May 23, 2018
As we forge on towards the Belmont Stakes next month, Friday’s Pk5 is the perfect example of a sequence that screams “don’t look for something that’s not there.” So, with that in mind, this week’s Bankroll Builder will be a very comprehensive play, since it could chalk out, as the favorites look extremely tough. Whereas in the past I’ve put together one caveman ticket on a small-scale budget, going forward I’m going to try and present a bit more of an in-depth play that will utilize backup horses and tickets, while painting a broader picture of a suggested play.
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 36 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 12pm Friday for an update. ***
Race 1: 3upfm 16k N2L going 1-mile
There certainly isn’t much here, but I also don’t think that #3 MOMENT OF TRIUMPTH should be even-money on the ML, even though she does go off the Diordoro claim and has the most consistent form of late. My top pick is Tampa shipper #1 BRIDGE OF SIGHS (5-2), who ran big in her last two dirt starts, in some very key races too, and even kept her form on turf of late. The former is a must-use, but she did very little running last time and has never really been all that good to begin with.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 1,3
I’ll begrudgingly use #2 FORMAL EVENT (7-2), who did win her last start on dirt and will love getting out of some solid state-bred turf races, but she’d be a big underlay at this price. The only real plus here is she gets a huge jock upgrade to Irad. My longshot play is #4 STARS WILBURN (8-1), who threw down a huge figure (for this group) two-back then regressed in the mud last time, but even her prior figures put her in the mix here, at a nice price too.
Pk5 B horses (listed in order of preference): 2,4
Race 2: 2yo MSW going 5 furlongs on the Widener turf
Normally a 2yo dash this early in the year would be a problem, but I’m not sure that’s the case here, as Ward seems to have this field over a barrel, which is hardly a surprise. Tab the tote (and double will pays), since #5 GINS AND TINS (5-2) cost 250k as a yearling and the son of Scat Daddy is bred to love the lawn, plus he drew better than stablemate #1 ODIE (9-5), who dueled and tired on debut at Keeneland, during a time when the barn was winning with literally every 2yo starter it sent out. If the money shows on the former, he could be the goods.
Pk5 A horses: 5,1
There are no B’s in this spot, since I’m comfortable the top-2 are the best, but also because the rest are as uninspiring a group as you will see. You could use #9 Baggins (5-1), but he tired on the dirt in his debut and Rodriguez has extremely weak numbers in this kind of spot. There’s a chance #7 Beacos Disco Pants (12-1) and #8 Junipero Avenue (10-1) have a bit of talent, but even so, would it be enough to beat a pair of cranked WW runners?
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Race 3: 3up 80k/C going 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf
I’ll be stubborn here too, since it looks like Chad Brown has by far the best two in #2 KURILOV (2-1) and #6 SILVERWARE (5-2), who meet a very modest crew for a race like this, that have probably seen better days too. The latter gets the nod, as he was a close 5th behind an undefeated and potentially freakish stablemate (Robert Bruce) in his stateside debut in Aqueduct’s GIII Fort Marcy, which came off an October layoff after a campaign that saw him run in several GI’s in Europe, and he also should like the stretch to 1 ¼ miles. The distance is a bit of a rub for the former, who was 2nd, beaten a neck, to the streaking Hi Happy in the GI GP Turf two-back then didn’t fire in a boggy GI Turf Classic at Churchill last time, so a return to a firmer turf course could be all he needs.
Pk5 A horses: 6,2
There’s no B’s here either, as the top pair just seem too good for the rest, who seem too slow on paper or may be a race or two away from their best. It looks like #1 Profiteer (4-1) falls into the former, as he looks second-tier after an all-out N3X win last time, and the same can which can be said about #5 Highland Sky (6-1), who I never have been a fan of and hasn’t progressed an inch since he was 3, while #3 Messi (5-1) looks like the definition of a horse who will need this, as he’s now 8, hasn’t started since November, and probably wants longer too. If you want to get a bit funky, then the outside the box horse could be #4 Memories of Peter (10-1), who got his tightener out of the way last time and looks like a Lone F in a paceless race, but even so, it’s tough to think he can hold off both the Brown runners.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
Race 4: 3f 32k going 6 furlongs
Yet another race where getting by the favorites will be extremely tough, as both #4 MERCURIAN (7-5) and #5 SIMONA (2-1) seem to lay over the field. I’ll side with the latter, since her post is outside the chalk and the blinkers-on will have her glued to that one the entire way. The former looks like the speed of the speed, but Toscano is ice-cold at the meet and improving one of the claim from Rice, while rising in class too, won’t be easy.
Pk5 A horses: 5,4
I’m going to use #3 MY LIGHTNIN STRIKE (3-1), since her dirt win three-back was big, she’s was over her head (50k starter-allowance) two-back and in the wrong spot (turf) last time, and could benefit by getting run off her feet a bit by the top pair early.
Pk5 B horses: 3
Race 5: 3up 50k starter-allowance going 6 furlongs on the inner turf
Finally a race where just maybe we can be clever and get a price home, and it’s #6 DIRTY (6-1), who will like the drop from the N1X ranks and drew a perfect attack post for her speedy style. Yes, #4 FACT CHECK (5-2) is the gal to beat and most likely winner, but taking a short price on the rise off a N2L win isn’t ideal, and she will have to earn it as potentially the inside speed. There’s little doubt #3 VENTRY BAY (3-1) will be tighter off her Keeneland return, but it was also pretty meek, so I’m not completely sold on her, while #1a TOO MUCH DATE (6-1) is another price player who has a rating gear, is lightly raced with a ton of upside and goes for a Goldberg barn that usually starts winning races in bunches at this time of the year.
Pk5 A horses: 6,4,5,1a
There’s just one backup here, and it’s #11 NO REGRETS (12-1), who could be the controlling speed with an aggressive ride, as there’s not a lot of true turf sprint pace signed on, which means she could get brave if sent hard early.
Pk5 B horses: 11
The main A ticket is a simple 2x2x2x2x4 for $32, and that’s our starting point. But by adding in our B horses in with the A’s in the other legs, we can get more coverage and allow for some margin for error too. As you’ll see below, the backups tickets are a more cost conducive way of getting added coverage, without breaking the bank. I’m also an advocate of playing you’re A ticket for $1 (or more), so you capitalize if you handicap it out of the park.
How I'm Playing
Main Ticket: 1,3 with 5,1 with 6,2 with 5,4 with 6,4,5,1a = $32
R1 B Backup: 2,6 with 5,1 with 6,2 with 5,4 with 6,4,5,1a = $32
R4 B Backup: 1,3 with 5,1 with 6,2 with 3 with 6,4,5,1a = $16
R5 B Backup: 1,3 with 5,1 with 6,2 with 5,4 with 11 = $8