Rachel Alexandra, Fair Grounds Handicap & Mineshaft

2014 Rachel Alexandra

Ria AntoniaThe $200,000 Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes is the 9th race on the card Saturday at Fair Grounds. A field of 7 three year old fillies will battle it out over 1 1/16 mile. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Streaming, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia. Streaming won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park by 1 ½ lengths and followed that race up with a 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita, missing the win by ½ of a length. Streaming looks good for this one, but personally, I prefer Ria Antonia at 9/2 on the ML. The Jeremiah Englehart trained filly ran 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and was placed 1st through a disqualification. Ria Antonia’s “win” in that race might have been a fluke to some, but she ran a fantastic race there in my opinion and has the ability to best the Rachel Alexandra field. Don’t count this filly out. For a longshot, I would consider Shanon Nicole at 5 to1 on the morning line. Although outclassed, she earned a speed figure in her last outing that says she can run with this field.

2014 Fair Grounds Handicap

Mister Marti GrasThe $150,000 Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap is the 10th race on the card and will feature a field of 9 four year olds and up traveling 1 1/8 mile on the turf. The morning line favorite is Daddy Nose Best at 5/2. Daddy Nose Best recently won the Grade 3 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds by a neck. The Steve Asmussen trained horse will have Rosie Napravnik in the irons here. For value, I like Mister Marti Gras at 4 to 1 on the ML. He has trained well for this race and his 2nd place finish in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap was quite impressive. Although that was not a turf race, I believe that the weather may force this event to the main track and give him an advantage. Even still, he can handle himself on the turf and should be there at the end. For a longshot, I like Skyring at 20 to 1 on the morning line. The 5 year old hasn’t hit the board in a while, but the last time he did he hit for a huge payout and put up the best speed figure out of this field. Hopeful for an upset here from D. Wayne Lukas and Marcelino Pedroza.

2014 Mineshaft Handicap

MicromanageThe $150,000 Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap will be the 12th race at Fair Grounds on Saturday and will feature a field of 9 four year olds and up going 1 1/16 mile. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Prayer For Relief trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Corey Nakatani. Prayer For Relief ran 3rd in his last outing in the Louisiana Handicap, missing the win by 1 ¼ lengths. Prior to that race he ran away in the Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds and won by 6 ¼ lengths. He looks good in this one, but there are a few concerns for him. Fordubai and Grand Contender both outran him in the Louisiana Handicap and I look for these 3 to tangle in this race as well. Because of this, I’m looking for something else to come off of the pace or from way back to win here. My first choice, should he run in the Mineshaft, is Mister Marti Gras at 5/1. As I mentioned earlier, I am impressed with this horse and if he opts to pass on the Fair Grounds Handicap, I look for him to run big here. For my longshot play, I’m looking at Micromanage at 10 to 1 on the ML. He’ll be looking to prove himself as a four year old and with Mike Smith at the helm, he has a nice shot to cause an upset.

$0.50 Black Gold 5

The 50 cent Black Gold Pick 5 is for races 9-13 on Saturday’s card at Fair Grounds. This includes the Rachel Alexandra, the Fair Grounds Handicap, the Risen Star, the Mineshaft and Race 13, a straight maiden 40k. Here are our plays for the Black Gold 5-

Race 9-  Ria Antonia/Streaming

Race 10-Daddy Nose Best/Mister Mardi Gras/Skyring

Race 11-Intense Holiday/Vicar’s In Trouble/Commanding Curve

Race 12-Mister Marti Gras/Prayer For Relief/Micromanage

Race 13-Zilker Park/Rebel Heart/Rookie Doo

Good luck everybody!



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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at 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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