After a two-day hiatus to enjoy a trip to New York for the Belmont Stakes, we go to press from the Jet Blue terminal at JFK ahead of Sunday’s nine-race card at Hollywood Park.
Despite the disappointment of I’ll Have Another scratching from his attempt to win the Triple Crown and being retired, we were treated to a festive day of racing and a heart-pounding victory by Union Rags.
It was redemption day for the son of Dixie Union trained by Michael Matz after getting stifled with bad rides in the Kentucky and Florida Derbies and his owner Phyllis Wyeth was rewarded for her efforts to buy back at auction the horse she bred and had let go.
Bob Baffert and Ahmed Zayat completed the runner-up triple with Paynter getting run down on the lead in similar fashion to what happened with Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. While winning races is the name of the game, they’re accomplishment is remarkable and they should be commended for the class they exuded during this classic season.
A solid group of eight females hit the turf course for a mile in the featured $70,000 Redondo Beach, where Star Billing is the 5-to-2 favorite in her 4-year-old debut making her first start outside of a graded stakes since she beat maidens in the first start of her career. The daughter of Dynaformer closed 2011 with four straight starts in Grade I events, finally breaking through to win the Matriarch over this turf course in November.
All Star Heart is the 3-to-1 co-second choice also making her first start since November after getting all the money in 5-of-7 starts last year. All of those came at a mile on turf and were punctuated when the 5-year-old daughter of Arch scored her first graded stakes win in the Las Palmas (Grade II) at Santa Anita.
Also listed at 3-to-1, Briecat makes her third start off the layoff after just getting run down on the lead in the Wilshire (Grade III) on April 29. The last two times in the 7-year-old daughter of Adcat made her third start off a layoff she regressed badly and that could happen again today with other speed to keep her company on the front end.
We’re off to the races!
Pick 4 -
Leg 1 – Race 6 (2,5,6) – Another spin over a mile on turf for fillies, this time a first level allowance where No. 6 Romantic Wish should get another shot at leading in wire-to-wire fashion after getting blown past through the stretch by a promising runner in her last.
No. 2 Triveni’s first twoU.S.starts make her a contender here with Joel Rosario back board and No. 5 So She Dances is improving and stretches out with Rafael Bejarano sticking in the irons.
Leg 2 – Race 7 (2) – No. 2 Muse of Fire returns for Baffert with a quartet of a.m. bullets in tow in a maiden heat where none of the experienced runners have shown much and the first-timers come from connections that don’t win out of the gate.
Leg 3 – Race 8 (2,6,7) – Along with the two preferred listed above, use No. 2 Calle Vista, who has finished in the exacta in 8-of-12 starts, runs well fresh and may work out the best trip saving ground just off the speed.
Leg 4 – Race 9 (1,3,7,8) – Cal-bred babies looking to break their maiden and will use they experienced runners with NO. 1 Last Diamond, No. 3 Playful Council, No. 7 Strong Wind and No. 8 Salty Evergreen.
Recap – (2,5,6) w (2) w (2,6,7) w (1,37,8) – Total cost of ticket = $18
Thursday’s Result – (-$108)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (-$2,025.40)
Total from 12/26/10 – 4/22/12 – (+$588.70)
Pick 5 –
Leg 1 – Race 1 (ALL) – Non-winners of two start the day with a short field of five having combined for a lot of losses and difficult to separate off their ineptitude.
Leg 2 – Race 2 (1,2,3,6) – Four-deep in this turf sprint with No. 1 Risky Art, No. 2 Helonor Rugby, No. 3 Lasso From El Paso and No. 6 Belle Gallantey.
Leg 3 – Race 3 (2,3,5,6) – Again we use four of the six runners with No. 2 Meadow Road, No. 3 Grumpy Small Mouth, No. 5 Warren’s Rail Bird and No. 6 Night Wind.
Leg 4 – Race 4 (2,4,5) – Short, but difficult to narrow down fields through the first four races culminates here and we use half the field with No. 2 Elusive Cookies, No. 4 Sean S and No. 5 Sizzling Gold.
Leg 5 – Race 5 (9) – A solid group for this maiden claiming level, but dropper No. 9 Royal Meridian appears to be the fastest and should get the trip breaking from the outside. He’s a 5-year-old making just his fourth career start, but he blitzed a bullet in fine fashion since his last and should be dropping to score.
Recap – (ALL) w (1,2,3,6) w (2,3,5,6) w (2,4,5) w (9) – Total cost of ticket = $120
Thursday’s Result – (+$154.95)
Total for current Hollywood Park spring/summer meet – (+$198.05)
Total from 7/20/11 – 4/22/12 – (+$2,150.80)
Best Bet of the Day – Can now be found in the free analysis section at www.theracingedition.com along with an early Pick-4 ticket and a consensus box for the entire card.
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