Saturday, July 05, 2014

The 155th Queen's Plate

In the 154 previous runnings of the Queen's Plate, which is essentially the Canadian equivalent of the Kentucky Derby here in the States, there have been many prominent champions. Northern Dancer in 1964, Dance Smartly in 1991, Awesome Again in 1997, and Wando in 2003 are just some of the great horses to have taken down the Plate. Which horse will join them in 2014 on that list of winners? The 8-5 morning-line favorite to do so is #6 We Miss Artie, who has already won the Plate Trial at Woodbine and finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby back in May. However, I am loathe to be selecting the favorite in a spot like this, especially with a wide-open field of fifteen, so here is the analysis of the 155th Queen's Plate.

The top choice in the Queen's Plate is #15 Ami's Holiday. While he drew outside, there will be plenty of time for him to establish a position that won't cause him to be caught five-wide throughout the race. Jockey Luis Contreras and trainer Josie Carroll teamed up to win the Queen's Plate in 2011 with Inglorious. This colt is exceedingly well-bred, with the Sire being Harlan's Holiday and Victory Gallop on the Dam side. The only issue is that he has not won a race since last October, when he scored in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. He did go down to Keeneland in Kentucky to run fourth in his 2014 debut, the Grade 3 Lexington, and followed that up with a third in a $125K Stakes race at Woodbine last out on May 25. The last plus, I feel, is the apparent value at 10-1 on the morning line.

I will put the favorite, #6 We Miss Artie, in the second spot. Trainer Todd Pletcher has a Queen's Plate victory on his resume' with Archers Bay in 1998. This colt won the Plate Trial on June 15 and finished an even tenth in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Prior to that, he just managed to get up in time to win the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway Park over Harry's Holiday. He did not continue on the Triple Crown trail to focus on returning to Canada to win this particular race. Javier Castellano rode this colt in the Derby and the Plate Trial. There is another major plus for this horse in the Queen's Plate: he is an undefeated 3 for 3 over synthetic surfaces. 8-5 is just too low a price for me to bet him on top.

#10 Matador is also entering the Queen's Plate off of a win in his last race at Woodbine in an Optional Claiming/Allowance race on May 28. That was his first win of 2014, but keep in mind that his previous 2014 races included four graded tries on the Kentucky Derby Trail. Julien Leparoux has the ride here, as he did for all of those American graded efforts.

The most likable longshot in this race just might be #2 Coltimus Prime, who was set at 20-1 on the morning-line and was a winner last time out on June 8. He is another that tried for success on the Road to the Roses, but the best result he got on that road was a fifth in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland.

155th Queen's Plate Top Four Selections: Ami's Holiday, We Miss Artie, Matador, Coltimus Prime

I have a new Twitter handle, which is: @taoMC16, you can follow me there and get selections from Turf Paradise and Vernon Downs, in addition to other random thoughts and posts. The best of luck with all of your Woodbine wagers on Sunday. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

No Crown Again

Tonalist was the winner of the 146th Belmont Stakes on Sunday, getting past the game Commissioner in the final strides to win a photo in the "Test Of Champions". Medal Count ran third and there was dead-heat for fourth between Wicked Strong and Triple Crown hopeful, California Chrome. Tonalist, who won the Peter Pan Stakes over the same Belmont oval, ran the mile and a half in a time of 2:28.52. Jockey Joel Rosario won his first Belmont Stakes in the process, as did trainer Christophe Clement.

In the aftermath of the defeat, the co-owner of California Chrome, Steve Coburn, went off on a nationally-televised rant about how Tonalist and his connections took "the coward's way out" in skipping the first two legs of the Triple Crown and spoiling the party everyone had planned. While I believe that most of this was a bit of shock in losing and a bit of sour grapes, Coburn also missed the point that one of the horses that beat California Chrome, Medal Count, ran eighth in the Kentucky Derby and the horse that finished in a dead-heat with California Chrome, Wicked Strong, finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. So, in essence, Coburn managed to go from good ol' country boy that charmed the nation while coming from nowhere to a sore loser whose basic argument was flawed from the beginning. I could only think of the comparison between this and the charm and class someone like Marylou Whitney displayed when Birdstone defeated Smarty Jones and spoiled his Triple Crown bid in 2004. Whitney actually APOLOGIZED in the Winner's Circle for winning the Belmont Stakes and taking away from the history of the day.

