Sha Tin Hong Kong Selections for Saturday night, June 8

SHA TIN SELECTIONS
(Saturday, June 08, 2024)

Race 1: #1 My Intelligent, #7 Super Joy, #8 Beat Hollow, #2 The Concentration
Race 2:
#7 Fast Network, #3 Aurora Lady, #10 Grand Nova, #6 Day Day Victory
Race 3:
#2 Baby Crystal, #1 We Are Hero, #5 Flying High, #7 Ka Ying Victory
Race 4:
#1 The Winnabe, #8 Vantastic Choice, #4 Super Highway, #2 Scotch Tycoon
Race 5:
#13 Great Achiever, #10 Master Of All, #11 Strathpeffer, #7 Enjoy Golf 
Race 6:
#4 Super Infinity, #11 Gluck Racer, #2 Lo Pan Spirit, #5 Harold Win
Race 7:
#7 Copartner Prance, #4 Tomodachi Kokoroe, #2 Whizz Kid, #1 Nervous Witness
Race 8:
#5 Flamingo Trillion, #1 Stunning Peach, #6 Universal Horizon, #7 Star Mac 
Race 9:
#8 Lucky Touch, #9 Super Unicorn, #2 The Absolute, #3 Ariel
Race 10:
#2 Eighty Light Years, #1 Chiu Chow Spirit, #9 Super Goldi, #3 Beauty Crescent

Race 1: Butterfly Bay Handicap (1.00am PDT, 4.00am EDT)

#1 My Intelligent is suited in this grade and his latest effort was solid. He can take a big step forward here, especially with Zac Purton retaining the mount. One to beat. #7 Super Joy is in career-best form. He’s been racing well on the dirt, although he does appear capable of transferring that form to the turf this weekend. #8 Beat Hollow has an awkward gate to contend with this time. He’ll press forward in a bid to offset this and get his chance from there. #2 The Concentration is next best. He won well last weekend.

Race 2: Chai Wan Road Handicap (1.30am PDT, 4.30am EDT)

#7 Fast Network makes his debut after a string of solid barrier trials. His latest effort was impressive at Conghua and he appears forward enough to win on debut. One they all must catch. #3 Aurora Lady finished second on debut. He has the experience under his belt and gets his opportunity again, this time from gate one under Brenton Avdulla. #10 Grand Nova has been hard to get a gauge on so far. He clearly has ability and is worth affording another chance. #6 Day Day Victory is next best. Don’t discount.

Race 3: Tuen Mun Public Riding School Handicap (2.00am PDT, 5.00am EDT)

#2 Baby Crystal has the advantage with seven pounds coming off his back thanks to the apprentice’s claim. He loves the course and distance, especially as a three-time winner already this campaign. #1 We Are Hero returns to Class 3. He’s raced against tough opposition of late and does have a significant class-edge over this group. #5 Flying High has consistency on his side and it’s surprising to see him without a win this season. #7 Ka Ying Victory was an impressive winner last start. He gets another opportunity.

Race 4: Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School Handicap (1st Section) (2.30am PDT, 5.30am EDT)

#1 The Winnabe won well on debut in Hong Kong. Hugh Bowman retains the ride and the inside draw is incredibly ideal. He’ll take reeling in. #8 Vantastic Choice is expected to cross early in a bid to offset the tricky gate. He can take some getting past at times, especially if he’s left alone in the lead. #4 Super Highway will benefit from any rain around. He’s worth keeping safe. #2 Scotch Tycoon has regained some form and should get his chance from the inside gate.

Race 5: Lei Yue Mun Public Riding School Handicap (3.00am PDT, 6.00am EDT)

#13 Great Achiever should arguably already have a win under his belt. He’s strung together a few good runs this season and the best of those holds him in very good stead here. Taking a chance on him. #10 Master Of All is after a hat-trick of wins. He’s in the right vein of form and should still prove competitive up in grade. #11 Strathpeffer is seeking back-to-back wins. He’s figured it out now, although he does have to contend with another wide gate. #7 Enjoy Golf is improving. Keep safe.

Race 5: The Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup Handicap (2nd Section) (3.35am PDT, 6.35am EDT)

#4 Super Infinity did well to grab second on debut behind a smart horse. He can improve from that run and does appear to be quite progressive. He’ll take beating, especially with Zac Purton. #11 Gluck Racer returns from a setback. He’s a tidy horse on his day and the pairing with Karis Teetan catches the eye. #2 Lo Pan Spirit was impressive on debut before being beaten last time out. He’s in the right vein of form and should be able to maintain his progression. #5 Harold Win can take another forward step.

Race 7: Lung Mun Road Handicap (4.05am PDT, 7.05am EDT)

#7 Copartner Prance is chasing a fifth straight win. He’s a serious talent and his ascent appears far from over. Zac Purton retains the ride and even in this grade, he should take a power of beating. #4 Tomodachi Kokoroe has continued to exceed expectations all season. Admittedly he has performed better at Happy Valley, although this race does look suitable. #2 Whizz Kid can mix his form but is a Group 3 winner. The class is there for him. #1 Nervous Witness can roll forward and give them something to catch.

