Programming note: The Blitz will broadcast live on Friday from 4-7 p.m., and I will be hosting the ESPN Zone party on Sunday from noon-2 p.m. We will be having a free handicapping contest that day, and I will offer free insight on the card. Please drop by, even if you did not win the tickets.
How to use the picks: These are the same picks you can get on the free tip sheet available at shrp.com and on track. They are not meant to necessarily be in exact order, but more an opinion on likely winners. On some cards I will go more in depth than what we have on the tip sheet, because all we are doing there is basically picking the top four and putting in a brief comment. For the big cards I will likely do full guides, at least on the stakes races. I will give suggested horses to use more than specific plays. I am assuming you have some knowledge or have listened to Acing Racing 2016.
Also, I have to do these early in the week, so I am always assuming a fast track. Check back here or on Twitter for days when races are off the turf and the track is sloppy for updates.
We will go more in depth on tonight’s card, Saturday’s card and even more so on Sunday than what you will get from the free tip sheet. OK, enough disclaiming:
Overview: It looks like a lot of short-priced favorites (and winners) on the early part of the card, but some nice prices later on. Our strategies are best when we can beat short-priced favorites, so I suggest play light early then start punching late.
LA CANELA faced some serious runners in Canada and Florida
Digging deeper: The track I spend the most time on besides SHRP is Woodbine, and La Canela faced monsters there. But the layoff, and turn back in distance are mild concerns. Still, on pure class, she should roll. I would consider exactas with a couple price horses, the 1 and 4 and try to beat the 6, because any 3-6 combinations won’t pay anything. If you think the 3 is vulnerable, consider keying the 4 in tris with 1-3-6 with all and 1-3-6 with 4 with all.
WITT STAMP beat just one horse in debut but plunges in class today
Digging deeper: On the surface, Witt Stamp looks very tough, dropping from a fourth place finish against Maiden Specials at Delta. But it was only a five horse field. The horse should improve, and that should be enough. The problem is if you think the 2 is vulnerable, you almost have to punch the all ball in pick 3s. Not a race I am playing but we gave you long shots to play behind in exotics if you are diving in.
DEVIROW is another big class dropper
Digging deeper: This is a race where I landed on the favorite by default. The horse is better on grass, but the main track efforts are good enough. Would want more than 2-1, and won’t get it. No play for me but if you are trying to beat him use the 2, 4, 5 and 6.
MINUETO will likely be another short-priced favorite but looks tough.
Digging deeper: I hate giving the people this much chalk, but the card shapes up that way. I might go light here with a 4 with 6-7 exacta wheel, then box the 4-6-7. Will be getting nice prices on the latter two. Both will need to improve, but can easily see it happening.
Reed/Parker combo has been nails here in the past and a nice price on DECADENT DOC
Digging deeper: Here is where we can start looking for prices. Decadent Doc has never tried the turf and comes off a poor effort. But prior was solid, he is bred to love the grass, we get a dominant trainer/jockey combo and a 20-1 morning line. We don’t have to be right very often at that price. He might be race away from winning, but if not, we will cash by playing him across the board. If he is over 10-1 I might wheel him up and down in the exactas with everybody. A horse I might also use that is not on the picks is the 7, and Uncle Mo making his third start and trying grass for the first time.
MYEXPECTATIONS was close in a tricky field at Oaklawn and could surprise
Digging deeper: The 3 figures to take all the money, but we will play a small across the board bet on the 5 horse, who has solid efforts at Remington and was close in a tough group at Oaklawn in last.
WIND N WAVES ships in from Woodbine for strong connections
Digging deeper: Getting a nice price on this one at 4-1. Faced some solid fields in Canada (and the racing up there is much better than most of us in the States realize). Oh, and the Reed/Parker combo again. Playing across the board at anything over 3-1.
DADS DIVINE has good early speed and should be in the mix
Digging deeper: Another horse with Parker up, he has good early speed, success on the turf and five furlongs should hit him right between the eyes. Another across the board play at 3-1 or more.
DAUGHTEROFDEFENCE has a pair of runner up finishes and could break through
Digging deeper: Another solid 4-1 price. At first blush, that last race looks bad as she was beaten almost 10 lengths. But the winner freaked that day and this horse was almost seven lengths clear of the third place finisher. The prior race was a nice second on the grass. This one is really wide open and I could see her finishing strong. Probably just wheel her with the field in exactas top and bottom and play her across the board.