Ellis Park Spot Plays for Friday, July 26
By Joe Kristufek Race 4 – DIXIE ZAPPER (#3) (5-1) Off slowly in the debut losing four lengths, he was covered at the rail most of the journey, but ran into major traffic trouble and had to be checked hard, losing ground and valuable momentum at a pivotal point in the race. Drops in class off that deceiving debut and should run even better. Also consider #8 Poncho’s Dream (7-2) and #4 Clipboard Money (3-1) in the gimmicks and for multi-race purposes. Race 7 – SLICK SILVER (#5) (5-2) Winless from eight starts but with six on the board performances, this gray son of Kantharos returned off a seven-week break to finish second behind a sharp winner. Off a contested pace early, he made a steady advance while four-wide into the turn. While he was forced even wider at the top of the stretch, the winner enjoyed an advantageous, pocket trip. This guy gamely won the place battle and it looks like he’s in position to graduate here. Also consider #10 Better Charge It (4-1) and #4 Admiral Brown (8-1) in the gimmicks and for multi-race purposes. Race 8 – WILDLIFE (#5) (9-2) It was Rafael Bejarano’s only mount of the day last time, and she made it very much worth his while. Sitting at the back of the pack on the rail behind a hot pace, she made a slingshot move five-wide on the turn and finished fastest of all to win. She was green in the stretch that day, so she should have even more to give. Also consider #4 Tiz Ella (6-1), #9 Julia’s Ready (4-1) and #10 Diva Day (7-2) in the gimmicks and for multi-race purposes. Race 9 – HELLOHIGHWATER (#1) (9-2) Much improved in recent starts, he ran a huge third over nine furlongs of grass two starts back at Churchill. Off five lengths slow, he made a big move on the turn while still in hand and closed strongly late behind the winner Avigale, who may be stakes caliber. He gutted out a close fourth in the slop last out, posted a pair of useful works between starts, and should greatly appreciate a move back to the green stuff. Also consider #9 Merlin’s Song (10-1) and #5 A. K. Safari (8-1) in the gimmicks and for multi-race purposes.