Race 8: The Pola Cup Handicap (4.35am PDT, 7.35am EDT)

#5 Flamingo Trillion is in the form of his life as he aims for a hat-trick of wins. He’ll benefit from any rain around, although even still, his past two successes have been nothing short of superb. #1 Stunning Peach turned his form around last start. There’s a fair bit of hype around this colt and he appears well placed to improve once again. #6 Universal Horizon can surprise. Even if there’s rain around, he should be able to charge through it. #7 Star Mac is worth consideration. Next in line.

Race 9: Pok Fu Lam Country Park Handicap (5.10am PDT, 8.10am EDT)

#8 Lucky Touch is an improving galloper, who appears to have plenty of rating points in hand. Zac Purton retains the ride and he was a touch unlucky last start as he tried to come home between runners. One to beat. #9 Super Unicorn is progressing well and his latest effort for third was sound. He has a suitable gate. #2 The Absolute can mix his form, however, he does have a stack of ability. The wide draw is a slight hindrance. #3 Ariel is consistent and is favoured with the seven pounds coming off his back.

Race 10: Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (5.45am PDT, 8.45am EDT)

#2 Eighty Light Years has the apprentice up and is expected to roll forward and lead. He’ll take some getting past in the finale at Sha Tin. #1 Chiu Chow Spirit is a winner in the grade and he looks to have several rating points in hand. He’s racing well and gets his opportunity this weekend. #9 Super Goldi can mix his form but is a two-time winner already across six starts. #3 Beauty Crescent has loads of ability, although he is struggling to piece it all together. It wouldn’t surprise to see him put in a big effort regardless.

Nilsen’s 2024 Belmont Stakes Package with Wagering Strategies

Rich Nilsen handicapperWagering Strategies & Spot Plays by Rich Nilsen

This is Rich Nilsen’s home track and the results have showed in recent years. Nilsen gave out $34.80 winner Creator as his top pick as well as the huge exacta with Destin that returned over $260.  He followed that up the next year with top selection $12.60 Tapwrit and the exacta and trifecta!  Nilsen has picked the winner of the Belmont Stakes four of the previous six attempts (there was no analysis in 2021 or 2023) dating back to 2016!!!

Founder of AGameofSkill.com, Nilsen is the winner of 8 major handicapping tournaments and a 19-time qualifier to the multi million-dollar National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

There are a lot of pretenders out there charging ridiculous prices and you often get mediocre results. Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s amazing Belmont Stakes (races 9-12) plus Bonus coverage of Friday’s Acorn Stakes!

2024 Belmont Stakes Package

  • Analysis for races 9-12 with commentary on all the contenders
  • Value play top selection with exacta strategies in the G1 Manhattan H. and expert trifecta strategies  in the turf sprint, G1 Jaipur!
  • BONUS! Analysis of the G1 Acorn on Friday. Exacta/Trifecta wagers.
  • Win, Exacta and Trifecta strategies for the Belmont Stakes

Get the Belmont Stakes package.  Download now for only $14.97 to any device.

 

If you end up doing well and making a profit on Belmont Stakes day, please consider giving a donation to one of the following great organizations:

Belmont Child Care Association which supports Anna’s House and the families and children on the New York backside (www.belmontchildcare.org).  Another is Acacia Courtney’s Racing For Home, which supports ex-racehorses.

Rich Nilsen’s 2016 Write-Up on TOP SELECTION CREATOR

CREATOR lost his best chance when he broke from an inside post in the field of 20 and encountered a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby.  Prior to that he was ultra impressive, sweeping by the field in the G1 Arkansas Derby.  If you want to see an incredible maiden win, just go back and what this colt’s Feb. 27 score at Oaklawn, and you’ll again see the type of late kick this guy possesses.  Trainer Steve Asmussen has the son of Tapit working well for this rebound race, including a blowout 4f drill over the Belmont training track. Bred to run all day, Creator will drop back under new rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. and come rolling late at a big price. 

Testimonial from the 2017 Sheet:

“Hey Rich.. Thanks for putting me on Tapwrit !! I liked him and Gormley and Irish War Cry.

I think  #9 meantime had enough speed to compromise Irish War Cry. Have feeling that if he wasn’t in the race, Irish War Cry might have been loose on the lead ,and had enough to win.  I had Tapwrit straight & the exacta.  Tapwrit & Gormley both had “dream trips”, But Gormley didnt want to go that far… Hey !! let’s give some love to Disco Partner for his new North  American record for 6 panels. I had him straight  and also knocked down the exacta of 2-4 for $42.00… Hope you had a good day & made some cash !!
 
Thanks Again, 
Wayne M., Trinity FL

FREE Saturday Horse Racing Play – Sat., June 1

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

In this new segment we provide a free horse racing play on Saturday, which includes our expert analysis and a handicapping lesson.

Race 7 at Monmouth Park, June 1st, post time 3:41pm ET

Pace Scenario:Moderate to honest pace with On Moonlight Bay the expected pacesetter for Todd Pletcher.