Tonalist was actually supposed to be on the Triple Crown trail with everyone else before an illness forced him out of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. What we saw yesterday was actually a testament to how good a trainer Christophe Clement is to get this horse back in the game so quickly and to get him back in the form that made him a winner. Commissioner, the runner-up, actually ran in some of the prep races for the Kentucky Derby (Fountain Of Youth, Sunland Derby, Arkansas Derby), so do those races not count? Yes, he was unable to earn the points to get a spot in the gate in Louisville, but the horse still put forth the effort to get to the Derby and couldn't do it. Under the way the Triple Crown is currently constituted, both of these horses had every right to be in the starting gate on Saturday and play spoiler to California Chrome.

Now, if you want to change the way the Triple Crown is currently constituted, that's a different story. For some reason, everyone in the racing industry seems to think that the races cannot be moved. Steven Crist of the Daily Racing Form (it's good to have him back, by the way) wrote last week that an argument that I like to put forth is irrelevant. In 1919, Sir Barton won the Preakness just four days after the Kentucky Derby and Gallant Fox won the Preakness FIRST eight days before the Derby in 1930. Let's also include the fact that Sir Barton ran in the Withers five days after the Preakness and before the Belmont. Crist referred to these as "oddities". I will disagree with him on this point because this is just how those races were scheduled in those days of yore. They weren't oddities in 1919 and 1930. I also will offer that the travel in the bygone era was a whole lot more difficult than it is 2014.

In the same piece, Crist quoted Penny Chenery, owner of Secretariat, saying "I'm just against that", and Patrice Wolfson, who raced Affirmed, saying "It would just be awful". I can see where these grand ladies of racing are coming from. They are connected with the horses that accomplished the feat in the five week span that the Triple Crown is currently run in. They are (and should be) protecting the memories of their super horses of the 1970s. The name of Affirmed always surfaces when someone wins the Kentucky Derby and Preakness like California Chrome did. If someone wins the Triple Crown now, it won't dim the memories of these great champions. What it will do is just further emphasize the greatness of those horses when we examine the gap of time between Triple Crown champions.

We are now almost in a similar time frame between the time of Gallant Fox to Secretariat and Secretariat to California Chrome. In the same way that what Secretariat did in the five week Triple Crown schedule of 1973 took nothing away from what Gallant Fox did over four weeks in 1930, it should take nothing away from a horse that won the Triple Crown today if the schedule were altered. What tends to be forgotten in these incessant arguments is that the breeding  and racing of the Thoroughbred has changed quite a bit in the intervening forty year periods. In Gallant Fox's day, stamina was paramount. In Secretariat's day, stamina was important, but so was speed. Now, speed has become the all-important factor in breeding, far more so than stamina.

It might be unrealistic to expect any horse to run 1 1/4 miles, 1 3/16 miles, and 1 1/2 miles and do it successfully over the space of five weeks. It might also be unrealistic to expect a horse to win these three races when you constantly have "new shooters" dropping into these races after they pass earlier races in the series. There are tremendous obstacles to any horse trying to win the Triple Crown. One of those appears to be that the horse is not allowed to be at his best or properly rested for all the races. I, personally, don't think it takes away from any horse that would accomplish the Triple Crown if the timetable was changed. You are talking about three distances that are rarely, if ever, seen in North American dirt racing anymore. They are three remarkably testing distances for any three-year-old to run, never mind do it all over the space of five weeks.

In the final analysis, I don't see the Triple Crown series changing much, if at all, in the future. The traditionalists in the industry either wouldn't stand for it or discredit any horse that would manage to win all three races if they were more spread out. I think that to discredit any horse that would win all three races, regardless of when they were run, is to do a disservice to that horse. No one discredited Secretariat and Affirmed when they polished off the Triple Crown on a different schedule than Sir Barton and Gallant Fox. We are in a different era now and the sport (and its traditionalists) need to adapt to the changing times. Otherwise, in the other final analysis, I don't see anyone winning the Triple Crown anytime soon.

