Handicapping Hour for Oaklawn Park – Saturday, Feb. 24th

Guest Jim Miller from Hawthorne Racecourse

Jim Miller joins Mark and Steve Simonvic on their weekly Oaklawn Handicapping Hour to discuss the Saturday card in Hot Springs, AR.   Follow us on Twitter/X at www.twitter.com/Agameofskill

Dr Ardito Seeks Fourth Stakes Win at Aqueduct on Saturday

Michael Caruso and Michael Dubb’s Grade 2-placed multiple stakes-winner Dr Ardito will once again team up with jockey Manny Franco in search of their fourth collaborative stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Haynesfield, a one-turn mile for older New York-breds, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, Dr Ardito returns to the scene of his determined half-length score in the one-mile Alex M. Robb with Franco at the helm on December 29 over muddy and sealed footing. The now 6-year-old Liam’s Map gray displayed his usual come-from-behind tactics to rally from last-of-5 and collar stablemate Aggregation just in time, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:36.18.

“He’s a nice horse,” Franco said. “He’s sharp and he knows where the wire is. He always gives me everything out there, that’s a nice type of horse to be around. Every time I ride him, I try to do my best and make it happen. The horse is always there for me. I hope Saturday will be the same.”

Franco has piloted Dr Ardito in all but one of his 14 lifetime outings, which includes a six-race win streak from April 2021 through last February that began with a second-out graduation and concluded with a gritty head score over the multiple graded stakes-placed Bankit in last year’s Haynesfield.

In addition to the Haynesfield and Alex M. Robb, Dr Ardito’s 5-year-old campaign included another stakes triumph in the Evan Shipman Handicap at Saratoga Race Course and his first graded placing when narrowly defeated by Everso Mischievous in the Grade 2 Forty Niner in October here.

Bred by Fred W. Hertrich, III and John D. Fielding, Dr Ardito has posted a record of 14-8-2-0 with total purse earnings just shy of $500,000. He was purchased by Dubb for $95,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale and is out of the twice-winning Indian Charlie mare Delightfully So, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Delightful Kiss.

Aqueduct starting gateDr Ardito, assigned a field-high 124 pounds, will emerge from post 3.

Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Maxis Stable and John Huber’s Maker’s Candy [post 7, Jose Lezcano, 122 pounds] streaks in off three straight wins at the Haynesfield distance at the Big A dating to a 6 3/4-length romp in a November state-bred optional claimer for trainer Mike Maker. The talented colt has crossed the wire first in all five starts going a one-turn mile here, however he was disqualified and placed second for interference in last year’s Gander.

The 4-year-old Twirling Candy bay’s two latest victories have come against open company when setting the pace and bravely holding on to win with Franco at the helm. On December 17, he earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure for a first-level allowance score by a neck over stakes-winner Drake’s Passage ahead of his last-out head triumph over stakes-placed Bold Endeavor on January 27.

“He’s doing great and he’s got a win streak going on that’s pretty impressive,” said Peter Proscia of Paradise Farms Corp. “He’s a gutsy horse and he doesn’t give up. He seems to like that distance at that track, so we’re looking forward to the race. He’s a game horse and doesn’t like horses passing him.”

Maker’s Candy returns to stakes company for the first time since a distant fourth-place effort in the state-bred Albany in August at Saratoga. He looks to notch his second stakes conquest capturing the seven-furlong Mike Lee in May at Belmont Park.

A $200,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Maker’s Candy was bred by Newtownanner Stud. He is out of the twice-winning Bluegrass Cat mare Purple Cat, a half-sister to Grade 1-winner Sky Diva, multiple graded stakes-placed Quick Little Miss, and Re Entry, the dam of graded stakes-winner Shotgun Hottie.

“I think he was a good-looking horse and Mike liked the way he looked and the way he was traveling,” Proscia said of his impressions of Maker’s Candy at the sale. “We’ve been very successful with Mike and I’m hoping we keep the ball rolling. I named the horse after him and it’s been fun. The staff that works with Mike do an awesome job and we’re very grateful to have them.”

