Indian Blessing: 2007 Two Year Old Filly Eclipse Award Winner – photo by Adam Coglianese / NYRA photo
Saturday marks the first “big day” in the winter racing action on the Kentucky Derby trail. Several other “prep races” have already been run, but the action at Fair Grounds this Saturday promises to feature some of the biggest names in the sport. Highly regarded 3 year-old colt Pyro makes his 2008 debut in the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen, after working hard alongside 2007 Horse of the Year winner Curlin. The top 3 year old filly in the nation, Indian Blessing, has entered into the Grade 3 Silverbulletday, and a slew of other impressive horses fill out the rest of the card, including Better Talk Now, Euroears, Grasshopper, Daytona, and up and coming 3 year old Z Fortune.
Their are six stakes races on the card (races 4-9) that comprise the pick 6 sequence for the day. I’m going to take a stab at the pick 6 and see if I can’t get lucky. For those that are playing along, I’ve included my analysis of each of the races in the sequence.
Race 4: 42nd Running of the Pan Zareta ($100k)
#5 Graeme Six (3/1)
#4 Tres Dream (2/1*)
#8 Atlanta Highway (6/1)
The Pan Zareta is a 6 furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4 years old and up over the main track. #5 Graeme Six should have held on for a win last time against another of today’s rivals, Sutra. She was beaten by a nose in the photo finish to end the race. I like that Jordan Leparoux has climbed aboard today and that trainer Thomas Amoss is a cool 24% in 2nd starts after a layoff. I can see Graeme Six getting a nice stalking trip in this one and looking to pounce late. #4 Tres Dream is the morning line favorite at 2/1. She took the Esplanade last time out at Fair Grounds. She’s been resting late and it looks like trainer Steve Asmussen has her in sharp form. She should be rolling late. #8 Atlanta Highway is 3 for 4 at today’s 6 furlong distance. Note that she was favored last time out against today’s favorite, Tres Dream. She ran big off a layoff on 12/1 and note how the Beyer speed progression has seemingly gone up, down, up, down in the last 4 races. If that form holds true today she’s due to run a good one. There are a couple of others I like in this field, including Sutra and Casino Transaction. This is a fairly tough race to handicap for an opening to the pick 6. My advice is to go somewhat deep here and look to play some of the favorites in the later races, but that all depends on how deep you can afford to go. Read the rest of this entry »