Free AGOS Selection: # 11 TIMELESS ELEGANCE (3/1) – this 4yo War Front filly moves back to the turf, her preferred surface. Two starts back at Keeneland, she closed with a strong run to narrowly miss and run 2nd in a full field of 12 maiden special weights runners. Anything close to that performance today makes this filly the one to beat despite her wide draw. Has the services of one of the all-time greats in Frankie Dettori. She will take some beating.

Wagering strategy: Play # 11 to Win.  Exacta partwheel with 1, 7, 8. Reverse for half. Small exacta over 3, 5.

This analysis is for educational purposes. ALWAYS WAGER WITHIN YOUR BUDGET AND COMFORT LEVEL

LAST PLAY RESULT: Ran 3rd at Belmont


Profitable Ky Oaks / Ky Derby!

Rich Nilsen gave out the 4-1 Kentucky Oaks winner and his third selection (and first longshot), Mystik Dan, won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 16-1! Nilsen only offers paid analysis 4-5 times per year. Here were his write-ups:

Kentucky Oaks:

Top Selection: # 5 THORPEDO ANNA (5/1) – Trainer Kenny McPeek, one of the best Kentucky horsemen over the past decades in the Bluegrass State, enters the best filly he has ever trained. This brilliant daughter of Fast Anna scored first time out going 7 furlongs last fall at Keeneland and destroyed the field by 8 ½ lengths after closing from way back. You just rarely see a first time starter win like this, especially going 7 furlongs and at Keeneland. She proved that was no fluke by returning to beat allowance company by 9 lengths and running a monster triple-digit BRIS Late Pace Figure. After running second in the G2 Golden Rod, she was put on the shelf for her three-year-old season. Anna returned at Oaklawn Park and despite breaking from the 10 hole and facing a quality field, she proved her dominance once again, drawing off by 4 lengths. The G2 Fantasy winner has been training well since that start and comes into this race in prime form. She drew well and is clearly the horse to beat.

Kentucky Derby 150:

3rd Selection: # 3 Mystik Dan (20/1) – This colt was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill going only 5 ½ furlongs. He was a speed horse as a two year old, but trainer Kenny McPeek retooled this horse and developed him into a runner that can come from off the pace. And did he ever in the G3 Southwest Stakes, finishing powerfully in the mud to win by 8. I didn’t like him in the G1 Arkansas Derby, with his only big number on a wet track, but the colt ran very well with sneaky trouble. Going around the first turn, the horse to his inside bolted and slammed into Dan. That cost the colt several lengths but he did not give up. He put in a sustained run and ran a sneaky good third. He can move forward off that race, and we know he loves the track. Nice price for the exotics.

Hong Kong Expert Horse Racing Selections – Wed, May 29

SHA TIN – Hong Kong Expert Horse Racing Selections
(Wednesday, May 29, 2024)

Race 1: #3 All For St Paul’s, #4 Adefill, #1 Telecom Fighters, #5 Yellowfin
Race 2:
#5 Diamond Soars, #12 Dashing Glory, #4 Cool Blue, #2 Speedy Fortune
Race 3:
#10 Triumphant Warrior, #8 Flying Dragon, #2 Sunny Darling, #9 Sky Song
Race 4:
#2 Go Hero, #4 Charming Steed, #7 Perfect Peach, #5 Medic Elite
Race 5:
#10 Strive For Glory, #3 Self Improvement, #11 Crazy Treasure, #5 Prime Mortar
Race 6:
#6 Lucky Banner, #11 Brave Witness, #7 Starship Eighty, #1 Kimberley
Race 7:
#1 Sing Dragon, #3 Victory Moments, #11 Lightning Bolt, #5 Capital Delight
Race 8:
#4 Perfect Team, #3 Apache Pass, #2 Woodfire Bro, #1 Berlin Tango

Race 1: Chun Shek Handicap (4.15am PDT, 7.15am EDT)

#3 All For St Paul’s is dangerous out in front. Expecting he’ll roll forward and give this group something to reel in, which is where he performs at his best. One to beat. #4 Adefill is a nice horse and he goes about his racing well. He rises to Class 2, although the weight relief is an advantage. #1 Telecom Fighters can press forward. He has the class and recent form to make his presence felt. #5 Yellowfin has consistency on his side and the low weight. He’ll be thereabouts.

Race 2: Mei Lam Handicap (4.45am PDT, 7.45am EDT)

#5 Diamond Soars is suited in Class 5. He has the right gate and has previously raced well on the dirt. The inside draw should see him do next to no work in the run. #12 Dashing Glory slots in light and his most recent trial on the dirt was sound. Expecting improvement this week. #4 Cool Blue mixes his form but he clearly has some ability. The awkward draw does make things difficult though. #2 Speedy Fortune gets the services of Zac Purton. He can improve with the step down to this grade.

Race 3: Hin Yiu Handicap (2nd Section) (5.15am PDT, 8.15am EDT)

#10 Triumphant Warrior continues to make the right headway. Zac Purton is aboard and he’s taking all the right steps towards a first win. One to beat. #8 Flying Dragon has lost his way a touch, however, he does know how to perform strongly over this course and distance. He can bounce back. #2 Sunny Darling gets down in grade. His latest trial on the dirt was nothing short of impressive. He’ll make his presence felt. #9 Sky Song is next in line. He’s lightly raced and is open to further improvement.

