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Homeracing

Shapiro’s Memorial Day 2018 Spot Plays

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TwinSpires Staff

May 27th, 2018

by Scott Shapiro

Before anything, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to all who have died while serving in the Armed Forces for the United States of America.

With the Memorial Day holiday comes an extra day of racing to end the week. There are solid cards from coast-to-coast on Monday, although I always wish the Met Mile (G1) still took place on a day I have such great memories of from my childhood watching the Jersey Derby live at Garden State Park.

Anyhow, here are a few horses who will hopefully make it a strong Monday for yours truly.

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Race 4

LONG ON LUCK (#4) makes his second start of the spring meeting for trainer Norman McKnight. The son of Lookin at Lucky did not make the lead in his first try off the 11-month layoff on May 3 but still posted an 89 BRIS Speed rating in his runner-up effort against slightly lesser. The four-year-old should make an easy lead on the cutback to one turn and will be very tough to run down late under apprentice Edgar Morales. Expecting a career best performance on Memorial Day for the Maxis Stable colt.

Race 7

KNIGHTS KEY (#1) moves up in class off of two runner-up efforts dating back to March 2 for trainer Ron Moquett. The son of Giant’s Causeway comes into Memorial Day in solid form for a barn that is due to get their first win of the meet. The fact he won his only start at the tricky 6 1/2-furlong distance and has a victory in two starts at Churchill adds to the appeal. I love his chances to hit the board at the very least at a juicy 12-1 morning-line price.

SANTA ANITA PARK

Race 7, Shoemaker Mile (G1)

BOWIE’S HERO (#2) has really moved forward over his last three starts for hot training Phil D’Amato. The son of Artie Schiller has taken advantage of nice trips to win two of his last three, including the Kilroe Mile (G1) on March 10. I expect veteran rider Corey Nakatani to save ground a few lengths off the early pace, angle out when they turn for home and get the best of this group in the lane. With the presence of Heart to Heart I am hopeful we get every bit of the 5-2-morning-line price.

Race 10, Monrovia (G2)

ANCIENT SECRET (#6) makes her third start of the form cycle after barely getting it done as the 6-5-favorite in a high-level optional claimer over this course last month. Do not be fooled, though, this daughter of Kantharos displayed a tremendous turn of foot in that neck victory on April 21. With an expected honest pace in the Monrovia, jockey Flavien Prat should have the New York bred rolling from the back once again. Use her with BLAME IT ON ALPHIE (#4) in the finale.

Enjoy your holiday!

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