Thursday, February 13, 2014

Working From Home

It’s a stormy, snowy day here on the east coast. A great day to “work from home” and that means there’s plenty of time to take a look at the weekend turf racing at Gulfstream Park.

Thank you to the Handicapping Corner at Thoro-Fan for the forum to express my handicapping opinions!

The co-feature on Saturday at Gulfstream Park is the Grade III The Very One. It is the 29th rendition of the race named after a very accomplished mare from the 70’s. The Very One won major stakes from coast to coast  from 2-6 and on occasion beat  the boys , (The Dixie Handicap at Pimlico setting a new track record) She  amassed a bankroll of over a million dollars, with 22 wins, 12 seconds and 8 thirds.
Even in defeat, The Very One finished second to the  legendary John Henry in the Hialeah Turf Cup and second to Bowl Game in the Washington DC International. Those exactas would have been right up my handicapping alley.

The Very One is carded as the 8th race (4:03pm) at a 1 & 3/8ths miles on turf, and while there is a small chance of wet weather for Saturday, it  hopefully will not be enough to impact the course.

More than half of the compact field of mares is coming off a freshening. But with trainers like Clement, Mott, and Motion, fitness to go the distance shouldn’t be an issue.

Let’s take a look from the rail out.

Aigue Marine – Lightly raced, Clement runner by Galileo out of a stakes winning Silver Hawk mare .Has a win over the Gulfstream turf course at the distance and has some back class. She is serious contender for her first Graded Stakes win.

Left A Message – One of 2 Proctor charges in here, this one with a troubled prep at Tampa 3 weeks ago. Did she get enough out of that trip? She has been beaten by a few of these before.

Seanchai – The other Proctor mare ran in this race last year. Has some speed to gallop along on the front end, but does not seem to have enough finishing kick.

Dame Marie – Kenneally trained, never been this far but good work pattern on the Palm Meadows turf course coming in.

Preferential – She came around at the end of last year with trainer Bill Mott. Some speedy works over the main track, she likes to be up close to the lead.

Inimitable Romanee – Graham Motion NYbred mare and the only Graded Stakes winner in the race with her gate to wire win in last year’s Lamplighter. Not really sure how good she is.

Anjaz – Well bred mare for Albertrani, has been off for 6 months. According to press release, nothing major for the layoff, foot bruise and races rained off, but with this trainer – could need one.

Viva Rafaella – Pletcher trainee, Oaks winner in Brazil beating 15. Not really convinced she fits here, but she has the right connections, so second guessing them may be a mistake.

The Pick: I like Aigue Marine here for the win. She has continued to train forwardly since her last race in November. She owns some back class, is well bred with strong connections and versatile enough to run regardless of turf condition. She has won on the course, at the distance and has won both on the front end and in a stalking position. And I really don’t think we have seen the best of her.

Preferential needs a look too. She has trained very well, with quick works on the main track. She needs to step it up, but is in capable hands to do so.

It’s hard to fault the NYBred Inimitable Romanee. She is as consistent as they come and just might continue her upward progression from last season that produced her stakes win in wide open company. I see her getting a piece.

Good luck in all your wagers!