Gallagher’s Stud’s stakes-placed homebred Olympic Dreams [post 1, Trevor McCarthy, 120 pounds] is cross-entered in a one-mile optional claimer on Friday at the Big A for trainer Pat Quick. Regardless of which race the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro gelding contests, he will see a cutback to one turn for the first time since finishing third in a May optional claiming tilt against state-breds at Belmont.

Quick said a return to one mile is a question for the consistent gray.

“I am not certain where we’ll run – I’m on the fence,” said Quick. “I think a mile and an eighth is better, but in the wintertime, I would just as soon run him than train him.”

Olympic Dreams earned back-to-back wins at the Big A when capturing a 1 3/16-mile open-company allowance by a neck in November and following with a 2 3/4-length score in a second-level nine-furlong optional claimer on January 7. He was last seen finishing third behind graded stakes-winner Law Professor in a January 26 optional claiming tilt that saw him bumped at the start and angled five-wide to come up 3 1/2 lengths shy of victory.

“He ran a great race against two horses who ran better,” said Quick. “We really didn’t have any issue with it and he ran his usual race and just got beat. He’s been a great horse and he’s doing terrific. We couldn’t ask for any more.”

Olympic Dreams boasts a lifetime record of 13-5-1-3 with total purse earnings of $313,755. His best stakes finish was a narrow defeat to Bankit in the Commentator in May when traveling a one-turn 1 1/16 miles at Belmont.

Ten Strike Racing’s Whittington Park [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche, 118 pounds] looks to earn his first stakes triumph on the heels of a decisive 2 1/4-length victory on January 13 in a one-mile open-company allowance, which was his first start off a five-month layoff.

Trained by Jeremiah Englehart, the 5-year-old Midnight Lute bay rallied from 7 1/2 lengths off the pace under regular pilot Kendrick Carmouche to be within 2 1/2 lengths of the lead at the top of the lane. He continued to find more with each stride down the stretch to take charge in the final sixteenth and kick clear to victory in a final time of 1:37.52 over muddy and sealed footing.

Bred by Marshall Gramm and Clay Sanders, Whittington Park is out of the six-time winning Forestry mare See the Forest and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Looms Boldly. His second dam is the multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Critical Eye.

Completing the field are the stakes-placed Overstep [post 4, Eric Cancel, 118 pounds] for Hall of Fame conditioner Todd Pletcher; four-time winner Mama’s Gold [post 6, Romero Ramsay Maragh, 118 pounds] for trainer Chad Summers; and five-time winner Anejo [post 5, Dylan Davis, 120 pounds], who is also cross-entered in the same Friday optional claimer as Olympic Dreams for trainer Doug O’Neill.

The Haynesfield is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

Source: NYRA.com

Handicapping Hour for Oaklawn Park with FREE Pace Chart

Guest Richard Nilsen of AGameofSkill.com

I had the pleasure of joining my friends Mark and Steve Simonvic on their weekly Oaklawn Handicapping Hour to discuss the Saturday card in Hot Springs, AR for Saturday, February 17, 2024. We go over the full 10-race card at Oaklawn as well as discuss this weekend’s Tampa Bay Downs and Hawthorne Racecourse handicapping tournaments.  Below is a complimentary pace chart to see how the races are forecasted to set up on Saturday.

Fast track expected.

Saturday’s free pace chart for Oaklawn horse races:

Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Modest 3 5-2 4-6-8 7-1
Race 2
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 1-2 6-3 9-7-5 4 8
Race 3
8.50 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 2-5-4 1-6 3-8-7
Race 4
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Modest *3 8-10-2 9-5-6-1 4-7
Race 5
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 1 4-2 5-3-8 6-7
Race 6
8 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 9 4-8-10 5-1-2-7 6-1A-3
Race 7
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown 6 9-7 5-4-1 2-3-8
Race 8
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Modest 1 8-3-2 4-9-7-5 6-10-11
Race 9
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 3-1 6-8 5-2-4 7
Race 10
9.00 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 4-9 3-7 8-10-5-1 2-6

 

Did you miss these Handicapping Tips of the Day?

