Holland's North American free racing picks for Oct. 1
Handicapper Tim Holland has some value plays for Belmont Park, Indiana Grand, and Golden Gate Fields, as well as a selection for Pimlico on Thursday.
#8 Tiger Blood (7-2) faded to finish unplaced on soft turf in the Turf Sprint (G3) over 6-furlongs at Kentucky Downs last month after chasing the early leaders in his third start since being claimed by Mike Maker. Chestnut has won nine of his 15 starts sprinting on turf and Maker wins with 17% of his runners on grass. Gelding can be in good position from the start with McCarthy up.
Maidens on turf include #3 Made My Day (8-1), who makes his first start for trainer Stidham off an unplaced effort at Gulfstream in February. Son of excellent young turf sire Kingman tries maiden claiming company for the first time and Stidham wins with 18% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. 4-year-old has been working well and can be tough at this level with Castellano taking the mount.
Trainer Abreu wins with 21% of his second-time starters and saddles #8 Judge Alexander (6-1), who was well-beaten after a slow start in his debut at Saratoga over 6-furlongs early last month. Son of Afleet Alex is a half-brother to two winners and Abreu has won with 16% of his runners this year. Chestnut can show more here with Jose Ortiz remaining aboard.
Lasix is added to #2 Native Charm (10-1), who weakened to finish fourth after making an early move on the all-weather surface at Presque Isle in her latest in mid-August. Trainer Deegan has won with three of his last 11 runners that had not raced for 46-90 days and daughter of 14% grass sire Animal Kingdom won her previous start on turf. Filly can be stalking the early pace with Bowen riding.
Golden Gate Fields
#4 West Cork Lass (20-1) showed some early run before fading to finish fifth in her debut over the track and distance in August, from which race the winner and third place finisher both won next time out. Trainer Thomas wins with 19% of his second-time starters and daughter of speedy sire Vronsky is a half-sister to two winners. Bay should show improvement with Camacho-Flores in the irons.