The graded stakes races for the weekend didn't look too great from a handicapping or making money perspective outside of South Florida, so we go to Calder to try our luck on the main track in the Grade 3 $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap. Also on the card on Saturday is the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby, but we'll stick to the main track and not worry about the turf on Saturday. Here is the analysis:
From what I can tell, there just doesn't seem to be a tremendous amount of pace in this race, so I will go with what appears to the best of the speed and #5 Amazing. She has not been to the races since getting run down at this distance in an ungraded Handicap at Calder on November 13. Elvis Trujillo takes over the ride for trainer Marty Wolfson here. This mare has been in the top two in nine of her eleven lifetime tries at Calder Race Course. For second, I will go with the horse that ran down the top pick on November 13 in #10 Joanie's Catch. She followed up that victory at Calder with a fourth place in the Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct on November 27. Given that information, I find it slightly curious that she is a generous 10-1 on the morning line. I would think that number will be lower at post time. Her last work on December 26 was a strong half-mile in 49 and 2/5 seconds. For third, I will use the likely favorite, #4 Funny Moon. She has been running in graded company all year, including facing the likes of Life At Ten, Acoma, and Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner, Unrivaled Belle. Alan Garcia rides this mare that is winless in her last five, but was up for the last victory in the Grade 2 Shuvee at Belmont Park in mid-May. Finally, I will ride the hot horse with #1 Toocleverforwords. She won her last two starts before the break in October at Calder, including the Cinnamon Girl with a 99 Beyer speed figure. Luis Saez has ridden this horse four times and all four have resulted in either first or second place finishes for this classy mare. Here is the play for the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty Handicap:
$5 WP #5
$1 EX BOX 1-4-5-8-10
$1 TRI 5-10 with 5-10 with 1-4-6-8
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and a safe one as well. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!