new start in the making. Eblouissante, a three-year-old half-sister to the champion Zenyatta made her debut at Hollywood Park yesterday, and looked pretty darn good.
Trained by John Shirreffs, her much anticipated debut came in the fourth race on Friday, and filly was well backed on the toteboard.
She rallied from off the pace and drew off smartly to win by 4 ¼ lengths, stopping the timer for the 1 11/6 miles in 1:45.27.
Her mare Vertigineux not only dropped the most popular racehorse in the past couple of decades, she also has produced Grade 1 winner Balance, a winner of over $1 million.
Those are some big hoofs to fill.
The ultra conservative Shirreffs was patient with the oversized filly, putting 45 works into her over the past couple of seasons to get her fully prepared for her unveiling.
The trainer will probably bring her back in a first level allowance race before trying her in stakes company. If she continues to develop she certainly appears as if she has a bright future.
We have a great day of betting action to look forward to on Saturday, with eight stakes at Delta Downs including the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3), a couple of graded turf stakes at Churchill Downs that drew large and competitive fields, and Willy Beamin will be back in action at Aqueduct in the $150,000 Discovery Handicap (G3).
The Delta Jackpot drew perhaps the best field ever, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint champion Hightail, Sanford (G2) winner Bern Identity, and Champagne (G1) runner up Goldencents in the field.
Also on the card is the $500,000 Delta Princess (G3), which drew a field of nine juvenile fillies led by Adirondack (G2) runner up Salamera, and Madame Cactus, who won the My Trusty Cat, the local prep for the race.
At Churchill Downs the $100,000 Commonwealth (G3) drew a full field of three-year-olds that will go 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Jamaica (G1) winner King David is the 4-1 morning line favorite, a former $25,000 claimer that was taken by trainer Mike Maker for a $35,000 tag in the race preceding the Jamaica.
A dozen three-year-old fillies will go in the $175,000 Mrs. Revere (G3) led by Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) runner up Centre Court, who could not catch a loose on the lead Dayatthespa in that race.
She catches a solid group that includes Pebbles (G3) winner Peace Preserver, Valley View (G3) winner Miz Ida, and Valley View third Leading Astray, who won the Pucker Up (G3) back in September at Arlington Park.
I can’t get past Willy Beamin in the $150,000 Discovery Handicap (G3) despite the likely light price. Trainer Rick Dutrow claimed this guy for just $25,000 and he reeled off five straight wins for the new barn including the King’s Bishop (G1).
The gelding came up short last out in a runner up finish in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park going nine furlongs.
A reminder that Delta Downs is running during the day this afternoon with a first post of 1:15 CT, and Churchill Downs will be racing under the lights, with a first post of 4:30 ET.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my dozen strongest plays from Aqueduct, Delta Downs, and Churchill Downs
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $15,000B (12:20 ET)
7 Red Jack 4-1
9 Shootdeworx 3-1
4 American Buffalo 7-2
6 My Man Dan 6-1
Analysis: Red Jack is coming off a runner up finish last out for a $16K tag in a race washed off the turf. The gelding chased a loose on the lead gate to wire winner over a racing strip that was kind to speed that day. Both of his wins have come on turf but he has run pretty good on dirt and he looks headed in the right direction. Canani claimed this guy from Lukas for $20K back in August and is 0 for 4 with him. This looks like a good spot and it looks as if we should catch a fair price.
Shootdeworx beat $16K non winners of two last out on the turf at Belmont Park with a good late rally, getting up late to win by a nose in a four way photo. The third and sixth place finishers in the race came back to win their next starts. The gelding was claimed out of his last start by the Ness barn that is 39% winners first off the claim. Two back in his last start on dirt he checked in a decent third at Ellis Park against $30K non winners of two. The winner of that race was Whitewood Indian, who beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start at Turfway Park. Rosario takes the call for the sharp outfit that is winning at a 32% clip in 2012 but has not done much in NY, just 3 for 24 going back two years.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7,9 / 4,6,7,9
TRI: 7,9 / 4,6,7,9 / 3,4,6,7,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Discovery Handicap G3 (3:43 ET)
6 Willy Beamin 7-5
1 Guilt Trip 3-1
3 Stephanoatsee 6-1
4 Called to Serve 7-2
Analysis: Willy Beamin had a six race win streak snapped last out when he got passed late and settled for the runner up spot in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. Dutrow claimed this guy for just $25K out of a win and he went on to win five in a row for Tricky Rick including winning the King's Bishop (G1) just three days after winning the state bred Albany. The gelding is perfect in two trips over the Big A main track and is going to be real tough here although the price is going to be very much on the short side.
Guilt Trip was a good looking winner last out against Alw-1 optional claimers in his first start against winners. He broke his maiden two back going a one turn mile in his second career start. He has enough pedigree to handle the extra ground, by Pulpit out of a Quiet American mare. Only our top pick earned a higher last out speed fig and this guy still looks as if he has plenty of upside potential.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
CD Race 9 Mrs. Revere G2 (8:36 ET)
3 Peace Preserver 4-1
7 Centre Court 5-2
1 Leading Astray 12-1
6 English Class 10-1
Analysis: Peace Preserver earned a career top with a good looking win in the Pebbles last out at Belmont Park over yielding turf, her fourth win on turf in eight career trips. Two back she ran a good second in the Riskaverse behind Dayatthespa, who came back to win the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) in her next outing at Keeneland on Oct. 13. She is heading in the right direction and Johnny V. is in to ride for Pletcher.
Centre Court tracked the early pace, came with a four wide move and could not get to the loose on the lead Dayatthespa in a runner up finish in the Queen Elizabeth II, beaten two lengths for the top spot. This gal has landed in the exacta in all seven of her trips on turf including a pair of graded stakes wins. She is perfect in two trips over the turf here including winning the Regret (G3) back in June in her first go against winners. She looks like she will be tough to handle in this spot but our top pick is likely going to offer more value for the top spot.
WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 1,3,6,7
TRI: 3,7 / 1,3,6,7 / 1,3,6,7,11
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.
R2: #2 Why Not Whiskey 8-1
R3: #6 Cameron Canyon 12-1
R4: #4 Big Breezy 8-1
R6: #6 Tune Me In 12-1
R7: #7 Campogiovanni 8-1
R7: #8 Mr Lit 8-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
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