By Al Cimaglia
Hoosier Park kicks off the weekend with a 15-race card featuring Grand Circuit action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 starts in Race 12. The sequence will have a $20,000 guaranteed pool, and it will be my focus. Comments and selections below are based on a fast track. Race 12 1-Ponda Warrior (10-1)-This 4-year-old isn't in the same league as Bythemissal yet, but has been racing really well. Willing to include because of the chalk drawing outside. Wilfong should work a nice trip from here and be in reach of the leader turning for the wire. 9-Bythemissal (8/5)-Many will single this Burke trainee who deserves the fanfare and has a 147.2 mark at Hoosier. Does have a win over this oval but it's a long stretch and sometimes this surface is difficult for those shipping in. If Gingras works a smooth trip, this should be the picture taker. Race 13 4-Venerate (4-1)-Has had excuses in the last 2 starts and now comes back to Hoosier Park where the Melander trainee has hit the board in all 3 starts and has posted 2 wins. Will look for a big try with this post draw on an oval of past success. 7-It's Academic (5/2)-Will toss the last start as the Burke trainee was hung the mile in the slop at Yonkers. The six-year-old has 1 win and 3 second place finishes in 4 starts in Anderson. Likes to race near the top of the stack and should be a major player. Race 14 4-Walkin On Sunshine (3-1)-Comes off a big race to finish 2nd at 19-1. Was able to pass the 1/5 chalk down the land and then was nipped at the wire by a 2/1 shot. Jay Cross was aggressive off the gate and the two that finished in the tight photo are not in this race. 6-Dixie Dream (9/2)-Was facing the same class as the one above and cashed a 3rd place check. Should fit well with this crew and could roll by down the lane if the pace is lively. Race 15 3-Isitlikeitlooks (3-1)-Makes the 4th start off the bench and has needed more down the lane. Looking for better, comes back in sequence and may have met a beatable field. 5-Art It Is (4-1)-Has been camera shy after a big freshman campaign. Found the Hoosier Cup foes too tough, now drops to a spot to shine. De Long should work a good trip and be forwardly placed throughout. 6-RJ Rocks (9/2)-Does fit with this group, has the gate speed to leave and get on the point. If Macomber can work that trip, chances for a win go up at a square price. 0.50 Late Pick 4 1,9/4,7/4,6/3,5,6 Total Bet=$12 Check me out on Twitter!
By 1/ST BET
EXTRA INCENTIVES $2,000 Late Pick 4 Hit & Split | Los Alamitos September $20K Sweepstakes | win up to a $1,000 betting voucher NOTABLE CARRYOVERS Jackpot Pick 6 | $75,913 | Gulfstream Park | begins Race 4 | 2:20 pm ET Pick 5 | $4,300 | Penn National | begins Race 4 | 7:28 pm ET KEY RACES Belterra Park | Race 5 | 2:05 pm ET | Miss Southern Ohio Stakes Belterra Park | Race 7 | 3:10 pm ET | Loyalty Stakes Belmont-at-Aqueduct | Race 8 | 4:49 pm ET | Hettinger Stakes Charles Town | Race 7 | 10:02 pm ET | Rachel’s Turn Stakes Remington Park | Race 6 | 10:27 pm ET | RP Turf Sprint Stakes Remington Park | Race 8 | 11:23 pm ET | Barry Memorial Stakes Remington Park | Race 10 | 12:19 am ET | Red Earth Stakes 1/ST BET MOST LIKELY GULFSTREAM PARK WINNER Gulfstream Park | Race 1 | 12:50 pm ET | #6 Baby Sassicaia (28%) LONGSHOT RACE ALERT FROM BETMIX Churchill Downs | Race 1 | 12:45 pm ET Delaware Park | Race 4 | 2:00 pm ET Pimlico | Race 6 | 3:04 pm ET TRAINERS TO WATCH Todd Pletcher | Belmont-at-Aqueduct, Churchill Downs | all 6 entrants 5-1 or less morning line DID YOU SEE? Yesterday | Remington Park | Races 7 and 8 | nation’s top 2 highest-paying trifectas ($4,120 & $3,428) and superfectas ($57,060 & $37,017) in back-to-back races PUT US ON YOUR HANDICAPPING TEAM Frank Carulli: Churchill Downs Late Pick 4 Analysis | Friday, September 22, 2023 Frank Carulli & Brian W. Spencer Friday best bets available in Xpressbet.com member’s section
By 1/ST BET