Race 4: Shui Chuen O Handicap (5.45am PDT, 8.45am EDT)

#2 Go Hero is closing in on a first win. He narrowly missed last start and can improve again from an ideal draw with Zac Purton up, especially in Class 5. #4 Charming Steed has the draw to overcome. He’s in the right vein of form and has shown his quality in the past, noticeably in this grade. #7 Perfect Peach is hard to catch at times. He’s racing well and has claims here. #5 Medic Elite is on the quick back-up. He rarely runs a bad race and gets his chance again.

Race 5: Hin Yiu Handicap (1st Section) (6.15am PDT, 9.15am EDT)

#10 Strive For Glory mixes his form, however, he is a two-time winner over the course and distance this season. He’s worth taking a chance on here to bounce back. #3 Self Improvement is consistent and has won once already this season. Zac Purton reunites with him as he aims for another win. #11 Crazy Treasure continues to make headway. He’s going about his racing well of late and the low weight is incredibly ideal as he seeks a first win. #5 Prime Mortar is seeking back-to-back wins. Keep safe.

Race 6: Lee On Handicap (6.45am PDT, 9.45am EDT)

#6 Lucky Banner does his best racing on the dirt. He has an inside gate and is expected to fire forward and lead this race. One to catch, especially after nearly pinching his latest outing. #11 Brave Witness is nearing a first win. He’s improving with every start and gets a few favours from the positive draw. #7 Starship Eighty has an awkward barrier to overcome. He does have the right experience, however, he is up against here even after a string of nice efforts. #1 Kimberley is next best. Dipping to Class 4 is ideal.

Race 7: Chung On Handicap (7.15am PDT, 10.15am EDT)

#1 Sing Dragon is seeking a fourth consecutive win. He has the wide gate to overcome, which makes things difficult, although his best form holds has him being very competitive here. Expecting he crosses early for the front. #3 Victory Moments is aiming to turn the tables on Sing Dragon. These two have been sparring partners for some time and Victory Moments receives one of his better chances from gate three. #11 Lightning Bolt slots in light and has claims. #5 Capital Delight is next best. Don’t discount.

Race 8: Fung Wo Handicap (7.50am PDT, 10.50am EDT)

#4 Perfect Team is a course and distance winner already this season. His recent form has been sound and his latest barrier trial ahead of returning from a setback recently was superb. He’s the one they all must beat. #3 Apache Pass hasn’t won for quite some time. Still, he’s been racing well and his latest effort was one of his best this season. #2 Woodfire Bro has been superb all season except for his form blip two starts ago. He’s a threat. #1 Berlin Tango has the class edge over many of these. Next best.

It’s Twilight at Golden Gate Fields

Golden Gate Fields continues horse racing, closes to publicHistoric Golden Gate Fields, nestled in the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is set to conduct its final meet this summer. Champions like Cigar, Lost In The Fog, Silky Sullivan and John Henry raced at the Northern California racetrack, but that legacy will conclude in June. Parent company Stronach is closing the facility with the meet that begins June 9.

In-person sports betting would have been conducted at Golden Gate Fields if Proposition 26 had passed two years ago, but it did not, and Stronach is shutting it down effective this summer. Bay Meadows Racetrack was closed in 2008 and condos now sit on the property.

Berkeleyside.org has an in-depth article about the final meet at Golden Gate Fields.

 

Bo Cruz May Contest Belmont Stakes 2024 Undercard

Graded stakes-winner Bo Cruz under consideration for Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Bo Cruz, who cut back in distance last-out to win the seven-furlong Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland, will be nominated to both the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap and the 6 1/2-furlong Grade 2, $350,000 True North presented by F. W. Webb on Belmont Stakes Day June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Al Stall, Jr. for owners Roger Cettina, Brian Pagano, Patrick Grippo, Peter Martine and Bruno De Julio, Bo Cruz was scratched from the Grade 1 Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day but returned to the work tab Saturday at the Louisville oval to cover a half-mile in 48.60 seconds.

“It’s a possibility,” said Stall, regarding the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. “We shortened him up and like the way he ran around one turn, so we’ll stick with that for a little while.

“He worked by himself on a wet-fast racetrack,” added Stall. “Hopefully, we can get him back in a routine and a rhythm.”

Belmont Park horse racingThe Creative Cause colt, a $45,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, boasts a record of 7-3-1-2 for purse earnings of $340,550. He was a gate-to-wire winner of a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer last year on Kentucky Derby Day and followed with a pacesetting third in the nine-furlong Matt Winn.

Bo Cruz was a game third in his seasonal debut traveling one mile and 70 yards in February at Fair Grounds and proved tough last out when 2 1/2-lenghths the best in the Commonwealth.

“He’s a good gate horse. He breaks so sharp, he sometimes outbreaks himself,” Stall said. “He broke on his feet and that was it. There was a scratch at the gate that day [Here Mi Song] and he might have shown a little speed, so we might have got a little lucky.”