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Horse Racing Tip of the Day – Evaluating Layoff Horses

Horse Racing Tip of the Day – Red Flags on this Big Favorite

Hong Kong Horse Racing Selections – Special Thursday Card

HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS

(Thursday, February 15, 2024)

Race 1: #1 More Rice, #2 Wind Speeder, #9 Great Days, #5 August Moon
Race 2:
#8 Atomic Beauty, #6 Cheong Fat, #7 To Infinity, #11 Club Soda
Race 3:
#1 Capital Legend, #3 Fight Time, #7 Joyful Prosperity, #12 Splendid Star
Race 4:
#4 Flying Phantom, #1 Golden Long, #11 Super Eagle, #6 Happy Soul
Race 5:
#9 Jumbo Fortune, #3 A Americ Te Specso, #1 Togepi, #6 Happy Trio
Race 6:
#3 Harmony Fire, #7 Molly’s Witness, #8 Parents’ Love, #1 Fortune Warrior
Race 7:
#3 Ernest Feeling, #7 Country Dancer, #8 Crystal Powerful, #2 Joy Coming
Race 8:
#8 Righteous Arion, #5 Prince Of Porty, #2 Nicconi County, #11 Ready To Win
Race 9:
#12 Noble Pursuit, #2 Prime Minister, #3 Turin Mascot, #10 All Beauty

 

Hong Kong horse racingRace 1: Hung To Handicap (2.40am PST, 5.40am EST)

 #1 More Rice is favoured in Class 5. He travelled wide throughout last start and can easily improve with a smoother run in transit. Gate five should afford him the opportunity. #2 Wind Speeder has an ideal draw and is racing well. He was superb two runs ago and his best form holds him in very good stead. Strong booking of Zac Purton bodes well for this contest. #9 Great Days is yet to win but has been knocking on the door for quite some time. He can take another step forward following his latest effort. #5 August Moon is next in line.

 

Race 2: Wai Yip Handicap (2nd Section) (3.10am PST, 6.10am EST)

 #8 Atomic Beauty has found his feet. He was impressive when winning three runs back and since then has held his form well. Zac Purton hops up and he just needs to offset the slightly tricky gate. #6 Cheong Fat is a winner in waiting. He’s racing well at present and just needs an ounce of luck to prove competitive. Gate six can afford him the right run. #7 To Infinity gets handy five pounds taken off his back with the apprentice engaged. He’ll be finishing fast. #11 Club Soda is open to improving and he gets that chance here.

 

Race 3: Wai Yip Handicap (2nd Section) (3.40am PST, 6.40am EST)

 

#1 Capital Legend makes a favourable step down to Class 5 with the apprentice booked. 10 pounds come off his back and he’s really, really well weighted here. One to beat. #3 Fight Time caught the eye on debut. He closed off impressively for third and can continue to build on that performance with more racing. #7 Joyful Prosperity has mixed his form but there is a fair bit of ability there. He’ll be competitive. #12 Splendid Star slots in light and he appears favoured here. He’s already a two-time winner this season.

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Race 4: Tsun Yip Handicap (1st Section) (4.10am PST, 7.10am EST) 

#4 Flying Phantom is tracking in the right direction. His latest effort was superb and he can continue his advance here under Zac Purton. #1 Golden Long can bounce back. He was brilliant on debut when winning and a return to that level of racing is easily within his grasp. #11 Super Eagle doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He’ll get his chance and is most deserving of a win. The lightweight is a big plus. #6 Happy Soul is getting back to a suitable rating and his most recent efforts have been sound. Big watch.