The Belmont-at-Aqueduct racing week kicks off Thursday with extra intrigue. An $86,515 carryover in the traditional, $1 pick six begins in Race 4 with an approximate post time of 2:39 pm ET. Here are the 1/ST BET app artificial intelligence top Win Projections for the sequence. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 4 | allowance/optional claiming The David Jacobson entry here garners a combined 24% Win Projection between #1 Cazadero (9%) and #1A Mid Day Image (15%). That’s slightly best in total over #6 Win FromWithin at 22%. Also consider #7 Call Me Harry (15%) in a race where 5-2 morning line favorite #2 Kuramata under-indexes at just 10%. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 5 | maiden special weight Only four maidens here reach double-digit Win Projection percentages: #7 Oolong Hai (20%), #12 Millie Jean (13%), #1 Madaket’s Arrow (12%), #3 Material Witness (10%). First-time starters are undervalued in the algorithm for lack of data to process, so #4 You Only Live Once could be an inclusion in the debut for Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz, Jr. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 6 | claiming Absolutely wide-open bunch based on the numbers with 12-1 morning line proposition #7 Burgee a very tepid 15% top Win Projection. The Charlie Baker entry nets just 13% combined, but is next-best, behind #1 My Friends Beer (6%) and #1A Two Thirty Five (7%). #5 Durkin’s Call checks in at 12%, while the others are in a total cluster in single digits. The gutsy move would be to single the top pick and separate from the public in an otherwise spread race. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 7 | allowance/optional claiming #2 Tide of the Sea offers a very intriguing 23% Win Projection at a 10-1 morning line price. #3 Good Skate and #4 Daunt are 17% each, creating a sizable gap to the others. UK invader and morning line chalk #8 Francesco Clemente has to be respected for Chad Brown. The artificial intelligence won’t give Euros as high marks without speed figure calculations available. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 8 | allowance/optional claiming The top individual Win Projection in today’s Big A pick six goes to 24% play #5 Perfect Munnings, the 5-2 morning line favorite in this field of 9. Given the field size comparison across the races, this will be an oft-singled horse for those trying to maintain a budget. #4 Mariachi at 16% is the next alternative. Belmont-at Aqueduct | Race 9 | maiden claiming #12 Atlanta’s Acuna is a standout 21% Win Projection in this big field, a dozen points higher than a pair of 9% options, #6 Thatsmyboxer and #10 Impassible Prince. While it’s rarely a confident play to single a maiden claimer on turf from the widest draw, the numbers suggest it’s the right play in this spot. The Ticket 1/1A, 6,7 with 7,12,1,3,4 with 7 with 2,3,4,8 with 5 with 12 = $60 for $1 play
By Frank Carulli
Fueled by 16-1 and 7-1 winners, the Late Pick 4 at Churchill Downs paid $1,892 for a 50-cent wager last Friday. It could be more of the same this week with nine or 10 entries in each leg. Here’s a closer look: CD 7th race (3:50 P.M. EST) -- Going 4-deep on the ticket in a difficult opening leg with seven first-time starters. TIME SONG raced 4-wide behind the dueling leaders and ‘stayed on’ to finish a distant third, but the debut favorite won the race and it timed 1-3/5 seconds faster than the split division. SWEET AS SIN’S sire ranks in the Top 20 in progeny earnings this year, with 88 winners at an average distance that matches today’s race; his dam has produced 21 percent winners and a 60-percent in-the-money mark. DRAGOON GUARD is firing bullet workouts for the high-percentage Brad Cox barn; however, his dam, Filimbi (7-18, $670k), was multiple Grade I-placed while racing almost exclusively on turf. MILITARY CRUISER gets a spot on the ticket at 20-1 off a :47.2 gate work September 6. His sire, Catalina Cruiser, was 3-for-3 in Grade II stakes in long sprints. OTTO THE CONQUERER finished a game second in his 7F debut at Ellis Park, but save for winner Liberal Arts – stakes placed in his next start – the race produced a 7/0-0-1 follow-up slate with an average 46 Beyer. CD 8th race (4:22 P.M. EST) -- GILCREASE was in range of the leaders but tired in the stretch at one mile. He returns to a preferred distance and is a must use at 8-1 on the morning line after the race yielded a