Friday, June 29, 2007

Hollywood Gold Cup

The 68th running of the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup will take place on Saturday and I think that Lava Man is in line for a third straight win in this race to tie the old mark of Native Diver. It still remains to be seen, however, how he is shape-wise after the ill-fated trip to Dubai. A.P. Arrow won the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream two back and ran 3rd on Belmont Day. He is regally bred and gets David Flores aboard today. Molengao is a Brazilian-bred that won as the betting choice last time out in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy over the Hollywood oval on May 5. Russell Baze rides the Northern California invader My Creed and he has won two of the last three. It might not be the best edition of the Hollywood Gold Cup ever, but if Lava Man comes through, it could be a history-making one.

Hollywood Gold Cup Selections- Lava Man, A.P. Arrow, Molengao, My Creed

Friday, June 08, 2007

The 139th Belmont Stakes

Preakness winner Curlin will be odds-on to follow in the footsteps of Point Given and Afleet Alex and win the Preakness and the Belmont after failing in the Kentucky Derby. I believe the support is well-warranted. The Steve Asmussen trainee is my pick to wrap up the Triple Crown season with his second win in the series and fifth lifetime win in six career starts. Tiago was a dismissed horse in this blog during the Kentucky Derby, but I think he could be the best of the rest in this field of seven and might actually be a decent value play. Hard Spun has done much better than I thought he would in the first two Triple Crown races and he (along with Slew's Tizzy) should be setting the pace in the Belmont. I'll slot him third. The Nick Zito-trained CP West ran 4th in the Preakness and I'll put him in the same spot in the Belmont. One note about the filly in the field, Rags To Riches. She is a splendid filly that convincingly won the Kentucky Oaks five weeks ago. However, no filly has won the Belmont since 1905 and her price will be way too short for me to consider betting her bucking 102 years of history.

Selections for the 139th Belmont Stakes- Curlin, Tiago, Hard Spun, CP West

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Californian Stakes

Hollywood Park is putting up a $300,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on their last four races on Saturday afternoon and the keynote race of the sequence is the Grade 2 $250,000 Californian Stakes. There are some famous names in this race, but I will go with the slightly unheralded Boboman as my winner. He adds blinkers today and posted a recent bullet workout over the Hollywood surface on May 30. Alex Solis gets the ride for trainer Richard Mandella. A.P. Xcellent is my second choice. The A.P. Indy offspring scored a win at Hollywood on April 28 and, in fact, all three of his wins have come at Hollywood Park. I may be going off the beaten path with my third choice, but I will consider Saint Stephen in this spot. Trainer Christophe Clement is more adept with turf runners, but this horse deserves a look with some decent speed figures on the record. I will finally put in a famous name in this field with Buzzards Bay in fourth. He won the 2005 Santa Anita Derby and the 2006 Oaklawn Handicap, so he has some healthy experience. He ran 3rd at Hollywood in the Grade 2 Mervyn Leroy last time out.

Californian Stakes Selections- Boboman, A.P. Xcellent, Saint Stephen, Buzzards Bay