Due to the Papal visit to the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in Barbados. There will be no popejude.com report for Saturday,March 4, 2017.
All eyes will be on Saturday's Risen Star (G2) at the Fair Grounds, as the Kentucky Derby looms closer every day. Gulfstream Park features three stakes, including the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).
This week's report features a dozen races that we think give you the best opportunities for wagering success. Let's make 'em pay!
Saturday's report featured winners FAVORABLE OUTCOME, RYMSKA, IRISH WAR CRY, EL AREEB, ROYAL MO, SIBERIAN IRIS AND HOPPERTUNITY, out of 11 races. Many purchasers hit some nice horizontal bets, but one had a tough beat when EXCILLY could do no better than second at Gulfstream.
Hopefully, this weekend will continue the #GetHot #StayHot trend. With races like the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1), Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2), Suwannee River (G3), Lambholm South Endeavour (G3), Sam F. Davis (G3) and Tampa Bay (G3) in Florida and the Arcadia (G2) and Santa Maria (G2) in California, it should be an excellent Saturday of racing.
Racing's fiscal year kicks off with the opening of Santa Anita. We have a full card report for the Boxing Day card and are looking forward to the four graded stakes offered on the opening day program at the Great Race Place.
Best of luck at the windows and Happy New Year!
Due to the off track at Gulfstream Park, Saturday's report has been refunded.
Thanks for ordering. Best of luck!
To all the Pope Jude fans who wrote about their Claiming Crown scores...Thanks for the kind words. By its very nature, Claiming Crown is a tough event to handicap, but after being in attendance for the last several years, we have sort of gotten the hang of it. It is a combination of Keeneland (horses in from everywhere) and the Breeders' Cup (the best in their divisions), handicapping with the heat and humidity thrown in to make things more difficult.
Usually we don't put out a report for the rest of the year after Claiming Crown, but we had a couple of horses pop up off the watch list, found some interesting price plays and and a couple of solid singles, so we thought we'd give it a go for Saturday.
After this weekend, the next report will probably be a full card for Santa Anita's opening day, December 26. Our California peeps always want one.
The Pope Jude crew is taking the weekend off to be with friends and family. We will return next Saturday, December 3, with a full card Gulfstream Park Claiming Crown report.
If you want to know who The Pontiff likes on Saturday, tune in to the XpressBet Weekend Stakes Preview Show on the Horse Racing Radio Network. The show, hosted by "The Big A," Anthony Stabile, airs from 6-7 PM ET Friday evening on Sirius 219/XM 206 and streamed live at horseracingradio.net. An archived recording is available on the website as well and can also be accessed via Horse Racing Radio on iTunes.
Pope Jude fans certainly enjoyed last Saturday's racing at Gulfstream Park West and Aqueduct.
The report kicked off with back-to-back exactas ($10.80 & $32.40) and finished up the South Florida swing with winners Enterprising and Compelled.
Bigger Picture ($21.40) was a huge overlay atthe Big A, thanks to the public's overwhelming love for Wake Forest, who was sent off at odds-on.
Let's #StayHot this weekend!
When your best bet of the two days wins the first race easily and pays $15.20, you know it’s going to be a good Breeders’ Cup. OSCAR PERFORMANCE justified our enthusiasm and beat his competition in the Juvenile Turf (G1) like a drum. Love when that happens.
DORTMUND looked horrible warming up for the Dirt Mile (G1), like he was distressed, and TAMARKUZ took it to the field in the Dirt Mile (G1). The throat surgery he had last spring has really helped him, plus, he is finally accustomed to American racing. John Sadler was correct about ACCELERATE. He belonged in the field and is one to watch next year. RUNHAPPY has been ruined by a ridiculous schedule.
NEW MONEY HONEY had the best turf figure of the American horses and ran to it. Her $15.00 mutuel in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) was a gift. There is no doubt that LA CORONEL was compromised by her hideous post and should get back to the winners’ circle soon.
The undisputed Queen of Santa Anita, BEHOLDER, went out a winner in the Distaff (G1) and that was great to see. SONG BIRD raced valiantly in defeat and lost no luster in the process. She is now the best dirt filly in the United States, if there was any question before. STELLAR WIND was a little wound up and hindered herself with a bad break. She will be a major force in 2017 if she gets a little break now.