stakes winner, two stakes-placed routers and an allowance victor. MULLIKIN deserves another chance after he ‘missed the break’ by at least a length, raced 5-wide most of the way and gave way in the stretch as the odds-on favorite. CD 9th race (4:55 P.M. EST) -- ARABIAN PRINCE closed with a rush to miss in a photo-finish the last time he ran 5-1/2F. He deserves a long look in here, but at 0-13 on turf and winless the last two years, the safer play is to go deep in this wide open turf sprint with more than half the field arriving from different tracks. CD 10th race (5:26 P.M. EST) -- SISTER MAHA set the early pace, vied inside on the turn and gave way as the favorite at 7F. She finished between two next-out MSW winners and behind an allowance runner-up. She tired again after she broke inward at the start and set the pace in a useful one-mile turf test last out. METHODOLOGY, forced out by inner rivals at the start, recovered with a ‘sustained stride’ to finish second to the odds-on pace setter at this distance. Suggested 50-Cent Ticket CD 7th Race: 2, 4, 5, 6 CD 8th Race: 3, 8 CD 9th Race: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 CD 10th Race: 6, 8 Cost: $64
By Jeremy Plonk
The Lead: Remington Park's signature race, the Grade 3 $400,000 Oklahoma Derby, highlights a special Sunday addition to the local weekly schedule. The mile and one-eighth test will be the 10th and final race on a card that includes eight stakes races, strongly supported by the Remington Park Oaks. Twilight first post will be 4:03 pm ET / 3:03 pm CT. Horsesplayers at Xpressbet and 1/ST BET can take advantage of up to a $10 money-back special on all Remington Park races Sunday if your win bet finishes second or third. Field Depth: Grade 3 winners here include HIT SHOW, RED ROUTE ONE (pictured above) and RAISE CAIN, all of which are alumni of the 2023 Triple Crown series. Grade 3-placed entrants in the field of 13 include CAGLIOSTRO, WEST COAST COWBOY and GROVELAND. The entries include the 1-2 West Virginia Derby finishers, the 1-3 Iowa Derby finishers, the Ellis Park Derby winner and the 2-3 finishers of the Indiana Derby among the summer Derby series nationwide. Pace: Rail-drawn GHOST HERO should challenge the front with HEROIC MOVE. Don't expect TUMBARUMBA and GROVELAND to be far off the pace, one that looks moderate for this distance and class. Our Eyes: Here are my horse-by-horse notes. 1-GHOST HERO: Oklahoma-bred dual stakes winner locally nearly wired the Texas Derby at Lone Star, but will be stretched another sixteenth of a mile against a tougher field this time. Will take them as far as he can. 2-TUMBARUMBA: Won the Ellis Park Derby at a mile last out, but hasn't won a true, two-turn dirt route in his career. HIs four wins in nine starts include a combined margin of less than 1-1/4 lengths. He'll fight for it if he's in the mix; that's for sure. Pedigree suggests the extra distance may be a benefit and he's nicely drawn. 3-RAISE CAIN: Rallying 23-1 upsetter of the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct has lost 5 straight since, but has been facing elite company and has had some in-race excuses. May need a bit faster pace to unravel than he'll get here, but he's solid and respected. 4-CAGLIOSTRO: Rising trainer Cherie DeVaux has seen this Louisiana Derby eighth-place finisher continue to improve since trying the spring's big boys in the division. Moving the right way with a third in the Indiana Derby and second in the Smarty Jones at Parx. Wisely, and well-placed in this spot. Colt travels well based on consistent efforts regardless of venue. 5-HEROIC MOVE: The Robertino Diodoro barn has a history of bringing western Canadian sophomores to Oklahoma for its Derby, including 2013 winner Broadway Empire. But before his Canadian forays, this one was a competitive allowance runner at Oaklawn and Churchill Downs, so this is not a wild step up in class. But he's 1-for-7 and has lost margin in the stretch in 5 of those efforts. 6-GUNFLASH: Three-time sprint winner has yet to win in six races around two turns. Tough spot to envision this Karl Broberg trainee successfully leading the 9 furlongs. 