JUNE 15, 2018, STEPHEN FOSTER DAY SELECTIONS FOR SATURDAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS FOR BRISNET.COM, BY RICHARD ENG, AUTHOR OF BETTING ON HORSE RACING FOR DUMMIES
Race 1 – #4 LIFE MISSION has already acquitted himself well in 3 turf stakes while still a maiden. We’ll need a hot early pace but he will come flying fast late. #3 ISLAND SONG tries turf for the first time but could be the speed of the speed. #12 SPIROGYRA has two major changes so improvement is expected. He runs as a first time gelding and with blinkers on today. #5 DECLINED also has a lot of early speed so if Island Song breaks a step slow this colt will be in front.
Suggested Plays: $1 exacta box 3, 4, 5, 12 ($12)
Race 2 – #9 SALLY’S CURLIN has been bet in all four of her career starts. Trainer Dale Romans now tries blinkers on so I expect improvement today. #8 HIGH ROAD exits a key race that had fast internal fractions. Should appreciate the softer pace of this mile event. #1 PRIVATE MESSAGE had the misfortune of chasing Guarana who next out won the Acorn on Belmont Stakes day. #4 DOLL COLLECTION is by Tapit so they can take time to develop. Trainer Ralph Nicks adding blinkers on.
Suggested Plays: $1 exacta box 1, 4, 8, 9 ($12); $1 exacta box key 9 with 1, 4, 8 ($6)
Race 3 – #6 MR. CROW has a lot of back class for certain. He’s two races into his comeback so this third start in his form cycle can be his best. #2 LOOSE ON THE TOWN got a needed start in last off a 7-month hiatus. He’s capable of upsetting these at a price. #4 CUMMINGS is more dependable on dirt than he is on grass. His win two races ago if repeated can beat this field too.
Suggested Plays: $1 exacta box 2, 4, 6 ($6)
Race 4 – #7 BRIDALED TEMPER ran like a horse that needed a race last time off a 6-month hiatus. Is reunited with Julien Leparoux who rode her the last time this filly won. #5 ENCHANTING KITTEN is also a horse coming off a badly needed conditioning race. She had been away 15 months before running at Keeneland. Mike Maker adding blinkers on today too. #1 JOY OF TREASURE is reunited with Jose Ortiz. They figure to be able to save all of the ground and swing out for the stretch run.
Suggested Plays: $1 exacta box 1, 5, 7 ($6)
Race 5 – #3 NOLO CONTESTO ships in from Santa Anita where he was good enough to defeat Omaha Beach and lose twice to Roadster. Belmont Stakes winning jockey Joel Rosario takes the call for John Sadler. #2 SIGNALMAN was never in the hunt in the Preakness last time out. He is a dead late closer who will need some early pace to do his best running late. #6 MR. MONEY exploded with a monster win in the Pat Day Mile. He is battle tested but the question is if he can repeat that last race.
Suggested Plays: $5 WPS #3 ($15); $1 exacta box 2, 3, 6 ($6)
Race 6 – #9 INSPECTOR LYNLEY didn’t get much of a trip in the Dixie last time so Jose Ortiz is back on. He likes to stay covered up and then make one big rally in the stretch. #7 ITSINTHEPOST is a Southern California turf favorite. With Santa Anita having issues this winter, a handful of trainers set up barns back East and Midwest. Question is how tight he’ll be off a 9-month hiatus. #3 FIRST PREMIO is a real sleeper in this field. He has good tactical speed and draws well to save ground and maybe sit third or fourth going into the first turn.
Suggested Plays: $5 WPS #9 ($15); $2 exacta box 3, 7, 9 ($12)
Race 7 – #3 ELATE has lost twice now to Midnight Bisou who most consider the leader of the Distaff Handicap division. Plus both losses came at Oaklawn Park, potentially a surface Elate did not like. #2 SHE’S A JULIE is a proven amazon at Churchill Downs winning 3 of 5 starts here. In this 6-horse field a few of these will want to stalk the early pace. #5 BLUE PRIZE is another mare who loves Churchill Downs as her 6 of 7 in the money finishes attests too. She too like a stalking trip.
Suggested Plays: $10 WPS #3 ($30); $5 exacta box key 3 with 2, 5 ($20)
Race 8 – #4 SEEKING THE SOUL seldom runs two good races in a row, but when he is good he is one of the best in the handicap division. He is 9 of 11 in the money at Churchill Downs so he muscles up in stakes over his home track. #6 GIFT BOX became a born again racehorse after being shipped to trainer John Sadler at Santa Anita. Despite being a 6-YO he is running the fastest speed figures of his life right now. #12 YOSHIDA has not been seen since he split the field in the Dubai World Cup. He is capable of running some big races when he is right.
Suggested Plays: $2 exacta box 4, 6, 12 ($12); $2 exacta box key 4 with 6, 12 ($8)
Race 9 – #4 VARENKA may look like a lightweight because she just won her MSW at Belmont Park. But look at her prior races in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and two difficult NYRA turf stakes. She has earned her stripes. #1 WINTER SUNSET gets the ground saving rail post. She is stabled at Churchill Downs so this is her home track. #11 PRINCESA CAROLINA has as strong a resume as anyone in the field. The key for me is she must overcome a parking lot post. Unless she can sneak inside there is potential ground loss in her future. #5 HARD LEGACY is one of many Casse family entries, none coupled. Expect Julien Leparoux to take a hold and make one big late run.
