This is going to be short and hopefully sweet
JUVENILE FILLIES – You can either look at this race as Songbird’s to lose or an East-West showdown between Songbird and Rachel’s Valentina. Or there is a third way to look at – more wide-open than most people think. After all, if you like Rachel’s Valentina you have to like Tap to It. If you like Songbird you have to give Land Over Sea a big chance based on her steady improvement. And do we have any idea how good the Frizette was, with Nickname winning so impressively, even though they crawled home in the slop?
It’s almost impossible to come up with a longshot in here, so we’ll go with the next best thing, and that is the two runners-up to Songbird and Rachel’s Valentina, LAND OVER SEA and TAP TO IT, both listed at 8-1 and both eligible to improve off their last. And they will save ground breaking from the two inside posts, while Songbird and Rachel’s Valentina break from the two outside posts. If they get hung wide it could bring all four horses closer together.
TURF SPRINT – I have no strong feelings here. Undrafted is an obvious choice for the exotics, but frankly, anyone ca win this race, especially with all the speed in here. Even Bobby’s Kitten has a good chance of repeating at 15-1.
Paul Reddam has had good luck in the Breeders’ Cup and there is no reason why JIMMY BOUNCER can’t win this race from just off the pace, also at 15-1.
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT – Cavorting is the horse to beat even from post 14, and I wouldn’t dismiss last year’s winner Judy the Beauty, who everyone has all but dismissed. But my value pick is 12-1 WAVELL AVENUE, who can stay in touch with the leaders and has a strong closing kick.
FILLY AND MARE TURF – The Euros look strong with Legatissimo and Miss France, but don’t dismiss 12-1 QUEEN’S JEWEL who was the best 3-year-old filly in France this spring for Freddy Head, winning her first three career starts, including the group III Prix Penelope and the grade I Prix Saint-Alary and was the 8-5 favorite for the French Oaks, but ran terribly in a performance that was too bad to be true. Out for four months, she ran a decent fifth in the group I Prix de l’Opera, beaten 4 ¾ lengths and may be rounding back in form. She gets Lasix and could be an overlay in here.
Chilean import DACITA, winner of the Ballston Spa coming from far back in her U.S debut for Chad Brown, could be any kind and may be worth a wager. If a decent price.
SPRINT –This is pretty simple. Private Zone and Runhappy are going to be tough to catch. But there is a ton of top-class speed, so if you’re looking for someone to come late and pick up the pieces, KOBE’S BACK has a monster stretch kick but usually breaks badly, and SALUTOS AMIGOS is coming off a sensational performance in the Vosburgh after an eventful trip. He’s maintained his form for a long time.
MILE – Good luck trying to beat the six Euros, including two big heavy hitters from Andre Fabre. The Euros are so strong, last year’s winner Karakontie is listed at 12-1. But there are two Americans who will be a price that could run big. They are TOURIST. Who is consistent and has a big closing kick and is trained by Bill Mott, and MSHAWISH. who has been training super and looks to be returning to his Florida winter form after finishing a strong third behind Solow, the top miler in Europe, and the Grey Gatsby in the grade I Dubai Turf. He could be a live longshot.
JUVENILE – There are so many top Derby prospects in here and the big names, Brody’s Cause, Greenpointcrusader, and unbeaten Nyquist are all exciting colts. Many didn’t care for Nyquist’s score in the Frontrunner, but not many are aware that his saddle slipped at the start, which makes his performance better than it seemed. Exaggerator looks strong as well, and if you’re bold enough to try to beat all these horses, CONQUEST BIG E looked great breaking his maiden, running two full seconds faster than the other division, and was second to Brody's Cause in his career debut. Also, UNBRIDLED OUTLAW had a ton of trouble in the Iroquois Stakes and still finished a good third. And don’t throw out Nyquist’s stablemate RALIS off his disappointing effort in the slop in the Champagne, He was extremely impressive winning the Hopeful Stakes and could win this off that effort.
TURF – English Derby and Arc de Triomphe winner Golden Horn is the obvious standout here, but no Arc winner has ever won the Turf if you’re looking for some hope of beating him. How ironic would it be if Big Blue Kitten’s rabbit, Shining Copper, actually sets it up for stablemate SLUMBER. It could happen, as Slumber has been a different horse since being equipped with blinkers. Despite some bad trips he’s always closing fast and is capable of winning this at a decent price. The Pizza Man might be high at 15-1 and the filly Found had a horrible trip in the Champion Stakes and probably should have won. Finally, for 20-1 I have to put a saver on old reliable TWILIGHT ECLIPSE and play him and Slumber in the exotics with Golden Horn.
CLASSIC – I’ve already made my selections in a previous column. Looking for a crazy bomb to bet and play in the exotics, EFFINEX has the ability on his best day if he behaves. And GLENEAGLES might be worth a saver just in case. You never know.