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Midway Holiday Set to Tackle Favored Ravi’s Song in Gardenia

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 8/13/2010 4:29:10 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Midway Holiday, Ravi’s Song
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Gardenia Handicap
  • Where: Ellis Park
  • When: Saturday, August 14th

Ellis Park doesn’t show up on thoroughbred horse racing’s national radar too often, so I thought I’d take a look at the premier race of the meet, Saturday’s Grade 3 Gardenia Handicap. Perhaps there’s an upset in store!

There’s lots to like about Ravi’s Song, the morning line favorite at 5-2. A daughter of Lu Ravi (winner of more than $1.8 million in her career), Ravi’s Song enters the Gardenia a perfect 2-for-2 as a 4YO, including a minor stakes score last out at Indiana Downs. Francisco Torres retains the mount, looking to make it 3-for-3 as Ravi’s Song’s pilot. The filly demonstrated her affinity for the Ellis Park strip last summer with a facile entry-level allowance score at the Gardenia distance of one mile. Furthermore, she turned in a sharp 4-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs on July 22nd, indicating that her prior start didn’t take much out of her. So what’s not to like?

First, because of Ravi’s Song’s obvious merits, she’s likely to be an underlay. Second, you’ll notice that her lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 87 is in the same neighborhood as many of her competitors. Third, and perhaps most importantly, there’s not much speed in the race, so she may find herself closing into a dawdling pace. That’s where Midway Holiday comes in. While she’s never led at the first two calls of any of her races, she did stalk the pace two back going two turns on the Churchill Downs main track, and took over on the far turn to win going away. She earned a career-best Beyer of 80 in that second-level allowance event. She wasn’t disgraced last out in the Grade 3 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs, finishing 4th in an 8-horse field behind the talented Check the Label. She continues to train forwardly at her Churchill Downs base. Midway Holiday figures to get an unobstructed outside trip on or near the lead, and may prove tough to catch under her feathery 113-lb. impost. Victor Lebron has been aboard for all three of this filly’s lifetime victories, and knows the right buttons to push. I’ll bet on Midway Holiday to win and place at odds of 9-2 or better, and use her on top of the favorite in a straight 8-7 exacta.

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

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