What better way to celebrate the holiday than an exciting collection of races from coast-to-coast on Wednesday and through the weekend. Here’s my analysis of Wednesday’s key races:
In the G3 Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth, I would be very surprised to see Southwestern Heat go off at his 10-1 morning line. As the sole early speed in this race, he will undoubtedly get the lead right out of the gate. At Monmouth, this past week and, indeed, this meet, early speed has a big advantage, and breaking from the four spot is beneficial (as is his carrying the low weight of 117). He threw a nice bullet 4f work six days ago, so I expect him to bounce back from his third place showing in the Rumson and finish strong here for a big win. If someone challenges his speed early or late, I suspect that would be West Coast invader Idiot Proof, although he has not raced since May 23. However, he did ship east and threw a bullet 4f work five days ago here. Additionally, he shipped from CA to FL for the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash in January, where he finished second to Storm in May, so the travel is not a problem. On the other hand, I am not as thrilled with the other shipper Principle Secret, who the morning line 9-5 favorite, nor Spin Master who is listed at 2-1.
In the G2 Dwyer at Belmont, I will be crushed if Any Given Saturday and Nobiz Like Showbiz don’t perform well. Throw out the Derby. Let’s start anew and get these talented colts on track. Since he is not working out with Rags to Riches any more, his ego has rebounded, and Any Given Saturday is working better than ever. The 1-1/16 mile distance should be perfect for him, and starting on the far outside in this six horse field won’t be a problem, judging by his past performances. Nobiz has the advantage of early speed in this one-turn race, but his recent works are just nowhere near those earlier this spring, so I think he may need this race to build on. My other horse of interest in the exotics is the lightly-raced First Defence, who has been working out incredibly well for Bobby Frankel, and won last out at Belmont. Probably not good enough to beat AGS or NLS, but won’t shame himself either.
A race earlier, the G2 Tom Fool Breeders’ Cup Handicap, also has a rather small field of seven, but several nice horses, including the Godolphin runner Rondo who steps up to stakes company today. He is also trying 7f for the first time, and I am not convinced that’s his ideal distance. However, six-year-old Commentator is the class runner here, both with his overall record at 7f (4 wins in 5 tries) and at Belmont (4 wins, 1 third in 5 tries). He loves the off-track if it rains (3 wins in 3 tries), and his last out was a commanding 11+ length victory here. He’s thrown 2 bullet 4f works since that race…I just don’t see anyone beating him here. High Finance should do well enough for money.
Finally, I know it is early yet, but here are the latest leading point earners for the Breeders’ Cup