7-WEST COAST COWBOY: Cross-entered in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby and expected to compete at Parx. 8-PEARL'S EARL: Maiden is 0-for-7 and terribly overmatched even from his home stall. 9-HOW DID HE DO THAT: Remington Park and North America's all-time leading trainer Steve Asmussen has this one and Red Route One in Sunday's Oklahoma Derby, hoping to add a second such trophy. He won this with Untrapped in 2017. This 48-1 dead-heat upset winner of the Iowa Derby has been inconsistent throughout his 13-race career. 10-RED ROUTE ONE: The more renowned of the Asmussen entrants, this deep closer rolled to a 3-length West Virginia Derby victory in August over this same trip and class level. Disregard his last on turf at Kentucky Downs. The pace will need to have some pep for him to excel late and the projection here isn't for anything sweltering to assist. Pairs perfectly with elite finishing jockey Joel Rosario, however, who won with him in stakes company at Oaklawn this spring. 11-GROVELAND: Son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, who also sired 2020 Oklahoma Derby winner Shared Sense. The famed Godolphin blue will be represented by this Sam F. Davis runner-up and more recent West Virginia Derby fifth-place finisher. Trainer Eoin Harty adds blinkers for the first time looking for a wake-up call. 12-MOR LANA SPIRIT: Locally based colt broke his maiden here last September and since has added allowance wins in Texas. Trainer Kari Craddock's had success here in stakes over the years, but this would be her biggest win on the docket. 13-HIT SHOW: Trainer Brad Cox has won the Oklahoma Derby 3 of the last 4 years and was third a year ago with even-money favorite Best Actor. Hit Show has top-5 finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont and has taken on the best in his division, including a fifth-place run in the Jim Dandy to Forte and Saudi Crown. It will be interesting to see how the latter fares in Saturday's Pennsylvania Derby at Parx for yet another line on this one's class. He's been a bit closer to the pace in recent starts and it's curious that he adds blinkers while changing to elite rider Flavien Prat for the first time. The wide draw, expected shorter price and pace questions make him a vulnerable consideration. Most Certain Exotics Contender: RED ROUTE ONE is 6 of his last 7 in the superfecta in dirt races shorter than the Belmont Stakes. He will make a run and be passing horses. Best Longshot Exotics Contender: HEROIC MOVE at 20-1 morning line for high-octane Diodoro on a path that's been successfully traveled before has some appeal. Sending it in ($100 bankroll): $80 win TUMBARUMBA. $5 exacta key-box TUMBARUMBA with CAGLIOSTRO, HEROIC MOVE ($20).
EXTRA INCENTIVES 10X Wager Rewards Points | Delaware County Fair | all races, all bets today September $20K Sweepstakes | win up to a $1,000 betting voucher NOTABLE CARRYOVERS Pick 6 | $86,515 | Aqueduct | begins Race 4 | 2:39 pm ET KEY RACES Delaware County Fair | Race 19 | 5:30 pm ET | Little Brown Jug (Elimination 1) Delaware County Fair | Race 20 | 5:50 pm ET | Little Brown Jug (Elimination 2) Delaware County Fair | Race 21 | 6:10 pm ET | Little Brown Jug (Elimination 3) Delaware County Fair | Race 24 | 7:10 pm ET | Little Brown Jug Final 1/ST BET MOST LIKELY BELMONT-AT-AQUEDUCT PICK 6 WINNER Belmont-at-Aqueduct | Race 8 | 4:44 pm ET | #5 Perfect Munnings (24%) LONGSHOT RACE ALERT FROM BETMIX Belterra Park | Race 1 | 12:05 pm ET Delaware Park | Race 7 | 3:30 pm ET Churchill Downs | Race 8 | 8:23 pm ET Remington Park | Race 5 | 9:59 pm ET TRAINERS TO WATCH David Jacobson | Belmont-at-Aqueduct, Penn National | 6 of 7 entrants 5-1 or less morning line DID YOU SEE? Yesterday | Finger Lakes | favorites won all 8 races on the card PUT US ON YOUR HANDICAPPING TEAM Al Cimaglia Video Analysis: Little Brown Jug Eliminations | Thursday, September 21, 2023 Frank Carulli & Brian W. Spencer Thursday best bets available in Xpressbet.com member’s section
By Al Cimaglia
Our harness expert Al Cimaglia provides a preview of all 3 Little Brown Jug eliminations set for Thursday's harness racing showcase at the Delaware County Fair. Check it out FREE at the Xpressbet YouTube page.
