The Player’s Edge – June 28th: Prairie Meadows, Hollywood Park & Arlington Park

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Matt Carter

June 28th, 2013

Prairie Meadows - Iowa Oaks


Hollywood Park - Shoemaker Mile


Hollywood Park - Triple Bend Handicap


Arlington Park - Chicago Handicap

Prairie Meadows - Iowa Oaks Fiftyshadesofhay Draws Post Ten

The Saturday card at Prairie Meadows is one of the best that the track will put on this Summer with three graded stake races highlighted by a pair of Grade 3's for three-year-olds. First up is the Iowa Oaks for the fillies.

Fiftyshadesofhay is the morning line favorite at 5-2 for the eight and one-half furlong race, but drew post ten and may have a wide trip throughout. If jockey Martin Garcia can save ground at some point then watch out because the daughter of Pulpit has been keeping company with some of the best three-year-old fillies in the country. In her last start, the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan, Fiftyshadesofhay won by a neck, running her career record to three wins, two seconds and two thirds in nine career starts.

The next three choices on the morning line all drew better than the favorite in posts one, two and three and have a big shot to upset the favorite.

Second choice So Many Ways has not run since winning the Grade 3 Eight Belles at Churchill Downs on Oaks day in May, but has been working well in the mornings. It remains to be seen if she is better as a late running sprinter as her only start around two turns was the worst finish of her career. Calvin Borel has the mount.

Seaneen Girl drew the rail for the Saturday night race and is looking for her first win of 2013. She was second in an allowance race at Churchill in May and third in the Fair Grounds Oaks in March, but her last win came as a 31-1 long shot in the Grade 2 Golden Rod last November. She has not progressed well this year and is another that may have distance limitations.

Hitechnoweenie gets the acid test in the Iowa Oaks after winning her last two against lesser company. She won an allowance race at Churchill Downs by a widening five and one-quarter then crushed in her local debut, the Panthers Stakes, winning by an easy three. Don't expect the morning line of 6-1 on this Ken McPeek trained filly.

The pace scenario of this race is a little unclear. There was a fast pace in the Panthers, co-set by Canticle, who is also in the Iowa Oaks, and Hitechnoweenie sat just off that speed. Two back; however, she set the pace and won in near wire-to-wire fashion. She is likely to be off the pace again with Canticle, Gold Medal Dancer and Cloudy Vow in the field.

Gold Medal Dancer may be ranked too low and could be a nice long shot if she goes off at a price. The Medaglia d'Oro filly bombed in the Eight Belles, but was a good second in her next start at Churchill earlier in the month and puts the blinkers on for the first time.

Plenty O'Toole scratched out of a race at Churchill on Thursday to run in the Iowa Oaks and that may be a good thing. She does her best running from off-the-pace and put finally put it all together in her last, breaking her maiden by a length. The four-furlong work earlier in week may signify the daughter of Tiznow is sitting on go.

She is going to need to improve to beat the favorite, Fiftyshadesofhay, who will try to handcuff the field and tie them down.

Post time for the Iowa Oaks under the Saturday night lights is 9:46 pm ET.


Hollywood Park - Shoemaker Mile Obviously Hard to Deny

The first of the two Grade 1 stake races on Saturday at Hollywood Park is the Shoemaker Mile for turf runners. The race only drew a field of five and Obviously looks like the most likely winner on the card. The front-running gelding won the Grade 2 American with ease and will once again be a heavy favorite and single in the pick-5 and early pick-4.

Now before we go on to the rest of the pick-5 it should be mentioned that Wilkinson could try to pressure the favorite, which would in theory set it up for a closer. Wilkson is not as fast early as the favorite and the last two horses to beat Obviously at this distance were Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom.

