(Katlama, WA) Hey everyone I’m Larry the Sportscat and I’m back with my Emerald Downs’ lucky picks. I am going to use my tremendous cat sense in selecting winners on this the 25th season of racing at Emerald Downs. I hope you enjoy and this blog will simply continue as each race day selections are posted and you will find my wagers listed at the bottom of the days picks. If you partake in this great sport best of luck and let’s go to the races!
Week 1 Re-Cap
Total Bet: $642.90
Amount Collected: $355.50
20 Top Picks: 6 win, 2 place, 3 shows, 1 4th (30% win; 55% in the money; 60% in Superfecta)
19 2nd Picks: 1 win, 4 place, 2 show, 3 4th (5% win, 37% in the money, 53% in Superfecta)
19 3rd Picks: 3 win, 2 place, 3 show, 2 4th (16% win, 42% in the money, 53% in Superfecta)
Total Top 3 Picks combined Top 4 Finish (Superfecta): 55%
Day 2 Thu, June 25 (10-Races)
4 Full Speed Ahead 6-1 (1st Place)
Last time this one hit the track she finished 5th well back but that was at maiden special, she drops back 15k where she ran 2nd at this level 2 races back. Picks up Champion rider Gary Wales who won the 1st race of the season yesterday, think he gets back there today.
1 Shelby R. 5-2 (3rd Place)
Comes from the powerful Lucarelli barn who got a win on opening day and drops this one to her lowest level yet. No surprise here if she wins it. Downside is the inside post.
7 Living Legend (Scratched)
5 Chris the Beaver 4-1 (1st Place)
In a race of all 1st time starters this one sports a solid work tab with a bullet. Choice in a 8-sided coin flip.
2 Gordon Anthony 7-2 (2nd Place)
Solid connections make this one we will give a shot in the debut.
7 Bex 3-1 (4th Place)
Trainer Steve Bullock is very good with youngsters and Bex could easily be the top pick.
7 Constant Craving 8-1 (1st Place)
Last 8 races 2 wins, 4 2nd’s and a 3rd and a 4th. A must for your Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta tickets. Consistency puts this one at the top of my list.
6 A Filly Can Dream 9-2 (4th Place)
Shipping in from Santa Anita and dropping makes this one dangerous.
4 Zanaab 2-1 (Off the Board)
Another consistent sort with 2 wins, 2 2nd’s a 3rd and a 4th in last 6 starts.
3 Drizzy 7-2 (1st Place)
A GG shipper coming off an even 4th place finish run but drops in class. Top pick in a tough race.
2 Crest Drive 5-2 (Off the Board)
This 5-year-old had 2 wins from 16 starts heading into August of last year and by the end of the Emerald season had 5 wins from 19 starts and will shoot for his 4th straight win.
9 Stay in Power 15-1 (Off the Board)
Last 6 races all on the board but looks to prefer longer may need this one before firing best shot but does drop for the 2020 debut.
7 Dropyourbuffs 5-2 (Off the Board)
This one takes the steepest drop in class although will be trying his 5th start. Solid set of works should be in the mix.
5 Tig 6-1 (2nd Place)
First time starter but Juan Gutierrez is aboard and had ridden my top pick all 4 starts last year and was either not invited back or took this ride over the morning line favorite.
8 Bearcreek Mountain 5-1 (3rd Place)
Solid 2 races to finish up the 2019 season with a 2nd and 3rd place finish and has fired off a couple of bullet works to signal he’s ready.
3 Athleisure 6-1 (Off the Board)
This one took to the local surface last year with 2 wins, a place and a show in 4 starts and drops to the cellar for the 2020 season opener and comes from the very solid Joe Toye barn.
7 Stratus Bird (Scratched)
6 Blue Chip Betty 9-2 (4th Place)
Betty is getting a soft spot at Emerald after several straight dull efforts. Not my favorite angle but may wake-up here.
2 Dark Suspicion 7-2 (Off the Board)
4 lifetime starts 3 straight 2nd place finishes and the win. Consistency with this one is undeniable would be no shocker.
7 Bellamagic 3-1 (Off the Board)
Not a big fan of the lack of wins from this one but Gary Wales takes the ride must be respected.
6 Sophie’s Dream 6-1 (1st Place)
Lightly raced 4 year-old has reeled off 2 places and a win in last 3 starts. Faces tougher but let’s see if that roll continues.
7 Mitch and John E 9-2 (Off the Board)
Coming off a win at Turf Paradise and races for the longtime NW racing family the Tollett’s. Can go to the lead or sit off versatile sort sets up for a solid effort.
