Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: Mark Valeski in the Peter Pan

Today at Belmont, we have the Peter Pan (G2) for 3YO going a mile and an eighth for a purse of $200,000.  Their are 11 going forward and it's a race loaded with speed.  There are a lot of colt's here to like, all lightly raced and most are multiple winners.  The other two challenges with this group is most have never gone this distance, and how much upside do they still possess? That makes it anyone's race.  It's a solid group and actually I like them more than the Derby entrants.  So here we go ...


#5  Mark Veleski ML 5/2

I chose him to win the Risen Star (G2) and looked like he had it until El Padrino chased him down.  He looked strong in the Louisiana Derby (G2) almost winning it.  It's hard to ignore him when he has shown he can go this distance, has been working out well and of course, Larry Jones.  Jones has a 33% winning record in Graded Stakes and 43% with Rosie Napravnik.  I also like that he has won twice off layoffs.  He is no lock but going with the trainer/distance angle.

#10 Teeth of the Dog ML 6/1

He is the only one to win at this distance in his maiden win and then returns to give a tough show performance in the Wood Memorial (G1).  In each of his four races his Beyer's have improved and could really move up today. Michael Matz is tough in these situations, and Bravo has this colt wired.  The only question is does he chase the speed or rate off?  Coming from the outside will be a real test for him.

#2 The Lumber Guy ML 7/2

He is three for four, coming off winning the Jerome (G2) at a mile.  His only off race at this distance in the Wood Memorial, running wide and then tiring.  There are two angles here on this colt,  one is Hushion is stellar with winners coming back, dirt route races (30+% winners) and a 20% hit rate in graded stakes.  The other is that he has won all three races coming out of the inside gates, the Wood he was in the 8 hole and ran three wide.  With him coming out at #2 and his speed of 96 he could get loose on this field.

Dark Horse:

#9 Master Rick ML 10/1

He woke up when Asmussen took over winning two in a row at Oaklawn Park.  His last race was a stakes race with an eye popping 99 Beyer going a mile.  He is another one with the early speed and has shown he can carry it.  We all know Asmussen and Nakatani are dangerous in these spots and today is no different. You have to like the step up in class on the improve and stretching out.  The outside post could be a hindrance for him with all this speed, but Nakatani is crafty in these spots

#6 Good Morning Diva ML 12/1

This is a simple Mark Cramer angle here. Shipping in from Florida, new trainer in Tim Hills, jockey switch to Leparoux and stretching out in distance.  He won the Calder Derby in his first route and posted a solid Beyer. He likes to press the pace which might work out well with the speed today.  The only knock is he might be a foul weather horse, both wins on an off track.

Bombs Away:

#1 Right to Vote ML 20/1

Here is another speedster stretching out today.  He shows to be a bouncer on his speed figures, but I do like how he showed himself in the Champagne against Union Rags and Alpha as a 2YO.  Harty sets him up nicely by taking a OC$100K first time as a 3YO and brings him back to Belmont where he won his maiden. Kind of a horse for course angle today and will need a big jump in effort to run with this crew.  His pedigree says he can get it done.


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