 

Race 5: The Volunteers’ Challenge Cup Handicap (1st Section) (4.40am PST, 7.40am EST) 

#9 Jumbo Fortune caught the eye with a fast-finishing third last time out. He’s in the right vein of form and if they run this along at a slick tempo then he’s suited. He’s worth taking a chance on. #3 A Americ Te Specso is getting up in the handicap but he does continue to run well enough. He just has the tricky draw to overcome. #1 Togepi might get shuffled back behind runners from the draw, however, he does do his best racing over this course and distance. He’s in form and gets a shot. #6 Happy Trio is in form and next in line.

 

Race 6: Hoi Yuen Handicap (5.10am PST, 8.10am EST)

 

#3 Harmony Fire can find the front and play catch me if you can. He gets 10 pounds taken off his back with the apprentice engaged and from gate four he should find an easy lead. One to reel in. #7 Molly’s Witness makes his debut and must have some potential with Zac Purton hopping up. His latest trial was sound and gate one should see him do next no work in the run. #8 Parents’ Love can improve after finishing fifth on debut. #1 Fortune Warrior knows what it’s all about. The drop in grade brings him right into contention.

 

Race 7: Tsun Yip Handicap (2nd Section) (5.45am PST, 8.45am EST)

 

#3 Ernest Feeling is in the form of his life. He’s a two-time winner this season and he gets another chance in Class 4 here. His versatility and recent form is hard to overlook. One to beat. #7 Country Dancer has found his feet and his latest effort was superb. #8 Crystal Powerful is chasing a hat-trick of wins. He’s in career-best form and reaching another career-high wouldn’t surprise. #2 Joy Coming can mix his form but he does have his fair share of ability. The wide draw is a slight hindrance.

 

Race 8: Mut Wah Handicap (2nd Section) (6.15am PST, 9.15am EST)

 

#8 Righteous Arion comes into this under a light weight. He’s a winner already this season and has remained competitive since then. One to beat. #5 Prince Of Porty showed plenty of early promise before setbacks slowed his development. He’s back racing at a competitive level and it wouldn’t surprise to see him perform very well under Zac Purton. #2 Nicconi County won well last start and he’s always done his best racing at this course. He’s a major threat. #11 Ready To Win gets in light and can make his presence felt.

 

Race 9: Yue Man Handicap (6.50am PST, 9.50am EST)

 

#12 Noble Pursuit is a quite a serious talent and he’s capable of knocking up back-to-back wins this week. He slots in light, draws well and gets a few favours as he aims to make his Class 3 debut a winning one. #2 Prime Minister is also a last-start winner. The apprentice takes 10 pounds off his back and the inside gate is a plus. #3 Turin Mascot generally prefers racing over further but he has remained in sound form. Don’t discount. #10 All Beauty has consistency on his side and this contest should prove to be no exception. Next best.

Handicapping Hour for Oaklawn Park – Saturday, Feb. 10th

Guest DYLAN DONNELLY

Our friend Dylan Donnelly joins Mark and Steve Simonvic on their weekly Oaklawn Handicapping Hour to discuss the Saturday card in Hot Springs, AR.   Plus, get your Oaklawn weather update from Marko.

Aqueduct Racetrack Spring Stakes Schedule

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the stakes schedule for the 2024 spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, which will feature 12 stakes worth $2.675 million in total purses.

NYRA has increased the purse of six stakes to be contested during the Aqueduct spring meet. Four listed events have received a $50,000 boost, including the Top Flight, Danger’s Hour, Plenty of Grace and Memories of Silver. The Grade 3 Distaff and the Woodhaven have each been increased by $25,000, raising the purse of the Distaff to $175,000 and the Woodhaven to $125,000.

The spring meet at Aqueduct will open Thursday, April 4 and continue through Sunday, April 28 with live racing conducted Thursday-Sunday.

The Wood Memorial

The spring meet stakes action kicks off with the Wood Memorial Day card on Saturday, April 6, featuring five stakes topped by the 99th running of the Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino. The nine-furlong test for 3-year-olds will offer 100-50-25-15-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-five finishers.

