Holland's North American free racing picks for Sept. 6
With another Kentucky Derby Day complete, Tim Holland rounds out the weekend with his picks from Saratoga, Gulfstream, Woodbine, and Del Mar.
#4 Ethos (8-1) stretches out in distance off a closing third-place finish over 5 1/2 furlongs here in July in his first start since his debut last September. Gray should be suited to the extra distance being by Ghostzapper and is out of a half-sister to Ironicus, who won the Dixie (G2). Trainer Jerkens wins with 30% of his runners going a route for the first time and colt can be along from off the pace with Rosario remaining aboard.
Plenty of early pace in the Honorable Miss (G2) should help the chances of an off the pace runner such as #4 Unholy Alliance (10-1), who finished well to win her latest over the track and distance in late July. Daughter of First Samurai has a record of 4-2-0-2 at this distance and trainer Joseph wins with 29% of his runners that won last time out. Filly can be along in time with Saez riding.
Sprinters on turf include #7 Readyforprimetime (6-1), who led from the start to win his over the course and distance in late July in his first start since early October. Trainer Rice wins with 22% of her runners second off a layoff and with 24% that won last time out. Son of More Than Ready won from off the pace two starts back and can be on or near the early lead with Davis in the irons.
Blinkers are added to #6 Royal Meeting (12-1), who faded to finish unplaced in his debut over the track and distance facing better last month. Son of Uncaptured is a half-brother to one winner and trainer Abreu wins with 14% of his second-time starters. Gelding figures to be sent early with Arroyo up.
Mike Stidham wins with 16% of his first-time starters and saddles #8 Rumpus (6-1), a debuting daughter of 16% first-out sire Kantharos who is a half-sister to three winners. Chestnut posted a sharp 4-furlong work in :47 4/5 five days ago for Stidham, who wins with 19% of his runners overall in maiden special weight events. Filly appears ready for a good first outing with Wilson aboard.
#4 Pixielate (3-1) ships in for the Del Mar Derby (G2) off a second-place finish in the Kent (G3) at Delaware in early July. Son of City Zip is consistent with a record of 9-2-4-3 on grass for trainer Stidham, who wins with 19% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Dark bay has been working well and can be near the front throughout with Rispoli an asset in the saddle.