Weekend handicapping 7-20 to 7-23

We taped That Handicapping Show this morning, and I went with Finnegans Wake in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby (Race 9 at Colonial Downs, Saturday, 8:38 ET).

He is appealing beyond the "other Romans" angle (Dale Romans also trains favorite Silver Max, a winner of five in a row). Finnegans Wake is by Powerscourt, a multiple Group 1 winner going 1 1/4 miles. He has a good turn of foot and the patterns-of-motion of a stayer.

Finnegans Wake also has been improving. He followed up his wide fourth-pace finish behind Silver Max in the 1 /16-mile American Turf (G2) with a great looking win in a NW1 allowance going 1 1/8 miles. Finnegans Wake ran his final three furlongs in 34-flat that day.

His opposition includes stablemate Silver Max, a dominant winner of five in a row, and Summer Front, who is a perfect 4-for-4 on turf. Those are two very nice three-year-old turf colts, but Silver Max doesn't hold much backand this is his first try beyond 8.5 furlongs. Summer Front is by War Front, an exciting new sire who is consistently producing sprinters and milers. I am willing to take a gamble against them with Finnegans Wake (10-1 ML odds) at 1 1/4 miles.

Other races of interest this weekend include the Delaware Handicap (G2), where Royal Delta will face Awesome Maria in a battle to see who is the top older filly or mare in the country. I love Royal Delta but doubt she will go off at bettable odds. Regardless, this race is not to be missed (Delaware Race 10, 5:45 ET).

I am about to dig into the rest of the Saturday action. I'll leave this blog up all weekend for questions, picks etc...Good luck!

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