October 26, 2018
PRICES PLUMMET IN REMATCH
by Jeremy Plonk, Xpressbet
ANALYSIS: Contestants get an extra half-furlong to work with in this year’s Turf Sprint at Churchill compared to the 2010 and 2011 renewals hosted in Louisville, and at Del Mar last year. That could be a factor for two reasons: Horses drawn in tough post positions will enjoy a longer run into the only turn. And there’s more real estate for late-runners to utilize. Europeans have had legitimate impact on other turf divisions, but there’s speed and then there’s American speed. History, and the quality domestic entrants this year, indicate a continued lean to the red, white and blue. But soft turf conditions could move up LOST TREASURE among the Euros if rains come.
MAIN CONTENDERS: Last year’s top four finishers return for this edition, led by 30-1 stunner STORMY LIBERAL and Peter Miller-barnmate RICHARD’S BOY; New York’s finest turf dasher DISCO PARTNER and ‘Capt. Keeneland’ BUCCHERO. It’s true STORMY LIBERAL has won three straight since DISCO PARTNER took him out in the Jaipur for the second straight year, but his last six wins have been by a neck or less. Is there enough good fortune remaining to accept something closer to 3-1 this time than 30-1 last time? Similarly, BUCCHERO won last year’s Woodford at Keeneland at 26-1 and then returned as the 3-1 repeat winner this year. You may like the horse, but you won’t like the price – nor will it represent fair value.
VALUE PLAYS: Scoot past last year’s top four underlaid returnees, and value abounds. The ‘other’ Miller is CONQUEST TSUNAMI, who will take them a long way up front. The two Turf Sprints at Churchill saw Regally Ready win on the front and Central City nearly steal the previous year’s dash before holding second. CHANTELINE is in career form and those who handle the sand-based course at Keeneland often do well at Churchill. Mares have run well in this division. Mid-Atlantic turf sprinters often are underrated, and Jason Servis’ RAINBOW HEIR and VISION PERFECT will be overlooked while distracted by the shiny object from the same barn, WORLD OF TROUBLE.
WAGERING STRATEGY ($100):