Photo credit to

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The 146th Belmont Stakes

History is at hand on Saturday afternoon. California Chrome will be attempting to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in Thoroughbred racing history and the first since Affirmed in 1978. California Chrome has been a feel-good story from the lead up to the Kentucky Derby right through the current anxious moments of waiting for the Belmont Stakes. His connections, co-owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin and trainer Art Sherman, have captivated the racing world with their honest attitudes throughout their magical journey. Let's also not forget that jockey Victor Espinoza has been down this road before, having led War Emblem into the Belmont with a chance to win the Triple Crown a dozen years ago. There will be ten competitors trying to deny California Chrome his moment on Saturday. Here is the analysis for the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes:

While I am certainly rooting for California Chrome to get the job done on Saturday, my less emotional, more logical side says it just isn't going to happen. We have been here before and been denied in cruel (Real Quiet and Smarty Jones) and unusual (Charismatic and Big Brown) fashion. Therefore, I will be looking for a longshot to win the Test Of Champions this weekend. I'll select #1 Medal Count as my winner in the Belmont Stakes. He is a robust 20-1 on the morning line and seems to fit the pattern of recent Belmont winners. Run up the track in the Derby, take the Preakness off and come back fresh in the Belmont. Medal Count, to me, was the most visually impressive horse in the post parade of the Kentucky Derby. In fact, he looked so good to me, I made sure I got some money down on him before they went in the gate. He had a tough time of it once the gates opened, however, getting shuffled back early and finishing eighth. Medal Count did post a recent bullet workout on May 31, covering six furlongs in 1:10.3 at Churchill Downs. Robby Albarado will have the ride in the Belmont Stakes.

#11 Tonalist scored a win in the Grade 2 Peter Pan over the Belmont racetrack when it was a sloppy surface on May 10. This will be the second start off the most recent layoff for this colt. The Clement trainee has never been worse than second in four lifetime starts. He has gotten so much respect off that Peter Pan win that his morning line is 8-1, third-best in the field. It also remains to be seen if Tonalist will be just another in a long line of horses that have won the Peter Pan, but come up empty in the Belmont. In addition, did he just really enjoy the sloppy track and offer up a freaky performance in the Peter Pan? Joel Rosario will be aboard.

I will next list the horse everyone will be watching on Saturday, #2 California Chrome. As I stated earlier, I am rooting for this horse to get the job done, where so many before him have failed. His Kentucky Derby and Preakness performances were excellent. However, the question here is how much did they take out of him entering this weekend?  There were those in the aftermath of the Preakness that thought the horse looked spent and, on the other hand, there were those who felt that horse was geared down by Victor Espinoza once the issue was settled in Baltimore. He has won six in a row entering this race, all with Espinoza aboard, and a seventh straight would instantly link him into the fabric of the sport. I am rooting for him to win, I would love to see him win, I am just hard-pressed to see it happening.

 #4 Commanding Curve came running from the clouds to get second in the Kentucky Derby. He seemed to be the main beneficiary of the pacesetters backing up, as illustrated by the fact that he went from ninth in the stretch to second at the end. For everyone thinking the extra distance will aid his chances, keep in mind that closers rarely do big things at the Belmont. Usually, the ultimate winner is either first or second when they enter the never-ending Belmont stretch. This horse is still eligible to be entered into a non-winners of two race. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.