Stall noted Bo Cruz is also being considered for races at Churchill Downs, including the Listed $275,000 Aristides going six furlongs on June 1 and the Listed $300,000 Hanshin at one mile on June 30.

“We’re going to play it by ear for now and see who is going where,” Stall said.

source: NYRA

FREE Saturday Horse Racing Play – Sat. May 25

 

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

In this new segment we provide a free horse racing play on Saturday, which includes our expert analysis and a handicapping lesson.

Race 9 at Belmont @Big A, May 25th, post time 4:42pm ET

Pace Scenario:Moderate to honest pace expected in this one mile event.

Free AGOS Selection: # 9 SKYLANDER (15/1) – This 5yo gelding by Quality Road takes a sharp drop in class to face claiming company for the first time in his recent past performances. He has been facing much tougher in either “one other than” allowance company or starter allowance and posted some solid speed figures in the process. Two of his three career wins have come here over this track, including at this same one mile distance last fall versus $50,000 starter allowance company, a race he won by 4 lengths. This type of class drop is often a wake-up call, and he faces some vulnerable horses including the morning line favorite who has not seen the winner’s circle in two years. That’s the type of horse we always want to play against. Big price expected on this live longshot.

Wagering strategy: Play # 9 Skylander to Win and Place.

This analysis is for educational purposes. ALWAYS WAGER WITHIN YOUR BUDGET AND COMFORT LEVEL

LAST PLAY RESULT: Easy winner, bet down and paid $3.20 to win. Exacta 2-7 returned $22.40!


Profitable Ky Oaks / Ky Derby!

Rich Nilsen gave out the 4-1 Kentucky Oaks winner and his third selection (and first longshot), Mystik Dan, won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 16-1! Nilsen only offers paid analysis 4-5 times per year. Here were his write-ups:

Kentucky Oaks:

Top Selection: # 5 THORPEDO ANNA (5/1) – Trainer Kenny McPeek, one of the best Kentucky horsemen over the past decades in the Bluegrass State, enters the best filly he has ever trained. This brilliant daughter of Fast Anna scored first time out going 7 furlongs last fall at Keeneland and destroyed the field by 8 ½ lengths after closing from way back. You just rarely see a first time starter win like this, especially going 7 furlongs and at Keeneland. She proved that was no fluke by returning to beat allowance company by 9 lengths and running a monster triple-digit BRIS Late Pace Figure. After running second in the G2 Golden Rod, she was put on the shelf for her three-year-old season. Anna returned at Oaklawn Park and despite breaking from the 10 hole and facing a quality field, she proved her dominance once again, drawing off by 4 lengths. The G2 Fantasy winner has been training well since that start and comes into this race in prime form. She drew well and is clearly the horse to beat.

Kentucky Derby 150:

3rd Selection: # 3 Mystik Dan (20/1) – This colt was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill going only 5 ½ furlongs. He was a speed horse as a two year old, but trainer Kenny McPeek retooled this horse and developed him into a runner that can come from off the pace. And did he ever in the G3 Southwest Stakes, finishing powerfully in the mud to win by 8. I didn’t like him in the G1 Arkansas Derby, with his only big number on a wet track, but the colt ran very well with sneaky trouble. Going around the first turn, the horse to his inside bolted and slammed into Dan. That cost the colt several lengths but he did not give up. He put in a sustained run and ran a sneaky good third. He can move forward off that race, and we know he loves the track. Nice price for the exotics.

Belmont Stakes 2024 Notes

Barksdale works for G1 Woody Stephens

Cypress Creek Equine’s Barksdale is set to make his stakes debut in the Grade 1, $500,000 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun, a seven-furlong sprint for sophomores on Belmont Stakes Day June 8 at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by Will Walden, the Street Sense dark bay graduated on debut in October traveling two turns at Horseshoe Indianapolis but followed with a pair of distant off-the-board efforts at Churchill Downs to complete his juvenile campaign.

“He’s a big, long two-turn bred type horse and I think I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole there,” Walden said. “He broke his maiden going two turns at Indiana and then we stretched him out in a tough allowance race – Bill Mott won it with a Constitution colt [Parchment Party] that was supposed to get on the Derby trail but had a setback; Catching Freedom was in there, and a few others that have turned out to be stakes quality. That being said – it didn’t turn out well. We wheeled him back quick in a one-turn mile and that also didn’t go well.”

Barksdale was subsequently gelded and has focused on sprint events this season, finished a pressing fifth in March at Turfway Park when entered for a $50,000 tag in an optional-claiming race won by the speedy Joe Shiesty, who blitzed to a 29-1 upset two starts later on turf in the William Walker on May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Barksdale has won both starts since in gate-to-wire fashion, taking a seven-furlong starter allowance on April 7 at Keeneland under Tyler Gaffalione and a 6 1/2-furlong optional-claimer at Aqueduct by four lengths with Dylan Davis at the helm on April 26 that registered a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure.

Walden said the Turfway effort set Barksdale up perfectly for his recent success.

