By the time you read this, yours truly will be proverbially buried in what could wind up being between 2 to 3 feet of snow! Yes, the storm we’ve dubbed “Snowmageddon” is absolutely hammering the mid-atlantic, and living on the Maryland/Pennsylvania line, we seem to be right smack dab in the cross-hairs. What better to do at a time like this than sit back and fire up the ole betting account and take part in the action at some locations enjoying just a bit more friendly weather? This Saturday affords us several chances for major stakes action across the country. We’ll be focusing on the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in this post.
Grade 1 Donn Handicap – Gulfstream Park (Race 10) – 5:31 ET
The 52nd running of the $500k Donn will be contested by 10 horses going 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Gulfstream Park. QUALITY ROAD is the horse everyone will be watching here. The son of Elusive Quality was a trendy pick for the 2009 Kentucky Derby before being sideline by injury (truth be told, he was my top choice…before that honor went to I Want Revenge…before being forced to switch yet again, ultimately winding up with Friesan Fire. I think we all know how that ended). Many will recall his infamous gate antics moments before the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita that caused Zenyatta and others to have to wait what seemed an eternity before he was ultimately scratched. The colt rebounded from that non-performance by winning the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope here at Gulfstream last out on January 3. If you’re looking for a big score here, you’ll need to beat him to cash – which may be a tall order.
The interesting thing about this race presents itself when trying to determine who is likely to finish underneath the favorite. I like the looks of KISS THE KID here quite a bit at 6/1. I’m usually fond of the Lemon Drops, although it must be noted this one was defeated by DUKE OF MISCHIEF last out by a neck. PAST THE POINT could also be interesting depending on what happens up front early on. DELIGHTFUL KISS should be flying late as the field heads for the wire, and I’m expecting him to rally for a share of the money.
- #4 Quality Road (7/5*)
- #1 Kiss the Kid (6/1)
- #10 Delightful Kiss (8/1)
Dime Superfecta: 4/ 1, 3, 10/ 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10/ 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 = ($10.80)
The Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis - Santa Anita (Race 8 ) – 4:07 PT
The 72nd running of the Robert B. Lewis is being billed as a two horse race between offspring of one of my all-time favorite horses and sires; Tiznow. AMERICAN LION roars into town as a Kentucky Derby hopeful searching for graded stakes earnings. He’s got a favorable post position towards the outside in this rather light six horse field. His maiden victory at Keeneland generated quite a bit of buzz, and hopefully we’ll be able to answer some questions about how serious of a horse he’ll be today stretching out to 8.5 furlongs.TIZ CHROME is the “other Tiznow” in the field that everyone is buzzing about. Trainer Bob Baffert has seen his colt thrash the 17 horses he’s faced in two lifetime starts, including a blitz of the Stuka (get it?) last out at Hollywood. The question between these two is obviously who will get the best of the added distance. Considering each colt has shown they don’t need the lead early on to score, we appear to be setup for a promising stretch duel here. Whoever gets first jump just might pull away with the race.
Underneath, I thought CARACORTADO looked playable, largely because of his 4 for 4 record (albeit against lesser competition). I could also make a case for the aptly named DOMONATION for trainer John Sadler with jockey smokin’ Joe Talamo aboard. Either way, it doesn’t look like this will be a bank breaking race, unless something unexpected materializes.
I’ll keep this one fairly simple.
- #6 American Lion
- #3 Tiz Chrome
- #7 Domonation
Dime Superfecta: 6/ 3, 4, 7/ 2, 3, 4, 7/ ALL = $3.60
Of course, there’s one other big event coming up this weekend that we’ll be squeezing in time for in between epic snow shoveling sagas: The Super Bowl. I’m taking the Colts over the Saints in a close one.
As for the other news that the horse racing news coming out of Oaklawn Park, I’ll simply say I’m reserving serious thought about the potential of a showdown between Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra until something becomes official. I just don’t have a good feeling it’s going to happen in the Apple Blossom. We’ll see though – it certainly would be an exciting start to the racing season for 2010.
Best of luck to everyone!