Holland's North American free picks for Dec. 5
Tim Holland offers his racing picks for Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, and Tampa Bay Downs.
Maidens on turf include #7 Some Mo (12-1), who was never a serious threat when unplaced in his debut on the main track at Pimlico in September, from which race the first two finishers both won their next outings. Uncle Mo colt should take to the surface being a full brother to Ultra Brat, who won the Marshua’s River (G3). Trainer Motion wins with 16% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days, and bay should show improvement here with Albarado riding.
A competitive field for the Claiming Crown Express with #7 Combination (9-2) coming off a win from just off the pace over 5 furlongs at Gulfstream West last month in his second start since being reclaimed by Saffie Joseph and first outing since July. Gelding has won seven of his 14 starts on this oval, and Joseph wins with 24% of his runners second off a layoff. Son of Alternation should find a solid pace to stalk under Zayas, who has won with 25% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.
#5 Queens Embrace (5-2) was claimed by Danny Gargan when fifth in an even effort at this distance at Belmont in her latest in September. Daughter of Real Solution finished third in the Lake Placid (G2) earlier this year, and Gargan wins with 31% of his runners first time off the claim. Filly can be stalking the early leaders with Saez taking the mount.
Todd Pletcher wins with 26% of his second-time starters and adds blinkers to #8 Cost Average (6-1), who faded to finish sixth after showing early speed in which race the first two finishers both returned to win their next starts. Son of promising young sire Speightster has worked well since his first outing, and Pletcher has won with 30% of his runners at this meet. Chestnut can be in the early mix with Velazquez riding.
Tampa Bay Downs
#5 Feeling Mischief (9-2) weakened to finish third after vying for the lead over 6 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in her latest in October in her first start since her debut in early August. Daughter of Into Mischief is out of True Feelings, who finished second in the Schuylerville (G3), and trainer Campbell wins with 15% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Filly figures to be sent early with Castanon in the irons.