9 Many Moods 7-2 (Off the Board)
Front speed simply may not be caught and if so he likes to hang on for piece with a 13-21 in the money lifetime record.
2 Mr Bingley 8-1 (Off the Board)
Shipping in from SoCal and has speed could give our 2nd pick company on the front if left alone may not stop.
7 The Press 5-1 (Off the Board)
Letting my emotion and bias take hold here but simply love this old grinder, always tries hard and in a toss-up why not stick with who has rewarded you in the past.
3 Grinder Sparksaglo 5-2 (3rd Place)
Another EmD veteran who loves this track and fires big efforts on a regular basis. Cannot disregard.
5 Freiberg 8-1 (2nd Place)
Looking for a price in this race so why not a shipper from the Great Race Place to the Lucarelli barn at Emerald has a shot to upset.
4 Clifton Hollow 3-1 (3rd Place)
In the “someone has to win” finale to the first week of 2020 racing why not go with this one from the Blaine Wright barn?
2 He’s Bandido 12-1 (Off the Board)
First start of the year but drops back to the level where he just missed offers value and has a shot.
8 I Work for Carrots 7-2 (2nd Place)
This one would be no surprise as he goes to the track for legendary trainer Bob Meeking.
Balance coming into the day -$49.50
3rd Race 40-cent Superfecta 4-6-7 with 4-6-7 with all with all $48
5th Race $25 Win, Place, Show on 5 $75
7th Race 50-cent Pick 4 2-6-7 with 2-7-9 with 3-5-7 with 2-4-8 $41
9th Race $10 Daily Double 3-5-7 with 4; 20-cent Superfecta 3-5-7 with 3-5-7 with all with all $146.40
10th Race $100 Win on 4
Total Wagers: $410.40
10 Top Picks: 4 win, 0 place, 1 shows, 0 4th (40% win; 50% in the money; 50% in Superfecta)
9 2nd Picks: 0 win, 2 place, 2 show, 1 4th (0% win, 44% in the money, 56% in Superfecta)
9 3rd Picks: 1 win, 2 place, 1 show, 2 4th (11% win, 44% in the money, 67% in Superfecta)
Day 1 Wed, June 24 (10-Races)
4 Valid Prince 7-2 (1st Place)
This is my top pick as he has been running at Turf Paradise and shows early speed. The top Jock from last year is aboard, Gary Wales.
8 Cat’s Touch 5-1 (4th Place)
He was racing against better when last seen and won at a similar level 2 races back.
5 Cat’s Gulch 15-1 (Off the Board)
Has been firing in the morning with some decent works could be ready at 1st asking.
6 Candied Lute 6-1 (3rd Place)
1st time starter but with 3 bullet works in past 4 works pique’s my interest. Trainer Rosie may have him ready to roll in his debut.
1 Vroysky 3-1 (1st Place)
He has 2 starts under his belt and showed speed in his last but stopped. Comes back in shorter distance may last.
7 Sovereign Nation 7-2 (Off the Board)
Another first time starter in a soft field and gets an outside post good spot for the debugt.
6 Norski 2-1 (3rd Place)
Coming off a pair of 2nd’s at Santa Anita and comes from the barn of Vann Belvoir to his Dad’s barn Howard Belvoir who knows how to place his starters and have them ready to fire early.
2 Deckload 5-1 (Off the Board)
Shipper from Golden Gate with former leading trainer at Emerald Tim McCanna and comes off a solid place finish.
4 R B Eye 9-2 (Off the Board)
Another Belvoir to Belvoir combination only cause for pause is Gray gelding may want to go 2 turns and this 5 and 1/2 yard sprint may not be long enough for him.
9 Shark Harbor 4-1 (Off the Board)
1st time starter for solid ownership and from the Steve Bullock barn who is as good at getting them ready run as anyone and this one with a long and steady morning work tab with no interruptions. My pick in a toss-up of maiden-claimers.
1 Rough Ride 6-1 (Off the Board)
After 2 dismal finishes at the Great Race Place finds himself with a significant class drop and solid work performance with 3 straight bullets. Only downside is the 1 post.
4 Freestone 3-1 (1st Place)
Normally a drop from maiden special to 8k maiden claimer would equal an odds on choice but the one race for Freestone was a last place finish at GG. Not convinced class drop is enough but will give him a shot as he comes out of the powerful Blaine Wright barn.
8 Style Daddy 7-2 (Off the Board)
Daddy has been running at GG and after breaking his maiden has struggled a little bit but this one comes out for Blaine Wright might be the right spot for his 2nd visit to the Winner’s Circle.
