Holland's North American Picks for May 15
by Tim Holland
Tim Holland brings his expert handicapping analysis to provide you his top picks in this day of racing. With more tracks opening back up, more opportunities to win with TwinSpires open up as well.
Newcomer #2 Uncle George (3-1) is by good first-out sire Uncle Mo and out of a mare by Pulpit, who has produced winners on turf. 3-year-old cost $310K as a yearling and has been working well at Payson Park for trainer Clement, who wins with 17% of his first-time starters. Bay appears live at first asking with Irad Ortiz taking the mount.
Trainer Sweezey wins with 16% of his runners second off a layoff and saddles #5 Miss Maris (5-1), who showed little facing better in her latest at Tampa last month in her first outing since last October. 5-year-old has won one of 12 starts on dirt and Sweezey has won with 18% of his starters at this meet. Mare should find a decent pace to close into with Jaramillo riding.
#6 Vigilantes Way (8-1) takes on better off a maiden-breaking win at Tampa last month in her first start since her debut in Aqueduct. Daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is a half-sister to Belmont Derby (G1) winner Mr Speaker and has worked well since her latest start for trainer McGaughey, who wins with 20% of his runners in non-graded stakes. Filly can be in good position from the start under Zayas, who has won with one of his last six rides for the barn.
Tampa Bay Downs
Maidens on turf include #8 City Guy (5-1), who made a move to the lead before weakening to finish third facing better on the main track in his latest last month. Gelding should be better suited to grass being by Temple City and makes his third start for trainer Bennett, who wins with 25% of his runners in maiden claiming events. Gelding can be forwardly placed early with Mena remaining aboard.
Trainer Bennett wins with 18% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and saddles #2 Savage Music (10-1), who has not been seen since giving way to finish unplaced after vying for the early lead over the track and distance in February. Son of Paynter has won two of four starts here and has been working well for Bennett, who wins with 22% of his claimers. 4-year-old figures to be the one to catch with Leon in the saddle.
Newcomer #2 Curvaceous (8-1) has a good win-early pedigree being by a son of Indian Charlie and out of a mare by 15% debut sire Exchange Rate. Chestnut’s works include a solid 4-furlong move from the gate in :47 2/5 last month for trainer Kitchingman, who wins with 13% of his first-time starters. Filly may be ready to win at first asking with Espinoza aboard.
#5 Hollywood Girl (6-1) is by Giant’s Causeway and out of Hollywood Starlet (G1) and Vanity H. (G1) winner Hollywood Story. 4-year-old has won her one previous start over the course and distance and has not been seen since making some late progress when fifth at this trip at Del Mar last August. Dark bay has been working well for trainer Shirreffs, who wins with 14% of his runners that have not raced for 90 days or more and with 13% of his starters on turf. Filly can be along late with Mike Smith riding.
Fillies on grass include #3 Fashion Royalty (15-1), who comes off a third-of-four finish on the all-weather surface at Golden Gates in March, in her first North American start for trainer Gallagher. 3-year-old should improve with the surface change being by War Front and being a half-sister to three winners on turf and has been working well for Gallagher, who wins with 12% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Dark bay can be along from off the pace with Blanc in the saddle.
Golden Gate Fields
#3 Mercy Rule (3-1) has a record of 8-3-2-0 on this all-weather surface and rallied from just off the pace to easily defeat slightly easier in his latest here in March. 4-year-old has won two of three starts since being claimed by Steve Miyadi, who wins with 21% of his runners that won last time out. Gelding can be in good position throughout with Desormeaux riding.
#4 Star of Night (5-2) has not been seen since easily winning at this level and distance here in late February. Daughter of Creative Cause has won two of three career outings and trainer Runco wins with 22% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Gray can be on or near the lead from the start with Bocachica retaining the mount.
Trainer Hanagan won with one of her last five first-time starters and saddles #10 Butt Dial (10-1), a debuting daughter of 10% first-out sire Paynter. Gray is out of a mare by Macho Uno, whose offspring win 13% of their first outings and filly has posted some solid works for Hanagan, who has won with six of her last 18 runners in maiden claiming events. 4-year-old may be ready for a good first outing with Ho in the irons.