How to bet the Vosburgh

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TwinSpires Staff

September 27th, 2018

Imperial Hint wins the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (G1) at Saratoga (c) NYRA/Elsa Lorieul/Adam Coglianese Photography

by Dick Powell

Saturday’s Vosburgh Stakes (G1) has attracted IMPERIAL HINT (#6) (1-5) and six others going six furlongs on the main track at Belmont Park. Of the six others, four of them have been claimed in the past two months so it’s not the toughest group. The race is designated as a “Win & You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Because Imperial Hint lays over the field and should have no trouble winning, the issue is then raised: How much will he get out of an easy win? Not that you want a grueling race as your final prep but an easy win might not be as helpful as you think. At level weights of 124 pounds and not a lot of competition, the temptation would be to do just enough to win and move on.

Luckily for Imperial Hint, he is a terrific workout horse so trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. can get what he needs from him in the morning if the races are not challenging enough for him.

Imperial Hint was second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint when he led to the deep stretch, and that effort looks even better, in retrospect, since outside closers won most of the dirt races that day at Del Mar. His only loss this year was the sea of slop on Kentucky Derby (G1) day going seven furlongs, and his win at Saratoga in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes (G1) was brilliant as he sat off the pace and showed push-button acceleration to win by almost four lengths. He looks unbeatable in the Vosburgh, even if the track comes up wet.

So for me, the handicapping challenge is who do we like for second in a one-punch, cold exacta? Irad Ortiz Jr. rides STILL KRZ (#7) (15-1) from the outside post and should be the controlling speed.

Claimed for $32,000 last out by Ray Handal, Still Krz returns 45 days later and Handal wins 19 percent in this spot with the last 52 of them showing a strong, flat-bet profit. The issue I have with him is how much energy he has to use to make the lead going into the far turn since there are some pace-pressers to his inside.

Jose Ortiz rides SILVER RIDE (#5) (8-1) for Brian Lynch, and he has had two starts this year and only two last year. He beat high-class allowance foes two starts back then came back at Saratoga with an even third going six furlongs in a short field. His regular rider, Luis Saez, gets off and Ortiz has ridden him before to victory.

Ben Colebrook has a way with sprinters and he sends out MR. CROW (#4) (5-1). With only 10 career starts, he might have some kind of upside and battled through a fast first half-mile in the Vanderbilt before tiring. He came back at Saratoga with an even fifth in the Tale of the Cat Stakes, but he had a terrible start and trip as the 8-5 favorite.

Freshened up, Mr. Crow has trained at his Keeneland homebase and gets Silver Ride’s regular rider, Luis Saez. Last year at three, he was impressive when he broke his maiden second time out by 11 lengths then came back there to beat allowance foes by over six lengths. It was good enough to try last year’s running of the Vosburgh and he went off as the second choice in the wagering. The talent is there and he should be able to stalk the pace and make first run at the lead.


Exacta: #6 with #4