COMMENTS: This is the Tim “Tiznow” Reynolds Memorial. Please visit Thorofan’s Web site or the memorial page on Facebook to learn more about Reynolds and his family.
BET(S): I’m going to sit this one out.
COMMENTS: Clearly, CAPE BLANCO is the one to beat. He's a plodder at a distance (12 furlongs) well suited to his long-winded pedigree and he figures to be near a tepid pace. That said, I think GRASSY offers the best value in the race. His last race — albeit against lesser — was fantastic, earning the five-year-old a 97 Brisnet speed figure (BSF) and a +7 late speed ration (LSR). MISSION APPROVED and WINCHESTER round out the primary contention in a short, but quality field.
BET(S): WIN on 6 at odds of 9-2 or greater.
COMMENTS: It's put up or shut up time for UNCLE MO and I think he'll do the former. Frankly, this field is not that strong and “Mo” appears to be sitting on a big race.
BET(S): WIN on 3 at odds of 1-1 or greater.
COMMENTS: HAVRE DE GRACE has a massive speed edge on this bunch and should get her preferred trip right off the early leader, which would appear to be Life At Ten. As far as the betting goes, my strategy will be to beat ROYAL DELTA, who, although talented, is almost sure to be overbet off of her scintillating score in the Grade I Alabama against sophomores. One horse to consider in the exacta is BANKER'S BUY. Yeah, she's just one of 10 outside of the state-bred ranks, but she does have a fair amount of early lick and decent late punch.
BET(S): EXACTA 5-1 at odds of 10-1 or greater (optional). EXACTA 5-3 at odds of 10-1 or greater (optional). EXACTA 5-4 at odds of 11-1 or greater (optional).
COMMENTS: Race discussed on this week's TwinSpires Horse Racing Podcast.
COMMENTS: Even though SWEETONRICH handily defeated LOVELY LEEANN the last time they met, I'm partial to the latter on Saturday. Sure, the morning line odds play a part in my decision, but so too does the likely pace scenario this weekend (it figures to be much hotter up front) and the ten-pound weight switch.
BET(S): WIN on 5 at odds of 7-2 or greater.
COMMENTS: I love MACK THE SLEW's last race (9/10) over this track, where he recorded an 89 BSF (today's par is 89) and -2 LSR.
BET(S): WIN on 6 at odds of 9-5 or greater.
COMMENTS: This may be the easiest wagering decision I'll make all weekend. Not because I've unearthed the proverbial “sure thing” in this race, but rather because the morning line favorite has some knocks and figures to be a massive underlay. Yes, FREEDOM STAR is a Grade 3 winner and Grade 2-placed; granted, she's undefeated on dirt; true, she's trained by master conditioner Bob Baffert. But there's a lot of early speed in this race, which could force the probable favorite into the unenviable position of running faster out of the gate (in a race that literally starts on the turn) or trying to rate for the first time ever. And then there's TEXAS COUNTRY DOLL, a five-year-old mare that ran lights-out in her latest (101 BSF, 0 LSR).
BET(S): WIN on 3 at odds of 7-2 or greater. SHOW on 3 if Freedom Star controls over 75% of the show pool.
Derek Simon’s Free Selection Statistics
Races (Selections): 52 (55)
(This year's published selections through 09/30/11.)
Note: Play is restricted to any horse(s) that meet my fair odds requirements (when listed). Multiple qualifying contenders will be bet separately, however, multiple bets will be adjusted to equal a single wager and the payoffs averaged. For example a winning WIN/PLACE wager paying $6.20 on top and $4.30 underneath would count as a single bet paying $5.25 (the average of $6.20 and $4.30).