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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: Pletcher sandwiches Rodman in the Bold Ruler today

Last weekend at Keeneland, “Bombs Away” horses ruled the day in both races.  We had Great Hot (Brz) in the Raven Run paying $10.60 and then in the Dowger,  Senada came in and paid a whopping $35.40.  We missed on Senada, but it was nice to see our second selection, Upperline finish second.  Today, we head back to New York and will look at the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont.  It is for 3YO+ running 7 panels and we have a field of 8 sprinting for the $100,000 purse.

At first pass, other than Rule by Night we have several good horses here that are trying to find their way back to the winners circle.  There isn’t a lot of front end speed and a couple have flashed impressive Beyer’s in the past but reflect being bouncers.  When you get this mixed bag of form, pace and jockey changes you never know what is going to happen. 

Contenders:

#1 Caixa Eletronica ML 5/2

I know this is a total chalk pick but it is hard to ignore this 6YO winning 5 of 10 this season, sprint or route.  Post nice consistent Beyer’s in the high 90’s and has JohnnyV back in the irons where he won two straight.  In fact, Velasquez has ridden him 4 times and won 3, including the G3 Westchester here at Belmont.   He likes to race forwardly and could wire this field.  No value here but it looks like his race to lose.

#4 Rodman ML 3/1

This horse can post some impressive speed figures and knows how to win.  The trouble is you never know what horse you are going to get.   He can be really good or horrible.  I like the fact that Dominguez is back on board where he put Rodman in the winner’s circle in the Irish Tower ($60K) at Aqueduct.  He can race at the front end and is another can go wire to wire.   Also like the cut back in distance angle with Rodman, it should suit him perfectly.

#1A  Calibrachoa ML 5/2

The second part of the Pletcher entries.  This 4YO had a nice string of 4 in a row including back to back G3 wins.  He like Rodman can fire off some hot Beyer’s (103-107-107) but seems to flash a bounce pattern.  So with his 82 last out in an off track effort in a G1 race, he should be primed to race big.  Likes to rate off the front runners and gets Lezcano for this one.  Interesting to note, the top the contenders get big jockey switches for today, kind of a New York jockey all star race.

Dark Horse:

I can only find one here that I like.  Some would ask what about Justin Phillips?  The only way he plays here if the track is off.  Looking into the #6 past, the only two wins were on off tracks, so if Belmont is off today then Justin Phillips fits here.  Otherwise, I like # 8 Rule by Night ML 8/1.

This 4YO had a good outing last out winning the Duck Dance here at Belmont, popping a nice 96 Beyer.  Two prior were clunkers, one at Monmouth and the other at Saratoga.  Has raced twice at Belmont and hit the board both times.   This is a hunch play, Steve Asmussen is always dangerous in these situations and brings Nakatani in for the ride.  This connection wins 33% of the time and right now at Belmont they have been clipping at 29%.  If Nakatani rides him up close watch out, he can nail this bunch.

“Bombs Away"

#2 Uptowncharlybrown ML 20/1

This is a true mystery horse.  A lightly raced 4YO with 2 wins in 7 starts on the board 5 of 7 lifetime. Has had three trainers and has had only one start this year.  As a 3 YO showed potential in finishing a respectable 5th in the Belmont, a 2nd in a Grade 2 and a place effort in a G3.  Beyer’s have been consistent in the low 90’s, not fast enough on the surface to beat this group, but now Coletti has taken over and drops Paco Lopez onto the saddle.  It will take a huge effort, but likes this distance and could be there if all the others are not up to form today.  
Selections:

1 – 4 – 1A

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