Holland's North America Racing Picks for May 25
by Tim Holland
Trainer Chad Brown wins with 29% of his second-time starters and saddles #2 Union Maiden (7-2), who lost chances when a closing fifth after a slow start as the heavy favorite in her debut at Gulfstream in mid-February. Daughter of Union Rags is a half-sister to one winner and Brown wins with 30% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Another second-time starter worth consideration while maybe providing better value is #3 Magic Motion (12-1), who has not been seen since showing little in her debut at Saratoga in July. Daughter of Bernardini cost $325K as a yearling and recent works include a sharp 4-furlong move in :47 4/5 here for trainer Mott, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and with 15% of his second-time starters. Filly may show more here with Gaffalione up.
#8 Meru (7-2) has not been seen since finishing a well-beaten second behind Independence Hall in the Nashua (G3) over one mile at Aqueduct in early November. Son of Sky Mesa won his one previous start at this 6-furlong distance and trainer Duarte wins with 15% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Colt can be in good position from the start with Jose Ortiz in the saddle.
A competitive allowance on turf includes #2 Kulik Bear (5-1), who was last seen when leading from the start to win at this distance at Fair Grounds in mid-March. Recent works include a 4-furlong move in :48 for trainer Casse, who wins with 16% of runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Son of Curlin has a record of 5-2-1-2 on grass and can be on or near the lead from the start with Bridgmohan retaining the mount.
#12 Notsosubtle (15-1) may have still needed his latest when unplaced facing better here earlier this month being his second start after a long break. Son of Emcee finished a good fourth in a stakes on this course earlier in his career and makes his third outing for trainer De la Cerda, who wins with 16% of his runners on turf. Gelding drew a wide post but Jaramillo remains aboard.
Maiden claimers going 6 furlongs include #5 Treasury (8-1), a debuting son of good first-out sire Speightstown, who is out of a mare by Medaglia d’Oro. Trainer Olivares failed to win with his last seven first-time starters but gelding’s works include a solid 5-furlong move in 1:01 2/5 at Gulfstream West this month. Dark bay appears ready for a good first outing with Zayas taking the mount.
Santa Anita Park
#5 Enriched by Deb (7-2) has not been seen since fading to finish fourth after dueling for the early lead in her debut in February, from which race the runner-up won next time out. Trainer Baltas wins with 19% of his maiden claimers and daughter of Munnings is a half-sister to one winner. Filly has worked well since her first outing and can be forwardly placed throughout under Rosario, who has won with one of his last two rides for the barn.
Two for trainer Chad Brown go in the very competitive Shoemaker Mile (G1), headed by #1 Without Parole (4-1), who has been freshened since an unplaced effort after a troubled trip in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January. Son of excellent turf sire Frankel won the St James's Palace G1) at Royal Ascot earlier in his career and finished a good third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) two back in his first outing for Brown, who wins with 30% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more. #8 Raging Bull (7-2) has not been seen since losing chances at the start when closing to finish fourth (elevated to third) in the Woodbine Mile (G1) in September. 5-year-old has a lifetime record of 12-5-2-2 on turf and should find a solid pace to close into with Rosario retaining the mount.
#1 Etoile (5-2) makes her first North American start for trainer Brown and has not been seen since finishing unplaced in the Prix de l’Opera (G1) in early October. Daughter of Siyouni finished a close fourth in the Prix de Diane (G1) last June and has been working well for Brown, who wins with 29% of runners first time for his barn. Filly was purchased for over $1 million in December and can get a good trip with Rosario in the irons.
Trainer Todd Fincher wins with 22% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and saddles #4 Drive Thru Gary (6-1), who has not been seen since rallying from just off the pace to defeat easier at Sunland in late February. Gelding has won two of 13 career outings and can be in good position throughout with Sigala riding.
Another Fincher trainee coming off a layoff is #4 Evacuee (7-2). Dark bay was last seen when closing to finish second in a stakes at Sunland in February and has been working well for Fincher, who wins with 19% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more. 3-year-old can be along from off the pace with Juarez in the irons.