Football season is behind us, so the saying around VSiN is we’re looking forward to March Madness. However, here at Team Tuley, we’re looking just as much toward the Kentucky Derby while looking for value at tracks from coast to coast each weekend.
Last Saturday, my friend Ed Sehon (aka Mr. Ed from his daily VSiN column during last summer’s Saratoga meet) carried us as he had two winners Drop a Hint ($14) in Tampa Bay Downs’ 6th race and Conglomerate ($6.40) in Gulfstream’s 7th race.
This Saturday, we mostly focus on the Risen Star card at Fair Grounds, but we’re joined by Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci and my friend John Lauro as we also have plays at Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs (unfortunately, one of Colucci’s plays at Aqueduct was scratched this morning).
We’re sure you’ve noticed, but we’ve moved back the time this column is posted from late Friday/very early Saturday to around noon ET/9 a.m. PT to help our handicappers gather more information for their selections. Hopefully it helps, especially yours truly as it’s been several weeks since I’ve had a winning selection here with my long-shot plays.
Good luck today (and every day).
Fair Grounds Race No. 3 (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT)
John Lauro likes #3 More Than Work (5-2 morning line). “My best bet of the day comes earlier on the Risen Star card. This 3-year-old colt looked fabulous on the track last time out but had the #14 post. From #7 post, should get a great trip and break its maiden.”
Gulfstream Race No. 6 (2:27 p.m. ET/11:27 a.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #2 Fuerteventura (8-1 morning line). “From time to time it can pay to take a flier on an unproven commodity. This is one of those times. I’ve been waiting all meet for accomplished Canada-based female rider Emma Jane Wilson (0 for 25) to claim her breakthrough Gulfstream victory. Following a speedy Payson Park work by maiden first-timer, today’s the day for maiden filly and jockey to score at solid price. Wager: Win, Place and Show.”
Fair Grounds Race No. 6 (3:27 p.m. ET/12:27 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #3 Strong Quality (4-1 morning line). “Regally bred, precocious son of Quality Road and Tiz So Sweet makes his second start for trainer Mark Casse in competitive 3-year-old maiden, two-turn contest. Up-and-comer Adam Beschizza retains mount after a series of sizzling works. Score here puts quality colt on Derby Trail. Wager: Win and Place.”
Tampa Bay Race No. 8 (3:48 p.m. ET/12:48 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #9 Mamba Wamba (9-2 morning line) in the $100,000 Lightning City Stakes. “We usually look for the speed of the speed in 5-furlong turf races, but deep closers are hitting 36 percent in these races at the current meet. This British invader looks like she has the best shot to close this field after doing the same thing in her U.S. debut at Gulfstream. Wager: Win and Place.”
Fair Grounds Race No. 8 (4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the coupled entry of #1 Shinnecock Hills and #1A Strava (both at 9/2 morning line). “In addition to getting two Triple Crown prospects for the price of one from top barn-rider combos of Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez and Dallas Stewart/Tyler Gaffalione), both capable colts are trying two turns for the first time. Look for Shinnecock Hills early and Strava late. BOGO free special. Wager: Win.”
Fair Grounds Races Nos. 10-13 (5:25 p.m. ET/2:25 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes the following ALL-STAKES $.50 Pick 4 (cost $32)
Race 10: 4,5,9,10
Race 11: 2,6,7,10
Race 12: 1,4
Race 13: 4,7
Fair Grounds Race No. 13 (6:58 p.m. ET/3:58 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #7 Zandon (9-2 morning line) in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes. “A victory today would propel colt to top of Chad Brown’s string of Kentucky Derby prospects. In addition to superior barn, I like rider upgrade to Jose Ortiz, his two New York 2-year-old efforts (Win and Place) and bullet work at Payson Park a week ago. Let’s go Zandon! Wager: Win.”
Duane Colucci also likes #7 Zandon (9-2). “This lightly raced Chad Brown colt is in a prime spot for his 3-year-old debut. He should have won the Remsen after a brutal trip and a 48 2/5 work on Feb. 12 was lights out. Jose Ortiz and Brown have combined to hit 29 percent over the last 11 starts. This is a Derby contender if everything works out. Bet 7 to Win and key 7 over 1,4,5,8 in exactas, trifectas and reverse.”
Dave Tuley likes #7 Zandon (9-2), too. “I hope we don’t weigh down this colt with our expectations, or have everyone seeing the same thing we do and bet it down. Wager: Win.”
Note: also check out our A.I. Pick of the Week at vsin.com/horses as we’ve gone 23-for-45 (better than 50 percent) since taking over the feature. There are also more plays from 1ST/BET handicappers on that page at vsin.com/horses.