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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: All Larry Jones in the Risen Star at FG

Wow, what a nice race run by R Holiday Mood in the Hurricane Bertie!  It wasn’t so much of that she paid a nice mutual ($12.60), it was the fact we got a nice horse improving and coming off a win.  From a handicapping perspective it is so satisfying to find those kinds of opportunities and then see a good price.   Today, we are going back over to the Fair Grounds, and look at a race for 3YO Derby hopefuls.  It’s the Risen Star (G2) going a mile and a sixteenth for a purse of $300,000.  We have seen several of these colts before in the LeComte.  The race is fairly wide open, no overwhelming speed so the pace should be square.  It’s these kinds of races where you have lightly raced 3YO that look somewhat evenly matched where an upset occurs, I think I have one today.  So here we go …

Contenders:

#1a Mark Valeski ML 4/1

Larry Jones is positioning the lightly raced colt for the Derby.  Won last out in an Optional Claiming race here at FG, with an improving Beyer of 84.  This will be his first route, but the breeding says that it will be no problem for him, and Jones hits 25% on the sprint/route play.  Strong workouts, good racing style for this group today and Jones put’s the meets number one rider on board, Napravnik .  All things being equal, he has an excellent chance to win this race.

#1 Mr. Bowling ML 4/1

We saw him in the LeComte surprise the field with an excellent performance.  I see no reason he can’t repeat here.  Good speed, like the #1a, a good running style for this race, and has been working out well.  He has raced well everywhere he has been, and is showing himself to be a versatile 3YO. Other than Shared Property, he is the only graded winner in the race.

#7 El Padrino ML 2/1

His last outing produced an eye popping 100 Beyer at GP over this distance.  He ran well in the Remsen at Aqueduct and you can’t ignore Pletcher horses.  That being said, as the DRF noted his only wins came on off tracks.  I’m suspicious of horses, especially young ones that pop a big number.  It sets them up for a bounce and tough day.  You can’t ignore him, but I’m wary.

Dark Horse:

#8 Shared Property ML    6/1

He had a decent effort in the LeComte finishing third, had to fight his way through and came in wide.  His workouts look been solid, has the speed to go with this group and has a G3 win to his credit.  I think the key for him today is how Goncalves rides him, his past history shows he comes out wide, if Goncalves can get him into a better tracking position; he has the ability to run by them all.   He flashed a nice 87 in the Arlington Washington Futurity, and has been progressing upwards.


#5 Z Fager ML 5/1

You can’t pass on the place finisher in the Lecomte.  He was closing fast on Mr. Bowling and just missed.  Asmussen is always is dangerous in these situations and you have the crafty Shane Sellers on board.  This is the dangerous one in this race.

Bombs Away:

#9 Tizanexpense ML 10/1

This colt is going for his third in a row, and is taking a big step today.  I like that he is two for two here at the Fair Grounds, his speed is improving with each race.  The post position isn’t the best but he has won from out here before, Michael Maker (like Asmussen) is dangerous in these kinds of races.    He can go forward or come off the pace, it’ll be interesting to see how Mena races him.   Lastly, he picks up a weight break for this one

Selections:

1a – 1 – 7  

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