Dick Powell’s Dubai Pick of the Week Jan. 23, 2019
Race 6 at Meydan on Thursday morning is a $135,000 handicap for older horses going about 1 1/2 miles on the turf. With the wide course, they will only go around two turns as they make one lap. The morning-line favorite is Bin Battuta (#1), who returned off a lengthy layoff to win a handicap race here three weeks ago. He was a decent handicap horse in England in 2017 and his win going this distance indicates he has recovered that form. What makes him vulnerable is a second race in three weeks going 1 1/2 miles and how can he move forward while picking up five pounds. In his favor is that he draws the rail and gets Christophe Soumillon back aboard. Having found a vulnerable favorite, the next exercise is who can take advantage of it? Spotify (#2) returns off a layoff for Charlie Appleby, who takes over from Charles Ferland after Spotify was privately purchased for $288,000. Last year in France, the bay five-year-old son of Redoute’s Choice won a handicap going 10 furlongs on the synthetic track at Cagnes-Sur-Mer. He was only beaten three lengths going a similar distance against Group 3 company, and came back with a third last out going 1 1/4 miles on soft turf against Group 3 rivals. Appleby removes the blinkers and cheek pieces, so Spotify should run much more free in this spot. James Doyle picks up the mount and he has three winners in seven mounts for Appleby at the meet so far. Spotify is out of a Group-winning dam who has produced four turf stakes winners from four foals to race. On the rest of the Thursday card from Meydan, I like: Race 2: Tone Broke (#2) ships in from America for Steve Asmussen. He broke his maiden on dirt at Remington Park, then came back there and beat first-level allowance foes. Last out, he rallied from off the pace to miss by three lengths in the $400,000 Springboard Mile. Asmussen-trained horses ship well and this one will have to overcome post 8 with Jim Crowley. Race 4: Tried and True (#5) gets a big weight pull in this handicap. The son of Medaglia d’Oro gets in with 120 pounds and prepped for this with a good second against slightly better company two weeks ago. Race 5: Marinaresco (#6) returns off a long layoff for Mike de Kock, who excels in this spot. A multiple Group 1 winner in South Africa, Marinaresco starts her season off going seven furlongs from a good post and should be raring to go. ***Thursday in Dubai is a Bonus Cash day where after you opt in and bet using the new TwinSpires.com platform, you can split $1,000 by making four $25 wagers (no Show wagers) on four separate races.