“Turfway Park” offers it’s Premiere Race day card of 2011!

Turfway Park has its premiere race day on Saturday!

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.

“Gio Ponti” heads list of 14 American horses on “Dubai World Cup” card

“Gio Ponti” gets set for 2nd Dubai World Cup test

“Gio Ponti” leads a field of 14 American horses into Saturday’s Dubai World Cup card at the ultra-modern Meydan Racecourse, in the tiny Arab nation of Dubai. 

The Dubai World Cup races are a series of 7 world-class contests that include Sprints, Turf and Poly-track routes!

These world-class races are run in late March every year with at least $1,000,000 purses in every field, culminating with the $10,000,000, Dubai World Cup race itself that goes 1 1/4 mile for the best thoroughbreds in the world. So with $26,000,000 in prize money up for grabs here, it is little wonder that these races draw the best talent in the world each year.

This year, there are a record number of Group/Grade I winners scattered throughout every contest, almost guaranteeing top quality racing each time the gates are opened!

The American contingent consists of 14 champions with the most notable being, 3-time eclipse award winner Gio Ponti. He is entered in the $10,000,000, Dubai World Cup race, where he finished 4th last year, 1 1/2 lengths behind long shot Gloria de Campeao. Nicky Zito’s pupil Fly Down has also made the trip here to contest for this huge purse.

The $5,000,000Dubai Sheema Classic has no American entries right now but Bourbon Bay or Champ Pegasus might be switched to this 1 1/2 mile Turf tilt, especially after the withdrawal of Euro-fav Snow Fairy!

The $5 million, Dubai Duty Free, a 1 1/8 mile turfer has but one lone American entry in Victor’s Cry!

The $2 million, Dubai Golden Shaheen sprint at 6f’s shows the return of last year’s American winner, Kinsdale King is back to defend his title!

The $1 million, Al Quoz Sprint is a 5 1/2 f turf tussle with 3 American entries in Stradivinsky, Quick Enough and Mr. Gruff all of whom are top turf sprinters and should represent the old U.S.A just fine here.

The $1 million, Godolphin Mile shows I Want Revenge on the card along with Make Music for Me and Ben Cecil’s Crowded House are the 3 American entries for this fast-paced dust-up!

The last of these 7 world-class events is the $2 million, UAE Derby going 1 3/16 mile for 3yo’s with the lone American-breed in Sweet Ducky who recently was acquired by Russian interests from former owners George and Lori Hall!

So these races kick off about mid-morning our time with the $10,000,000, Dubai World Cup contest going off in the early afternoon.

So get to your favorite simulcasting outlet early on Saturday so as not to miss all the action from Meydan Racecourse as $26,000,000 in prize money will be up for grabs.

No, we won’t be making any selections here as we don’t have enough information on all the entries to make sound calls but here are a few tips we hope will help with the day’s wagering on these races.

Wagering tips for Dubai World Cup Races,

  1. Processing of any winning tickets you might have, “takes forever”. In year’s past, I’ve had to wait as long as 20 minutes to cash a winning ticket on these races. So collecting your winnings may take a while and if you were planning to parlay those winnings into the next race, well you better bring extra cash, as a backup.
  2. European wagering rules are in effect here, which means “No Show betting will be allowed” just win, place, exacta and trifecta wagering is about as good as it’s going to get as I believe there is no superfecta wagering either under European wagering rules, but check that out at your simulcasting outlet to be sure!
  3. American horses generally don’t do well in the “Turf” races here as they’re up against the top Euros who do nothing but turf racing.  This is their turf, so to speak. I wouldn’t put more than a basic $2 wager on any American horse in the longer Turf events here Saturday. Last year was a “nightmare” here!
  4. Best shot for the American horses might be the sprints.
  5. Gio Ponti is our best hope on Saturday in the Dubai World Cup tilt. It’s said, he’s in better shape than last year at this time and has made this crossing better than a year ago. We hope so, as we’d like to see the World Cup live here in America for 2011!

So “good luck” out there you early bird’s. Hope it’s a great morning for you on Saturday!

The GII “Louisiana Derby” makes its contribution to the “Derby Trail” this weekend!

The Fair Grounds readies for its big race day of the year!

The Fair Grounds is running its final Derby prep race of 2011 meet in the GII $1,000,000, Louisiana Derby for 13 Derby contenders, going 1 1/8 mile on Saturday!

This Saturday is, by definition, what a big race day is all about. The Fair Grounds will host multiple Stakes and Graded Stakes contests, Millions of dollars in purse money with big-time thoroughbred racing action. The savvy handicapper can do very well on such days  like this as big race days always brings good value to every race with full fields!

So lets meet this field of 13 mighty steeds, who are all looking for a big payday, a big Graded stakes win and a Kentucky Derby gate in the Fair Grounds premiere race of their 2011 racing season.

