The Player’s Edge – October 4th, 2013: Santa Anita and Keeneland

Profile Picture: Matt Carter

Matt Carter

October 4th, 2013

Santa Anita - Sprint Championship


Keeneland – TCA Stakes


Keeneland – First Lady Stakes


Keeneland – Breeders’ Futurity


Santa Anita - Sprint Championship Eight Go Six

The feature race on Saturday at Santa Anita and the lead in to the Breeders' Cup Sprint is the $250,000 Sprint Championship, a six furlong sprint that drew a deep field of eight. One of those runners is the 2012 Breeders' Cup Sprint Champion, Trinniberg.

Since winning the Sprint last year Trinniberg has made three starts and only has a second place finish to show for it. The four-year-old colt was 11th in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai then seventh in the Churchill Downs before finishing second in the Smile Sprint Handicap in July at Calder. This may simply be a prep race for his title defense, not to mention there are some good horses surrounding him.

Declassify has only run twice, but he has two wins by a combined 19 lengths, making him an interesting play on Saturday. The son of Orientate cost $450,000 as a two-year-old in training and has slowly cut into that after taking a year to make it to the races. Rosie Napravnik is named to ride who teamed with trainer Bob Baffert to win the Chandelier last weekend.

Centralinteligence, no worry about the Government shut down with him, comes into the race off a huge win in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap in June at Hollywood Park. The connections have had this race on their map since that win, but again, they may be using it as a prep for the Breeders' Cup. Centralinteligence is a closer and has two wins in three starts over the track.

Declassify and Trinniberg will be battling for the lead as will Distinctiv Passion and perhaps Roman Threat. Include Goldencents, who likes to race up close and you could have a race that sets up very well for Centralinteligence and Gonna Fly Now.

Gonna Fly Now is coming off his best career effort, a third place finish in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien at Del Mar. Only once has Gonna Fly Now set foot on dirt in a race and that was a third place finish to Points Offthebench, who is also in the Sprint Championship.

Points Offthebench has won five of seven races in his career and has yet to be worse than third. That third place finish came in his career debut back in August 2011 and in the second place finish, the gelding was only beat by a half-length. Jockey Mike Smith should have him in the clear from post seven.

This may be one of the toughest races on the Saturday card with all eight horses having a shot to win. It may be an "all" race in the pick-4.

Off as race nine on the 10-race card, post time for the Sprint Championship is 8:00 pm ET.


Keeneland – TCA Stakes Groupie Doll Looks to Repeat

The first leg of the Saturday pick-5 at Keeneland is the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes and they should have just put a Grade 1 label on it with fillies and mares like Judy the Beauty, Purely Hot, Gypsy Robin and the reigning Eclipse Award winning, Groupie Doll. No doubt about whom the favorite will be, but she won’t have it easy.

Groupie Doll is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Masters at Presque Isle Downs, but does not appear to be the same mare she was last year. In 2012 the Bowman’s Band-mare won the Masters by three and three-quarter lengths then won the TCA Stakes by over six.

This year; however, she was a dull third in the Grade 3 Gardenia at Ellis Park, a race she had previously won, before winning the Masters. Trainer Buff Bradley has the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint as the goal and is likely to be the favorite in that race, win or lose on Saturday.

In the Masters, Groupie Doll defeated Purely Hot and Judy the Beauty, who are also entered for the TCA. Purely Hot is going to be positioned in front of Judy the Beauty turning for home, but the speedy mare may not get the jump on the field with Gypsy Robin in the field.

Gypsy Robin came off a layoff of nine months in July and ran a respectable fourth behind loose-on-the-lead Reneesgotzip. The filly then came back to win the restricted CERF Stakes at Del Mar; going gate to wire in a solid time. One positive for her is that she is three-for-three at Keeneland including wins in the Grade 2 Beaumont and Grade 2 Raven Run.

Should Purely Hot and Gypsy Robin get into a duel, look for Judy the Beauty and Groupie Doll to be there at the wire late. Judy the Beauty was third in the Masters, but is two-for-two at Keeneland and should be tighter second off the layoff.

If Groupie Doll runs her race, the others are running for second. If; however, she idles just a bit, the other three will give her a run for the money.

Post time for the TCA Stakes is 3:45 pm ET.


Keeneland – First Lady Stakes Dayatthespa Headlines

Saturday’s pick-5 at Keeneland continues with the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes, a one-mile turf event for fillies and mares. A field of eight will break from the gate with Dayatthespa the 9-5 morning line favorite.

Dayatthespa is no stranger to the Keeneland turf, which is an important handicapping angle during the fall meet. The daughter of City Zip is two-for-two over the course with wins in the Grade 1 QE II Cup and Grade 3 Appalachian. While normally a front runner, she showed in her last start that she can adapt and stalk the pace. That may be the case on Saturday with Daisy Devine also in the field.

Daisy Devine has won 10 of her 21 career races, but is winless in her last four starts. She has also won a couple of races on the turf at Keeneland including the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April 2012. She is a front-runner and could insure a good pace with Dayatthespa just off her flank.

The beneficiary of a speed duel will first be Better Lucky, the four-year-old Ghostzapper filly that is coming off a third place finish in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park last month. Better Lucky is a Grade 1 winner having scored in the Matriarch at Hollywood Park in November 2012. The filly that finished second in the Noble Damsel, Hungry Island, is also entered in the First Lady and drawn directly to the inside of Better Lucky.

Hungry Island has won six of her 21 career starts with a total of 18 in-the-money finishes. She won an allowance race over the track last April, but that is her only win going back nine starts since May 2012. She may be too far back even though the pace should be swift.