Suggested Plays: $5 WPS #4 ($15); 50-cent trifecta box 1, 4, 5, 11 ($12)
Race 10 – I don’t get to see Arabian racing much but the main difference among the breeds is these horses do run a bit slower. #5 EASTER MAN A will be ridden by Carol Cedeno. If you have never heard of her she is a leading riding at the Mid-Atlantic racetracks. She excels best at Delaware Park. #9 QUICK AND RICH A will be ridden by one of Churchill Downs all-time leading riders Corey Lanerie. Quick And Rich won the 2017 edition of this stakes race. #1 MADJIKMAN A can save all the ground which is usually very important. K. J. Coa is the son of former jockey Eibar Coa.
Suggested Plays: $5 WPS #5 ($15); $2 exacta box 1, 5, 9 ($12)
Race 11 – #12 THUNDERSHOOK takes the biggest class drop in racing from MSW to maiden claiming. Need not be much horse to graduate over these. #9 GAME DAY DECISION improved nicely when dropped down for a price tag. He is dropped again from $50,000 to $30,000 further improving his chances. #RUM BOBBY returns as a first time gelding and for a price tag. The ultimate equipment change can produce immediate results.
Suggested Plays: $2 exacta box 8, 9, 12 ($12)
Best Bet of the Day: #3 ELATE (race 7)
Best Value Bet of the Day: #4 VARENKA (race 8)
Richard Eng’s daily handicapping report for Del Mar, Los Alamitos and Santa Anita races is available at www.racedaylasvegas.com. He writes a bi-monthly newcomers column for America’s Best Racing web site. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or follow him on Twitter @richeng4propick
TODAY AT SANTA ANITA PARK; Cost $6.50; June 15, 2019 by Richard Eng
Post Time 1 p.m. PT
Race 1 – 6 furlongs, Purse $32,000, Claiming $12,500, 3-year-olds and up
4 Big Shanty – Just claimed by Javier Sierra who pops him into a nice spot for a quick ROI, speedy sort
6 Baby Bear’s Soup – Suspect will be stalking the pace of Big Shanty, a duel would kill off both of them
Long Shot – 5 Boy Howdy
Race 2 – 1 1/8th miles (turf), Purse $67,000, Optional claiming $40,000, 3-year-olds and up
7 Kenjisstorm – Gave a good account of herself in last when lead until the final 100 yards
6 Hardboot – Figures to sit in arrears and hope to have a solid pace to close into, Mario Gutierrez up
Long Shot – 5 Trojan Spirit
Race 3 – 6 ½ furlongs, Purse $46,000, Claiming $35,000, Fillies, 3-year-olds
3 Portal Creek – Pretty dreary heat to only draw four starters after the scratch of Suprema
1 Bam Bams Lil River – Draws the rail post where she might be tempted to take back early n come on late
Long Shot – 4 Time for Suzzie
Race 4 – 5 furlongs (turf), Purse $65,000, Maiden special weights, Cal-breds, 3-year-olds and up
1 Hit The Seam – Excuse in last when the rein broke on Mario Gutierrez, it’s like no steering wheel
6 Fredrikstad – Closed like a banshee in his career debut, the turf has been really speed favoring of late
Long Shot – 2 Give Me The Lute
Race 5 – 1 mile, Purse $69,000, Optional claiming $80,000, 3-year-olds and up
1 King Abner – Draws the advantageous rail in this 2-turn mile, ran well in the Steve Sexton Mile
3 El Huerfano – You don’t see many 7-YOs claimed n especially for $62,500, Vladimir Cerin takes over
Long Shot – 5 Draft Pick
Race 6 – 1 mile (turf), Purse $67,000, Optional claiming $40,000, Fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up
3 Peter’s Kitten – She’s a grinder type who may need to be ridden a bit more aggressively turning for home
8 Point Hope – Makes her third start in her form cycle, this should be the race she moves it forward
Long Shot – 7 Querelle
Race 7 – 6 ½ furlongs, Purse $32,000, Claiming $16,000, 3-year-olds and up
10 Senditlikechilly – One thing about Norberto Arroyo, Jr. is he will always put his mount into the race
8 Mo Dinero – Tepid chalk from very live connections in Jonathan Wong and NoCal jock Abel Cedillo
Long Shot – 9 Sir Eddie
Race 8 – 6 furlongs, $100,000 Thors Echo Handicap, Cal-breds, 3-year-olds and up
1 Coil Me Home – Hard knocker is 7 of 9 in the money, his best races are when he comes off the pace
6 Desert Law – He ran like a short horse off a 10-month hiatus, figures to be much tighter tonight
Long Shot – 4 Smiling Angelo
Race 9 – 1 mile (turf), Purse $42,000, Maiden claiming $50,000, Fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up
6 Shanghai Truffles – After seeing her two turf sprints she clearly looked like she wants to go longer
8 Dulverton Darling – She is cutting back in distance to face these, by top turf sire Artie Schiller
Long Shot – 1 Darpa
Best Bet – 1 King Abner (race 5)
Santa Anita Park Friday – Picks/Winners/Mutuels, 15/2/$11.20; Long Shots, 8/0/$0.00; Best Bet, 1/0/$0
Santa Anita Meet Totals – 577/158/$972.20; Long Shots, 292/44/$401.00; Best Bets, 35/13/$52.40
SIMO POD –#4 Varenka (4/1) in race 9 at Churchill Downs. For scoring purposes, we’ll make a mythical $2 win, place and show bet, $6 total. Seattle Affair ran third at Woodbine paying $3.10 to show – 81/57/$533.40; Follow me on Twitter: @richeng4propick; Register to my home page for FREE at www.racedaylasvegas.com