Rob's ASD Picks, Analysis and Longshots for May 10-12, 2013
The first full weekend of racing at ASD brings together a set of three cards that make up one of the most competitive sets of 24 races I can remember in a long time. Of course, I don’t remember much horse racing before 2000, and a lot of these horses have things to prove, but the overall quality of this weekend is terrific.
Starting with Friday’s card, the first race is a Maiden Special Weight with horses coming from three tracks, and all five horses are winter raced. Checkered Cab has been super impressive in the mornings and should challenge likely favorite Anexecutiveopening who has been competitive at Woodbine and Fair Grounds. The second race is a wide open condition claimer, while the third is a tricky non-winners of two race for fillies. Tebowmania hasn’t faced this type of quality before, but she is certainly a game filly, while Bubba’s My Name and Caught Lion drop into a spot that should make this a good betting race for a five-horse field.
The fourth race on Friday is a maiden claimer with four first time starters; it also kicks off the Pick 4. I think either Imonfireforelvira or Joyful Occasion could win but this is a spread race for sure. The fifth, sixth and seventh races are all $2,500 claimers that feature a nice combo of fit horses as well as speed horses, making them good betting races.
The last race on Friday is most certainly the feature and probably the toughest first level allowance race I have ever seen at Assiniboia Downs. Jake’s Mission ran well in this condition at Penn National. Runaway Lion was a $50,000 claim at Woodbine and he ran fourth in the Display Stakes as a 2-year-old. Lewkacy is a former Arizona-bred champion who has gotten good in the claiming ranks at Turf Paradise and now brings that speedy form here. Griller is a hard knocking east coast claimer. Going for a Few might be the best Manitoba bred sprinter currently on the grounds. Cherishtheword has won three in a row with big Beyer Speed Figures at Fonner Park, while Pelee Island showed some talent as a 2-year-old. That just leaves the two stars.
Second choice Majorca Sun was claimed at Oaklawn Park out of his first race since September at Canterbury. He looks like a speedy type who can get very good at times, as evidenced by a 9 ¼-length win last year at Canterbury on July 21. Johannesbourbon will likely be the heavy favourite. He broke his maiden by 9 ¾-lengths at Turfway Park before running in the Lexington Stakes and getting beat 3 ¾-lengths after leading to the sixteenth pole. His next two starts were seconds to horses who have come back and respectively hit the board in a pair of Breeders’ Cup races. In his last race at Ellis Park he got away slow and couldn’t catch a loose leader. His speed figures are massive, and if this race goes well this certainly could be a horse to challenge Balooga Bull down the road.
Speaking of older horses, Balooga Bull does lead the division, but there are some quality contenders chasing him besides the aforementioned Johannesbourbon. Tribesman, who has made over $500,000 in Northern California, is a top notch sprinter. Pleasant Closing won a tough allowance race at Hawthorne over the winter and is one of a salty group of claimers that could jump into the mix from the seventh race on Saturday. Gangster Rap is an allowance winner at Woodbine. When Willy Win, Blind Magic and U R Burnin Daylite all have good form and represent the locals in this tough affair. Kirkland Lake is a hard knocking Woodbine claimer and the two outside horses are western invaders who have had a lot of success in their careers. Midda’s Gold Touch was the top older horse at Portland Meadows last year while Juan Might was a top claimer at Northlands Park.
Saturday’s card also features the ASD debut of Zaccheus, who was claimed for $40,000 in an effort to catch lightning in a bottle twice by replicating Balooga Bull’s success. Quaker Shaker Tony and Mr. Exspeedient will probably duel to the wire in the sixth race. Quaker Shaker Tony ran the seventh highest Beyer Speed Figure of any horse at ASD last year and when he’s fresh and loose he’s hard to beat.
Sunday’s Mother’s Day card features six of eight races with purses of over $10,000. A good group of open claimers kicks off the day for $10,000 and I like Pierre Lapin as an upsetter. The third race gives us our first look at the 3-year-old allowance horses. Have it My Way looks awfully tough on form. He won for $25,000 at Hawthorne and arrives fit. Douglass comes from Arizona and could improve. Cherokeeindypulpit, Poet and Play Hard to Win all broke their maidens locally and could be right there with any improvement over last year.
The first look at A.P. Diva occurs in the fourth race. She was stakes placed twice at Turfway Park. Now she shows up in Winnipeg after being purchased for $27,000 at a Keeneland sale. A.P. Diva should dominate this field if she is anywhere close to fit, but look for Justicegotrhythm to run a good race as well.
The sixth race on Sunday is for 3-year-old fillies and features defending 2-year-old filly champ Arstar against Chica Wow Wow and Cmonbabylitemyfire, who could both provide ample competition. Magical Powder is also a huge player after being claimed at Gulfstream this winter. The only problem here might be the surface and the distance. The last two races on Sunday are Manitoba-bred affairs. I like Charlie Waffles and Northern Fancy in the seventh race as both are fast 4-year-olds facing 3-year-olds. Divine Wisdom, who played runner up to Arstar twice last year, should be the winner of the last.
Looks like a high class, fast paced weekend of racing! Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll start a series on some more advanced handicapping methods.
Rob’s Best Bets and Longshots for Mother’s Day Weekend
Friday Best Bet: Race 8 - Johannesbourbon
Friday’s Longshot: Race 7 - Deceptive Miss
Saturday’s Best Bet: Race 8 - Nathan’s Special
Saturday’s Longshot: Race 7 - Blind Magic
Sunday’s Best Bet: Race 4: - A.P. Diva
Sunday’s Longshot: Race 7: - Northern Fancy
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2013