TOP FOUR SELECTIONS: Medal Count, Tonalist, California Chrome, Commanding Curve

Keep in mind you can follow me on Twitter: @They_Are_Off. I want to remind you that the entire program on Saturday at Belmont will be incredible, it is essentially a mini-Breeders' Cup day. NYRA has done a great thing by setting up such a tremendous day of racing in support of their marquee event. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The 139th Preakness Stakes

The Triple Crown trail has now moved on to Old Hilltop in Baltimore, where the 139th edition of the Preakness Stakes will take place on Saturday. The race drew a field of ten, including California Chrome, who won the 140th Kentucky Derby two weeks ago in emphatic fashion. The other Derby runners to come back and challenge California Chrome again are General A Rod and Ride On Curlin. That's it!! There will be a filly in the field in Ria Antonia, who is trying to duplicate Rachel Alexandra's feat of winning the Preakness fifteen days after running in the Kentucky Oaks. Of course, Rachel won the Oaks by twenty lengths, while Ria Antonia ran sixth in Louisville. It might have been more intriguing had Untapable, the winner of the Oaks, come back to run in the Preakness, but that didn't happen. So, let's take a look at the 139th Preakness Stakes:

I think it will be incredibly difficult for anyone to defeat #3 California Chrome in the Preakness at Pimlico. He has shown so far to be the best of this three-year-old bunch in 2014 and there really doesn't appear to be much to challenge him on Saturday. He has won five in a row, and while he did sit the garden trip in the Derby, the superb speed figures still cannot be discounted, nor can the expert handling he has received from trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza. All reports from Pimlico say that Chrome is handling that track surface very well and that is usually one of the key factors in picking the winner of the Preakness. I expect California Chrome to win the Preakness on Saturday and roll into Belmont with a shot to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in Thoroughbred racing history.

Bob Baffert has had some success in the Preakness in the past and he has a strong bullet to fire on Saturday with #5 Bayern. Baffert is taking the blinkers off this colt for the Preakness. Bayern crossed the line first in the Derby Trial the week before the Derby at Churchill Downs, but was DQ'd and placed 2nd. Baffert elected to wait the three weeks to run here, as opposed to wheeling right back one week later in Louisville. Rosie Napravnik rode Bayern in the Trial and gets the call again in the Preakness. Bayern might still have a bit of greenness in him with only four starts under his belt. While there does appear to be speed aplenty in this edition of the Preakness, Bayern might be able to withstand the early pressure and still produce a strong finish.

Linda Rice claimed #7 Kid Cruz for $50,000 out of a maiden claiming race he won at Aqueduct in late November. Since that claim, Rice and Kid Cruz have teamed up for two Stakes victories and a second in an Allowance start. The win in the Federico Tesio makes Kid Cruz the only horse to have started at Pimlico, much less picked up a victory. The Sire is Lemon Drop Kid, who won the Belmont back in 1999, so you would be led to believe that the distance will not be an issue for this longshot. His price on the morning line here is 20-1, which I find somewhat generous. If there does appear to be a preponderance of speed in the Preakness, Kid Cruz might be one of those closers who could be a factor when the finish line approaches.

Finally, I think of those horses that did run in the Derby to come back and challenge Chrome once again, #10 Ride On Curlin might have the best opportunity to do some damage on Saturday. He finished 7th in the Derby and closed well to pass some horses in the stretch, despite being nine-wide. He posted a bullet workout already this weekend at Pimlico, going a half-mile in 49 3/5 on May 14th. Joel Rosario has recent successful experience on the Triple Crown trail with Orb last year.

They Are Off Top 4 Selections: California Chrome, Bayern, Kid Cruz, Ride On Curlin

The best of luck to you all on your Preakness wagers on Saturday. They Are Off will return in three weeks with a look at The Belmont Stakes. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The 140th Kentucky Derby

For the 140th consecutive year, the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville. While some of the more recent Derbies have featured wet or even downright nasty weather, that is not expected to be the case for this Saturday's renewal of the Run For The Roses. There has already been a scratch from the race, as Bob Baffert had to remove Hoppertunity from the lineup due to a bad foot. The 5-2 morning-line favorite has been established as California Chrome, winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in his last two performances.

I have now taken a strong look at all of the contenders in this year's Kentucky Derby and I have come up with three candidates that I think can wear the garland of Roses on Saturday afternoon. From inside out in the starting gate, they are #13 Chitu, #15 Tapiture, and #18 Candy Boy. Let's take a look at these horses one at a time.