In the wide open Juvenile Fillies (G1), CHAMPAGNE ROOM was not a total surprise, but her 33-1 odds were. She obviously has talent. VALADORNA is a gorgeous filly who proved her maiden-breaker at Keeneland was no fluke. Keep an eye on her. AMERICAN GAL was bet down to favoritism off a sparkling blowout under Mike Smith. Making her two-turn debut in this race was a huge reach, but she acquitted herself well and she seems to have a bright future.
QUEEN’S TRUST got an awesome ride by Frankie Dettori and captured the Filly and Mare Turf (G1) in fine style. This was a stellar field and runner-up LADY ELI drew more admiration with her performance. The good news is, she’ll be campaigned next year. With awesome speed and the ability to carry it, you’ve got to think AVENGE is going to win a few more races in her career.
We’ve been saying all year that DREFONG is the best sprinter in the country, so it was gratifying to see him win the Sprint (G1). If there is someone better at pointing a horse to a particular race and winning it than Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, we don’t know who it is.
Eight-year-old OBVIOUSLY, a California fan favorite, got the job done down the hill in the Turf Sprint (G1). That was fun for the locals to watch as was the fast finish by OM. Evidently jockey Joel Rosario forgot that CELESTINE was a speed horse, so a better run can be expected next time, if somebody who reads the past performances and utilizes them rides her.
CLASSIC EMPIRE and NOT THIS TIME put on a great show in the Juvenile (G1), which could be a preview of next year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). Great call by Michael Wrona, saying the pair was, “a street in front of the rest of the field.” Both of these boys are stone runners.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) was tremendously formful, with the three best horses finishing 1-2-3. Seamie Heffernan stole the race on HIGHLAND REEL. His ride was a thing of beauty. FLINTSHIRE was given a lot to do once again, but nobody was beating the Coolmore horse on the day.
Have to admit we were looking the other way when FINEST CITY won the Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). It was fantastic for her young trainer, Ian Kruljac, and for the sharps who backed her. She won like a good thing with a race she had never run before. C’est la vie.
TOURIST had been touting himself all week, looking the picture of health and vitality. Beaten by MISS TEMPLE CITY and IRONICUS in his last start, it was questionable if he could turn the tables on both in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). Obviously, the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland was a very good race, with the top three in that one all earning a check here. TEPIN ran huge again. What a great mare she is. They are all slated to be back next year – what a division.
CALIFORNIA CHROME, older and world-class, versus ARROGATE, young and fast. What a race the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) was. ARROGATE got the money and showed what he is made of. Wait ‘til he fills out and grows up. What a beast the Juddmonte colorbearer will be.
Asked to provide a special Thursday report for a private party, it's posted here for two bucks.
Let's build our Breeders' Cup bankroll!
We are getting ready for the Breeders' Cup, studying the European form and watching workouts and film, so we'll have a great handle on all Breeders' Cup participants. Travel plans are set, and we'll be on the scene at Santa Anita, Sunday, October 30.
Listen to the Horse Racing Radio Network Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview Show at 6:00 PM ET Friday for information and selections the next two weekends. It is broadcast world-wide on Sirius 219/XM 206 and streamed live at horseracingradio.net. If you miss the show, there is also a podcast available on the HRRN website and at Horse Racing Radio on iTunes.
Here's six things we learned on Breeders' Cup Preview Saturday:
1) Javier Castellano has no idea how to ride Flintshire. It was just a matter of time before he got this superhorse beat. Despite his talent and success, Castellano continues to put the Juddmonte star in positions that require supreme efforts to be successful.
2) Oscar Performance is as good as we thought he was. We compared him to Big Brown and nothing in his Pilgrim (G3) performance suggests otherwise.
3) Trainer Charlton Baker can point a stakes horse to a race with the best of them. Joking ran huge in the Vosburgh (G1). Many claiming-type trainers have problems with stakes horses but not Charlie Baker.
