Friday actually has more intriguing longshot possibilities than Saturday, so here we go.
MISS MATCH (Ladies Classic) – She’ll be totally ignored, but is coming off a solid fourth against the boys in the Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) after racing in eighth and last, 13 lengths off the lead. She beat Switch in the Santa Margarita (gr. I), but has been inconsistent all through her career. Despite that, she still has won six of 24 starts and can beat you from anywhere on the track. Impressive winner of Argentine Oaks. Since coming to America she’s been ridden by 11 different jockeys, but Gomez seems to fit her just right.
SUM OF THE PARTS (Juvenile Sprint) – Son of Speightstown was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill going 4 ½ furlongs. Troubled trips in the Bashford Manor (gr. III) and Sapling (gr. III), but still finished respectable fourth and fifth, respectively. Ran a good second in Kip Deville Stakes at Remington in last start, pressing a :21 2/5 and :43 2/5 pace from the 10-post.
TANDA (F&M Sprint) – Classy and consistent. Ran a super race to finish third in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) last year after being carried six-wide turning for home. It is the only time she has raced on dirt. Handles any distance and should be sitting in stalking position.
CHAMPAGE d’ORO (F& M Sprint) – she is one of my megabombs picks because of form loss, but the feeling here is that the Lady’s Secret (gr. I) was a wake-up race for her after she opened a two-length lead at the eighth pole before finishing fourth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths. Like the fact she’s dropping back into a sprint off that performance. If she can return to the form that won her the grade I Test and Acorn last year she can run a huge race against these fillies.
MISS NETTA (Juvenile Fillies) – Her last (Frizette Stakes) was huge after bad break and dropping 17 lengths off the pace. Despite having to go four-wide turning for home, she still managed to close well to finish a non-threatening third, well clear of the fourth-place finisher.
STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (Juvenile Fillies Turf) – Putting her in the BC Juvenile Turf could turn out to be a smart move based on her workout on the grass in company with Sweet Cat. By More Than Ready, the sire of last year’s BC Juvenile Fillies Turf winner More Than Real (also trained by Pletcher), she seemed to glide over the grass and got the better of her workmake under no urging at all. No reason why she shouldn’t handle the grass in a race.
CAMBINA (F&M Turf) – She is a consistent closer at distances ranging from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles and can be right there if the pace is fast enough for her. Although she was fifth in the Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) in her last start, she still was beaten only 2 ½ lengths, making up four lengths in the final furlong, while coming home final quarter in :22 4/5.
HARMONIOUS – Had a big excuse last year and has been flying home in all her starts this year. The daughter of Dynaformer, trained by John Shirreffs, looks great physically and is coming off a sharp seven-furlong work in 1:25 1/5 at Hollywood Park. If she can take back in this field and gets a clear run, she, like Cambina, should be picking off a lot of them in the final furlong.
In this morning’s activity, Uncle Mo was literally leaping off the track, especially while changing leads, and is acting like a horse who is very sharp. Regardless of what the experts said about his last work, he looks fantastic and his gallops since that work have been strong and smooth.
Also from the Pletcher barn, Aikenite is carrying good flesh and is giving off signals that he’s sitting on a big effort in the BC Sprint (gr. I). If the lead is contentious and the pace fast, expect to see him flying late.
Rattlesnake Bridge, who we mentioned yesterday, looked great out there again today and made an impressive appearance. Somewhere in this horse’s career he is going to launch a rocket, and if happens to be on Saturday, the payoffs will be enormous.
Havelock is usually the first out there in the morning and seems to be doing everything right. Watch for him coming late in the BC Turf Sprint.
Word out of the Ballydoyle camp is that Daddy Long Legs is one of their biggest hopes, if the not their biggest. But the BC Juvenile (gr. I) is a very tough field. By Scat Daddy, out of a Meadlowlake mare, he has a better than average chance of handling the dirt