#13 Chitu- I was quite surprised as I handicapped the race that this horse stood out to me as much as he did. He had been considered Baffert's "other horse" for this Derby until Hoppertunity dropped out. Now, he is all the three-time Derby-winning trainer has left for Saturday. However, I don't think that this should detract from his chances in the Derby itself. Chitu has won three of four lifetime starts and was second in the other one. His Beyer speed figures have improved with each successive start: 92 in the first two tries, a 95 in running 2nd to Candy Boy in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis, and a 102 in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby. Jockey Martin Garcia has already teamed up with Bob Baffert to win a Triple Crown race, the 2010 Preakness with Lookin At Lucky. The two workouts Chitu has over the Churchill Downs track are solid. I don't think Chitu should be ignored on Saturday, especially at 20-1.

#15 Tapiture- I suppose the big story if this horse wins the Derby will be his trainer, Steve Asmussen, given the recent bad publicity he has received. I would hope that would not be the case because Asmussen is a very good trainer that has won his share of big races over the years, including a Triple Crown race, the 2007 Preakness with Curlin. I am now going to put that whole discussion behind us and discuss THIS horse, because I think he has a big chance in the Kentucky Derby. His Sire, Tapit, has been producing winning offspring for some time now and is considered one of the top Sires in the sport. Tapiture has a victory over the Churchill Downs oval, the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, back in November. Since then, Tapiture acquitted himself quite nicely at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, winning the Grade 3 Southwest, finishing 2nd in the Grade 2 Rebel after a rough trip. Yes, he was a well-beaten 4th in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, but Danza was a powerhouse winner that day and it might have taken a really big effort to beat him. I don't want my Derby horse putting his biggest race up in the prep race. I want his biggest race to come on the First Saturday in May.

#18 Candy Boy- Gary Stevens has been on quite the "magic carpet ride" since coming out of retirement a couple of years ago. He won the Preakness last year with the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Oxbow, a horse I thought ended up having the best three races of any horse in the Triple Crown series last spring. Candy Boy won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis in February. He followed that up with a 3rd in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, behind California Chrome and Hoppertunity. I think California Chrome might get caught up in what promises to be a strong pace up front and Hoppertunity is no longer a threat to Candy Boy. This horse's style might fit the way this Derby is going to be run also. I think you might be looking at a carbon copy of the 2005 Derby. Bellamy Road was a huge favorite going in off a monster win (much like California Chrome is this year). Bellamy Road got caught in a heated pace battle up front and surrendered once the field turned for home, allowing the closers to race past and get a Derby win for Giacomo at 50-1. I'm not saying any of these horses will be 50-1 on Saturday, but they all stand a good chance of being there at the end of affairs.

So, which one factor will separate these three horses for me. I think it will be the men on their backs. Gary Stevens has won the Kentucky Derby three times in the past: 1988 with Winning Colors, 1995 with Thunder Gulch, and 1997 with Silver Charm. He knows how to win this race and as I referred to earlier, the "magic carpet ride" he is on doesn't seem to be ending. I have more faith in his ability to be a winner on Saturday than I do in Ricardo Santana Jr. or Martin Garcia, both of whom are still more than capable. That being said, here are my final selections for the 140th Kentucky Derby:

WIN- #18 Candy Boy
PLACE- #15 Tapiture
SHOW- #13 Chitu

I want to wish all of you the absolute best of luck with your wagers on the 140th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, whether you agree with me or not. Let's hope for a fun, safe race and let's also hope that this Derby lives up to the annual billing it has as the "Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports".

I will return in two weeks with in-depth analysis of the 139th Preakness, to be run Saturday, May 17 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Be sure to check out my Twitter page: @They_Are_Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Grade 1 Travers Stakes

It is time again for "The Mid-summer Derby" at Saratoga. Saturday's running will be the 144th renewal of the Grade 1 Travers Stakes. A field of nine will go to the post featuring this year's Kentucky Derby winner and runner-up, the Belmont winner, the Haskell winner, even the Virginia Derby winner will make an appearance at The Spa. It sets up to be a race with some speed present as Verrazano, Palace Malice, and Moreno all like to go to the front. Will this set things up for a closer? I certainly think so, according to the picks:

#2 Orb (4-1) has not won since the First Saturday In May. However, I do not feel that Orb will go on to be like Mine That Bird or Super Saver and never win another race after the Derby score. In fact, I think the Shug McGaughey trainee gets back to the Winner's Circle on Saturday. There will be plenty of pace for him to run into in the Travers, so his closing style should be a benefit here. He has been working like a beast in the mornings at Fair Hill and Saratoga with THREE consecutive bullet workouts on the tab. He even has a previous start at Saratoga. He ran third in his debut (behind Violence and Titletown Five) here last August. The price of 4-1 is even decent enough to speculate on Orb in this race.

