by Brian Nadeau
March 15, 2018
With a carryover fast-approaching $4 million, and national interest building by the day, let’s dip back into the handicapping bag and take a controlled look at Friday’s sequence, which encompasses races 6-11.
Race 6: MSW for 3upfm Florida breds going 1-mile on the turf
In what looks like a very competitive race for the level, it’s best to spread as deep as your budget allows, since the proven runners look about the same on paper and there figures to be a live firster too. As for the experienced gals, the most upside clearly goes to #6 PURE ONE, who had a tough post (9) on debut then broke 10th-of-11 and could only muster a minor late rally. Clement adds Lasix today, she drew much better and, judging by her strong run to be 5th, beaten just 4 lengths, she has some talent too. Considering #8 SHANGHAI STARLET debuts for Pletcher, you have to give her a look, even though this post is no bargain. The works are promising, JV is here and 80k is a big price for a Florida-bred son of Shanghai Bobby too. Neither #3 SMARTY SMART or #9 TROPICALITY would be a surprise, but the former has had a ton of chances and runs the same race every time, while the latter drew poorly and will be wide every step of the way. I’ll toss #4 SUNFEST in, as he gets a huge jock upgrade with Irad riding, and she fits on paper, even though he’s been plying his trade in the (open) maiden-claiming ranks.
Rainbow 6 horses (listed in order of preference): 6,8,3,9,4
Race 7: 25k claimer for 3yos going 5Fs on the turf
I’m going to hope that dueling through insane fractions against better is the reason #6 LITTLE PLUMBER came unglued last time, as his maiden breaker two-back was sharp, and he does look like the controlling speed today, so here’s hoping he gets back on the beam. The two more logical runners are #4 ROYAL HOLIDAY, who has also been facing better, while doing the two-turn thing of late, and #5 NONSUCH, who was necked out against better last time and now goes off the claim for Spatz, and while both can win, neither are locks, so I’ll use them, though I don’t trust them completely.
Rainbow 6 horses: 6,4,5
Race 8: 12.5k MCL for 4up going 1-mile
It’s time for a much needed single, and while doing it in a cheap claimer like this isn’t necessarily the safest angle, it just looks like #3 SOUND OF THE TAP is the right one, as he’s the controlling speed in a race without a lot of early lick, and most importantly, proven talent either. Yes, he rises in class from Penn National, but he dueled the entire way going 6Fs last time, was beaten a neck, while a month clear of 3rd and ahead of a runner who came back to win next time out. Sure, #4 Somedreamscometrue and #8 Fullback Foye are more likely winners, but they are also a combined 0-for-35, so I’ll side with the price who seemingly has a race flow edge too.
Rainbow 6 horses: 3
Race 9: 50k starter-allowance for 4upfm going 1 1/16 miles on the turf
I’m always a sucker for solid barns who rarely claim horses, and we get it here with #4 PEACE FRONT, who Kenneally claimed for 30k off a N2L win with Brown, and now rises her up in class in a spot she can’t be taken. Yes, she needs to improve, but Eddie K. is 4-for-14 with his claims, so he obviously liked what he saw, and she’ll offer value too. If you want a Lone F at a price, look to #1 HAVANA AFFAIR, who was a big 2nd at the level last time and looks loose as loose can be. I’m only using one more (even though you could easily use #2 Furiosa, #3 Hope’s Roar and #9 Lovin Empire), which is #8 RAINING LEMONS, who has the best form at the level and has run on strongly late in her two starts here this winter, and now goes second-time blinkers.
Rainbow 6 horses: 4,1,8
Race 10: Optional claimer (75k/N3X) for 4up going 1-mile on the turf
If you’re on a budget, you could do worse than singling #2 FROSTMOURNE, who was a star 3yo turfer last year and could be a real tiger at 4, but he hasn’t been out since October and the works are really on the modest—and light—side, so there’s a chance he needs this, and it is his first start against older horses too. And all of that is why I’ll use #1 PROFITEER on top, as he has a big recency edge and was a good 2nd to GI winner Ring Weekend here last time, for a Shug barn that has enjoyed a big meet.
Rainbow 6 horses: 1,2
Race 11: Optional claimer (25k/N1X) for 4up going 7 ½ furlongs on the turf
The finale is a real bear, so, like the first leg, spreading seems like the right approach, as you could go upwards of six-deep and still not have the winner. The one thing we do have is an expected energetic pace, especially with #9 Adonis Creed and #10 ATTRIBUTE drawn terribly at this frustrating distance. I’m only using the latter, as he’s outside the former, and has plenty of proven form at this level. But the top pick goes to #7 KULIN ROCK, who ran well against a good field trying winners last time, and while we have another bad GP ML at 6-1 (I’m thinking about 7-2 come post time), he’ll love the expected hot pace, as it will suit his stalking style. The same can be said for #3 RUNAWAY POSSE, who closed strongly to get up against 35k claimers with a big figure and now goes off the claim for a sharp Potts barn. I have no trust in #5 LUNAIRE, but he too will be rolling late, so just maybe today is the day he decides to get there, at a nice price too.
Rainbow 6 horses: 7,3,10,5
Race 6: 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
Race 7: 4, 5, 6
Race 8: 3
Race 9: 1, 4, 8
Race 10: 1, 2
Race 11: 3, 5, 7, 10
Ticket Cost: $72.00