At the Gate - Saturday
October 5, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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The New York Gaming Commission has concluded its investigation into the allegation that an electrical device was used by the jockey of Will Take Charge in the 2013 Travers Stakes.
The report states that the “investigation concluded that Jockey Luis Saez was not carrying any sort of electrical device and that trainer Eric Guillot's allegation was wholly unsubstantiated.”
Guillot, the trainer of the runner up Moreno, complained to the stewards and the commission that he thought Saez had used a battery to shock his mount in the stretch of the Travers. The ill-advised allegations seemed so ridiculous at the time that thankfully the story barely picked up legs in the mainstream media.
Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas trains Will Take Charge, who came out of the Travers to beat Moreno again in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) by 2 ¼ lengths.
As I have said in the past, there are Racing Gods. The only thing left for them to do is put Guillot into an 0 for 60 slump.
Friday was opening day at Keeneland and we saw a star in the making in My Conquestadory, a two-year-old filly trained by Mark Casse.
The filly won the Summer (G2) in her debut and then yesterday won the Alcibiades (G1) going two turns on poly for the first time. Under jockey Eurico Da Silva the filly was outrun in the early going, and looked as if she would not be able to find running room as they went around the far turn and into the stretch. However, she found a seam and she made a strong move to take command and draw away to win by 1 ¼ lengths.
She is likely going to be the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) although it will be her first start on conventional dirt.
We have a great day of racing on tap for Saturday with eight graded stakes combined between Keeneland and Belmont Park, and five of them are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.
We have some chalk to contend with on Saturday, as Wise Dan is going to be a heavy favorite in the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) and Groupie Doll will be a puny price in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2).
I think we have a shot of beating at least one of them, and dare I say neither is my top pick?
The last couple of days at Belmont Park have been a struggle but I really like Saturday’s card, which features a trio of Grade 1 races.
The $500,000 Jamaica (G1) for three-year-olds on turf drew 13 and is a wide open affair. The $500,000 Frizette (G1) for two-year-old fillies drew a field of seven led by Spinaway (G1) winner Sweet Reason.
The $500,000 Champagne (G1) for juveniles is the race I am looking forward to the most. Strong Mandate is coming off a win in the Hopeful (G1), Havana was the most impressive maiden winner at the Spa, and Honor Code came from 22 lengths back to rally for his maiden win in his debut.
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Here is today’s opening from Keeneland to get the day off to a good start:
KEE Race 1 Clm $20,000 (1:05 ET)
2 Strong Humor 3-1
1 All Alex / 1a Jump for Kitten 5-2
7 Sayler's Creek 5-1
3 Blue Danube Waltz 6-1
Analysis: Strong Humor drops back in for a tag after setting the early fractions and weakening to finish third last out against Alw-1 foes on Tapeta at Presque Isle. The colt took $25,000 non-winners of two gate to wire in his previous outing. This colt broke his maiden over the poly here back in April for a $30,000 tag. He owns solid early and mid-pace numbers and with the rail draw he figures to be sent early. He fits here tagged for $20,000 and facing straight three-year-olds.
All Alex tries poly for the first time here after checking in third last out on turf at the Spa against $20,000 non-winners of two or three-year-olds in his first start against winners. He was claimed out of the race by the Maker barn that is 24% winners first off the claim. His entrymate Jump for Kitten goes for the Ward barn and is dropping in for a tag after breaking a beat slow and weakening to finish seventh against allowance foes on turf at Kentucky Downs. His lone go on the fake stuff was a third on Tapeta in a Pa. bred stake last fall. The gelding sports a couple of good drills over the dirt at Churchill Downs and attracts Johnny V.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,5,7
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Jamaica G1 (4:40 ET)
4 Balance the Books 5-1
11 Up With the Birds 8-1
5 Jack Milton 6-1
1 Admiral Kitten / 1a Get in Line 7-2
Analysis: Balance the Books may get firm turf for the first time this year after competing over yielding and good turf in his last two starts. Last year as a juvenile this guy won the With Anticipation (G2) at the Spa and the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland over the turf and then ran third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). His first two starts this year were on poly and then was third in the Solar Splendor before winning the Stroll last out over yielding footing at Saratoga. He will get firmer ground and he should get an honest pace to track here and may get overlooked on the tote.
Up With the Birds is coming off a win in the Canadian bred Breeders going 1 1/2 miles on turf. This guy has run well on turf and poly and was beaten just a neck over the turf here at the spring meeting by Jack Milton in the Transylvania (G3). The colt runs well each time out, landing in the exacta in seven of his eight starts, the lone miss a third in his debut over poly. The cut back in distance should suit and I like the jock switch here to CVel. Decent value here if this guy goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
WIN: #4 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 4,11 / 1,4,5,11
TRI: 4,11 / 1,4,5,11 / 1,2,4,5,11
Today's Featured Races of the Day from Keeneland:
KEE Race 7 The First Lady G1 (4:20 ET)
6 Dayatthespa 9-5
1 Say 10-1
2 Hungry Island 7-2
3 Better Lucky 4-1
Analysis: Dayatthespa tracked the early pace and finished up well to win the state bred Yaddo last out at the Spa in a sharp effort which should set her up for a top effort here. The filly has won eight of her dozen starts on turf in her career including taking the QE II (G1) here last fall. She fires every time out, the lone exception a fifth when shipped to the west coast for the Matriarch (G1) in a fifth place finish. She should get a perfect tracking trip sitting just off the pace and is in good hands with the Chad Brown barn.
Say is one of two Euro shippers here and this gal goes for the powerhouse yard of Aiden O'Brien. The filly has only won twice in 11 starts but did run well last out in the third place finish in the Coolmore FuPeg Matron (G1) at Leopardstown. She won a Group 3 two back and her Racing Post and Timeform ratings fit here and we have seen overseas shippers fare well in the U.S. this year and they don't always are Group 1 winners. She has a nice pedigree, out of the multiple stakes winner Riskaverse ($2.1 million).
WIN: #6 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,3,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,2,3,6 / 1,2,3,4,6
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.
R3: #3 Brandy’s Big Guy 10-1
R4: #9 Stoneless 10-1
R4: #11 Banzai Kid 12-1
R6: #4 Waco 12-1
R8: #11 Up With the Birds 8-1
R9: #6 Divided Attention 8-1
R10: #4 Debt Ceiling 10-1
R11: #5 Make a Decision 8-1
R11: #1 Barnards Galaxy 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.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, 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.
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