#3 Verrazano (2-1) is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Travers off a fantastic performance in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth in July. He posted a Beyer figure of 116 in that victory, but if you look at his past performances, his previous best Beyer was a 105 on Groundhog Day at Gulfstream. He didn't repeat that number until the Haskell. It is entirely possible he bounces a bit off that big Haskell win. I think this is more of a factor given that there is going to be other speed for him to contend with here. John Velazquez is a genius in the saddle, but it appears to me that he will have a bit to overcome to be a winner in the Travers on Saturday.

#7 War Dancer (15-1) might be the longshot to look at in the Travers. This might be a bit of a silly statement, given that the colt has only run once on dirt (finishing a career-worst 4th). However, his recent speed figures have been improving steadily, culminating with a victory in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby over the grass at Colonial Downs. I feel he will be another beneficiary of what could be a wicked pace in this race. He tends to sit back in mid-pack or towards the back of the field and make one sustained run. Alan Garcia has been his jockey in all but one of his seven starts, so he should be very familiar with this Ken McPeek runner.

There is a 50-cent minimum Pick Four at Saratoga on Races 9-12, covering the Grade 1 Test, the Grade 2 Ballston Spa, the Grade 1 King's Bishop, and the Grade 1 Travers. That lineup might be the most stacked one since NBC had Must-See TV on Thursday nights.

Be sure to check out my Twitter page: @They_Are_Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Grade 1 Arlington Million

Saturday is the 31st running of the Arlington Million at Arlington Park in the Windy City. Hard to believe that it is already that long ago that John Henry fended off the gallant run of The Bart. That fantastic finish is immortalized with a statue at the Chicago track. Let's take a detailed look at some of the top contenders in this year's renewal of the Million:

#3 Hunter's Light (8-1) is the top pick here even though the last two efforts in Germany and Singapore weren't so hot. If you look back a bit in the PPs, this Godolphin runner won two of three starts over the Tapeta surface at Meydan in Dubai before finishing seventh behind Animal Kingdom in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup. This horse is bred to run on the turf forever with both Dubai Millennium and Barathea present in the lineage. Jockey Ryan Moore has four Breeders' Cup wins over the greenery and trainer Saeed Bin Suroor won the Million in 2003 with Sulamani.

#7 Indy Point (9-2) comes next with this year's Preakness winning jockey, Gary Stevens, looking to become the first rider to win the Million three times. Indy Point made a strong debut in the Wickerr at Del Mar with a win on July 24th. It is interesting that trainer Richard Mandella elected to ship in from California for this effort, so you have to believe that Mandella believes. An interesting note about this colt is that he has been to the post thirteen times in his career and hit the board in all thirteen of those starts. Granted, the first twelve of those runs were in Argentina, so it remains to be seen just how tough the competition he has faced was, and if that toughness will rub off in a really tough spot Saturday.

#10 The Apache (6-1) merits a bit of consideration in here with a similar pattern to the top pick's recent races. He ran three times at Meydan in the spring, winning one and running second twice. Following the Dubai campaign, he took some time off and came back in a Group 2 at York in Great Britain and ran fourth off the layoff, finishing behind the morning-line favorite in the Million, Grandeur. I must admit that I like The Apache a shade more than Grandeur despite this because in examining the trip notes of the favorite, I can see lots of trouble mentioned in those. With Grandeur deep closing running style, he might encounter some issues that could stymie his rally.

Good luck on the entire Saturday card at Arlington Park with plenty of excellent racing available including the Beverly D and the Secretariat.

Be sure to check out my Twitter page: @They_Are_Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!