Pre-Seminar Handicapping for Thursday

19 Jun

By Lucky Kalanges

Tomorrow I’ll have the privilege of joining Pleasanton Racing Publicist Dennis Miller and race-caller Chris Griffin in front of the Stella Artois Grandstand to talk about Thursday’s seven-race card. As preparation for that conversation, here’s my thoughts on each race heading into tomorrow’s program.

Race 1 – Mules, 3-years-old and upward, 350 yards

Since he’s won the opening race of the Pleasanton meeting two years in a row now, I’m not going to bet against Read My Lips (7/5), who’s won four of his last six races and is unbeaten in his last five over this track. I’ll just sit back and cheer him on.

Those unwilling to sit this one out, might consider the youngest mule in the race, the seven-year-old After Midnight (7/2), who could turn the tables on the top choice with a cleaner break.

Race 2 – Thoroughbreds, $20K Maiden Claiming, 5 furlongs

#3 Cartellate (9/2) is one of four first time starters in a five-horse field, who has shown slightly faster workouts than his stablemate, #2 Deepingreen (7/2), to his immediate inside. Progeny of Goldencents are winning first out at an 18% clip. Steve Specht wins at 12% with first-timers, which is slightly better than Jonathan Wong (10%) who saddles the morning line favorite here. I’ll give him a slight nod in a race where there are more questions than answers.

#5 Kenzlee’s Gov (8/1) failed to make much of an impression against Maiden Special Weight company at Santa Anita in his debut. Now he drops into a Maiden Claiming event, often considered the biggest class drop in racing, gets Lasix and could make more of an impression than his morning line suggests. Low profile connections ensure a square price in a heat where none of his rivals have raced.

#4 Drippin Sauce (8/5) could take the most action for the red-hot Jonathan Wong barn, which won three races in five starts over opening weekend at Pleasanton. Top notch connections will make him tough to support at low odds.

Race 3 – Thoroughbreds, $8K Claiming, 6 furlongs

#3 Klay’s Turn (5/2) is very hard to see past, given his proven dirt speed and Jonathan Wong’s 28% strike rate after a claim.  Even with the step up in class, there’s very little chance you’ll get 5/2 on this guy.

#4 Have Some Pride (4/1) – Gets needed class relief off a solid effort off the bench. Sports a win and two seconds in six starts over dirt. Could make his presence felt in the lane if he can move forward off his last effort.

#1 Bold Roman (3/1) – Might need the race off a 55-day break. Makes his dirt debut here, but his consistency and 3 for 4 lifetime record are hard to ignore.

Race 4 – Thoroughbreds, $20K Maiden Claiming, 5 1/2 furlongs

#5 Roman Rush (7/2) drops back in for a tag and returns to sprinting where he’s recorded among the best Brisnet Speed Figures in the field. With early speed to his inside and outside, the Blaine Wright trainee would be wise to try a stalk and finish approach. A return to his last two efforts at this distance could put him in the winner’s circle.

#6 Whatsittoya (2/1) appears to be the fastest out of the gate on paper and will try to clear this field early and draw off for the Ari Herbertson barn. Slight drop in class from $25K maiden claimers won’t hurt.

#1 Lucky B Mine (5/1) drops from Maiden Specials after flashing early speed and fading in his first two races. Jock must gun for the lead from the rail, and he’s a threat if he can shake loose. But the presence of other front-running speed horses to his outside is a cause for concern.

Race 5 – Thoroughbreds, $5K Claiming, 5 1/2 furlongs

#9 Powerful Angrified (7/2) drops to lowest level yet and is among only a few horses who have shown any early speed in this heat. Love the quick 11-day turnaround for the Ed Moger barn.

#8 Bombay All Day (9/2) lacks early speed but drops in class and has been a model of consistency with five in-the-money finishes in seven starts. Gets regular pilot.

#5 Booze Cruise (20/1) clearly didn’t enjoy his time in the desert, but is reunited with trainer Trujillo, who has coaxed some of his best efforts in the Bay Area. His two most recent workouts at Golden Gate are interesting, as is the time off in May after the blowout work on April 27. 106-day layoff is a big question mark, but there’s no world beaters in here and without a ton of pace, he might not be too far back early. Not the worst longshot stab to blow up the Trifecta.

#4 Turnaround (4/1) has posted back to back decent efforts against slightly cheaper. He’ll look to take them wire-to-wire and could get bold if left alone on the lead.

Race 6 – Thoroughbreds, $8K Claiming, 6 furlongs 

#7 Startender (8/1) has the speed to wire this field off an impressive victory in the maiden claiming ranks. Alvarado and McCanna have teamed up to win 5 of their last 12 starts together. Offers value at even half his morning line.

#4 Mr. Diplomat (5/2) drops to his lowest level yet for Blaine Wright barn, and looks like the horse to beat off his form earlier this spring at Golden Gate.

#4 Logan’s Catch (4/1) is two for four lifetime for top Bay Area connections who are clicking at 25%.

Race 7 – Thoroughbreds, Allowance N2X $40K or Less, 6 furlongs

#2 Royal Bar (6/1) has the speed to clear the field and take them the distance for Amescua, who removes the hood and strikes at 27% with that move. Sports a win on dirt and at the distance.

#6 Consensus (9/5) has been knocking at the door for the Blaine Wright barn with a win and six seconds in 13 starts. Strictly the one to beat with J.J. Hernandez up, but perennial bridesmaid won’t offer much value.

#9 That’s Bind Babe (3/1) gets a perfect outside post to make his one run from. A repeat of his last effort hits hard in here, but he’s facing winner’s now.

$0.50 Pick 5 tickets
3 with 1, 5, 6 with 4, 5, 8, 9 with 4, 7 with 2, 6, 9 for $36
3, 4 with 5, 6 with ALL with 7 with 2 for $18

$0.50 Pick 4 tickets
1, 5, 6 with ALL with 7 with 2 for $13.50
5, 6 with 4, 5, 8, 9 with 4, 7 with 2, 6, 9 for $24

Best Win Bets at a Price
Race 6 – Startender (8/1)
Race 7 – Royal Bar (6/1)


Most Likely Winner
Race 3 – Klay’s Turn (5/2)



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