Looking back at the holiday weekend action, there is no doubt that the most exciting race was the Cigar Mile (G1) in which Stay Thirsty held off the filly Groupie Doll by a nose in his final race of his career.
The Todd Pletcher trainee ended his career with $1,936,000 in earnings with five 2ins and five seconds in 17 career starts.
Groupie Doll, a winner of three Grade 1 races and a pair of Grade 2's this year in nine starts will get a vacation, getting a break at trainer Buff Bradley's Indian Ridge Farm.
The plan is to send her to Palm Meadows in January with her first start likely to come in March in the Inside Information (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
One of the more interesting developments coming out of the weekend was the two stakes for two-year-olds looking to hop on next spring's Triple Crown Trail.
The Pletcher trained Overanalyze won the Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, earning a 99 Beyer Speed Figure in his nose victory over Normandy Invasion.
The colt's previous high was an 85 in which he earned in winning the Futurity (G2) while the runner up's previous high was an 81 which he earned in his maiden score. The Beyer just seems a bit on the high end.
That is in stark contrast to the 76 Beyer that Uncaptured earned in his victory in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The Mark Casse trainee had earned a 90 Beyer in his previous start winning the Iroquois (G3) on Oct 28. He was a neck in front of Frac Daddy, who had earned a 90 Beyer for his maiden win on Nov. 3.
Uncaptured is now listed at 10-1 on the 2013 Kentucky Derby by Future Odds released by Wynn Las Vegas, while Overanalyze is at 30-1.
I may wait to plunk down a future wager until we see a few of the juveniles coming out of the two stakes run back, so we can get a better idea on just how legit those speed figures really are.
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Here is today's opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
Analysis: Springcourt gets the call in the opener and I am assuming we are off the turf today as rain and some snow fell in the area on Tuesday. Our top pick came with a good five wide rally and got up late to win by a neck last out against $16K non winners of three or a race on turf since May. The gelding comes in here sharp off back to back wins and Ramon takes the call. The gelding is 0 for 9 on turf in his career and Jacobson, who is hitting at a 44% clip here at the meet has this guy well spotted here if this does indeed come off the grass.
Pocket Cowboys is also sent out by the Jacobson barn and will be making his second start for the barn. Last out for a $30K tag the gelding dueled for the early lead and faded to finish a well beaten seventh over a wet track in a race taken off the grass. The gelding is a multiple stakes winner but has lost a couple of steps from his younger days and has lost a dozen races in a row. This is the cheapest he has run for and hard to toss anything this barn sends out recently regardless of the current form.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,10 / 3,5,10,11
TRI: 3,10 / 3,5,10,11 / 3,5,7,10,11
Analysis: Readytodefer prompted the early pace and battled on gamely in the stretch, coming up just a neck short as the heavy favorite last out against state bred Alw-2 foes. He returns off a two month break and while he steps up a notch in class so is everyone else in this field except for Smokin Hero, who exits the state bred Hudson. The gelding owns solid early and mid pace numbers and has landed in the exacta in 6 of his 8 starts this year.
Mineswept made a good late rally to finish a decent third last out against state bred Alw-2 foes in his first go off the claim by the Rice barn. His last win came three back against state bred Alw-2 foes and he should get a good pace set up here as the pace should be honest. He gets a jock upgrade to Rice's go to guy CVel, but the five year old is winless in five trips over the Big A main track.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,6,7,8
TRI: 1,7 / 1,6,7,8 / 1,4,6,7,8
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: #5 Big Sky Posse 8-1
R3: #2 Denn Piper 20-1
R4: #9 Rockin Mandy 10-1
R6: #11 Snookie Slew 10-1
R6: #4 Invasion 12-1
R7: #3 Thor's Mjolnor 10-1
R9: #6 Grand Rapids 8-1
Mike DempseyMike 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. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Belmont or Keeneland. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis. Join Jerry daily with picks from
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