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Horse Racing Betting - Pick your surface in weekend Grade 2's

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:10:13 AM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Straight Story, Misremembered, Icon Project
  • What: Horse Racing Betting – The Virginia Derby, The Swaps, The Delaware Handicap
  • Where: Colonial Downs, Hollywood Park, Delaware Park
  • When: Saturday, July 17th

Whatever surface you’re most comfortable with as an online racebook handicapper, there’s a Grade 2 race for you this weekend. I’ll try to offer some insights into three of those races, but bear in mind that there are others worth looking at, including The Delaware Oaks (Delaware Park on Saturday), The A Gleam Handicap (Hollywood Park on Saturday), and The Sunset Handicap (Hollywood Park on Sunday).

First up is The Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on Saturday. This race features a rematch of the top four finishers from The Colonial Turf Cup here on June 20th. Readers of this column will know that I liked Straight Story in that race, and he was victimized by a terrible trip, losing by a scant head. I like him right back in this spot, but I doubt he’ll go off as high as 8.30-1 this time (despite his 10-1 morning line odds). Nicanor, full brother to Barbaro, has been made the morning line favorite at 7-2. He’s 2-for-2 on the lawn, but I felt that he was hard-used last out when beating much lesser. Battle of Hastings is also an underlay at 4-1.

The once-beaten Grazen (4-3-0-0) will be a deserving favorite in The Swaps at Hollywood Park on Saturday, but he’s no lock. He’ll be picking up four pounds off his front-running victory in The Affirmed Handicap last out, while second-place finisher Misremembered drops two pounds (assuming jockey Victor Espinoza can make 112). Misremembered tuned up for this event with a bullet six-furlong move in 1:13, and it will be interesting to see if he leads or stalks this time around. I’ll take the Baffert trainee to pull the betting upset.

On Sunday, some of the nation’s best older fillies and mares (not named Zenyatta) will line up in the 72nd running of The Delaware Handicap. Unbridled Belle will be seeking her second victory in this event, having won back in 2007. She’s coming off an authoritative 11-length win in her prep for this, in which she earned a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105. Interestingly, she finished second in her 2007 prep race prior to her win, whereas last year she romped in her prep, and lost the main event. I’m guessing her prep may have taken something out of her, so I’ll be betting on Icon Project (6-1 morning line odds). The Marty Wolfson trainee can run all day, and showed a fondness for the dirt last out at Belmont, earning a lofty Beyer of 106.

This promises to be a fun weekend of horse racing betting. Enjoy!

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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