Red Road is the Cinema Stakes Value Play
A compact field of five will travel nine panels on the Santa Anita green in Saturday’s $100,000 Cinema S. The grassy test for three-year-olds is led by morning-line choice #3 Balnikhov (4-5) from the barn of Phil D’Amato. The French import has run a pair of big races since arriving in the U. S., with runner-up performances in both the Singletary S. and American Turf S. (G2), to his credit.
By Adaay, the dark bay gelding will add blinkers for Saturday, and the sophomore will be very tough with a repeat of his most recent endeavor at Churchill Downs. Juan Hernandez will guide the talented Irish-bred.
But if there is one runner who can upend the short-priced favorite, in my opinion, it is #1 Red Road (6-1). The chestnut son of Cross Traffic joined the barn of Kristin Mulhall two starts back, and following an unplaced Pasadena S. attempt, the Kentucky-bred colt came home a smart winner in a local allowance tilt in his first try with blinkers on.
The $15,000 bargain yearling purchase has posted two solid morning drills since his victory, and he draws well on the fence to have an advantageous position throughout the grassy tilt, as well. I expect pilot Ricardo Gonzalez to have the upset selection tucked in behind what is likely to be a quick early pace going into the first turn, prior to making a winning run in the stretch.
#4 Beef Winslow (5-1) is an intriguing horse for the exotics to me for conditioner Doug O’Neill. Speedy son of Honor Code was a five-length maiden winner in his first route attempt on the green two back, which preceded a useful allowance try when tiring inside the final furlong in the same race that Red Road is exiting. The Florida-bred bay will be dangerous if he is able to prompt a sensible early tempo on Saturday with Abel Cedillo in the stirrups.
- $20 win #1 Red Road ($20)
- $10 trifecta key 1 with 3,4 ($20)