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Grade 1 Action Saturday at The Big A

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 11/26/2010 2:19:25 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Dubai Dancer, No Such Word, Girolamo, Bribon, Vineyard Haven, Haynesfield, Musket Man

  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Gazelle, The Cigar Mile
  • Where: Aqueduct
  • When: Saturday, November 27th

There’s Grade 1 action on both coasts over the Thanksgiving weekend. On Friday, Hollywood Park leads off with The Matriarch Stakes. Aqueduct features The Gazelle Stakes and The Cigar Mile Handicap on Saturday. The Hollywood Derby on Sunday concludes this weekend’s important Grade 1 activity. We’ll focus our handicapping attention on Aqueduct’s co-headliners.

The 115th Running of The Gazelle looks like it will come down to a stretch duel between the lightly-raced, regally-bred Dubai Dancer and the sharp, hard hitting No Such Word. The well-connected Awesome Maria will get some play, but her recent form is suspect. Belle of the Hall earned a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure (94) last out in capturing a minor stakes at Belmont, but she has yet to race beyond seven furlongs. Dubai Dancer has won three straight since racing greenly in her career debut, and looked good winning a Monmouth stakes last out while trying two turns for the first time. She appears to have more upside than No Such Word, who has won four stakes, including a pair of Grade 3’s. You’ll note, however, that her best finish in a trio of Grade 2 events was a second in The Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico. I’ll bet on the up-and-coming Dubai Dancer to win at odds of 5-2 or better.

The Cigar Mile has attracted an excellent field of eight runners, half of which are Grade 1 winners. I would expect the victor to come from that quartet. There’s plenty of pace in the race, but it’s difficult to determine which horse will take the early initiative, because all the speed horses have also shown the ability to rate/stalk. Of those, I like Haynesfield, who doesn’t get the respect he deserves at the windows. In his last four stakes wins, he has been sent off at odds of 7-1, 7-2, 7-2 and 9-2. I’m tossing his Breeders’ Cup Classic start, in which he encountered traffic on a Churchill strip he may not have cared for. That race certainly couldn’t have taken much out of the tank. New pilot Javier Castellano should be able to work out a nice trip on or near the lead at a track/distance that his mount relishes. Once again, Haynesfield seems undervalued at morning line odds of 7-2. I’ll bet on #4-Haynesfield to win at odds of 3-1 or better. Bribon is sharp, and his closing kick should make him a huge threat in the late stages.

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

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