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 also trying to find 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 again as Strong Quality won the 6th race at Fair Grounds and paid $12 and $5.80 on his recommended Win and Place wagers. Unfortunately, our crew wasn’t able to capitalize on that nice start.
This Saturday, we’re joined again by Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci and my friend John Lauro as we have plays from Aqueduct in New York, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs in Florida, Oaklawn in Arkansas and Santa Anita in California. Our coverage includes Colucci and Lauro giving differing opinions on how to play the featured race at Aqueduct though they have a couple of horses in common, plus Sehon and Colucci squaring off in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. That delivers on our promise to give you plays from coast to coast; now, we just need to have more of our horses find the winner’s circle!
Good luck today (and every day).
Gulfstream Race No. 7 (3:01 p.m. ET/12:01 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #5 Awesome Anywhere (12-1 morning line). “After a pair of successful efforts at Tampa Bay Downs, trainer Skip Einhorn brings gelding home and shortens him up for synthetic surface sprint. Dude’s headed in right direction. Return to previous high Beyers would be awesome, regardless of where or when. Wager: Win and Place.”
Gulfstream Race No. 8 (3:33 p.m. ET/12:33 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #6 Red Mule (10-1 morning line). “With earnings in excess of $80,000 from a 23-1-4-8 record, today’s the day this 6-year-old gelding graduates to the non-winners of three level – as my favorite winless-at-the-meet female rider Emma Jayne Wilson gets off her schneid. Stretch out to two turns on turf just what the trainer Phil Antonacci ordered for his dead closer. The Mule rules. Wager: Win and Place on 6, and 2,6,10 exacta box.”
Oaklawn Races Nos. 7-8 (4:13 p.m. ET/1:13 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes an ICE COLD DAILY DOUBLE. “With the scratch of Bob Baffert’s #6 McLaren Vale in Race No. 7, Steve Asmussen’s consistent #5 Sky and Sand (3-1 morning line) inherits my support and should have little trouble disposing of an otherwise short, mediocre field in trying two turns for first time. Tyler Gaffalione in Hot Springs to ride … In Race No. 8, vet Johnny Velazquez climbs aboard #2 Quick to Blame (9-5) for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox. Race sets up for colt to sit off pace before firing in lane … A chalk fest. Wager 5 and 2 Daily Double.”
Tampa Bay Race No. 9 (4:23 p.m. ET/1:23 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 Motateebeq (10-1 morning line). “This turf race at a mile-and-an-eighth should set up for a closer and this 6-year-old gelding fits the bill after just missing at 33-1 last time out over this course. Jockey John Bisono hits around 13 percent with these closing types and should get a ground-saving trip from the rail to set up his late kick. Wager: Win and Place.”
Aqueduct Race No. 8 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #4 Doubly Blessed (6-1 morning line) in the $125,000 Stymie Stakes. “This gelding comes off a layoff after a solid effort vs. monster Life Is Good. He’s well-bred for an off-track and is 3-for-4 here at Aqueduct. Bet 4 to Win and key 4 over 1,2, and 5 in exactas, trifectas and reverse.”
John Lauro likes #1 Green Light Go (6-5 morning line). “This is my best bet of the weekend. Green Light Go ran 118 BRIS speed figure last out and has returned to his old form. Strong Win bet on 1 and straight Exacta, 1-5, with #5 Milton the Monster.”
Santa Anita Race No. 3 (4:34 p.m. ET/1:34 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #1 First Prez (6-1 morning line). “In a 6.5-furlong race, most handicappers look at the speed horses, but closers do well on this turf course. This 5-year-old gelding has had seven weeks off, with some maintenance works thrown in. He was right there in his last race, beaten just three-quarters of a length against similar. Should get a ground-saving trip and be there at the end for trainer Jeff Mullins, who hits around 14-15 percent in most of his stats (right around 6-1), so we’re getting fair value here. Wager: Win and Place.”
Gulfstream Race No. 10 (4:37 p.m. ET/1:37 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #5 Applecross (9-2 morning line). “This mare was flying late in her first effort for trainer Bill Mott. Has huge back class and should get a clean trip with Junior Alvarado in the saddle. She has steady workouts and just needs some pace. Bet 5 to Win and key 5 over 1,2 and 6 in exactas, trifectas and reverse.”
Oaklawn Race No. 11 (6:22 p.m. ET/3:22 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #9 Barber Road (9-2 morning line) in the Grade 2, $1 million Rebel Stakes. “With all the noise emanating from Baffert barn, I’ll take stab with low-profile son of Race Day to turn back undefeated (and untested) West Coast invader #2 Newgrange (9-5). Return of sharp rider Reylu Gutierrez and a pair of excellent works seal deal. Wager: Win.”
Duane Colucci likes #10 Ethereal Road (12-1). “D. Wayne Lukas trainee seems to like Oaklawn with a fabulous run after a hesitant start, breaking his maiden. Take a big class jump. Lukas and jockey Luis Contreras hitting at 26 percent this meet with a $3.90 ROI. Should be buzzing at the top of the stretch. Bet 10 to Win and key 10 over 2,7 and 9 in exactas, trifectas and reverse.”
Note: also check out our A.I. Pick of the Week at vsin.com/horses as we’ve gone 23-for-46 (50 percent) since taking over the feature. There are also more plays from 1ST/BET handicappers on that page at vsin.com/horses.