(Note: updated after early scratches/changes on Sunday morning.)
This is the ninth installment of “Tuley’s Thoroughbred Takes” for the week of May 13-17 as me and my stable of handicapping friends look for value at the horseracing tracks that are still running during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our group’s slump continued with six losers on Saturday, but I didn’t feel too bad as we were taking some chances with some non-favorites and had nice runs from several of our horses but just weren’t able to finish strong enough (full recaps at end of this column).
We’ll try to end the week on a winning note with four combined plays from Gulfstream, Churchill and Santa Anita (as always, please check this link every morning through Sunday for current plays, plus in the noon ET/9 a.m. hour in case of scratches).
Churchill Race No. 4 (2:32 p.m. ET/11:32 a.m. PT)
John Lauro liked #19 Garden Affair (5/1 morning line), but she was SCRATCHED Sunday morning after being listed as a "main-track only" also-eligible. Note: Garden Affair is already entered as #11 in Churchill's Race 10 on Thursday in a maiden claiming race on the main dirt track.
Gulfstream Race No. 6 (3:16 p.m. ET/12:16 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #2 Music of Life (7/2 morning line). “Hot Danny Gargan barn (2 wins Saturday) sends out seasoned 4-year-old filly for this $25,000 open claimer on the grass at a mile-and one-sixteenth. Away for nine weeks (positive trainer angle), look for her to sit off the pace and rally in the lane for top rider Luis Saez. Wager: Win.”
Gulfstream Race No. 8 (4:21 p.m. ET/1:21 p.m. PT)
Ed Sehon likes #3 Noble Thought (3/1 morning line). “There’s nothing like a turf marathon at a mile-and-a-half to get my staying-at-home COVID-19 juices flowing on a sunny afternoon in Carolina. Crafty conditioner Michael Maker hires Irad Ortiz to guide this 7-year-old gelded son of Harlan’s Holiday to the winner’s circle from off an honest pace. Wager: Win & box in exactas with 1, 5 & 8.”
Santa Anita Race No. 8 (7:08 p.m. ET/4:08 p.m. PT)
Dave Tuley #6 Artistic Diva (15/1 morning line). In the Grade 3 Desert Stormer Stakes, all eyes – and a vast amount of the wagering dollars – are going to be on #5 Bellafina, the 6/5 morning-line favorite and the two Bob Baffert entrants. However, I’ll take a flier on #6 Artistic Diva to go to the lead and never get caught. Wager: Win & Place.
Santa Anita Race No. 9 (7:38 p.m. ET/4:38 p.m. PT)
Duane Colucci likes #2 Smiling Rose (6/1 morning line). “Smiling Rose makes her 4-year-old debut with a couple of nice turf efforts under her belt. A real nice work on May 2 proves she is fit and the drop in class doesn’t hurt. Low-profile rider and trainer boost the price.”
Past day’s results:
Gulfstream Race No. 6
Ed Sehon absolutely loved #5 Green Light Go (6/5 morning line)…went off as 3/5 favorite…sat just off pace and made move in upper stretch, but was squeezed between horses and had to check, then came on again to finish 2nd by half a length…jockey filed an objection against the winner, which was not allowed (it appeared Green Light Go was interfered more by the #4 Cajun Casanova instead of the winner, #3 Double Crown, so the stewards made the right no-call).
Santa Anita Race No. 1
Dave Tuley liked #1 Moana Luna (20/1 morning line)…went off 31/1…didn’t break as well as I was hoping, made a decent rally to get up into 3rd in the stretch but then faded to finish 7th of 12.
Churchill Downs Race No. 6
Duane Colucci liked #5 Irritator (3/1 morning line)…went off as even-money favorite…sat right behind pace most of the race in 3rd place, got up to 2nd but was passed late to finish 3rd of 12.
Gulfstream Race No. 10
Dave Tuley liked #6 Starship Bonita (30/1) in the $100,000 Musical Romance Stakes…went off 43/1…sat well off the pace as expected but was only able to pass tiring horses and finished 4th of 9…the other speed horses didn’t push pacesetter Lady’s Island, who was able to wire the field instead of setting it up for the closers as I was hoping…my other closers, #3 Wildwood’s Beauty and #2 Bellera finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Churchill Downs Race No. 10
Ed Sehon liked #5 Miss T Too (4/1 morning line)…went off 5/1…set the early fractions in the 12-horse field but was passed late to finish 2nd, paying $6.60 to Place.
Santa Anita Race No. 8
Duane Colucci liked #9 Warren’s Showtime (3/1 morning line) in the $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes…went off 4/1… raced midpack most of the race, tried to make move in stretch but was blocked and had to steady, finishing 4th of 10.