By Jon White
The $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, which has attracted a field of 11, will be contested at 1 1/8 miles this Saturday (Sept. 23) at Parx Racing. From the rail out, the field for this Grade I event consists of Modern Era (50-1 on the morning line), Dreamlike (10-1), Saudi Crown (7-2), Magic Tap (5-1), Scotland (6-1), Daydreaming Boy (12-1), West Coast Cowboy (12-1), Gilmore (10-1), Crupi (15-1), Il Miracolo (8-1) and Reincarnate (3-1). What I really would like to wager on is not available. As noted above, Reincarnate has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. Saudi Crown is the 7-2 second choice. If I could, I would make a large wager that Saudi Crown, not Reincarnate, will be the favorite when the 3-year-olds spring from the starting gate. Maybe I’ll be wrong. But I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that I’m right. Saudi Crown (pictured above) comes into the race off Beyer Speed Figures of 106 in the Dwyer Stakes and 105 in the Jim Dandy Stakes. Reincarnate? He has yet to record a Beyer higher than 95. As I’ve written many times, Beyer Speed Figures often have a big impact on how a race is bet. Saudi Crown will begin from post 3. Reincarnate? He drew post 11. When Bob Baffert was informed on the phone by a Parx representative that Reincarnate got post 11 at the draw, the Hall of Fame trainer was reported to have said with a laugh, “Oh, man, I am going to hang up.” In other words, Baffert was not happy that Reincarnate must start from the outside post. “I was hoping to get in the middle somewhere, but you can’t change it,” Baffert said. “But he’s still going [to run].” I liked Saudi Crown to win the Pennsylvania Derby, but I like him even more now that Reincarnate will be breaking from the outside. Below are my selections for the Pennsylvania Derby: 1. Saudi Crown (7-2 morning line) 2. Scotland (6-1) 3. Il Miracolo (8-1) 4. Reincarnate (3-1 favorite) Saudi Crown is a scant two noses away from being four for four. Unraced at 2, he won his first two starts this year, a maiden sprint at Keeneland in April and an allowance sprint at Churchill Downs in May. Trainer Brad Cox then put Saudi Crown in Belmont Park’s Grade III Dwyer Stakes at one mile on July 1. The Kentucky-bred Always Dreaming colt lost by a nose when runner-up to Baffert-trained Fort Bragg. In Saratoga’s Grade II Jim Dandy Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy track July 29, Saudi Crown again finished second and again lost by only a nose. This time he was barely defeated by Forte, the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2022. As I wrote in my Jim Dandy recap for Xpressbet.com: “In my opinion, Forte should have been disqualified. I say this as someone who has been a steward in California, Washington and Idaho.” Three retired jockeys who are now broadcasters, Gary Stevens, Jerry Bailey and Richard Migliore, likewise said that Forte should have been disqualified from first in the Jim Dandy for causing interference. Having ridden a combined 15,530 races, these three ex-riders certainly possess the gravitas to speak convincingly on the subject of whether or not Forte should have had his number taken down in the Jim Dandy. After the controversial Jim Dandy, a race in which Saudi Crown ran so hard, Cox elected to skip the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 26 with him and point him instead for the Pennsylvania Derby. Forte, who like Saudi Crown ran hard in the Jim Dandy, did compete in the Travers, which was decided on a muddy track. In a flat performance, Forte ran fourth in the Travers, perhaps due in some part to his taxing effort in the Jim Dandy. The Jim Dandy was just the second time in Forte’s 10-race career that he has finished worse than second. Scotland exits the Travers. He set the early pace and finished sixth for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. I was impressed by Scotland prior to the Travers when he won Saratoga’s Curlin Stakes at 1 1/8 miles by 3 1/4 lengths on July 21. The Tapit colt was credited with a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for that victory. Another number similar to that would make him a tough customer this Saturday. Scotland’s win in the Curlin looked even better when runner-up Il Miracolo returned to take Parx’s Grade III Smarty