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2014 Suwannee River & Sprint Championship

Suwannee River at Gulfstream

RiposteThe $150,000 Grade 3 Suwannee Stakes is the 10th race on the card at Gulfstream on Saturday. A field of 8 fillies and mares 4 years old and up will travel 1 1/8 mile over the turf. The 5/2 morning line favorite is the Shug McGaughey trained, Abaco who will have Javier Castalleno in the irons. Abaco recently ran 4th in her last outing in the Grade 3 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream with a late charge that didn’t quite get her there, missing the win by 1 ½ lengths. In the race before that one, Abaco took the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs by 1 length. Although Abaco certainly has her charms, I feel she can be beaten here. For value, I like foreign invader Riposte at 4 to 1 on the ML who will be making her American debut in this race. She has some Grade 1 and Grade 2 experience and even won the Grade 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot by 2 ¼ lengths. She has been training very nicely for Bill Mott and with Joel Rosario onboard; she has an excellent shot here. For a longshot play, I like Ainsley at 20 to 1 on the morning line. This 5 year old mare has been training well and although she doesn’t have the class that many of the others have, I believe she definitely has the potential to hit the board and possibly upset this field.

Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship

Falling SkyThe $100,000 Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship Stakes is the 11th race on Gulfstream’s card for Saturday and will feature a field of 11 four year olds and up sprinting 7 furlongs. The morning line favorite is Laugh Track at 5/2. Laugh Track had a rough go of it in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, running 9th in his last trip. Prior to that, he pulled up for a close 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, missing it by a neck to Secret Circle. Laugh Track definitely has the class and speed to win this race and will be the one to beat. Looking to give Laugh Track a run for it is Catron at 3 to 1 on the ML. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Javier Castalleno, Catron is undefeated in 2 starts. The only thing that concerns me about this horse is whether or not he can get the speed it will take to outrun Laugh Track and I’m not so sure that he can. For value I like Jackson Bend at 6 to 1 on the morning line. He has been training well and he does have the speed to contend with Laugh Track. His running style should cater to this race as well and I look for a late charge and upset from him here. For a longshot, I like Falling Sky at 20 to 1. Falling Sky put up his best figure to date against Revolutionary in his last outing and only lost it by ½ of a length. I have a lot of confidence in Luis Saez, too, who’ll be getting the mount here. If a wire to wire effort can be done in this one, Falling Sky could be the one to pull it off. Good luck everybody!

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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