Saturday, May 15, 2010
The Nomination Is In: May 15, 2010; The Grade II Dixie and Grade I Preakness Stakes; Race 11/12 Daily Double
I love to remember Champions in their radiant glory and none to me are more glorious then Barbaro walking into Pimlico a day before his tragic final race. I try not to think about the big fella and what could have been but I found myself today with that horrible feeling from 2006 when I handicapped the Grade II Dixie as part of the Daily Double with The Preakness Stakes and came to the running lines for Nicanor, Barbaro's full brother. I've not handicapped any of Barbaro's brothers yet and I had to stop after reading his PP and just reflect back on how great the son of Dynaformer was. Let's not forget any of our runners, be it Barbaro or the cheapest claimer, and if you find The Turk enjoyable to read, please donate to a horse charity, one like Remember Me Rescue, with their easy to use widget on the right side of my blog. Thanks to Terence Dulay for the use of mighty Barbaro's picture. Let's get after it!
Pimlico Race 11 and Race 12: The Grade II Dixie and the Grade I Preakness Stakes
The Grade II Dixie goes to post at 5:12 Eastern, a full hour before the Preakness, so get your bets in.
The weather appears to be fine, the turf appears firm and there was only one scratch at the time of this writing, but get your information ready before finalizing your handicap.
Trainer Sheppard brings Just As Well in for his second off a long layoff, something the trainer does well with just 11% of the time. The 7YO does a Turf from Synthetic switch which Sheppard wins 22% of the time with. The trainer's graded stakes win rate of 27% and his 24% win rate with Leparoux, coupled with the Just As Well's 10 of 16 in the money on turf and 13 of 22 lifetime in the money makes him formidable. Don't like as a win bet with a suspected low price but will be part of my superfecta and trifectas.
5 YO gelding Picou comes in off the race of his career, a 103 BSF win at 1 1/8 on firm turf in early April. Trainer Brown puts E. Trujillo up, and the two combine for 44% wins on 16 starts and Brown clips away at 21% on turf and 33% in graded stakes. Expect a late turn of foot.
Rahystarda has been on my radar since beating Turk favorite Rahy's Attorney in the Grade III River City Handicap last year. 9 wins on 21 turf starts and 2 wins at the distance.
The group of Nicanor, Wesley and Grassy will round out my Show and 4th spots on the exotics.
In the main event, I like the middle of the starting gate to all show for themselves well. I'm tepidly backing Jackson Bend for his guts, Looking at Lucky for his pure natural potential and Super Saver for the respect the Derby winner deserves.
The second tier to me includes Dublin, Paddy O' Prado and Caracortado.
I like Jackson Bend on fast dirt where he is a perfect 9 for 9 in the money. A 4 furlong :46 3/5ths bullet earlier this week is a big fat wow. Hall of Fame Jock Mike Smith gets the mount for the second time.
2 YO champ Looking at Lucky has had some bad trips and gets Martin Garcia up today for Trainer Baffert. His best race of the year was on fast dirt and if Garcia can wait on him a bit he should be right there.
Super Saver ran an impressive 98 BSF and lost by a neck in Arkansas Derby. Nothing to dislike about the Kentucky Derby winner except the price. He'll be apart of all tickets.
I like the hard knockin' Dublin to find the exotic ticket. Making his 5th start of 2010 and his 8th dirt start.
Have fun with these. The Turk is about to get his "preak on" with a Camacho Room 101, his current stick of choice.