This Saturday at Turfway Park is their premiere event day of the 2011 racing season with multiple Stakes and graded stakes contests culminating in the $500,000, GIII “Vinery Racing Spiral” Stakes, going 1 1/8 mile, for 3yo’s only out on the Turfway Poly-course!
This race probably won’t lead to a Kentucky Derby gate directly but it will feed the winner here into GI Blue Grass Stakes race down at Keeneland next month which will lead to a derby gate plus it will give us more handicapping to do in slow spots on Saturday.
So here is the 12 horse field for this poly track world’s contribution to this “Derby Trail” contest.
In the m/l favorite roll, is Positive Response at 3/1. He is the recent winner of the $100,000, Battaglia Stakes here last month that went 1 1/16 mile covered in just an Ok. 1:45.13. This son of Pomeroy is 8 (5-0-2) lifetime mostly out at Golden Gate park where he finished 3rd in the El Camino Derby, 2 lengths off the winner, Silver Medallion, who is off to the Santa Anita Derby next! So in winning 4 of his last 5 outings and a big stakes win over this strip, 3/1 sounds good to us. Exotics for him!
At 4/1 is King Congie, who’s won 3 straight, 3yo, turf tests but was dq’d to 3rd for drifting out in his last outing. This one is a stalker-type that closes well. But he too, is jumping up to a 1 1/8 mile over the poly. Our concern is the drifting out problem he had at a 1 1/16 last time. If he is tired at 1 1/16 on the turf it follows 1 1/8 won’t help here. If he runs strong and true than he vies for the win here. If not, than a super spot is about the best you can hope for. Supers until he shows us differently.
At 5/1 is Decisive Moment who we last saw in the GII Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds last month where he finish 5 lengths back of Mucho Macho Man for 5th. Before that he won the Jean La Fitte Stakes at Delta Downs and finished 2nd there in the million dollar Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes to Gourmet Dinner. So he trying the poly for the first time and trying 1 1/8 mile, also for the first time. Seems a bit much to us plus the PP’s show he likes to be the early speed. Maybe he hits the board here but a super spot is better for him!
Also at 5/1 is Animal Kingdom who is 3 for 3 in board hits with an impressive maiden win at Keeneland last fall going 1 1/8 in 1:49 flat. He’s only outing this year was an Allow turf test at Gulfstream with a 2nd finish, in a mile run in 1:34.66. So he doe have poly experience at the distance on Saturday. 5/1 however, seems a bit of a gift here to us. So if you can get 6/1 or more on him at post time then he’d bring better value to your exotics plays.
Jumping up to 10/1 are Twinspired and Glint.
Glint backed out of the Rebel Stakes last weekend and wound up here. He has but 3 lifetime starts, all board hits, all 6 1/2 f or less so 1 1/8 is a big jump up. He does have poly experience at Pid in a juvy stakes win there last fall. We believe however, that the jump to 2-turns will be too much for him right now and the best we could recommend would be a super for him only!
Twinspired finished 4th in the Battaglia Stakes last month here and does own a stakes win over this strip too. He also has dirt and turf experience over his short career. He is a closer type, so if he can rate, than a board shot isn’t out of the question , especially if there is a pace collapse here Saturday! So 10/1 at the back of a tri or super would be prudent wager here!
12/1 brings a trio of hungry 3yos in Thirtyfirststreet, Rescind the Trade and Beachcombing!
Beachcombing, son of Lemon Drop Kid, has but 3 starts on his resume, all turfing adventures, with just a maiden win over a yielding turf course. Finished 2nd in Aoc turfer at Gulfstream last out at 1 1/16 in 1:45 and chg, losing by a neck! So turf to poly surface switch, well we will see? So just supers and only if you feel you must!
Rescind the Trade’s last outing was a distance 5th in the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct where he faded over a muddy track that day but he does own a victory over Pants on Fire at 1 and 70 yds in an Aoc at Aqueduct last Dec. If you throw out the muddy track performance, he has stair-stepped his way up but poly for the first time at 1 1/8 gives us some pause. So if you are need a 12/1 shot in your super plays, he might do!
Thirtyfirststreet is a So/Cal shipper who finish 4th in last month’s 1 1/8 mile, GII Robert B Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. He also has a pair of wins over the poly at Hollywood Park to his credit. So this one can go the 1 1/8 mile here and does have poly track winning experiences. Sounds like he should be in all your plays, especially at 12/1. He’d be our “Dark Horse” pick here Saturday!
At 15/1 is Preachintothedevil who was last heard from in that Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct where he finished 3rd. He is 4 for 4 in board hits lifetime with a Stakes win to his name. but all of his starts have been at Aqueduct on the dirt. So he is ducking Uncle Mo’s Wood run here? Will the switch to poly be a factor in his Saturday performance, we’ll see. So this one will either have great success here or is he using this race as a prep for the Wood? So 15/1 seems a bit off to us here as we feel he is better some of the other lower priced talent showing up here! So putting him into your exotics is risky but at 15/1 he’s a super value play!
At 20/1 and 50/1 are the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in that Battaglia Stakes here last month and are getting no respect on this morning line for it in Taptowne and Son of Posse, respectively!
Taptowne did come on to finish a distance 2nd while Son of Posse held up for 3rd that day. Both finished well off the leader by 7 and 8 1/2 lengths respectively. Both had tbl here at 1 1/16 so we won’t be using them at all. But if you believe one of them could improve over that contest we’d lean toward Taptowne a son of Tapit!
So for this contest, we like, Positive Response, Decisive Moment, Thirtyfirststreet, Preachintothedevil and King Congie here in multiple trifecta plays and Twinspired and Animal Kingdom as “Home cookin” plays on multiple super trys on Saturday as there is just a ton of value in this race!
We have feature this contest on our blog here today because we felt we needed to cover this 3yo poly contest to start us down the road to Keeneland and “Our Favorite” race of all-time, at this blog, the GI Toyota Blue Grass Stakes which we have designated “America’s Crazy” Race. The only Grade I Stakes race that means almost nothing to a Kentucky Derby outcome since they went poly at Keeneland!
More on that race when its comes up in mid-April.
So Turfway Park is throwing their big spring bash this Saturday. So check it out as there will be good value in all of their races on Saturday.