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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: A Surgar Swirl for the Pistol today at GP

What a great way to start the month of December with back to back winners.  Ancient Rome hung on to win the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream paying $4.80. Then Eagle Poise connects in the Valedictorian on closing day at Woodbine, for an $8.80 winning ticket.  Now let’s see if we can keep those winning ways going today.   We are going back to Gulfstream for the 32nd running of the Sugar Swirl (G3).  It is for fillies and mares, 3YO and up going 6 panels for a purse of $100,000.

A field of eight is scheduled, and this group is loaded with front end speed.  What makes this race scary is that we have several girls here who have at one time really gunned it and then cooled off, is this a wakeup call now that they are back in the sunshine state?  Can Pomeroy Pistol bounce back after the rough outing she had in the BC and find those solid 95’s?   So let’s take a look at our options …

Contenders:

#1  Pomeroy Pistol  ML 5/2

Without a doubt she is the clear choice.  Tossing out the BC Sprint, she has posted consistent speed, winning a G2 at Belmont and being in the hunt in all her races.  She has done well at GP, winning a G2 back in January.  She should tuck up close and pounce on this field unless one of these underachievers breaks loose, and that is possible.  Her class and consistency should prevail.

#2  Pica Slew ML 8/1

Lately my stretch picks have been finding the place window consistently and like this 4YO filly to wake up and find her old self.  She had a 3 wins in 4 attempts as a 3YO and then it all fell apart.  She had shown stellar speed (86-92-102), won the G3 Azelea at Calder.  My take on this horse, is her connections are confused, can’t settle on a trainer and messing up this lightly raced filly.  What I do like is the Brian Lynch does well with 1st timers under his stead.  Contreras is solid in the irons and this horse has the talent and has shown it.  She has all the ability to wire this field and if the past hasn’t spooked her, watch out, a real danger here to run away from them all.

#8  Third Chance  ML 3/1

She has won 4 in a row, popping some nice Beyer’s, granted some races were with state bred company, but you can ignore her ability to run off and hide.  DeVito and Santana clip off a 40% win connection, and Santana has this filly in a nice groove.  The 8 hole gives him a tactical advantage and could surprise them all.

Dark Horse:

#3  Roman Treasure ML 4/1

Some might have her in the top three and would not argue against that, but her inconsistency and coming up empty in her last makes me question her form here.  There has been a trainer change to Iwinski who does well with 1st timers winning 27% and puts Bravo on board.  She has shown the speed to handle this field and to go forward if asked.  I’m just not sure if she is all there right now, would like to see one first.

Bombs Away:

#4  Catch a Thief ML 8/1

This 4YO had a nice 3 YO season winning 4 of 7, nice middle 90 Beyers and seemed destined to build a nice career.  Started off this season with a win in an Optional Claiming $100k and then she has been in a rut of a day late/dollar short.   She has been off for 60 days and has won coming off the bench before, and returns to GP where she has won 2 of 3.  So consider her a “horses for courses” hunch.   This will be Paco Lopez third try and last outing he brought her closer to the action and her Beyer popped up.  She has the ability to run in the 90’s and think she might be rounding back into form.

Selections:

1 – 2 – 8    

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