Turf course at AqueductWood Memorial Day will also feature the Grade 2, $250,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets at seven-furlongs for older horses, as well the Grade 3, $200,000 Gazelle at nine furlongs for sophomore fillies offering 100-50-25-15-10 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-five finishers. Completing the day’s stakes action are the Grade 3, $175,000 Distaff Handicap, a seven-furlong contest for older fillies and mares; and the Listed $175,000 Bay Shore, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomores.

Stakes action continues the following weekend with the Listed $150,000 Top Flight for older fillies and mares traveling nine furlongs on Saturday, April 13, while the next day will offer a pair of $200,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series events at 6 1/2-furlongs on the main track in the Times Square for sophomores and the Park Avenue for sophomore fillies on Sunday, April 14.

The final two weekends of the spring meet will feature the return of turf stakes with four one-mile races scheduled, including the Listed $150,000 Danger’s Hour for older horses on Saturday, April 20 and the Listed $150,000 Plenty of Grace for older fillies and mares on Sunday, April 21.

Closing weekend of the Big A spring meet offers the $125,000 Woodhaven for sophomores on Saturday, April 27, and the Listed $150,000 Memories of Silver for 3-year-old fillies on Sunday, April 28. For the complete spring meet stakes schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/stakes.

source: NYRA

Oaklawn Park Handicapping Hour with Marko and Stivo – February 2nd

Two of the best handicappers I know, brothers Steve Simonovic and Mark Simonovic, put out their weekly Oaklawn Park handicapping show. This week’s guest is one of the nation’s winningest trainers, Karl Broberg. He is fresh off a win at the Sam Houston handicapping contest last weekend, where both he and Steve qualified for the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Broberg discusses the small $50 wager that he hit at Gulfstream Park that catapulted him to the lead.

Don’t play Oaklawn Park this Saturday without listening to this show first! Best of luck.

HISA Establishes Next Generation Advisory Group

January 16, 2024 (Lexington, KY) – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has established a Next Generation Advisory Group that will be made up of individuals in the early to mid-stages of their professional careers and will provide feedback to HISA’s executive team and standing committees on the implementation and evolution of HISA’s regulations and protocols. HISA is inviting anyone who wishes to be considered for membership in the Advisory Group to submit an application indicating their interest and qualifications by February 9, 2024.

“Establishing a Next Generation Advisory Group was an easy decision for HISA. We are safeguarding racing for generations to come by focusing on implementing rules and regulations to make racing safer and fairer for all involved,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “We welcome the feedback and perspectives of this Next Generation Advisory Group who will surely act as excellent advocates for preserving the sport’s future.”

The Next Generation Advisory Group will be co-chaired by Mackenzie Kirker-Head, HISA Communications and Design Manager, and Brandon Badgett, Director of Strategy at Jahnel Group. HISA Assistant General Counsel Sam Reinhardt will act as Secretary, and Alexa Ravit, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) Director of Communications & Outreach, will act as HIWU Liaison. HISA is looking to select a diverse group of 10-12 individuals who bring a wide range of experience in horse racing, related industries and innovation to join the Advisory Group and help advise HISA’s executive team and standing committees going forward.

Questions about HISA’s Next Generation Advisory Group should be submitted to Mackenzie Kirker-Head at Mackenzie.KirkerHead@hisaus.org. More information about the group and expectations of members can be found here.

 

About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

When the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law, it charged the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) with drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA is implementing, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which went into effect on July 1, 2022, and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which went into effect on May 22, 2023.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program expands veterinary oversight, imposes surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhances jockey safety, regulates riding crop use and implements voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program includes a centralized testing and results management process and applies uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms are administered by an independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by Drug Free Sport International (DFS). HIWU oversees testing, educates stakeholders on the Program, accredits laboratories, investigates potential ADMC violations and prosecutes any such violations.

Complimentary Full-card Pace Chart for Saturday at Oaklawn Park

Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Oaklawn Park

Pace Makes The Race! The following pace chart is based on a unique and sophisticated algorithm to predict where each runner will be in early running of the race. Fast conditions expected in Hot Springs, AR.