In the first race the main two to focus on are Top Drive and Genius, the top choices on the morning line. Top Drive should be setting the pace stretching out from two sprint races with Genius tracking a couple of lengths off. If the rail horse Anythingscookin goes out and speeds up Top Drive then Groovin' Solo and Soul Candy also have a shot to win. Those two; however, are winless in at least their last 21 starts combined. Groovin' Solo last won in December 2011 and the last win for Soul Candy does not even show up on the form. Maybe the blinkers on will help.

Pincelada shortens up in race two and will be hard to deny going five and one-half furlongs. The last time she was at this level and distance she won by two and one-half lengths as the favorite. While she is best, the gut feeling is that the mares to her inside and outside may put enough pressure on her early to set it up for a closer. The two best closers in the field are Quest for Success and Michailasheartlite, who was the second place finisher in Pincelada's last win.

Race three is the Shoemaker and race four is a good maiden special weight race for fillies and mares at six furlongs on the main Cushion track.

The morning line favorite for the fourth is My Sweet Addiction, who is making her first start since finishing second behind Midnight Lucky, winner of the Sunland Park Oaks and Grade 1 Acorn Stakes. The trainer of Midnight Lucky is Bob Baffert and he has the second choice on the morning line, Not My Tap. The daughter of Tapit comes out of one of the most key races in memory, the sixth race at Del Mar on August 12, 2012. Four of the fillies out of that race came back to win their next start and only three of the 12 fillies remain winless.

If bettors single Obviously then they may be able to afford to go all in race four as the two favorites are coming off layoffs and the others could upset should My Sweet Addiction and Not My Tap need a race. It's unlikely they lose, but it's still a horse race. Of course one could always play against Obviously in the Shoemaker.

The pick-5 and pick-4 finale is a nine and one-half furlong race on the turf course. The principles are Vibrato Jazz, Stoney Fleece, Shadow Runner and Diamondsdiplomat. That's four of the seven so the "all-burger" looks like the special of the day.

First post at Hollywood Park on Saturday is 4:00 pm ET with post time for the Shoemaker scheduled for 5:01. Race two starts the pick-4.


Hollywood Park - Triple Bend Handicap Jimmy Creeds Draws Post Two

While the two stake races on Saturday at Hollywood Park are Grade 1's, and deservingly so, the Triple Bend Handicap is the better wagering event of the two. The seven furlong race drew a field of nine with Grade 1 winner Jimmy Creed the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Jimmy Creed is all race-horse as evident by his four wins, two seconds and one third in eight career starts. He has been kept at a mile or shorter during that time with wins in the Grade 1 Malibu, Grade 2 Potrero Grande and a third place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint last November. The son of Distorted Humor has a win at Hollywood Park and is the horse to beat on Saturday.

There has to be bigger and better things on the minds of owner Spendthrift Farm and trainer Dick Mandella so if there is any chance to get the favorite, it will be Saturday. Drawn inside, new pilot Gary Stevens will need to work out a trip. Jimmy Creed has won on the pace and from off-the-pace, but the feeling is Stevens will have him back early off the early speed of Comma to the Top and Cyclometer.

The connections of the field had to be excited when they saw the entry of Cyclometer because without the speedy son of Cyclotron, Comma to the Top would be on an easy lead. A five-year-old gelding, Comma to the Top has won his last two races and 14 of 31 overall. Peter Miller has his horse in the best form of his life, pairing up back to back 100 plus speed figures in the Cool Frenchy Stakes and Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap.

The second and third place finishers in the Los Angeles are back in the Triple Bend, hoping that the extra furlong in the race will even out the field.

Centralinteligence chased the winner throughout the six furlong Los Angeles and was making a bit of ground on Comma to the Top late. Third off the layoff should be the best for the gelded son of Smarty Jones.

Camp Victory is all closer so he will need a swift pace up front to show his best. As it stands right now, he is not going to get that pace. Comma to the Top and Cylcometer should set even fractions with Jimmy Creed and Centralinteligence stalking that pace. Behind them will be Camp Victory, who won this race in 2012 by an easy three and one-quarter lengths. He is on a similar race schedule this year as he was last year, but he may not be as good. A win; however, would be sweet for trainer Mike Mitchell, who is expected to be on hand Saturday after being rushed to the hospital June 16th.

