Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Picks: Bombs away with Smart Remark

A soft course could produce a wacky result in the G2 Turf Sprint
A soft course could produce a wacky result in the G2 Turf Sprint

The Grade II Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes is Race 10 on the card and the fifth race as part of the Derby City-6 on Oaks Day this Friday at Churchill Downs. 2020 winner Diamond Oops is back to try and win this race for the second year on the spin but what does our in-house handicapper think about the race?

He previews the race below along with his full slate of selections for the card under the Twin Spires. For picks from across the US this Friday then check out our Picks page (linked to below) which is updated overnight with a full slate of selections from the HorseRacing.net team...

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With a lack of a standout and a turf course presumably on the soft side, the G2 Turf Sprint has chaos written all over it. I suppose Fiya (#2) is the horse to beat here. He’s a legitimately talented turf sprinter, but I think he may have been prematurely crowned as one of the best in his division and his last two races merely fit with this field rather than give him any kind of edge. Furthermore, I don’t think the likely course condition is going to do him any favors since he was underwhelming on “good” turf two back at Laurel Park. He can win, but I’ll be playing against him.

To me, Diamond Oops (#9) is a far more deserving favorite. He did throw in a bit of a clunker last out in the G3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream, but this guy is a classy and versatile sprinter that won this race in 2020 under similar conditions. I’m expecting him to deliver a similar kind of effort here, but even if he does it’s not a foregone conclusion he’s going to win, and he, too, is going to be a relatively short price.

Another shortish price I’ll be using is Fast Boat (#8), who really came alive over this turf course last year with an explosive 4 ¾-length victory in an optional claimer with a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, however he does not seem to appreciate any cut in the ground and I’m a little dismayed that he’s actually the morning-line favorite at 7-2. In order to really take him seriously as a straight-up proposition he’d have to drift up from that number.

So with doubt swirling around the likely favorites, the question becomes: who do you go to? Well, as I stated earlier, I think this race is ripe for chaos, which is exactly what I think Smart Remark (#7) can deliver. He has a habit of going off form for extended periods of time, but at his best Smart Remark can contend with a field like this. Two years ago he finished second in this race behind World of Trouble, who is one of the best sprinters on either surface over the past decade, and later that same year he nearly won a loaded edition of the G3 Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs. Last year, he looked to be launching a menacing rally in this race but was stymied as the field turned for home and lost all chance. He’s done nothing in 2021 to suggest he’s ready to step up and tackle stakes competition, but Victoria Oliver horses have a penchant for popping up with big efforts when you least expect them. With the conditions of this race such as they are, I think the time may be now for this bomb to detonate.

 

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