Here is your complimentary Pace Chart for Saturday’s card –  Best of luck.

Oaklawn Park  Saturday January 13, 2024
Race 1 Expected Pace Leaders Stalkers Mid-Pack Closers Unknown
9.00 Furlongs / Dirt Modest 1 7-3 5-4-2 6
Race 2
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 12-11-13 8 9-7-3-1 6-14-5-10 2-4
Race 3
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest *7 3-8 5-4-1 6-2
Race 4
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 3-8-4 6-2 7 5-1
Race 5
8 Furlongs / Dirt Unknown 5-10-3 8-12-2 11-9-6-7 4-1-13
Race 6
8 Furlongs / Dirt Honest 8-3 1-9-2 7-6- 5-10 4
Race 7
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Honest/Fast 4-2 3-6-7 1-5-10-9 8-11
Race 8
8 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 11-6 5-8-3 10-4-14-1 13-7-2-9-12
Race 9
6.00 Furlongs / Dirt Slow/Modest *2 4-3 5-6-1
Race 10
8 Furlongs / Dirt Fast 6-14-3 11-7-1 5-4-12-13 2-10-8-9

HKJC Expert Horse Racing Selections for Hong Kong – Sat., Jan. 13

SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Saturday, January 13, 2024)

Race 1: #14 Smart Beauty, #2 Dragon Delight, #5 Fire Ball, #13 Tsuen Wan Glory
Race 2:
#8 Master Mastermind, #1 Top Scorer, #2 Joy Of Spring, #10 Mr Maestro
Race 3:
#1 Must Go, #3 Run Run Timing, #8 Ruby Sailing, #2 Sight Hero 
Race 4:
#6 Deep Pursuit, #1 James Tak, #9 Lifeline Express, #2 Metro Warrior
Race 5:
#2 Fighting Machine, #13 Kasi Farasi, #8 Volcanic Spark, #7 Master Tornado 
Race 6:
#7 Lucky Eternity, #12 Northern Beast, #1 Holy Lake, #3 Beato
Race 7:
#6 Galaxy Patch, #7 Lucky Encounter, #1 Ping Hai Galaxy, #5 Bundle Of Charm
Race 8:
#9 Denfield, #2 Cotton Fingers, #4 I Give, #10 Magnificent Nine
Race 9:
#7 Hakka Radiance,#13 Star Mac, #2 Chancheng Glory, #3 Speed Dragon
Race 10:
#3 Joyful Hunter, #4 Leslie, #6 Beauty Fit, #1 Beauty Crescent

Race 1: Hung Shui Kiu Handicap (9.00pm PST, 12.00am EST)

#14 Smart Beauty slots in light and gets a superb chance to record a first win. He caught the eye late last start, enough so to suggest that he was capable of breaking through. Angus Chung’s five-pound apprentice claim helps. #2 Dragon Delight is performing well in the bottom grade. He’s drawn ideally and pairs favourably with Hugh Bowman. #5 Fire Ball is after consecutive wins. He gets his chance here, however, he will need to overcome the wide gate. #13 Tsuen Wan Glory is next in line with the featherweight.

Race 2: Lam Tei Handicap (2nd Section) (9.30pm PST, 12.30am EST)

#8 Master Mastermind makes his debut. He’s done well ahead of his first-up run and he does look well placed here to make his presence felt in a big, big way. Worth a chance. #1 Top Scorer was sound first-up when finishing second. He can improve from that effort. #2 Joy Of Spring soared to an improbable runner-up finish on debut two runs back. He can return to form with the prospect of a dry track this weekend. #10 Mr Maestro has been solid across two runs and he can only get better. Keep safe.

Hong Kong horse racingRace 3: Lam Tei Handicap (1st Section) (10.00pm PST, 1.00am EST)

#1 Must Go makes a favourable step down to Class 4. He found form last start and shapes as the one to beat here, as long as he can back that effort up again. #3 Run Run Timing has finished third twice across two runs in Hong Kong. He continues to progress and his day will come soon enough. #8 Ruby Sailing knows how to run well without winning. He’s finished second four times across his short career, however, must be included once more with Hugh Bowman up. #2 Sight Hero is next in line.

