Holland's North America Racing Picks for June 18
Tim will look to build the bankroll for a big weekend of racing action, tabbing spot plays today for Churchill Downs, Indiana Grand, Woodbine, and Canterbury Park.
Trainer Asmussen wins with 21% of his second-time starters and saddles #7 Mad Maddy (7-5), who was outrun late after vying for the early lead when second in her debut last month. Daughter of excellent young sire American Pharoah is one of few in here with racing experience and Asmussen has won with 18% of his runners this year. Filly looks like the one to catch under Santana, who has won with 18% of his rides for the barn over the past two months.
#7 Acre (6-1) will try turf for the first time off a flattening-out fourth place finish over 7-furlongs on the main track last month, his second start after a long break. Dark bay should take to the surface being by Blame and out of a mare by Galileo, who is the dam of Lea, winner of the Commonwealth Turf (G3) on this course as well as the Donn H (G1) on dirt at Gulfstream. Acre posted a decent 4-furlong work on grass in :49 2/5 this month for trainer Mott, who has won with 17% of his runners this meet, and 3-year-old can be along from off the pace with Garcia up.
Maidens on turf include #11 Wasiyah (9-2), who comes off a weakening second place finish. Filly was making her second start last time and showed good early speed setting the pace on the Fair Grounds main track. Daughter of Distorted Humor is a half-sister to Conquest Daddyo, who won the Summer S. (G2), and trainer Walsh wins with 22% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Another well-bred filly is #6 Incarnation (20-1), a daughter of Temple City and a half-sister to Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Big Brown. Bay showed little in her debut, but trainer Shirer has won with 26% of his runners this year and the bay could show more with Morales remaining aboard.
Trainer Ward wins with 22% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and saddles #1 Frontana (6-1), who has not been seen since breaking his maiden impressively on the all-weather surface at Turfway in early-March. Taking on winners for the first time is never easy, and Ward wins with 21% of his runners in this situation. He's also won with two of his first eight runners this meet. By War Front, colt can be forwardly placed from the start with Ramsammy riding, and he's out of Keertana, who finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1).
Plenty of early pace may set-up well for a closer, such as #2 Race the Moon (4-1), who comes off a third-place finish in an even effort at Will Rogers last month. Gelding has a record of 6-2-1-1 on this oval and trainer Biehler has won with two of his first nine runners at this meet. Gray has won 3-of-9 at this distance and can be along late with Lori Biehler in the saddle.
Trainer Berndt wins with 14% of his first-time starters and saddles #8 Frank the Mayor (10-1), a debuting son of 10% first-out sire Midnight Lute. Gelding is a half-brother to two winners and his recent works include a good 4-furlong move in :48 1/5 from the gate here. Berndt wins with 21% of his runners overall in maiden special weight events, and dark bay appears ready for a good first outing under Velazquez, who has won with two of his last six rides for this barn.