Jones Stakes at 1 1/16 miles by three lengths on Aug. 22. It does help Il Miracolo that he has a good-looking win on the Parx main track to his credit. He posted a 98 Beyer Speed Figure for his Smarty Jones triumph. Antonio Sano trains Il Miracolo, a Gun Runner colt. The Pennsylvania Derby was first run in 1979. Baffert’s four wins are the most by a trainer in the race’s history. His four winners have been Bayern in 2014, McKinzie in 2018, West Coast in 2019 and Taiba in 2022. It was announced this week that Taiba has been retired from racing and will embark on a new career as a stud at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. In addition to taking the Pennsylvania Derby, Taiba registered Grade I wins last year in the Santa Anita Derby and Malibu Stakes. In Taiba’s lone 2023 start, he finished eighth in the Group I, $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 25. Reincarnate will try to provide Baffert with a fifth Pennsylvania Derby victory. After finishing 13th in the Grade I Kentucky Derby on May 6, the Good Magic colt won the Los Alamitos Derby at 1 1/8 miles by 2 1/2 lengths on July 8. However, Reincarnate’s 91 Beyer Speed Figure in the Los Alamitos Derby doesn’t get the pulse racing. Also, Reincarnate’s Los Al Derby performance was not flattered when runner-up Skinner subsequently could do no better than fifth in Del Mar’s Grade I Pacific Classic on Sept. 2. PENNSYLVANIA DERBY WINNING BEYERS Below are the Beyer Speed Figures for Pennsylvania Derby winners going back to 1992 (the first year they were listed in the American Racing Manual): 2022 Taiba (108) 2021 Hot Rod Charlie (111) 2020 not run 2019 Math Wizard (99) 2018 McKinzie (107) 2017 West Coast (107) 2016 Connect (103) 2015 Frosted (106) 2014 Bayern (110) 2013 Will Take Charge (105) 2012 Handsome Mike (93) 2011 To Honor and Serve (105) 2010 Morning Line (103) 2009 Gone Astray (104) 2008 Anak Nakal (100) 2007 Timber Reserve (105) 2006 not run 2005 Sun King (103) 2004 Love of Money (112) 2003 Grand Hombre (108) 2002 Harlan’s Holiday (96) 2001 Macho Uno (104) 2000 Pine Dance (105) 1999 Smart Guy (109) 1998 Rock and Roll (110) 1997 Frisk Me Now (114) 1996 Devil’s Honor (114) 1995 Pineing Patty (108) 1994 Meadow Flight (106) 1993 Wallenda (100) 1992 Thelastcrusade (107) COTILLION STAKES SELECTIONS Kentucky Oaks winner Pretty Mischievous tops a field of nine 3-year-old fillies entered in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes, which also will be run at Parx Racing this Saturday. Pretty Mischievous has been pegged as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. From the rail out, the field for the Grade I Cotillion is comprised of Foggy Night (12-1 on the morning line), Ceiling Crusher (5-1), Pretty Mischievous (2-1), Hoosier Philly (6-1), Occult (6-1), Just Katherine (12-1), Definining Purpose (4-1), Imonra (10-1) and Majestic Creed (30-1), I’m going to take a shot and make Ceiling Crusher my top pick at a nice 5-1 on the morning line. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the California-bred Mr. Big filly has lost only once in five career starts. Last time out, Ceiling Crusher cruised to an impressive win in Del Mar’s Torrey Pines Stakes at one mile on Sept. 2. In her three stakes victories this year, she has won the Evening Jewel by 15 1/2 lengths, Melair by 17 lengths and Torrey Pines by six lengths. It’s not as if Ceiling Crusher’s Beyers are far below Pretty Mischievous’ figures. In Ceiling Crusher’s trio of stakes wins this year, her Beyers have been 94, then 92, then 92. Pretty Mischievous, who possibly will go off at a much shorter price than her 2-1 morning line, has reeled off three consecutive wins, all at the Grade I level. Her Beyers in those three victories were 92 in the Kentucky Oaks, then 96 in the Acorn Stakes, then 87 in the Test Stakes. Brendan Walsh trains Pretty Mischievous, a Kentucky-bred filly by super sire Into Mischief. Inasmuch as Pretty Mischievous is a multiple Grade I winner, she does merit the utmost respect in the Cotillion. And she will always have a soft spot in my heart after I cashed a $200 bet on her at odds of 15-1 in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Nevertheless, while I appreciate Pretty Mischievous coming through for me in the Kentucky Oaks, I will try to beat her Saturday with Ceiling