4) Gormley could be the real deal. Trainer John Shirreffs is not noted for his two-year-olds, yet this son of Malibu Moon is two-for-two after the FrontRunner (G1), beating the talented Klimt on the square. He'll have the home track advantage in the BC Juvenile (G1) too.
5) Avenge can really run. She's in a tough division, but the Richard Mandella-trainee is among the major players.
6) Runhappy is a sprinter. There goes the Pegasus (G1). If his connections are smart, he'll be in the B.C. Sprint (G1) to defend his crown.
Due to the short fields and even shorter prices, Saturday's Pope Jude report has a special $5.00 sale price. There is some money to be made, but Flintshire and California Chrome are not the place to find it. (Although, TVG is offering 5-1 on Chrome through HRRN.)
(5:45) BEL 9th Race - #11 ANATEVKA was given a test-ride by Joel Rosario in her debut, but closed strongly to finish a solid fourth. Trainer Michael Dilger employs top turf rider Jose Ortiz on the daughter of Lonhro in this spot, so major improvement can be expected. She is 4-1 on the morning line.
The following races will featured on Friday's Expressbet Weekend Stakes Preview Show on HRRN. Tune in Friday evening at 6:00 PM ET or SIRIUS 219 /XM 206 or horseracingradio.net. You can also access the show podcast via Horse Racing Radio Network on iTunes.
BEL - Noble Damsel (G3)
CD - Dogwood (G3)
LRC - Los Al Derby (G2)
LRL - Commonwealth Oaks (G3)
LRL - Commonwealth Derby (G2)
LRL - Commonwealth Turf Cup (G2)
PRX - PA Derby (G2)
PRX - Cotillion (G1)
PRX - Gallant Bob (G3)
PRX - PA Derby Championship
(3:59) CD 4th Race - #1 PHONE CHICK ran better-than-looked in her Saratoga debut, breaking a step slow and making a nice middle move before flattening out late. From the barn of super longshot trainer Ignacio Correas, IV, this filly should improve leaps and bounds in her second start. The price will be square and if she gets into the frame, the exotics will be huge.
Pope Jude reports will return on Saturday, October 1 - Breeders' Cup Preview Day. Until then, the Pontiff will be appearing on the Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview show on the Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), every Friday evening from 6-7 ET, on Sirius 219 & XM 206. You can also stream the show live on horseracingradio.net and it is available on podcast via that site and on iTunes.
Check this site for horses on our exclusive "Horses to Watch" list, as they will be noted here upon entry. Any backstretch whispers will be posted as well.
Best of luck at the windows!
This will be the last Spa Saturday for another year. It's been a successful meeting despite the Traver's Day debacle when the track went from closers to speed in one race. Still, Arrogate was breathtaking and lots of memories were made at Saratoga 2016.
Fall is upon us and the next big racing days will be at the beginning of October and the Breeders' Cup at the beginning of November.
Best of luck at the wickets!
Arlington Million Day was chalkier than we'd like, but there were still plenty of opportunities for Pope Jude fans to score. Lewis Vale, Da Big Hoss, Beach Patrol, Sea Calisi, Mondialiste and Noble Beauty all gave us something to cheer for and make a few bucks.
Saratoga's cancellation that day was unfortunate but justified and better for all concerned in the long run.
This past Saturday, Disco Partner ($10.40) kicked it off at the Spa with Oscar Performance ($14.00) and Favorable Outcome ($9.90) who combined for a $398.50 pick three. Ava's Kitten rolled that into a $224 pick three and Tourist made it three-in-a-row at $110.
Ashley Loves Sugar, California Chrome and Into the Mystic gave us a decent payoff at Del Mar, as the Richard Mandella-trained filly was bet down off her insane morning line.
Looking forward to Travers (G1) Day!
We'll be off to Arlington Park on Thursday for the Arlington Million (G1) card. Our European connections are rock solid and we'll have the very best inside info on all the shippers from across the pond. Of course,we'll have selected races from the Spa as well.
We want to thank the Pope Jude fans who sent messages and tweeted about last weekend's successes. The $114.50 exacta of Tricked Up and Kabang in Saratoga's 5th and the $576 tri in the Fasig-Tipton Waya were obviously a great source of bankroll building during the day.
Have a great week!