Morning Line, off since June 2012, Rail Trip, off since November 2012, Drill, winless in his last five starts, and Tres Borrachos, three wins in 15 starts at Hollywood Park, complete the field.

Carded as race nine of ten on Saturday, post time for the Triple Bend is 8:00 pm ET.


Arlington Park - Chicago Handicap Fillies and Mares Sprint Seven

As the colts and geldings get ready for the seven furlong sprint at Hollywood Park, the fillies and mares will be preparing themselves for their own seven furlong sprint in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park.

The favorite for the Chicago and the filly to beat is Grade 1 winner Aubby K, who is making her first career start on any surface other than dirt and for that reason is worth a bet against.

Of course Aubby K is the favorite for a reason. She has won back-to-back graded stake races at Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs in her only two starts this year. The daughter of Street Sense is obviously a filly with issues as her past performances are full of layoff lines. She has also only worked twice in the nearly two months since her last race, but had a similar schedule when winning the Grade 1 Humana Distaff.

Fillies and mares with synthetic wins include Gold Edge, Maude S, Flower Spell, Cozze Up Lady, Dr. Diamonds Price, La Song and Queen's Award. Drama Drama, Lady Chesterfield and Aubby K are the only three in the field without a win over the fake stuff.

Maude S is one of several with a win at Arlington Park and was second in the race as the post-time favorite last year. Her late run fell a length short to Kitty in a Tizzy and she is back this year to get the win. Off a dominant race at Prairie Meadows, Maude S looks the biggest danger to the favorite.

One thing Maude S needs is a fast pace and she should get that with Flower Spell, Cozze Up Lady and La Song pushing the early splits. Aubby K should not be far off of that trio and will get first run.

A bomber for all the top spots is Gold Edge, who was third behind Flower Spell in her last race. The daughter of Eddington stumbled at the break in that race, but was still able to make up almost six lengths on the winner down the stretch. The trainer of Gold Edge is Wayne Catalano, who is also the trainer of La Song so the two should be able to run their race without getting in each other's way.

Whether or not Gold Edge will beat the favorite, that's a whole other question.

Completing the field is Drama Drama, who has only won on the turf and is winless in four starts on a synthetic surface. Other long shots to consider are Lady Chesterfield and Queen's Award, two other stretch-runners.

First post on Saturday at Arlington Park is 2:00 pm ET with the Chicago Handicap off at 5:08.


Thoroughbred Racing Action

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

Saturday– June 29
  • Hollywood Park:  Shoemaker Mile - G1, $300,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Hollywood Park:  Triple Bend Handicap - G1, $250,000, 3yo & up, 7f
  • Prairie Meadows:  Iowa Oaks - G3, $200,000, 3yo f, 8.5f
  • Prairie Meadows:  Iowa Derby - G3, $250,000, 3yo, 8.5f
  • Prairie Meadows:  Cornhusker Handicap - G3, $300,000, 3yo & up, 9f
  • Arlington Park: Chicago Handicap - G2, $150,000, 3yo & up f&m, 7f
  • Churchill Downs:  Firecracker Handicap - G2, $150,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Churchill Downs:  Bashford Manor Stakes - G3, $100,000, 2yo, 6f
  • Charles Town:  Coin Collector Stakes, $50,000, 3yo, 4.5f
  • Colonial Downs:  Buckland Stakes, $75,000, 3yo & up f&m, 5.5f turf
  • Finger Lakes:  Ontario County Stakes, $50,000, 3yo, 6f
  • Northlands Park:  Spangled Jimmy Stakes, $50,000, 3yo & up, 8f
  • Woodbine: Achievement Stakes, $150,000, 3yo, 6f
Sunday – June 30
  • Monmouth Park:  Lighthouse Stakes, $75,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f
  • Woodbine: Bison City Stakes, $250,000, 3yo f, 8.5f