There seems to be more distractions than ever before for gamblers’ attention with MLB starting to join NBA and NHL on the daily calendar, plus we have the Masters this weekend, but there’s still time to slip in some horse racing action.
Last Saturday, my friend, Ed Sehon, carried us with three winners on Crystal Cliffs ($8.20 in Gulfstream’s 7th race), Weyburn ($10.60 in Gulfstream’s 10th) and White Abarrio $7.80 in Gulfstream’s 10th). He’s off on assignment with his VSiN.com column, “Mr. Ed’s Keeneland on (about) $100 a Day,” but he’s still contributing here with his non-Keeneland picks for Saturday. We’re also joined by my other friends, Rampart race and sports book manager Duane Colucci and John Lauro as we look for value at tracks from coast to coast (Aqueduct in New York, Gulfstream in Florida, Keeneland in Kentucky and Santa Anita in California) on Saturday’s card, highlighted by the last three major Kentucky Derby preps.
Good luck today (and every day).
Gulfstream Race No. 4 (2:36 p.m. ET/11:36 a.m. PT)
Strictly a jockey play on #1 Princess Blakey (4-1 morning line) with Edwin Gonzalez riding for leading Chad Brown barn. “Now that the big name boys have exited warm south Florida for cooler (snow today?) Keeneland, young Gonzalez will be picking up classier mounts. He acquitted himself well (16 percent winners) at Gulfstream riding longshots for lower-profile barns. Now’s his time to shine. Wager: Win and Place.”
Keeneland Race No. 7 (3:55 p.m. ET/12:55 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #10 Tiz Splendid News (15-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Madison Stakes. “This 4-year-old filly is stepping up in class but should be the speed of the speed with a chance to steal this 7-furlong race. Jockey Kazushi Kimura is hitting 20 percent for trainer Wesley Ward the past two months so he’s been putting him on live horses. Ward is also 21 percent with winners in their next race, so he knows how to place these as well so we trust he’s not overreaching here. Wager: Win and Place.”
John Lauro likes #4 Just One Time (8-1 morning line). “Just One Time has been training up a storm. Strong Win bet.”
Keeneland Race No. 8 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #3 Barraza (6-1 morning line) in the Grade 2 Shakertown Stakes. “Winner of 4 in a row has crushed in his last two getting 6 furlongs in 1:06 4/5 in last race. Vladimir Cerin is a 35 percent trainer this year and this may be his top colt. Bet 3 to Win and key 3 over 6,10 and 11 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse.”
John Lauro likes the Daily Double including Keeneland Races 8 and 9: My Best Bet for Saturday includes the return of BC Turf Sprint star #10 Golden Pal (4-5) in the Shakertown Stakes and #10 Smile Happy (9-5) in the Blue Grass Stakes. Simply 10 with 10.
Keeneland Races Nos. 8-11 (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes the following $.50 Pick 4 (cost $45)
Race 8: 3,10
Race 9: 1,2,4,8,10
Race 10: 2.4.11
Race 11: 10,11,12
Aqueduct Race No. 8 (4:45 p.m. ET/1:45 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #3 Early Voting (5-2 morning line) in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial. “So the whole key is how fast can this horse go? Morello and Barese may be able to run a mile quicker, but this Chad Brown trainee will finish. Solid work on April 2. Brown and jockey Jose Ortiz are hitting at 40 percent with a $2.55 ROI at Aqueduct. If the track is wet, bet double with his Speightstown female family breeding. Bet 3 to Win and key 3 over 1,5,6 and 8 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse.”
Aqueduct Races Nos. 8-11 (4:45 p.m. ET/1:45 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes the following $.50 Pick 4 (cost $40)
Race 8: 1,3,5,6,8
Race 9: 2
Race 10: 1,3,5,6
Race 11: 5,6,9,10
Keeneland Race No. 9 (5:10 p.m. ET/2:10 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #4 Zandon (5-2 morning line) in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes. “The Chad Brown buzz horse had a terrible trip in the Risen Star. He’s been working steadily for this. Not sure of the rider switch from a skill perspective, but Brown and Flavien Prat do hit at 34 percent. If he breaks well, he should outfinish McPeek’s runners and watch out for D. Wayne Lukas late. Bet 4 to Win and key 4 over 1,2 and 8 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse.”
Aqueduct Race No. 9 (5:21 p.m. ET/2:21 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #1 Reinvestment Risk (4-1 morning line) in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap. “Multiple Grade 1 placed colt came out running in February. No disgrace chasing Jackie’s Warrior. Workouts are steady. Brown and jockey Manny Franco hitting 41 percent at Aqueduct with a $3.37 ROI over all tracks. Bet 1 to Win and key 1 over 2,4 and 5 in Exactas, Trifectas and reverse – and box 1 and 2 for a little extra.”
Ed Sehon loves #2 Green Light Go (9-2 morning line). “His groom, a long time friend, tipped me on this guy when he was a youngster. Since returning to the Jimmy Jerkens barn, he has regained his previously powerful form. Journeyman Dylan Davis retains mount for classy 7-furlong sprint. Wager: Win and Place.”
Aqueduct Race No. 10 (5:55 p.m. ET/2:55 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #2 Greatitude (15-1 morning line) in the Grade 3 Gazelle Stakes. “This lightly raced 3-year-old filly could be the speed of the speed for trainer Todd Pletcher. She didn’t fire her first time against graded stakes competition, but Javier Castellano (who hits at 14 percent with Pletcher) should be able to get her to the lead and hopefully never look back. Wager: Win and Place.”
Santa Anita Race No. 10 (5:55 p.m. ET/2:55 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley likes #4 Munny Penny (30-1 morning line) in the Evening Jewel Stakes. “This is a real bomb in this ungraded stakes race, but I’m taking a flier as there’s a couple of long-shot angles I like. She’s returning to dirt and I love horses that have shown speed on the turf as it usually transfer back to the dirt – and she’s shown before that her speed on the dirt is legit in trying to steal this 6 1/2-furlong sprint, plus after fading in her last effort, she gets second-time Lasix after a little bit of a layoff. Plenty of reason to improve for this 3-year-old filly. Jockey Edwin Maldonado is also 22 percent with early-speed types She’s also still only has a maiden win and is stepping up in class, so she’s probably going to be ignored by the public at the windows. It all adds up to a value play at a juicy price. Wager: Win and Place.”
Note: also check out our A.I. Pick of the Week at vsin.com/horses early this afternoon as we’ve gone 25-for-50 (50 percent) since taking over the feature. There are also more plays from 1ST/BET handicappers on that page at vsin.com/horses.