Holland's North American free picks for Dec. 18
Tim Holland gives his thoughts on various races across North America on this day in racing at Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds, Tampa Bay Downs, and Los Alamitos.
#3 Stone Tornado (5-2) comes off a fourth-place finish in an even effort over 6 furlongs at Aqueduct last month in her first start since September. Daughter of Toronado had some good form in Europe before joining Chad Brown, who wins with 20% of his runners going from a sprint to a route. Filly has been beaten as the favorite in all four starts in this country, but can be in good position from the start under Irad Ortiz, who has won with 21% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.
Trainer Stall wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and saddles #12 Zero to Sixty (6-1), who was outrun from the start when unplaced over 6 furlongs on the main track at Keeneland in her latest in October. Stall wins with 16% of his starters going a route for the first time and daughter of 17% turf sire American Pharoah impressed when winning her debut on grass at Saratoga in July. Chestnut drew a wide post but may have enough early speed to get in good position with Hernandez riding.
#3 Spa City (7-2) held on gamely when winning his latest at Keeneland in mid-October in his first start for trainer Cox and first outing since March. Son of Street Sense has won two of his five career starts and Cox wins with 23% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Colt can be forwardly placed throughout under Geroux, who has won with 24% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.
Tampa Bay Downs
#8 Kalu (12-1) narrowly missed when third as the favorite over 6 1/2 furlongs earlier this month in his first start since being reclaimed by Kent Sweezey. Son of Ghostzapper has won two of his seven starts on this oval and Sweezey wins with 24% of his runners that were beaten as the favorite last time out. Gelding can be stalking the early pace with Mejia in the saddle.
Maidens going 5 1/2 furlongs include #7 Aadhana (10-1), a debuting daughter of California Chrome, whose offspring have won 10% of their first outings. Chestnut is out of a stakes-winning mare and trainer O’Neill wins with 13% of his first-time starters. Filly appears ready for a good first outing under apprentice Centeno, who has won with one of his last seven rides for the barn.