Rocking Around the Clock on Saturday at TwinSpires.comNear-around the clock action is nothing new on TwinSpires.com, but the class of the races offered on Saturday--with group and graded stakes action beginning with Royal Ascot in the morning and concluding with Churchill Downs "after dark"--is pretty special.
My Royal Ascot selections have been abysmal this week (literally haven't picked a winner), so I won't effort one on Saturday. Instead, I suggest Brisnet.com's Daily Selections & Spotlight Selections products--both of which have provided top selections paying $20-plus such as Kiyoshi in the Albany Stakes.
To keep things interested throughout the day stateside, TwinSpires.com offers a 1-million-point "Play All Day" promotion requiring a winning Pick 3 at Belmont Park, Hollywood Park, and Churchill Downs. Throw in stakes action at Colonial Downs, and it's certainly a busy day even with just the one Grade 1 race (the Mother Goose at Belmont Park).
Speaking of that race, it probably offers the biggest free square of all in Dreaming of Julia, who I won't be trying to beat in this spot. Even her supposed "off" Kentucky Oaks defeats this field, and I'm more interested in her as a Pick 4 single than as a vulnerable favorite.
Even though the Mother Goose is on the East Coast, the big-time domestic stakes action actually starts out West with the Hollywood Oaks, another race--like the Mother Goose--for three-year-old fillies that, to me, features a multi-race wager free square.
Doinghardtimeagain won't be near the favorite Dreaming of Julia will be, but she's nearly as likely a winner. Instead of the 10.2-point Prime Power advantage Dreaming of Julia has over her foes, Doinghardtimeagain is up just 8.6 points on her closest pursuer, but given her speed and pace edge I'm inclined to single her with just as much confidence.
So now that we've established who will win at short prices, who can we beat to find some value throughout the day? The two graded turf races at Colonial Downs--the All Along & Colonial Turf Cup--both offer some promise.
In the Colonial Turf Cup, both Atigun and Air Support have the look of horses who will take too much money, which hopefully leaves Swift Warrior at his 7-to-2 morning line, which I see as a fair price. Two horses I'll be looking to spice things up with--both as a win threat in the multis and anywhere on the ticket in the verticals--are Roadhog and Two Notch Road. The former stretches back out on his third start off the layoff and has some races last year at longer distances that can win this. Two Notch Road intrigues as a speed threat at a nice price.
In the All Along, Channel Lady is tough for me to like as such a clear favorite (7-to-5 morning line). Adjacent gets class tested here, but her four wins at four different major-circuit tracks give me the confidence that she can hang with these. Welcome Dance looks capable of being the speed and should be fresh off the layoff, but you never know what you're going to get with Julien Leparoux in that regard. Still, 8-to-1 compensates you for those questions.
The stakes action concludes at Churchill Downs where two-year-old fillies go under lights (sort of, it is the second-longest day of the year), and only 40% of this field is capable of winning. Anyone but the 7, 8, 9, or 10 would shock me. That's not to say an upset can't happen, though, because 7, 8, & 10 are the clear favorites, and #9, Del Mar Holiday, has a shot at 8-to-1. Teardrop is the 2-to-1 morning line favorite, and it's tough to ignore the impressiveness of her debut given the early trouble and wide trip, but her stablemate Del Mar Holiday has run well despite drifting in both starts. I realize you don't want a horse stepping up to stakes who drifts, but the connections give me enough hope that it's a correctable issue, and two-to-three times the price on the other logical contenders has me hoping a straight run is good enough.