I am going to do something I rarely take the opportunity to do on the blog and play a home game on Saturday afternoon. The $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup is one of the highlight events of the 156-day season at Turf Paradise, my home track, and with a competitive field of thirteen, including the defending champion and runner-up (both at long odds), and two horses a combined 10 for 11 over the surface, I think it is worth a look. I should mention one thing about that surface on Saturday. We are expecting rain in the Phoenix area all day on Saturday, so the track might come up muddy or sloppy. Here is the analysis:
Even with a field of thirteen for the Phoenix Gold Cup, I am hard-pressed to find a real likable longshot. My top choice is #11 Stephengothisstar. He finished second at one mile last out at Sunland Park on January 30. That ended a nice five-race win streak he had cobbled together dating back to a try in September at Remington Park in Oklahoma. His style might also work in case there is a lot of speed in this race, since he appears to like to lay just off the pace. For second, I will go right to the inside of the top pick and #10 Point Attended. One thing you have to say about Point Attended is that he REALLY likes Turf Paradise. He is a perfect 5 for 5 over the racetrack. The latest win came with a nice turn of foot in the $25,000 Swift Stakes on January 22, a race in which he defeated many of the same foes he will face again today. His last workout was a bullet on February 8, going five furlongs in 1:00.1. I will put #7 Wiredfortwotwenty in the third position. Scott Stevens has been enjoying a solid season at Turf Paradise, returning from a serious injury sustained last summer at Canterbury Park. If anyone is going to wire this field, it might just be this gelding. My main question with him is the distance. He broke his maiden at six furlongs at Hollywood in July 2008. Since then, he does not have a win at the distance. Finally, I will include a relative longshot at 10-1 with #6 New Bay. His last two efforts were with Grade 1 company in Southern California, resulting in a sixth and a seventh. I think this spot might be a little closer to his capabilities. He has been working like a speed demon at Santa Anita since the New Year. Jake Barton will be aboard. Here is the play for the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup:
$1 EX BOX 4-6-7-10-11
$1 TRI 10-11 with 10-11 with 2-4-6-7-9
For the record, following last week's second-place finish by Too Experience and the Brethren-Too Experience exacta his, the blog is currently MINUS $7.30 for the year. Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!