At 9/5 is the Morning Line favorite in Mucho Macho Man. This son of Macho Uno won last month’s GII Risen Star here at the Fair Grounds at 1 1/16 mile distance that he covered in a nice 1: 43 and 4/5. His last four starts have all been in Graded Stakes events and he has run with some of the best 3yos in the country in all those outings. So he seems to be the one to beat here on Saturday. So he should be your first thought in your exotics thinking but just box him up in all your plays as any kind of board hit here Saturday should find him a gate in Louisville on May 7th.

At 7/2, 6/1 and 8/1 respectively are the other single-digit odds contenders for this million dollar purse in Machen, Elite Alex and Wilkinson.

Machen is a son of Distorted Humor and a grandson to More Than Ready. The word that might describe his short career so far would be “Rushed”. His connections seem to be pushing him along at an exhilarated rate to bring him to this big event. He does have the stair-steps up with MSW and Alw wins but he finished a somewhat unimpressive and late-breaking 4th in that Risen Star contest here last month and took a lot of money as a co-favorite in that tilt. Someone down here in Cajunland thinks very highly of this 3yo with such short odds but 7/2 comes across as real “gifty” to us. He better hit the board here Saturday cause these old boys down here think the world of him. Perhaps the 1 1/8 might help this closer here on Saturday but we’d put him at the back-end of a tri or super as that might be the smart play with him.

Elite Alex, son of Afleet Alex begged off the Rebel Stakes last Saturday to take a shot at the bigger purse money here but with only a 3 race career, none over a mile, gives us some pause. Yes, he has hit the board in all 3 starts but his only win was a 5f Msw. Can he go the distance here? Well his pedigree says so, but he feels rushed to us, as well.  6/1 is just ok to us and maybe Calvin can work some magic with him and get him to improve over that 3rd in the Southwest Stakes last month. Tri’s and supers here for him too!

Wilkinson, at least has a graded stakes win here in the Le Comte back in late January and does hit the board everytime out but that’s a long layoff for this bang-bang “Derby Trail”season. So well-rested is the best descriptor here for Wilkinson on Saturday, so that 1 1/8 mile shouldn’t be a tall order. If he can rate, a board hit seems right to us here. Any exotic play has our blessing here for him!

At 10/1 is Nacho Business in a probable paired-entry with stablemate Pants on Fire and  Left!

Left, is another son of Arch with just a pair of stair-step wins on his resume, is jumping into big-time racing in this GII tilt. Supers only for him as the 1 1/8 distance with no graded stakes experience is a load he might not bear!

Pants on Fire did everything but win the Le Comte here back in January as he lead the entire race, just to be nosed out, at the line, by Wilkinson that day. If he rates just a bit here on Saturday a 3rd or 4th finishing might be in the cards. If he goes out fast, he’ll be all done by the 1/8 pole, watching everyone who rated go by him. You decide supers or not! 10/1 is good value here!

Nacho Business is a son of Rahy and does have a 2nd in a 1 1/8 mile Alw test here last month on his 2 race resume. Wouldn’t call him a Dark Horse pick here but he could come late to pickup the super spot in a “picking up the pieces” effort.

At 12/1 is Majestic Harbor has but a maiden win in 3 starts to his credit with the win coming in his last outing, around 2-turns and over this strip! Seems a bit out of place here in a million dollar contest but if he can find the 4th spot, $50,000 would be a fine days work. Supers only and only if you must!

At 20/1, 30/1 and 50/1 are the remainer of this class of 2011 in Mavericking, Le mans, Nehro, Populist Politics and Liondrive! These are all msw winners only or less except Polulist Politics who does own a 2yo stakes win and a recent 2nd showing in the Gentilly Stakes here late last month at 1 1/16. We probably won’t use anyone in this group, but a flyer on Populist Politics in one of your super might work but don’t trust to hope !

So we like Mucho Macho Man, Wilkinson, Machen, Pants on Fire, team-mate Nacho Busniness in a 2fer and Elite Alex mixed up on tri’s and supers.

But for a million dollar race, we had hoped for a deeper field here Saturday!

So it will be a huge day at the Fair Grounds this Saturday and if you put your mind to it you just might have a great day there on Saturday. It should be a “ragin-cajun” day!

“Hilda’s Passion” blazes in GII “Inside Information” Stakes!

Want to see two track records broken in one race, then watch this race replay below!

“Hilda’s Passion” breaks the 6f mark at 1:07.98 here (but it doesn’t count as this was a 7f race) but does break the 7f mark with a 1:20.45 clocking a new 7f mark at Gulfstream Park! I think we found our older lady sprinter to bank on this year with Hilda’s Passion!