How to play the Aug. 10 Assiniboia Downs Pick 5, starting with the Graduation S.
Picking a winner among a field comprised of three first-time starters and four lightly raced juveniles is no simple task, but it's an excellent opportunity to nab a winner at a longer price and knock out the competition in the first leg of your horizontal wager.
Below we offer a brief field analysis of the Graduation S. (Race 3 on Assiniboia's Wednesday card) and provide a Pick 5 ticket covering Races 3 through 7.
Race 3: Graduation S., 5 furlongs (9:35 p.m. ET)
Of the unraced two-year-olds — #1 Viral (6-1), #2 Dubd Saint Angel (15-1), and #5 Adjournment (9-2) — Viral drew the favorable inside post, which produces winners at a 20% rate this meet, and will run under Neville Stephenson, who has earned an 11 3-1-1 record over the last seven days.
However, trainer Steven Gaskin is just a 4% winner in his last 48 non-graded stakes races and a 5% winner with his last 22 first-time starters. But Viral's sharp, 36-second three-furlong workout at Assiniboia on Aug. 1 and a 48-second bullet at four furlongs on July 21 show promise.
Dubd Saint Angel's dam, Sweet Angel Girl, has one winner from a pair of starters but no stakes winners. Jockey Arthur Budhu is just a 2% winner in his last 46 sprint races, and he's 0-for-8 with first-time starters.
Adjournment looks the best chance to score a win on debut based on pedigree and trainer angles. The gelding's dam, Flying Memo, has produced seven winners from seven starters and three stakes winners, while trainer Lise Pruitt has won 35% of her last 23 non-graded stakes. Jockey Antonio Whitehall is also 2-for-5 when paired up with Pruitt.
Adjournment can contend against the likes of #7 Well Played (5-2), who clocked a 63 Brisnet Speed figure when breaking his maiden in a five-furlong sprint at this track on Aug. 2, in which he beat second-place finisher and stablemate #4 Arrogance (4-1) — who re-opposes here — by 4 1/4 lengths.
Fourth in that race was another stablemate, #6 Partyatmyplace (12-1), out of Shelley Brown's barn. Arrogance and Partyatmyplace will swap riders from their last race — Renaldo Cumberbatch (18% winner this meet) is now aboard Arrogance, and Jorge Carreno (15-7-1-1 the last seven days) will guide Partyatmyplace.
#3 Prairie Drifter (3-1) clocked the highest last race Speed figure among the field when coming home second in a $20,000 maiden special weight on July 27. The bay gelding lost by 6 1/2 lengths but beat the third-place finisher by 3 3/4 lengths in the five-furlong sprint. Trainer Devon Gittens is a 21% winner with two-year-olds and a 50% winner with horses running their second career race, but he's won just 3% of his last 30 graded stakes.
We'll back the morning line favorite out of Brown's stable and add Viral and Adjournment in the first leg of our Pick 5 ticket.
Race 4: 6 furlongs, fillies and mares (10:05 p.m. ET)
The fourth race on Wednesday's card will mark the second leg of our Pick 5 ticket; it's also the first leg of the guaranteed $50,000 Pick 4 pool.
In the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares, we'll play #1 Real Good Deal (6-5) for hot trainer-jockey combo Murray Duncan and Stanley Chadee Jr. The six-year-old Elusive Quality mare will drop in class after finishing sixth behind next-out winner Bye Y'all in a $5,000 claimer at this track on July 25.
We'll also add Goldencents mare #7 Astartobe (12-1), who will make her first start for trainer Shelley Brown, a 14% winner first off the claim. Jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch is also a 26% winner in his last 27 races paired up with Brown and a 19% winner in sprints.
Race 5: 5 furlongs, three-year-olds and up (10:35 p.m. ET)
#2 Camino de Estrella (6-5) opened as the morning line favorite after finishing a head second to Call You Tomorrow in a $2,500 claimer last out on July 27 while under the guidance of trainer Jared Brown. The eight-year-old was claimed by Shelley Brown and will make his first start for the trainer while getting a rider switch to Cumberbatch.
But Camino de Estrella can be beaten by #3 Mr. Benz (8-5), who makes his first start off a lengthy layoff while also dropping in class for Jared Brown. The Ghostzapper gelding is 11-4-3-2 at today's distance and is 2-for-6 at Assiniboia. Hot jockey Jorge Carreno is named to ride and has won 38% of his last 37 races with Brown.
We'll also take a chance on #5 Astonishing Tweet (6-1), who makes a drop in class in his first start with Steve Keplin Jr., a 33% winner this meet and 41% winner with horses making their first start with the trainer.
Race 6: 5 1/2 furlongs, three-year-olds and up (11:05 p.m. ET)
The penultimate leg of the Pick 5 features a competitive field, with several runners capable of a trip to the winner's circle. #7 Outcome (8-5) is a heavy morning line favorite in his first start for trainer Shelley Brown but makes a move up in class after winning a $5,000 claimer while trained by Murray Duncan.
Let's add #1 Strong Arm (3-1), who is eligible to improve in his second start off a layoff, and #6 Hannigan (8-1), whose early speed gives him a chance to win for trainer Elton Dickey.
Race 7: 7 1/2 furlongs, fillies and mares (11:35 p.m. ET)
In the final leg of our Pick 5, #6 Barbie's Quest (2-1) looks tough to beat. The six-year-old mare has the highest last race speed rating (64) when finishing second by two lengths to Sizzle N Susie in a $5,000 claimer at today's distance.
We'll also play #3 Mytrued (10-1) for hot trainer Fred Rawson (16-6-7-2 this meet). The four-year-old had a poor trip last out, finishing 14 lengths behind Sizzle N Susie, but a rider switch to Cumberbatch can help Mytrued get back to the winner's circle.
40-cent Pick 5 ticket: 1,5,7 / 1,7 / 3,5 / 1,6,7 / 3,6 ($28.80)