Most Likely Winner: (Race 1: Queen of Pompeii #9, 4/1):
Here is a Cal bred with some nice efforts under her belt for trainer Carla Gaines. She is out of Temple City, and those take to the grass nicely. Like father, like daughter … This filly is in form, and she should be able to rise to the occasion once again. Look for her to secure her maiden victory in fine fashion, as track announcer Trevor Denham is prone to say. Should be a good price too at somewhere above 4/1. Maybe JJ Hernandez can get hot … he does have that history when it comes to lawn jockeying.
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #9
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 3: Candy On Top #2, 6/1):
Keeping with the Carla Gaines-theme in this analysis, I found another one of hers that looks pretty inviting. Normally, trying to play a 1st time starter is more than just difficult, but I like several aspects when it comes to Candy On Top #2. She could be excellent on this surface, especially being out of Twirling Candy. Those handle tough spots … plus, she is getting Jessica Pyfer in the saddle, and she benefits from the weight reduction. Finally, her works are solid and preparations seem to be streaming along nicely. If she drifts towards 9/1, then she could be an amazing bet. I do not offer up ones like this often, so Gaines’ filly could be a great play.
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 6: Dirt, 7F, Real Good Deal S. $175k, 3):
This “Non-G” brings together some nice sprinters who like to go a touch longer. At 7F they need a unique combination of speed and stamina that you do not find in any other race. The favorite will end up being Eric Kruljac’s The Chosen Vron #1. He is loaded with class after winning the Grade III Affirmed S. back at Santa Anita in mid-June. That was his 3rd win in-a-row, and he can make 4 in this spot, very easily. That doesn’t mean that runners like Tim McCanna’s Top Harbor #3 or Phil D’Amato’s Atomic Drop #4 will not try to stand in his way. That pair have some ability; whereas the former has Golden Gate 75k race experience, while the latter is a class riser who won nicely by 8-lengths in a MSW61k sprint at Santa Anita last time. I wouldn’t try and talk anyone off these selections because they have the capability to win.
Still, I much prefer a major price than just accepting these shorter priced options. In that vein, Doug O’Neill’s Found My Ball #2 is exciting-looking. The colt out of Square Eddie is a Reddam Racing homebred, and once again Mario Gutierrez (O’Neill’s go-to rider) gets aboard. There is some hidden class that you could form an argument around, and though he has taken to the turf recently, switching back to the dirt actually makes sense. The sire Square Eddie has some upside too, and O’Neill clearly believes that taking the “blinkers off” is the right move. If you could get 15/1 when the tote finally settles … would be a magnificent overlay. Don’t just include them … put them on top!