“Joe Shiesty is extremely fast. That was an allowance optional race and because of his two efforts prior at Churchill, I put him in for the $50,000 to make him starter eligible,” Walden said. “That day at Turfway he didn’t break sharply and Joe Shiesty went 43 and 4 for the half-mile and Barksdale ran into that pace. I thought he ran pretty valiantly to hold on for fifth. He was really tired after that race and got a lot out of it and it set him up for Keeneland and the drop in class.”

Walden said Barksdale has responded well to being gelded and a patient approach from the gate.

“He’s a big, heavy horse and carried a ton of extra weight. I think that [being gelded] helped him physically and mentally,” Walden said. “We learned don’t ask him out of the gate, just let him do his thing. If you press the button too early, you won’t have anything to finish up with whereas if you break, he’ll place himself forwardly in the race on his own. He just has a lot of natural speed.”

Barksdale had his first work back on Thursday at Keeneland, covering a half-mile in 49.40 in company with graded stakes-winner Manny Wah.

Horse racing to begin at Belmont in June“We ran him back a little quicker than we typically would, and we usually give them 14 days after a race to work them, but I gave him 20 days,” Walden said. “The work was awesome. He worked in company with Manny Wah, who is a graded stakes winner here at Keeneland and I thought they both worked really well. He’ll have a five-eighths next week and then back down to a half in preparation for the Woody Stephens.

“He ran a big number last time and he ran a good number the time before that,” added Walden. “We’re excited about going back to seven-eighths and taking a shot against the big boys.”

Tyler Gaffalione will have the call on Barksdale in the Woody Stephens.

Walden could also be represented at the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with Cypress Creek Equine’s Clear the Air in the Grade 1, $500,000 Jaipur presented by Resolute Racing on Belmont Stakes Day June 8 at Saratoga Race Course. The 5 1/2-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November at Del Mar.

Clear the Air is entered in an allowance sprint Saturday at Churchill Downs but the 4-year-old Ransom the Moon colt has demonstrated an affinity for running well on short rest, winning a Turfway Park claimer [98 Beyer] on 15 day’s rest in December and a Keeneland turf allowance [92 Beyer] last out on April 21 on three week’s rest.

“As much as I don’t love wheeling back on quick rest this horse seems to thrive on it. He’s run a lot of big numbers off short rest,” Walden said. “It feels like he uses the first one as a tee up and then really brings it. I don’t know if that’s coincidence or if that works for him, but we’ll see how he runs here this weekend.”

Walden is also excited about a pair of talented turf fillies purchased at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale for Woodford Thoroughbreds in recent Grade 3 Soaring Softly winner Pipsy and Group 2-placed Olivia Maralda, who rallied to finish second in an allowance on April 20 in her stateside debut.

Pipsy, a Kodiac bay, was purchased for $929,489 after having won 2-of-3 starts for her former conditioner Ger Lyons in her native Ireland. She reared up at the break of the six-furlong Soaring Softly here in her U.S. debut and raced in last-of-10 before closing with an impressive turn of foot to best Kairyu by a half-length. The effort garnered an 82 Beyer.

Walden said Pipsy will look to stretch out next in the Listed $250,000 Tepin, a one-mile turf test for sophomore fillies on June 29 at Churchill Downs with an eye towards the one-mile Grade 3, $175,000 Lake George on July 20 at Saratoga Race Course.

“We’re just in a holding pattern right now but all signs point to her having come out of the race perfect and she’s back galloping at Keeneland,” Walden said. “The plan is probably to go to the Tepin at a mile on June 28 at CD. If she handles the stretch out, the Lake George is the plan after that. WE have to take it one race at a time and if she doesn’t stretch out then we’ll have to cut her back, but I feel confident she will [stretch out].”

Olivia Maralda, a $961,949 purchase and also by Kodiac, was a close second in the 2022 Group 2 Debutante at The Curragh for trainer M.D. O’Callaghan. She was campaigned last year by Roger Varian, winning the seven-furlong Surrey at Epsom.

In her stateside debut with Flavien Prat aboard, Olivia Maralda rallied from eight-of-11 to finish second just three-quarter lengths back of Misread and a head in front of next-out winner Sacred Wish.

“They went 46 and change for the half-mile and they were pretty spread out. The winner was five lengths off it and got a perfect trip,” Walden said. “We were proud of her effort that day. She had a lot of traffic in the lane and didn’t really get free until about 10 jumps before the wire and she made a big move to get up for second. That was first off a long layoff so I’m really excited about how she’s doing.”

Olivia Maralda is likely to make her next start in the Grade 1, $300,000 Gamely, a nine-furlong turf test for 3-year-olds and up on May 27 at Santa Anita Park.

“She’s been everywhere but she travels well – she’s a well-mannered filly,” Walden said. “It would really improve her residual value going forward to get that Grade 1 win or placing. She’s doing really good. She came out of the Keeneland race in good order and is training better now than she was going into it.”

Walden said Olivia Maralda’s calm demeanor is advantageous as she looks to stretch out in distance.

