Holland's North American Spot Plays for May 3
by Tim Holland
#9 Si Es Goya (8-1) has been freshened since weakening to finish fourth over the track and distance facing slightly better in January in his first start since being claimed by Donald Hunt. Gelding closed to finish second at this level two back and has posted some decent works since his latest for Hunt, who won with two of his last 19 runners that had not raced for 90+ days. Gelding should find a solid pace to close into with Vasquez up.
Trainer Matz wins with 12% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and saddles #8 Aransas (10-1), who has not been seen since closing to finish fourth at Kentucky Downs over 19 months ago in his second career start. Son of Candy Ride is out of a stakes-winning mare and has worked steadily for Matz, who has won with 10% of his runners this meet. 4-year-old may be tough facing maiden claiming company for the first time with Davis riding.
Some interesting first-time starters here include #1 Papa Luke (6-1). Gelding has a decent win early pedigree being by 12% debut sire Strong Mandate and trainer Varsi won with one of her 11 first-time starters. Barn has won with just one of 29 runners this meet but 4-year-old has posted two good recent works and attracts the riding services of Luis Saez.
Trainer Joseph has won with 24% of runners this meet and saddles #2 Tournesol (4-1), who lost chances when clipping heels in her latest. Daughter of promising young turf sire Karakontie is out of a stakes-placed mare by Galileo and closed to finish third in a small stakes over the course and distance two back. Chestnut can be along from off the pace with Gaffalione in the irons.
Maidens going a mile on the main track include #7 So Elusive (12-1), who closed some to finish fifth in her debut over 5 furlongs on grass in late March. Trainer Cox won with 5 of her last 13 second-time starters and daughter of Elusive Quality is out of Glorious View, who won the Vagrancy (G2) on dirt at Belmont. Recent works include a sharp 4-furlong move in :48 at Payson Park and filly can show more here under Davis, who won with one of his last four rides for this barn.
#6 Donji (6-1) has not been seen since leading from the start before holding on to win over a mile in mid-March. Trainer Dobles wins with 16% of her runners that have not raced for 46-90 days and with 10% that won last time out. Gelding can be in good position throughout with Saez retaining the mount.
Trainer Rarick won with one of last six runners that had not raced for 46-90 days and saddles #4 Glacier Park (10-1), who has not been seen since finishing unplaced at Laurel in mid-February, and who will try turf for the first time. Gray should be suited by the surface change being by 14% turf sire Bodemeister and out of Snow Top Mountain, who won over $450K on grass. Colt can show more here with Santos in the saddle.
Newcomer #6 Royalglitz (6-1) has a decent win early pedigree being by 10% first-out sire Big Drama and out of a mare by Wild Again, whose offspring win 13% of their first outings. Trainer Machado failed to win with his last two first-time starters but won with one of two runners at this meet and chestnut is worth a look with Herrera riding.
A competitive group of maiden fillies on turf includes #10 Fashion Mo (5-1), who finished well when second in her debut over the course and distance in late March. Daughter of excellent turf sire Uncle Mo is out of Theyskens’ Theory, whose efforts on grass included a second-place finish in the Garden City (G1) at Belmont. 3-year-old has worked well since her first outing for trainer Correas who wins with 18% of his second-time starters and who has won with 16% of runners this meet. Bay can be along from off the pace with Martinez retaining the mount.