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Gotham, Las Virgenes Key 3YO Stepping Stones

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/2/2012 4:22:55 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – My Adonis, Stealcase, Hansen, Charm the Maker, Killer Graces, Eden’s Moon, Reneesgotzip
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Gotham, The Las Virgenes
Where: Aqueduct, Santa Anita
When: Saturday, March 3rd

2YO champ Hansen will attempt to get his sophomore campaign back on track with a win in Saturday’s Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct. Later in the afternoon at Santa Anita, unbeaten speedster Reneesgotzip will make her 2-turn debut in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes. She’ll have to hold off several nice fillies, including Grade 1-winner Killer Graces, regally-bred Charm the Maker, and smashing maiden winner Eden’s Moon from the powerhouse Baffert barn. Let’s take a closer look at these races below.

Wet weather is expected in the New York area on Saturday, so the track is likely to be sloppy. That shouldn’t pose a problem for Hansen (6-5), who handles the off going. His abundant speed will serve him well from Post 12…he’ll be on or near the lead heading into the first turn. Perhaps the removal of blinkers for this race will help him relax a bit…something he must do to be effective at longer distances, like the mile-and-a-quarter of the Kentucky Derby. My Adonis (5-1) came within a half-length of Hansen in The Holy Bull, and should make his presence felt if he doesn’t encounter too much traffic from his inside post. Also note that his two best Beyer Speed Figures (86, 95) came on off tracks (a maiden-breaker at Monmouth and the aforementioned Holy Bull). I’m expecting a big effort from the lightly-raced Stealcase (12-1). He ships in from Florida off a solid maiden score going two turns for the first time. He defeated next-out winner Windsurfer in that race, and zipped four furlongs in a bullet :47 3/5 breezing last Sunday at Palm Meadows, signaling a move forward. The son of Lawyer Ron sold for $320K as a 2YO, and has been favored in all three of his starts…so you know there’s some buzz around this horse. I’ll key #12-Hansen first and second in exactas with #1-My Adonis and #2-Stealcase.

Reneesgotzip (8-5) may go favored in The Las Virgenes…after all, she’s unbeaten in two career starts, including the Grade 2 Santa Ynez last out, and her Beyers (98, 101) tower over those opposing her. She’s bred to stretch out, and will be catching weight from fellow graded stakes winners Killer Graces (5-1) and Willa B Awesome (6-1). Still, I’m taking a stand with Bob Baffert trainee Eden’s Moon (9-5). Eden’s Moon was an odds-on favorite (2-5) vs. Reneesgotzip in their respective career bows, finishing second to that rival. She followed up with a resounding 11½-length score on the switch to dirt and the stretchout to one mile. This well-bred miss fetched $390K as a 2YO, so you know she’s got quality. Martin Garcia retains the mount. I bet on Eden’s Moon to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

In other Saturday stakes action, I like It’s Tricky (1-4) as the overwhelming chalk in the Grade 2 Top Flight at Aqueduct, Emcee (5-2) in The Grade 3 Tom Fool, also at the ‘Big A’, Jeranimo (3-1) to upset Mr. Commons (4-5) in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita, and an exacta box of Ultimate Eagle (5-2) and Ron the Greek (6-1) in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling! 

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