Friday, September 4, 2009

Stakes Triple

The Arlington-Washington Futurity lacks luster this year. Was it the stewards having to decide the winner last year (Terrain, RIP)? This seems like a nice prep for the Breeders Futurity at Keeneland, but I would guess only two of these might make the trip. Dixie Band will be the short-priced favorite and I'm going to try to beat him. He gets an outside post and the pedigree suggests he wants to route, but it was the lackadasical finish in the Spectacular Bid that has me searching for value. Piscatelli and Oak Motte are where I land. I like Amoss a lot and when he teams up with Eddie Razo the strike percentage is an amazing 58%. Another reason I'm going against Dixie is Dave Flores. Why not put Diego back in the irons? He's won on both Dixie and Stidham's U Appeal to Me, who grabbed second in the Spectacular Bid with one of the nation's leading jocks Desormeaux on board.

Piscatelli has the mile and shipped in early to acclimate to the surface. The pace should boil over with all the heat inside and he should have the most in the tank at the end. But I'm gonna put Oak Motte ahead of him because I like the connections and think he'll run smartly if the pace is too much. Rounding it out will be the Catman's Dixie Band.

Oak Motte
Dixie Band

The Washington
While the East and West get Rachel and Colonel John, the middle west gets Church Service. Oh well, still a good race here. No one seems especially primed for the effort, except Wicked Style who gets the nod from me. This guy looked like he could be prominent on the Triple Crown trail a few years back, but beaten 41 lengths by War Pass in the slop made the connections reconsider, though they did win the Futurity at Keeneland on the poly. And that's one of the reasons I'm going with him. The surface, distance and form suggest he could break out and make a memorable note for the season. Behind him goes the Usual Suspect, a Barry Abrams charge who also likes polytrack with the recent surprise win over Church Service at Del Mar in the Cougar. This horse has butte, blinks and lasix and very little rest, but he seems the type of warhorse that could prevail and gets the top jock. Rounding it out is the aforementioned Church Service who runs best with a few more furlongs, but wouldnt be surprised if he still conquered this field.

Wicked Style
Usual Suspect
Church Service

The Lassie
Referred to as little Rachel by the Catman She Be Wild should destroy this field. There will be no value here, but enjoy the race; she's fun to watch. Tiz Miz Sue enters from the Hobby barn and looks like a top caliber filly. Not enough to catch the winner, but good to be bridesmaid. Finally Thatswhatshesaid gets a nice post and could surprise here. I hope she hits the board, she's run very well.

She Be Wild
Tiz Miz Sue

Looks like I've picked Junior to figure first in two and second in the other. Maybe I have a bias for the top jock. He certainly deserves the honors. It's been a tough meet for the jockeys, elder statesman and perennial champ Rene Douglas and bugboy Mike Straight have no feeling below the waist. Let's keep them in our thoughts and hope their recoveries go well.

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