Saturday’s Grade 1 $750,000 Santa Anita Derby lost a major player on Thursday as trainer Jerry Hollendorfer announced that Hear to Ghost is off the Triple Crown Trail.
The colt came up slightly lame after a morning breeze at Hollywood Park and will be on the shelf for three months. The winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe in his last outing, the colt was the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. He was 15-1 in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
The defe3ction means the 9-5 morning line price of Flashback may shrink. The colt was the beaten favorite in the San Felipe, beaten a half-length for the top spot.
Flashback is trained by Bob Baffert, who has won the Santa Anita Derby six times. Baffert will also send out Power Broker (5-1) and Super Ninety Nine (6-1).
It is going to be a busy day for me today as I prepare for Saturday’s great day of racing. My Best Plays Report will include my strongest plays from Aqueduct and Keeneland as well as some of the stakes action from Santa Anita Park.
In addition I will have my full card report available for both Aqueduct and Keeneland for Saturday.
The NBC Sports Network will have a 90-minute telecast on Saturday starting at 6:00 ET featuring the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby.
Analysis: Pauper's Queen makes her first start since last November where she was outrun on turf at Laurel Park against $20,000 non-winners of two. The mare was competitive on the turf at this non-winners of two level last summer at Delaware Park and catches a really weak looking group here. The Cooney barn is 1 for 20 in New York dating back two years and is showing a 38% win clip (with a +ROI) with horses coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Bird Fu is coming off a third place finish last out on the inner track going a mile. Her lone go on turf was a sixth place finish against maiden special weight company in her debut. She is a bit light in the pedigree department but with a third and a runner up finish two back she has form as good as any of these.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 3,7 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7
Analysis: Sally's Dream is coming off a fifth place finish in the state bred Sonia's Scamp on the inner track. The filly came into the stretch and was caught in between foes and got checked and squeezed back. She makes her first start on turf since beating Alw-1 optional claimers last December here in her first start off the claim by the Persaud barn. She is 4 for 7 overall on the weeds and will appreciate the surface switch along with the class drop.
My Sparky was a sharp winner last out on the inner track against $12,500 non-winners of three or a race since Sept. 7. The runner up in the race was Rhonin Victoria, who came back to beat $12,500 starter handicap foes in her next outing on March 20. Her lone go on turf was a seventh place finish over yielding footing last fall against restricted $20,000 claimers. The pedigree is on the light side but the mare comes in here sharp.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,5,7,8
TRI: 1,7 / 1,5,7,8 / 1,5,6,7,8
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.
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 success 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 each day with daily picks from Aqeuduct and Del Mar or you can 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. 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 everyday with daily picks from
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