By Matt Pappis, TSV Staff Writer —-
Race 1: 8-6-2-5
Race 2: 1-3-8
Race 3: 9-10-8-5
Race 4: 8-4-3
Race 5: 10-7-8
Race 6) Grade I Personal Ensign
Songbird (2): Her numbers don’t stack up to what she ran last year but she is the champ and they have to beat her.
Forever Unbridled (4): Really turning into a super mare, she is the logical one to upset the champ.
Race 7) Grade I Ballerina
Paulassilverlining (3): Since being bought and moved to the Chad Brown barn she is 3-for-3 with all three coming by a neck, she knows how to find the wire.
Curlin’s Approval (2): Ships in from Gulfstream and takes a rise in class; she has run numbers that make her very competitive here.
Highway Star (7): She tried the route of ground on Belmont day unsuccessfully, but now she gets back to what is more of her game and is 3-for-3 at the distance.
Race 8) Grade I Allen Jerkens
Takaful (2): This is one fast horse and will be flying early; if he runs back to the race opening day 5-1 will feel like a steal.
American Anthem (9): He has always been a one turn horse and showed it in his last two; we all remember what Bob Baffert did Belmont day right?
Practical Joke (1): Should be able to rate in right behind the early pace and show his class; this horse is undefeated at 1 turn.
Coal Front (7): Undefeated AND untested, but has not seen the likes of American Anthem, Takaful and Practical Joke among others;nevertheless is clearly very talented.
Race 9) Grade I Forego
Drefong (10): At the top of his game, he demolished second choice Mind Your Biscuits and will look to do so again here. In his last race he tossed the jock and that would concern me with any other trainer but Bob Baffert. He is not flying across the country if this horse isn’t ready; I will single him on some tickets.
Mind Your Biscuits (6): Has shown new tactics sitting close in his last few starts and has developed into a very nice horse over the last year; he better have his running shoes to beat Drefong.
Divining Rod (4): He has been in the trifecta in 13-of-14 career starts and always is around at the wire; one to use for exotic bettors.
Race 10) Grade I Sword Dancer
Idaho (6): Likely your easiest bet of the day right here. The second place finisher in his last race came back to win on Wednesday and he drops 11 pounds from his Ascot race; the class of the field.
Erupt (7): Has not been in great form of late but his “B” race is good enough to beat some of this group.
Race 11) Grade I Travers
Good Samaritan (5): The Triple Crown races came back weak and he was the one not in any of them so we go here the same way we did in the Jim Dandy.
Fayeq (12): Another that did not run in the Triple Crown, he is on the improve for one of the hottest trainers at the meet and you will see all of 30-1 with some big names in the race.
Irap (10): Toss his Kentucky Derby in the slop and you see three straight wins; both horses he beat in his last two races came back to win the West Virginia Derby and the Haskell. I think he will be forgotten in the betting.
West Coast (3): Getting better with every race and I will not allow Big Day Bob to beat us in the last leg of a Pick 4. Can he have a repeat of his Belmont Day.
Pick-4 races (8-11)
.50 Pick-4: 1,2,9/ 2,10/ 6/ 3,5,10,12 = $24
Race 12) Grade II Ballston Spa
Anatone (5): Broke through the gate prior to her last race and still almost got to Lady Eli.
Roca Roja (2): ran awful Belmont day and she is just too good for a performance like that, so we will give her another chance here.
Lady Eli (1): Returned to her old form in last and we know she loves the Spa.
Race 13: 8-10-6-4