Crusher. Below are my selections for the Cotillion Stakes: 1. Ceiling Crusher (5-1 morning line) 2. Pretty Mischievous (2-1 favorite) 3. Defining Purpose (4-1) 4. Occult (6-1) Kenny McPeek trains Defining Purpose. The Cross Traffic filly won the Grade I Ashland Stakes in April, finished seventh in the Kentucky Oaks in May, won the Grade III Indiana Oaks in July, then ran third in the Grade I Alabama Stakes last month. Occult, third to Pretty Mischievous in the Acorn, comes off a 10 1/4-length route in the Grade III Monmouth Oaks on July. Chad Brown trains the Into Mischief filly. RACING MOURNS THE DEATH OF BRERETON JONES Brereton Jones, a giant in Thoroughbred racing and breeding and former governor of Kentucky, died Monday (Sept. 18). He was 84. Kentucky’s current governor, Andy Beshear, announced Jones’ passing. Jones held the highest office in Kentucky from 1991-95. Founder of the highly successful Airdrie Stud in Kentucky in 1972, he owned three Kentucky Oaks winners -- Proud Spell in 2008, Believe You Can in 2015 and Lovely Maria in 2015. Believe You Can is the dam of Conclude. A 3-year-old Collected colt, Conclude won two grass stakes races at the recently adjourned Del Mar meeting. He won the Oceanside on opening day, then captured the Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3. Conclude races for an ownership partnership that includes Jones, Little Red Feather Racing and Madaket Stables. Trained by Phil d’Amato, Conclude won the Oceanside under the Little Red Feather silks, then took the Del Mar Derby beneath Jones’ orange and green silks. Jones bred Conclude. CHAMPION AMAZOMBIE REMEMBERED Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement home in Kentucky, has announced that Eclipse Award winner Amazombie was euthanized Monday (Sept. 18) due to a fractured ankle. He was 16. Amazombie won the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in 2011. He was voted a 2011 Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter. Bill Spawr trained Amazombie, who won 12 of 29 lifetime starts. The California-bred Northern Afleet gelding earned $1,920,378. In what turned out to be Amazombie’s final start, he finished eighth as the 7-2 favorite in the Grade I BC Sprint in 2012 at Santa Anita. Trinniberg won that race. Amazombie then was retired to Old Friends by his co-owners, Spawr and Thomas Sanford. “Amazombie died doing what he did best -- running like the wind,” said Michael Blowen, president and founder of Old Friends. “...I’m certain I’m not the only one who is heartbroken.” Spawr earlier this year ended his 43-year career as a trainer in which he was highly respected by colleagues, owners, breeders, racing officials and bettors. Amazombie was just one of so many terrific training jobs on the part of Spawr. “Amazombie was a lot of fun,” Spawr said after learning of the champion’s death. “He was so much fun, you just can’t imagine. And, you know, he died doing what he loved to do -- run!” Spawr thanked Old Friends for doing “a great job” with Amazombie during his retirement. “We appreciated that.” LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC RANKINGS Arcangelo again is atop the Longines Breeders’ Cup Rankings this week. Winner of this year’s Grade I Belmont Stakes and Grade I Travers Stakes, the Arrogate ridgling is scheduled to make his next start in America’s richest race, the $6 million BC Classic, at Santa Anita on Nov. 4. The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of voters comprised of members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing/Secretaries Panel, international racing and sports media, plus racing analysts. The rankings will be updated weekly through Oct. 10. The Top 10 this week’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Rankings is below: Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 330 Arcangelo (23) 2. 266 Geaux Rocket Ride (1) 3. 262 Arabian Knight (4) 4. 259 White Abarrio (4) 5. 186 Forte (1) 6. 135 Proxy 7. 129 Bright Future 8. 68 Mage 9. 65 Ushba Tesoro (2) 10. 51 Zandon TOP 10 IN THIS WEEK’S NTRA TOP THOROUGHBRED POLL Rank Points Horse (First-Place Votes) 1. 288 Arcangelo (23) 2. 269 Cody’s Wish (6) 3. 213 Elite Power (1) 4. 183 Echo Zulu (2) 5. 175 White Abarrio (2) 6. 153 Arabian Knight 7. 146 Gunite 8. 87 Geaux Rocket Ride 9. 78 Up to the Mark 10. 52 Casa Creed