Race 4: Lau Fau Shan Handicap (10.30pm PST, 1.30am EST)

#6 Deep Pursuit has taken some time to get going. He’s now ready to make his debut and he does so after an eye-catching trial at Conghua. He draws well for this race down the straight five furlongs and does get Vincent Ho up. One to beat. #1 James Tak is chasing back-to-back wins and he gets a handy 10 pounds taken off his back. He’ll be fighting out another finish. #9 Lifeline Express can improve after finishing third on debut. #2 Metro Warrior steps down to Class 4. He can compete strongly now.

Race 5: Nam Sang Wai Handicap (11.00pm PST, 2.00am EST)

#2 Fighting Machine is after consecutive wins and he can easily get that here. The wide draw is a hindrance, however, his latest score was superb and he remains in Class 4 following that effort. #13 Kasi Farasi was blocked for a run at crucial stages last time out. Expecting he can bounce back from that run, especially as he’s clearly in the right vein of form at the minute. #8 Volcanic Spark is lightly raced but does have plenty of upside, especially with Hugh Bowman taking the reins. #7 Master Tornado is next in line.

Race 6: Ping Shan Handicap (11.35pm PST, 2.35am EST)

#7 Lucky Eternity has raced well this season and he deserves a first win. He’s twice finished second over the course and distance this term, both times missing by under a length. Hugh Bowman hops back aboard and he’s ready to win. #12 Northern Beast closed off nicely to finish fifth last time out. Expecting similar again from him. #1 Holy Lake is a two-time winner from his last three starts. He can figure. #3 Beato is racing well and closing in on a first win. Zac Purton hops up here and he has claims.

Race 7: The Pok Oi Cup Handicap (12.05am PST, 3.05am EST)

#6 Galaxy Patch returns in a bid for a hat-trick of wins. He’s been touted as one of the next big things in Hong Kong racing and he shouldn’t disappoint this weekend. He can win and win well. #7 Lucky Encounter will prove a formidable opponent. He’s lightly raced and open to improvement as a smart four-time winner from seven starts. #1 Ping Hai Galaxy can fire forward to lead. He’s got the class-edge over rivals which does see him assigned top-weight. #5 Bundle Of Charm is next in line. He’s been solid this term.

Race 8: Tai Tong Handicap (12.35am PST, 3.35am EST)

#9 Denfield can offset the draw by rolling forward to lead. He won’t be alone, however, he has shown that he’s best suited from a forward position and he did also have excuses last start. He can return to form and give this race a shake. #2 Cotton Fingers should get the run of the race from draw one. He’s closing in on a first win and clearly has his fair share of ability. #4 I Give is another who should roll forward. He’s a prolific winner who can make his presence felt. #10 Magnificent Nine was without luck last start. Next best.

Race 9: Tin Shui Wai Handicap (1.10am PST, 4.10am EST)

#7 Hakka Radiance was impeded in the straight last start. He clearly has much more to offer and a clean run can allow him to show that. He’s worth a throw at the stumps and he should be decent odds. #13 Star Mac caught the eye with a fast-finishing third last time out. He can do the same again here under no weight. #2 Chancheng Glory is after a fifth straight win. He’s in the form of his life and should be able to cross the field for a forward position early on. #3 Speed Dragon was impressive last start. Don’t discount.

Race 10: Yuen Long Handicap (1.45am PST, 4.45am EST)

#3 Joyful Hunter was incredible last start and a repeat of anything close to that effort should see him win here. He’s a serious talent and he’s yet to reach anywhere close to his ceiling in Hong Kong. One to beat. #4 Leslie surprised last start. He’s holding his condition and can take his chance here. #6 Beauty Fit continues to race well without winning. He’s placed in each of his last five starts. #1 Beauty Crescent is still relatively lightly raced. He’s drawn to get the right run for Zac Purton.