Holland's North American Picks for April 9
by Tim Holland
#4 Traffic Trouble (9-2) lost chances when steadied on the first turn and then wide in his latest in February, from which race the runner-up won next time out. Son of Cross Traffic is out of a Grade 1-placed mare whose four winners include Malibu Pier, winner of the Santa Ana (G2). Gray makes his second start since being claimed by Michael Pino, who has won with two of nine runners this meet, and gelding can be running late with Vasquez up.
Trainer Joseph wins with 28% of runners second off a layoff and saddles #4 Mayito (3-1), who flattened out to finish third after making progress from off the pace last month in his first start since January. Dark bay has hit the board in three of his four career starts and Joseph has won with 27% of his starters at this meet. Son of 15% turf sire Declaration of War can be running late under Gaffalione, who has won with 20% of his rides for the barn in the last 60 days.
Maidens going a mile on turf here include #3 More Than Usual (6-1), who finished fourth in an even effort in his debut over a 1 1/16 miles last month. Son of 13% grass sire More Than Ready posted a sharp 3-furlong work in :35 four days ago for trainer Joseph, who wins with 22% of his second-time starters. Dark bay can be in the early mix with Gaffalione in the irons.
#7 Dur a Cuire (15-1) was bumped and steadied on the first turn when unplaced in her latest over the course and distance in February. Daughter of Street Boss is out of a half-sister to $1.2 million earner, Never Retreat, and finished well when a close third to subsequent stakes winner She’s My Type two back for trainer Nihel, who wins with 15% of runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Chestnut can be running from off the pace with Gonzalez riding.
Lasix is added to #2 Butyoucalledme (20-1), who has not been seen since showing little in her debut in a maiden special weight event at Prairie Meadows last July. Filly has been working steadily since January for trainer Anderson, who wins with 12% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more. Daughter of Twirling Candy is a half-sister to four winners and is worth a look at long odds with Hill in the irons.
One-time Kentucky Derby (G1) hope #4 Riker (9-2) has dropped in class through his career and was claimed by Joe Sharp when fourth over a mile in his latest last month in his first start at this low level. Blinkers are added by Sharp, who wins with 20% of his runners first off the claim and with 23% going from a route to a sprint distance. 7-year-old can be along from off the pace under Garcia, who has won with six of his last 13 rides for the barn.
#7 Dr. Beets (15-1) has been gelded since showing little after taking betting action in his debut in a maiden special weight event at Houston in February. Son of good sire Speightstown is a half-brother to five winners and posted a sharp 5-furlong work in 1:00 4/5 from the gate six days ago for trainer Diodoro, who wins with 23% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Dark bay can be more competitive at this level under Cohen, who has won with 26% of his rides for the barn in the last 60 days.
With plenty of early speed signed on, this allowance may set-up well for a closer, such as #7 Locally Owned (15-1). Son of Distorted Humor has not been seen since finishing third in an even effort at this distance at Fair Grounds in January for trainer Stall, who wins with 17% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Gelding has been working forwardly and can be running late with Bridgmohan in the irons.
Trainer Von Hemel wins with a solid 27% of her first-time starters and saddles #9 Cavatica (10-1), a debuting daughter of Paynter who is a half-sister to Ventana, who won the Portero Grande H. (G2). Filly cost $60K as a yearling and works include a good 4-furlong move in :48 from the gate for Von Hemel, who wins with 20% of runners in maiden claiming events. 3-year-old may be ready for a good first outing with De La Cruz up.