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Last Weekend of Racing in Pleasanton This Summer

24 Jul

By Dennis Miller

It is down to the last three days of racing in 2020 for the Alameda County Fairgrounds, with cards taking place Friday through Sunday

The post time each day is 2:45 p.m.

The 6-week run started with four weeks of racing under the banner of the Alameda County Fair, then has been followed by two weeks of racing allotted to the California State Fair.  The State Fair opted to run its two weeks of racing at Pleasanton, allowing for a 6-week stretch where the horsemen would be at one place.

Here is a look at the three days of racing, split into the three different days.

Friday: My day will start with the second race with Big Hoof Dynamite (No. 4, 2/1). The Eddie Truman runner has hit the board 4-of-7 starts this year against tougher competition he faced down south. Now he comes north and picks us the dependable Kyle Frey for the ride. He should sit just off the lead in the route race and be ready to roll in the lane.

In the third my play is with Buttie (No. 3, 9/2). A nice medium value play for a race she seems poised for a big run for trainer Isidro Tamayo. Buttie is making her second start off a break, an angle where the barn is hitting at 24 percent. Draw a line through the last start which came on the turf at Golden Gate Fields. The horse draws the services of William Antongeorgi and has won three times in seven starts on the dirt and has won 40 percent of her starts at the distance.

I will skip to the fifth race next where it looks like a two-horse race between Maxinamillion (No. 1, 7/2) and Kona Coast (No. 3, 3/1). The morning line favorite is Top of the Game (No. 6, 2/1) but I think this is a great spot to knock off the favorite. Maxinamillion blew down the lane on the track two weeks ago to get the win in his first start on the dirt. He gets the services of Frey, who appeared to have choice of a couple of mounts in this race. Tamayo is the conditioner and hits at 24 percent when coming off a win in the last start. Kona Coast is coming off a break for trainer Jonathan Wong and the barn does his at 24 percent in first off, a break. Antongeorgi jumps into the irons for the seventh straight race, the last two were wins. The horse has hit the board in six of 10 career starts on the dirt.

My last play of the day will come in the seventh and final race of the day. I am going to close the day with another value bet, playing the outside horse Crimson Cloud (No. 9/5-1). Trained by Roger Hanson, the horse has hit the board all three starts over the Pleasanton track, including a third on June 27 against better. The 9-year-old mare is easily the career earnings leader in the field and gets a big upgrade with Frey taking the call. Although you have to go back to June 18, 2018 for the last win, this will be the softest spot the horse has seen in some time and I am thinking the old gal will have enough gas in the tank to get it done.

Saturday: The 8-race card features another running of the $50,000 Everett Nevin Stakes, a 5-1/2-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds and is one of my favorite races each year of the Pleasanton meet. It gives us a chance to see who some of the top 3-year-olds may be in Northern California next year.

I will start with the stake which is the sixth race and set for a 5:11 p.m. post.

The winner sure seems like they will come from one of three horses. Top Harbor (No. 1, 3/1) comes from the Tim McCanna barn and won in straight maiden race on June 20 at Pleasanton. The horse broke well, stayed just off the pace then came home with the one-length win. Frank Alvarado had the mount that day but is now under quarantine so Antongeorgi takes the mount.

Hendavid (No. 5, 7/2) comes up from the south where he broke in his debut at Santa Anita for trainer Luis Mendez. The horse was well bet in his debut and proved worth, winning by over three lengths.

Finally, Tom’s Song (No. 6, 5/2) runs for Steve Specht. The horse also got a win in the debut, clearing the field at Golden Gate Fields by over two lengths on May 24. Alvarado also rode this one, with Frey now picking up the mount.

I went back and forth on this one. It is tough to split up three horses that have all won in their initial starts. All took action at the window and all produced. The tote will be key here as it will be interesting where the money goes to the three favorites right around the same odds on the morning line.

At this point, I am leaning towards the rail horse Top Harbor. The horse was in the toughest duel in the lane of the three and dug in to pull out the win. The others did not have the battle in the stretch and while they may have heart as well, I will look to the one that has shown it.

Earlier in the card, I like Take Me for a Spin (No. 1, 9/5). Wong trains and Frey rides a horse that has hit the board in both starts.  After winning in his debut in straight maiden company he came back, found trouble, finished second and then was moved to third. That was at Pleasanton June 21 and now a month later – an angle the barn hits at 25 percent – I think there is every reason to see a win. Ricky Gonzalez has the two previous mounts, but he’s gone to Del Mar.

In the seventh race, take a good look at Myangelcindy (No. 3, 3-1) and Carrie’s Success (No. 6, 2/1). Myangelcindy has put a plus-70 Beyer figures in five straight races, with three of those races exceeding 80. In her last start she wired many of these over the Pleasanton track in an allowance race at the same distance for trainer Clifford DeLima with Alvarado up. David Lopez takes the mount.

Carrie’s Success is a Wong/Antongeorgi combination that is also coming off a win at Pleasanton, but in a different style, circling the field five-wide before pulling away for the win in the claiming race. A bit of a step forward, but nothing to phase me for a horse that has hit the board in all five starts this year and in 15-of-20 in her career.

I probably will not play the eighth race, but if you are so inclined one of interest figures to be Simply Charming (No. 3, 4/1). How this 5-1/2-furlong $5,000 claimer finishes up is anyone’s guess, but I will tell one thing – Simply Charming will go to the lead and should be out front at the top of the lane. From there the question is whether she can hold on or not. I did have this horse at 30-1 a couple of years back and he got the lead and was not caught for a nice pay day. Two wins in 34 starts does not lead to a lot of confidence but you might catch lightning in a bottle twice!