“Olivia Maralda is not a filly that’s going to lock onto the bit and be really aggressive,” Walden said. “She’s really bred to go short and has tactical speed to do so, but her mentality and the way she places herself in a race and relaxes really allows her to stretch out a little bit further than pedigree would suggest.”

Hong Kong Horse Racing Selections – Wed., May 22

HAPPY VALLEY SELECTIONS
(Wednesday, May 22, 2024)

Race 1: #4 Go Go Go, #12 Green Laser, #5 Happy Hero, #1 Keen Unity
Race 2:
#6 Talents Supremo, #8 Mister Fox, #5 So Treasure, #11 Travel Golf
Race 3:
#6 Master Tornado, #4 Beer Palace, #2 Fighting Machine, #10 Palace Pal
Race 4:
#7 Flying Wrote, #10 Lean Master, #11 Speedy Chariot, #9 Sky Prophet
Race 5:
#7 Can’t Go Wong, #3 Kasa Papa, #8 Packing Wisher, #1 Cordyceps One
Race 6:
#1 Telecom Speed, #2 High Percentage, #4 Togepi, #7 Beauty Destiny
Race 7:
#1 Beauty Waves, #2 Celestial Colours, #8 Fast Serve, #5 Brave Star
Race 8:
#4 Sweet Briar, #6 Romantic Laos, #3 Ivy League, #2 Giddy Up
Race 9:
#3 Kurpany, #5 Colourful Emperor, #8 Superb Capitalist, #4 Tomodachi Kokoroe

Race 1: Chester Handicap (3.40am PDT, 6.40am EDT)

#4 Go Go Go is ever so close to a first win. He narrowly missed last start and a replication of that run will see him take beating. He’s the clear top pick, especially with Zac Purton retaining the ride. #12 Green Laser gets in light. He can mix his form, however, the featherweight impost and recent efforts suggest he can run well again. #5 Happy Hero has performed strongly over this track and trip before. #1 Keen Unity can improve getting out over further. This grade suits him. Keep safe.

Race 2: Hereford Handicap (3rd Section) (4.10am PDT, 7.10am EDT)

#6 Talents Supremo has proved consistent all season. He has a suitable draw this week and is deserving of another win this campaign, especially after proving competitive a number of times of late. One to beat. #8 Mister Fox keeps improving and his latest effort was sound. He can take another step forward. #5 So Treasure turned his form around last start, narrowly missing at odds of 31/1. He’ll give this group something to worry about. #11 Travel Golf is still without a win. He’s better suited to Happy Valley.

Race 3: Lancashire Handicap (2nd Section) (4.40am PDT, 7.40am EDT)

Surprising to still see #6 Master Tornado without a win. He’s been consistent all season and deserves a breakthrough triumph. The inside draw gives him every possible chance. #4 Beer Palace mixes his form but clearly has some ability. He’s worth keeping safe here from an in-form Mark Newnham stable. #2 Fighting Machine returned off a lengthy lay off earlier this month. He can improve again with that run under his belt. #10 Palace Pal doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Next in line.

Race 4: Hereford Handicap (1st Section) (5.10am PDT, 8.10am EDT)

#7 Flying Wrote did well to grab fifth on debut. He can improve with that run under his belt and this contest is more than suitable. One they all must beat. #10 Lean Master has a positive racing pattern. He’ll press forward and from there get his shot. #11 Speedy Chariot continues to take the right steps froward. He pairs favourably with Andrea Atzeni and the light weight affords him his opportunity. #9 Sky Prophet has twice been too far back in the run with too much work to do. Don’t discount.

Race 5: The St George’s Challenge Cup Handicap (1st Section) (5.40am PDT, 8.40am EDT)

#7 Can’t Go Wong has the draw to overcome, however, he is currently in career-best form. He’s found his groove and gets his chance here, even from out wide. Taking a chance on him to offset an unfavourable gate. #3 Kasa Papa has always shown his capabilities as a winner in waiting. His recent form has been sound and Hugh Bowman’s pairing is a plus. #8 Packing Wisher should get a sweet run from the inside gate. He can go close. #1 Cordyceps One can press forward and lead. He’ll take reeling in.

Race 6: Hereford Handicap (2nd Section) (6.10am PDT, 9.10am EDT)

#1 Telecom Speed narrowly missed last start. He goes about his racing well and should get every chance this week, especially from an ideal gate. One to beat. #2 High Percentage is seeking a hat-trick of wins. He remains in Class 4, which suits. The only knock is that he will have to overcome an awkward draw against a formidable group of rivals. #4 Togepi will give this group a head-start before charging home. #7 Beauty Destiny has ability, although he does show signs of inexperience. Don’t discount.

Race 7: Renfrew Handicap (6.45am PDT, 9.45am EDT)

#1 Beauty Waves is chasing a hat-trick of wins. He’s a serious talent on the rise and his latest two efforts have been super. Zac Purton retains the ride and the horse remains in Class 3, which holds him in very good stead. #2 Celestial Colours is lightly raced but does have ability. He’s a winner in this grade and does appear suited getting back in distance. #8 Fast Serve returns first-up this season after setbacks. He’s got ability and his latest trial at Happy Valley was encouraging. #5 Brave Star is next best.

