A whole day of racing and four tracks plus preparations for tomorrow’s beat the host. Oak Lawn opens today, plus Gulfstream and Santa Anita which are the two tracks on tomorrow’s contest, and the Friday evening special at Turfway which is my favorite winter track. Let the action begin!
Below is a preview and the races and early picks for tomorrow’s Beat the Host contest. As always, this may change if strategy dictates. The tracks are Gulfstream and Santa Anita, and I’ll describe the horses with Prime Power for relative strength vs field.
GP 3 [$45k Mdn 4 &up 8f]
ML 3-1 #3 Pedrolino: I think the odds will prolly be lower at post. Kenneally and Leparoux teamed with sharp works after 51 days off. I’d be giddy with 3-1. Host has this horse too. I’d guess 9/5 going off so it’ll be a tough call whether to stay on or jump to better odds/overlay.
Prime Power 1st of 8
SA 1 [$44k Mdn 6f]
ML 12-1 #1 Paradise Found: Six horse field, two 1st timers and 3 starts the most by any horse, and that horse is Paradise found. A bit of a gap between works, but has improved each race; however, other horses with starts all have slightly better Byer number. Still, it is a wide open race of green colts, so taking a price and hoping it is his day. Interesting is Royce is making his 2nd start after a 109 day layoff … he came in 3rd that start beaten by Macias and Via Verde who have already made a name for themselves.
Prime Power 4th of 6 with two NAs.
GP 6 [$100k 3yo T 8f]
ML 5-1 #7 Bim Bam: Putting together a nice string of races and wins. Two other interesting horses are #4 Nordic Truce having only raced once and winning a Mdn Sp Wgt, and the #2 Guys Reward coming in from KY and a layoff. Prices will be key.
Prime Power 1st of 12.
SA 2 [$44k Mdn F T 6.5f]
ML 4-1 Miss Pleasant: Had two strong races, but has not raced in 216 days. Surprised ML is this low as this race has an interesting mix. The seemingly strongest filly is still 0-11, so is she due. Also entered is a filly with two starts in France but making her US debut. Tote board will be interesting here.
Prime Power 2nd of 9.
SA 3 [$100k G3 8f] San Rafael
ML 8-1 #4 Lucky Rave: This is a derby prep dominated by Conveyance and his 3-5 ML odds. No way to play him, but his only two starts have been wire-to-wire winners by 2 and 7 lengths with 91 and 102 Byers respectfully. The horse to beat, but a no play at less than even money. Via Verde is also running, but I’m looking for Lucky Rave to be the one if Conveyance stumbles as most of these are stretching out, but Lucky has been running 1 mile plus routinely. Lucky has been running great but all on turf. Here’s his shot to see if his turf form converts to dirt and a possible shot at the Derby.
Prime Power is 3rd of 5 behind Conveyance and Via Verde.
GP 9 [$48k Alw 4&up 6f]
ML 6-1 #11 Todd Got Even: Zito trained and consistently pounding the New York circuit. Fits well here though he has a 2 month layoff. Hard to imagine he goes off at 6-1, but if so he’s the play. Another interesting possible play is #7 who has just one start, but he crushed a $60k C race wire to wire at Aqueduct.
Prime Power 2nd of 12.
SA 5 [$150k G2 F 7f] Santa Ynez
ML 8-1 Whispering Hush: Ran on turf the last two and goes back to dirt. A consistent performer, but slightly less than the best of the others. The strongest closer by far, with rain in the forecast if the race sets up for a finishing kick then she’s the one.
Prime Power 4th of 6.
GP 10 [$51k Alw 4&up 6f]
ML 6-1 #8 Rock in Bage: Ships in from New York with a consistent set of workouts and races. Plenty of horses in this field who could win.
Prime Power 5th of 12.
The Host picks are listed below:
Saturday, January 16th
Track Race Post
(ET) Host Pick
Gulfstream Park 3 2:10pm #7 Pedrolino
Santa Anita 1 3:30pm #5 Timbavati
Gulfstream Park 6 3:36pm #4 Nordic Truce
Santa Anita 2 4:00 pm #3 Aprisa Luna
Santa Anita 3 4:31pm #3 Conveyance
Gulfstream Park 9 5:08pm #6 Obligingly
Santa Anita 5 5:34pm #2 Franny Freud
Gulfstream Park 10 5:38pm #1 Don'twait Toolong
A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is-full of surprises. ~ Isaac Singer
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