6 Azadi 6-1 (Off the Board)
Last year’s training Champ and the track’s all-time leader in wins Frank Lucarelli sends this lightly raced 3-year-old to the gates. He won his debut and finished 6th in his 1st try against winners. Think he could be sitting on a good one.
1 Riggski 8-1 (Off the Board)
Riggski has been running at Los Alamitos from the Jeff Metz barn. Coming off a front running 4 and half furlong dash might get to the front and not stop.
2 So Figured It Out 7-2 (1st Place)
This filly had a rough 3-year-old season after a very good 2-year-old run. She won her first start and placed 2nd in her other 2 runs including the Juvenile Championship Stakes. Last year 3 off the board finishes all three races late in the season. She is showing signs of her 2-year-old form with a bullet and love that she is coming off a 6-furlong work for this 5 and half furlong race., should have her wind.
8 Dazzling Debbie 5-2 (2nd Place)
Deb runs for owner John Parker whose yellow silks are familiar to most NW race fans. Deb has only 2 races under her a 1st and a 2nd so she knows where the front of the pack is she will be dangerous.
7 Fine Element 6-1 (3rd Place)
This hard knocker has been in each of her 5 races with a 1st, 2nd 2-3rd place finishes and a 4th. No doubt a must in your exotics.
4 Grazen Value 8-5 (2nd Place)
I will go with recency in this race and this one has been running at GG and has speed. Might be a big favorite at the betting window and just might be too tough to catch in this one.
6 Tap That Spot 5-1 (4th Place)
This is one to keep an eye on if the track is not holding speed. Tap can sit off a hot pace and if conditions are good could pick up career win #2.
7Abraa Jabraa 7-2 (1st Place)
Has had success on this oval and a little home cooking can sometimes be a big advantage.
6 Guardingthemoney 6-1 (Off the Board)
Not much front speed in here and this one may grab an easy early lead and if he does he may not be caught.
7 Brahms Forest (Off the Board)
If the top pick hits the wall and slows down this one looks to be the first one in line to pounce and that jump would be tough to overcome. Also has 3 wins in last 5 starts so he likes to get to the line first.
3 Seattle Smoke 8-1 (Off the Board)
This one will come from further back but if a speed dual develops could easily hit the board with best effort. Will point out no wins last year at Emerald in all 5 starts was part of the Superfecta.
8 Wine at Nine 5-2 (4th Place)
I tried to pick against this one in any way possible but he is simply a win machine with a 43% win clip at Emerald Downs (17-40). One negative in his first outing last year he ran an even 4th and in his next 4 races he had 3 wins and 1 2nd. That is the angle to beat him that he might need a race before he finds the Winner’s Circle.
7 Legitimate Cause 6-1 (2nd Place)
L-C had a good year last season in Auburn with 2 wins and a 2nd from 5 starts and won in his opener. If the top pick isn’t quite ready this one could swoop past for the money.
4 La Waun 9-2 (Off the Board)
Has been running at GG since last October in 7 starts a win, 2-2nd’s and 2-3rd’s a 4th and a 6th and just lost by a nose in last out. May come in ready roll.
4 Port Lions 5-2 (2nd Place)
Bred, Owned and Trained by Howard Belvoir a NW Hall of Famer. He had this one out 3 times as a 2-year-old at 15k claiming. Drops way down to 5k the softess spot to date should wake up and be tough to deny.
8 Dragon Lady 9-2 (Off the Board)
A first time starter for Blaine Wright with a very steady work tab could be ready for a big effort in first attempt.
2 Clocker’s Choice 6-1 (3rd Place)
Comes out of the famous Munger barn and hit the board 3 of 4 races last year can see her getting up for part of the low take-out Superfecta.
1st Race 10-cent Superfecta 4-5-8 with 4-5-8 with all with all total bet $43.20
4th Race $50 Show on 1
6th Race $25 Win and Place on 2 ($50)
7th Race $20 Win, Place, Show on 6 ($60)
9th Race 10-cent Superfecta 7-8 with 4-7-8 with all with all total bet $28.80
10th Race $25 Win, Place on 4 ($50)
Total Bets: $282
10 Top Picks: 2 win, 2 place, 2 shows, 1 4th (20% win; 60% in the money; 70% in Superfecta)
10 2nd Picks: 1 win, 2 place, 0 show, 2 4th (10% win, 30% in the money, 50% in Superfecta)
10 3rd Picks: 2 win, 0 place, 2 show, 0 4th (20% win, 40% in the money, 40% in Superfecta)