Race 8: Selkirk Handicap (7.15am PDT, 10.15am EDT)

#4 Sweet Briar deserves another victory. He’s placed six times this season without winning and gets another super chance here. Zac Purton’s aboard and his recent form suggests he’ll prove hard to beat. #6 Romantic Laos has an ideal draw. He placed last start and can further build on that effort here, especially over his preferred distance. #3 Ivy League has turned his form around this season as a two-time winner. #2 Giddy Up can save ground throughout. Next in line.

Race 9: Wiltshire Handicap (7.50am PDT, 10.50am EDT)

#3 Kurpany returns after an extended break at Conghua following a setback. He gets a handy seven pounds taken off his back and his recent trackwork has appeared very, very good. He’s a winner in this grade already this season. Taking a chance on him at odds. #5 Colourful Emperor is a three-time winner from his last four starts. He’s in career-best form and will get his shot here. #8 Superb Capitalist can press forward and get his chance. #4 Tomodachi Kokoroe draws well. Next in line.

Preakness Stakes Winning Analysis with Wagering Strategies

Fresh off a successful KY Oaks and KY Derby, 19-time NHC Qualifier Rich Nilsen is back with his Preakness Stakes analysis and three Spot Plays on Saturday’s undercard at Pimlico. Every horse is a value play and includes his expert wagering strategies.

 

Download Nilsen’s Preakness Package to any device instantly.


Last year’s Preakness Stakes Analysis by Rich Nilsen

Pace analysis: There is not a lot of speed in this year’s running of the Preakness Stakes.  Longshot Coffeewithchris will likely insist on the early lead, as National Treasure and John Velasquez sit in close pursuit, ready to pounce.  There should be a gap of a couple of lengths to Mage running in the third spot.

Top Selection: # 1 NATIONAL TREASURE (4/1) – comes off a troubled trip when a respectable 4th in the G1 Santa Anita Derby and now makes his first start back for Bob Baffert, who has won this race no less than seven times.  The son of Quality Road dons new blinkers for today’s race and he’s been training up a storm in preparation for a race that he has been pointed to by the Hall of Fame trainer.  He should sit a perfect, forward-running trip in a race featuring a modest pace and prove the one to catch in the lane. John Velasquez, who has been riding great recently, is in search of his first Preakness win, one of the few races he lacks on his incredible resume.

2nd Selection: # 3 MAGE (8/5) – this colt has done absolutely nothing wrong in his career and I see no reason why he won’t run another bang-up race.  The Gustave Delago runner has won twice in his career, both times at double-digit odds, but he will likely be odds-on here.  A win would not be a surprise but I think the Baffert charge has just a good a chance and will offer more value.

3rd Selection: #6 PERFORM (15/1) – the Shug McGaughey runner is the value play in this field.  He overcame all sorts of traffic issues to storm home and win the Fedrico Tesio Stakes at Laurel last time out.  It’s interesting that Shug chose to run this horse instead of Pat Day Mile winner General Jim.  Perform is sitting on another strong effort.

Wagering Strategy: Play # 1 National Treasure to Win.  Exacta partwheel over 3, 6.  Smaller exacta 6-1.  Trifecta key #1 over 3, 6.


Rich Nilsen qualifies for the 16th time

Rich Nilsen gave out the 4-1 Kentucky Oaks winner this year and his third selection (and first longshot), Mystik Dan, won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 16-1!  Here were his write-ups:

Kentucky Oaks:

Top Selection: # 5 THORPEDO ANNA (5/1) – Trainer Kenny McPeek, one of the best Kentucky horsemen over the past decades in the Bluegrass State, enters the best filly he has ever trained. This brilliant daughter of Fast Anna scored first time out going 7 furlongs last fall at Keeneland and destroyed the field by 8 ½ lengths after closing from way back. You just rarely see a first time starter win like this, especially going 7 furlongs and at Keeneland. She proved that was no fluke by returning to beat allowance company by 9 lengths and running a monster triple-digit BRIS Late Pace Figure. After running second in the G2 Golden Rod, she was put on the shelf for her three-year-old season. Anna returned at Oaklawn Park and despite breaking from the 10 hole and facing a quality field, she proved her dominance once again, drawing off by 4 lengths. The G2 Fantasy winner has been training well since that start and comes into this race in prime form. She drew well and is clearly the horse to beat.

Kentucky Derby 150:

3rd Selection: # 3 Mystik Dan (20/1) – This colt was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill going only 5 ½ furlongs. He was a speed horse as a two year old, but trainer Kenny McPeek retooled this horse and developed him into a runner that can come from off the pace. And did he ever in the G3 Southwest Stakes, finishing powerfully in the mud to win by 8. I didn’t like him in the G1 Arkansas Derby, with his only big number on a wet track, but the colt ran very well with sneaky trouble. Going around the first turn, the horse to his inside bolted and slammed into Dan. That cost the colt several lengths but he did not give up. He put in a sustained run and ran a sneaky good third. He can move forward off that race, and we know he loves the track. Nice price for the exotics.