Saturday Stakes Preview

Derek Simon

July 9th, 2015

There are some interesting stakes races slated for Saturday and I thought I would use this week’s column to discuss them:

July 11, 2015

COMMENTS: In a race with very little early lick (+3 projected early speed ration), horses with tactical foot — LOOKS TO SPARE, THE PIZZA MAN and QUIET FORCE — would appear to have an advantage.

THE PIZZA MAN, in particular, looks strong in this event. The six-year-old son of Breeders’ Cup Turf champion English Channel is 8-for-11 over the Arlington Park green in his career and has won his last four races contested at a distance of 9 ½ furlongs or less.

Meanwhile, TRIPLE THREAT, who was Group 2- and Group 3-placed in Europe, appears to be a very beatable morning-line favorite. Not only did his U.S. debut produce a subpar Brisnet speed rating of 88 (the race par is 98), but his lack of early zip figures to be a huge detriment on Saturday.

COMMENTS: RIPOSTE is likely to be favored, but several other fillies and mares look just as good or better. To begin with, there’s MANGO DIVA, who was a Group 2 winner in Ireland and who broke slowly in her U.S. debut. On her best, she’s a contender.

I’m also intrigued by LOTS O’ LEX, who figures to have a pace advantage and hails from a barn with an incredible 298 percent ROI in graded stakes (from eight tries), 181 percent ROI in turf starts (80) and 131 percent ROI in route attempts (113).

Lastly, GAGA A did little to discourage in his first start off the plane from France.

COMMENTS: My Win Factor Report (computerized fair odds line) tabs THE PIZZA MAN at 9-1 in this 1 ½-mile affair (he finished third in the same event last year) and 6-5 in the Arlington Handicap (see above). Hence, I’d be playing against the Roger Brueggemann trainee if he winds up in the nightcap.

After recording a career-high 103 Brisnet speed figure in garnering his first black-type win in the Grade III Canadian Turf Stakes, RELOAD spent over a year (454 days) on the sidelines before returning to annex an optional claiming affair at Belmont Park, while recording yet another career-best BSF (105) on May 22. The son of Hard spun is now 3-for-3 on the lawn and looks like the one to beat in here.

KING KREESA is another one to keep an eye on. He has a favorable running style and earned a race-best +4 late speed ration (LSR) in his latest.


COMMENTS: In a paceless race, I like PARC MONCEAU, who returns to the grass for new trainer Bill Mott, and IN MY TIME, who arguably ran the best race of her career in an optional claiming affair at Arlington Park on June 7.

Longshot players might also want to keep ENLIGHTENED in the fray. Her speed figures are subpar, but her pace figures are solid.