Race 8 - NY-Bred Maidens, 1 1/16 Turf
Simply put these races - most of the time - go to the right connections. That being said Chingachgook is an obvious pick. This son of Empire Maker has been knocking on the door for Graham Motion in his last two, sits in the garden spot for new jock Leparoux, who excels on the turf. No trainer is hotter than Chad Brown, picking up his fourth win yesterday from only eight starts. Atitlan has some decent turf pedigree and has been working steadily towards this unveiling. Look no further....
Race 9 - Diana - Grade 1 F&M 1 1/8 Turf
Wow! You won't see many Grade 1 fields as tight and talented as this one. Each entrant has a graded stakes win with Proviso, Phola and Forever Together having multiple Grade 1 victories. I see two ways go, using the three top-tier fillies or mare listed above or hitting the "All" button. Call me chicken, but the "All" button is where I'm going. Just as an argument can be made against the rest of field, let me make a case for: My Princess Jess (win over the track an only a neck and half away from Proviso in last); Dynaslew (has awoken in last three with new trainer Seth Bezel and has potential to wire field); Shared Account (back-to-back top notch efforts) and Maram (did I mention she is trained by Chad Brown?) Dismiss any of these at your own risk.
Race 10 - Jim Dandy - Grade II - Colts 1 1/8
A field of nine that lacks the star power of Monmouth's Haskell and as I see it, a much easier race to handicap. A Little Warm and Miner's Reserve put up two of the best Beyer speed figures of all three-year-olds in their one-two finish in an optional claimer at Deleware. I like A Little Warm more since he doesn't need the front as much as Miner's Reserve and there looks to be several others that want the front in here. The classiest of all here is probably Fly Down. Besides his steadied Louisiana Derby run, he's won two and just missed in the Belmont Stakes.
Race 11 - $25,000 Claiming, 3YO and Up, 1 1/16 Turf
The definition of a difficult handicapping race - six last out winners from the first eleven entrants...whew. If I get this far, the three that will be on my ticket are: Chromospere goes for mediocre jockey turned crazy good trainer Rudy Rodriguez. You simply have to include this one off Rodriguez's recent success! Ticondero is two for his last three and you might get a price due to his trainer and his shipping in from Churchill. Although with Leparoux up, he could end up the favorite. British Banker is my top choice even though you have to go back to February for his last win. Going from an allowance starter to this level may even be considered a class drop and by the way, Chad Brown trains....
For those keeping track, that's a $1 Pick Four of: 1-5/ALL/5-9/1-3-9 for $84