The other closer in the field is Miz Ida and at 8-1 or higher may be worth a bet. She had no chance over a speed biased turf course in late August at Saratoga and is a Grade 3 winner over the track. In 2012, Miz Ida won the Grade 3 Valley View.

Two Euro-shippers in the field and both must be respected.

Say, for trainer Aidan O’Brien, won a Group 3 race two starts back and is coming off a very good third place finish in a Group 1 at Leopardstown in Ireland. Jersey Joe Brave is named to ride and don’t dismiss at what should be a square price.

Amazonas drew the far outside post and is a three-year-old filly that may have some big races in her in the future. The Irish-bred is coming off a win in a $72,900 stakes race at Haydock in England and was good enough to be third in a Group 1 last year as a two-year-old. Both shippers will be receiving Lasix for their first U.S. start, another important handicapping angle.

Post time for the First Lady, which starts the pick-4, is 4:20 pm ET.


Keeneland – Breeders’ Futurity Two-Year-Colts Go Two Turns

The third leg of the pick-5 is the 100th running of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity for two-year-old colts and geldings going eight and one-half furlongs on the main Polytrack. The race drew a full field of 14 and contention runs deep.

Of the 14 runners in the field, eight of them are between 4-1 and 8-1 on the morning line. Pegged as the favorite for the race by the odds maker is Kendall’s Boy, winner of a six-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs in his second career start.

Kendall’s Boy ran a bang up race in his debut behind Havana, a race that got a huge speed figure. He then went to Churchill and won, but if he reproduces that speed figure, he won’t hit the board in the Breeders’ Futurity.

General Jack, on the other hand, looks like a colt that has a big shot in the race. The son of Giant’s Causeway was second in his debut over the turf at Belmont Park then won a stakes race over the Canterbury Park turf. The owner/trainer/jockey combination shocked the 2010 Blue Grass Stakes with Stately Victor. General Jack may be better.

Solitary Ranger and Conquest Titan are 6-1 on the line with Solitary Ranger coming out of a win in the Grade 3 Arlington Washington Futurity with Conquest Titan coming off a win in a stakes race at Woodbine. Both tracks are Polytrack, just like Keeneland so give an advantage to these two.

Intense Holiday, maiden winner for Todd Pletcher on dirt in his second career start, Rum Point, ninth in the Del Mar Futurity, We Miss Artie, sixth in the Grade 2 With Anticipation over the Saratoga Turf, and Tiznowforamerica, winner of a maiden race over a muddy track last out, are all 8-1 on the morning line and anyone could hit the board or win.

Of those four, perhaps Rum Point deserves a look even though he ran a clunker in the Del Mar Futurity. Trainer Doug O’Neill puts the blinkers on the Malibu Moon colt and with Mario Gutierrez named to ride, expect them to try to steal the race on the front end.

This is a spread leg in the pick-5 and pick-4, which may not be the case for the next race, the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile featuring Wise Dan.

Check out that analysis tomorrow at Bet America.

Post time for the Breeders’ Futurity is 4:55 pm ET.


Thoroughbred Racing Action

Great racing action from across the country this weekend. Watch these races all on

Saturday– October 5
  • Santa Anita:  Sprint Championship Stakes - G1, $250,000, 3yo & up, 6f
  • Santa Anita:  City of Hope Mile Stakes - G2, $150,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Santa Anita:  L.A. Woman Stakes, 3yo & up f&m, 6.5f
  • Santa Anita:  Swingtime Stakes, $70,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8f turf
  • Keeneland:  Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes - G1, $750,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Keeneland:  TCA Stakes - G2, $200,000, 3yo & up f&m, 6f
  • Keeneland:  First Lady Stakes - G1, $400,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8f turf
  • Keeneland:  Breeders' Futurity Stakes - G1, $400,000, 2yo, 8.5f
  • Keeneland:  Woodford Stakes - G3, $150,000, 3yo & up, 5.5f turf
  • Delaware:  Barbaro Stakes, $100,000, 3yo, 8.5f
  • Hawthorne:  Hawthorne Derby - G3, $200,000, 3yo, 9f turf
  • Hawthorne:  Indian Maid Handicap, $75,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f turf
  • Indiana Downs:  Indiana Derby - G2, $500,000, 3yo, 8.5f
  • Indiana Downs:  Indiana Oaks - G2, $200,000, 2yo f, 8.5f
  • Indiana Downs:  Mari Hulman George Stakes, $100,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f
  • Indiana Downs:  Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes, $100,000, 3yo & up, 8f 70y
  • Monmouth Park:  Jersey Juvenile Stakes, $60,000, 2yo, 6f
  • Woodbine:  Mazarine Stakes - G3, $150,000, 2yo f, 8.5f
Sunday – October 6
  • Keeneland:  Juddmonte Spinster Stakes - G1, $500,000, 3yo & up f&m, 9f
  • Keeneland:  Bourbon Stakes - G3, $150,000, 2yo, 8.5f turf
  • Keeneland:  Jessamine Stakes - G3, $150,000, 2yo f, 8.5f turf
  • Woodbine:  Durham Cup Stakes - G3, $150,000, 3yo & up, 9f
  • Woodbine:  Grey Stakes - G3, $150,000, 2yo, 8.5f
  • Santa Anita:  Zuma Beach Stakes, $100,000, 2yo, 8f turf
  • Santa Anita:  Surfer Girl Stakes, $100,000, 2yo f, 8f turf