2014 The Very One & Mac Diarmida

Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream

AlphaIt is time to preview the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes for four year olds and upward going 13/8 miles on the turf for a purse of $200,000, the 10th race on Saturday’s card at Gulfstream.  The favorite in the morning line is Thomas Albertrani’s Twilight Eclipse. This one is coming off of a Grade 3 win at Calder where he just blew the field away in wire to wire fashion. This 5 year old usually stalks the pace, laying just off the leaders, but in his last one he wasted no time in getting the lead and drawing off to win by seven lengths. Jose Lezcano will be aboard. Second choice in the ML is Wesley Ward’s Amen Kitten. This horse has never even won a graded stakes event, but he did finish third in the Hollywood Derby last December as a three year old. His running style is from well back of the pack. He will have the services of Javier Castellano. Third in the morning line is William Mott’s Slumber. Slumber finished fourth, beaten a length and a half in a Grade 1 stakes at Belmont in September and ran fourth in a Grade 2 in January here at Gulfstream. He usually assumes a stalking position and tries to get them down the stretch. He will be ridden by John Velazquez for the first time. So who will get to the winners’ circle in this one? I believe that there is a lack of early speed here somewhat. Bingo Bango Bongo may try to set the pace, but he is just a glorified claimer and really does not belong in the race. The one I believe will be on the lead for the most part of the race is the 2013 Grade 1 Woodward winner, Kiaran McLaughlin’s Alpha, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario. He is the legitimate speed in here and I believe he will prevail and win it with Twilight Eclipse second and Slumber third.

The Very One at Gulfstream

Left A MessageNow let’s look at the Grade 3 The Very One Stakes going 13/8 on the turf for fillies and mares four year olds and up for a purse of $100,000, the 8th race at Gulfstream on Saturday.  The morning line favorite is William Mott’s Preferential. This five year old mare gets the services of Julien Leparoux. She has not raced since October of last year and has not won since September of 2012. She, however has been working well in anticipation of her return to the races. Second in the ML is Thomas Proctor’s Left a Message. She disappointed in the Grade 3 Endevour at Tampa Bay, but before that she finished third in the Grade 3  Long Island Handicap. She likes to come from far back but gets to the front really fast. She will be ridden by Javier Castellano. Third in the ML is Thomas Albertrani’s Anjaz. This five year old ran second in a Grade 2 stakes at Belmont, but that was in May of last year. She has not been out since August 2013 and her works are mediocre. She will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. Ok I guess it is time for me to handicap this one. You know my first choice was Anjaz, but the fact that she hasn’t run since August of last year worries me a lot. Her works don’t say anything, but she did put up some good numbers in that August race at Saratoga. But I just have to pass on her as far as winning. My pick to win this one is Left a Message with Inimitable Romanee second and Anjaz third. Happy handicapping guys and gals!



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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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