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Jerome, Lexington Latest Triple crown Stepping Stones

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/22/2011 6:40:01 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Astrology, Cal Nation, Silver Medallion, Prime Cut, Casper’s Touch
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Jerome, The Lexington
  • Where: Aqueduct, Keeneland
  • When: Saturday, April 23rd

The connections of probable Jerome favorite Astrology are using Saturday’s race as a prep for The Preakness. Meanwhile at Keeneland, the Silver Medallion camp still has designs on The Kentucky Derby, assuming that their horse makes the graded earnings cut. Neither chalk is a lock to win. Let’s look at the competition.

Astrology is by far the most accomplished of the eight runners expected to line up for The Jerome, with nearly as big a bankroll as the rest of the field combined. He’s also the field’s only stakes winner, having captured the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs last fall, and placing in two other graded events. However, his speed figures (high of 87…the rest in the 70’s) are comparable to many in here, and he’s making his Big “A” debut to boot. Perhaps the more highly-touted horse is the one directly to his outside, Cal Nation from the Todd Pletcher barn. Cal Nation got rave reviews for his dominant maiden score at Gulfstream Park. He got nipped by his stablemate last out, but appears to have a bright future. Then there’s Rattlesnake Bridge, who ran second to the mighty Uncle Mo last out in just his second career start. I’ll take a shot with the regally-bred and still-improving Cal Nation to win at odds of 9-5 or better, since it seems like Pletcher horses are winning every Saturday stakes race in sight.

Silver Medallion earned his career-best Beyer Speed Figure (94) over Golden Gate’s artificial surface, and followed up with a respectable 4th-place effort in The Santa Anita Derby last out. He had a troubled trip in his only start locally (last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity), but that shouldn’t be held against him, as he’s a much better horse now. He’s returning on two weeks rest, however, and gets a new pilot in Javier Castellano…not ideal circumstances for The Lexington’s likely favorite. I’m intrigued by Casper’s Touch at 3-1 on the morning line. He ran well to be second behind Shackleford in his 3YO bow, and appears to like the Keeneland surface, judging by his 3-length score vs. entry-level allowance foes last out. This horse is bred to go long, and the trainer/jockey combo of McPeek/Garcia is on fire at the meet (11-for-20; $4.76 ROI). I’ll stick with the hot hand and bet on #6 Casper’s Touch to win at odds of 5-2 or better.

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

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