Racing at Hollywood Park with Marc Doche: Affirmed ahead of Triple Crown bid
- Updated: June 3, 2012
Six days before I’ll Have Another attempts to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed accomplished the remarkable feat 34 years ago, the 34th running of the $100,000 Grade III Handicap named in his honor sees six 3-year-olds compete over 1 1/16-miles on the main track.
Still with just a maiden victory to show for all the hype, Holy Candy is the 2-to-1 favorite off a six-week layoff since closing to finish fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) at Keeneland. It was the first time the son of Candy Ride failed to finish in the exacta after three runner-up efforts to start his career, including getting run down to miss by just half a length when he debuted over this strip going 6 ½-furlongs last November.
Liaison reeled off three straight wins to end 2011 punctuated with his score in the Cash Call Futurity (Grade I). The son of Indian Charlie has been beaten soundly in all four starts this year, but his sixth-place finish last time out in the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) was respectable and he rates a big shot as the 5-to-2 second choice and 122-lb. high weight back on his favorite footing.
Another much ballyhooed runner, Blingo sits at 6-to-1 today after a half-length win at odds-on over Santa Anita’s turf course in the La Puente on April 20. However, that win by the son of Artie Schiller was not visually impressive and he’s settled for sixth in both main track efforts.
With the three runners above doing their running from off the pace, Gun Boat will look to run away on the lead at 9-to-2 in his first route. After breaking his maiden at first asking last summer at Del Mar, the son of Congrats is winless in three ensuing starts while never finishing more than a length behind the winner.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (1,2,4,6,7) – Off his last two debacles, No. 4 Highway Bandit will surely go off at huge odds, but he continues to train well on the drop in class and his races last year make him tough against these.
The top choice obviously can’t be trusted completely, so we’ll spread with No. 1 Rock This Way, No. 2 E Z Lead, No. 6 Hurricane Lake and No. 7 Temerity.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (3,6,7) – Things looks chalky here with the top two riders on the best stock aboard No. 3 He’s Very Rare and No. 7 Valley Cat.
No. 6 The Unusual One could pull off the minor upset in his third start since moving to Richard Baltas.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (ALL) – Along with the four listed above, both No. 1 Nonios, who crushed twice at Golden Gate before running third against older runners, and No. 5 Unusual Heatwave, who just won the Snow Chief Stakes over this track, can get the money so we’ll use them all.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (1,6,7) – No. 1 Candy Trophy is dangerous speeding to the lead from the inside post, while No. 6 Wild Truffles is logical after just missing in her last and No. 7 Revered makes her turf debut in the second off a long layoff.
Recap – (1,2,4,6,7) w (3,6,7) w (ALL) w (1,6,7) – Total cost of ticket = $135
Yesterday’s Result – (-$128)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$1,782.40)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (1,2,4) – A contested pace should set things up for No. 1 Warren’s Morgan if she can maneuver a trip from the rail with Bejarano back aboard.
Joe Talamo opts for No. 2 Backwoods Belle, who is one of two three-time winners along with No. 4 One Magical Girl.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,4,6) – No. 4 Kissin in the Dark could get brave on the lead with a bug boy taking over and hold off class-droppers No. 1 Perpetua and No. 6 Sudden Sunday.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (1,3,4) – Expect No. 1 Obviously to be back on the pace and tough to handle. If he cracks, No. 3 Rauschenberg can make it a perfect 3-for-3 over this layout.
No. 4 Venomous could also roll late on the drop in class, but we’re skeptical of No. 2 Majestic City making his return on turf.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (5,6) – Lots of early speed can set things up for closers No. 5 Circle Drive and No. 6 Gallant Gent, however the scratch of No. 1 Master Chef isn’t ideal for that scenario.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (3,4,5,7) – Spread four-deep with maiden allowance runners on turf using No. 3 Stratify, No. 4 Yomybato, No. 5 Swift Eagle and No. 7 God Of War.
Recap – (1,2,4) w (1,4,6) w (1,3,4) w (5,6) w (3,4,5,7) – Total cost of ticket = $108
Yesterday’s Result – (-$90)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (+$151.10)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
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