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Mother Goose a Puzzling Affair

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 6/25/2010 8:37:51 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Biofuel, Ailalea, Devil May Care, Connie and Michael, Katy Now
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Mother Goose (Grade 1)
Where: Belmont Park
When: Saturday, June 26th

Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park presents us with a puzzling handicapping exercise, despite the compact five-horse field. Trainer Todd Pletcher would appear to be holding all the cards with three starters, but trainers Reade Baker and Ken McPeek may have an ace up their sleeve with Biofuel and Connie and Michael, respectively. Let’s take a look at each of the contestants.
1-Biofuel: This filly didn’t get much respect last year, breaking her maiden first out at 5.20-1 and capturing Woodbine’s Grade 3 Mazarine at 23.10-1. Following that victory, she finished a troubled fourth (by a length-and-a-half) in The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at odds of 20-1. Bettors took notice this year, as she’s 2-for-2 at short prices. This marks her first start on dirt, but she has trained very well over Woodbine’s dirt training track. Very live at 5-1!
2-Ailalea: All three Pletcher starters own a 1-for-1 mark over the Belmont strip, which gives them the home-track edge. Ailalea broke her maiden at Belmont, and has gone on to capture a pair of Grade 3 events. However, when she has ventured into deeper waters (a pair of Grade 2’s and the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks), she has failed to hit the board. Edgar Prado, who was aboard for the maiden score, is back up. The morning-line odds of 3-1 don’t offer much value.
3-Devil May Care: If the Devil May Care that won the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream Park shows up, she’ll be tough to beat. She should get an honest pace to set up her late charge, and Pletcher claims she’s been ready to run for several weeks. The field’s lone Grade 1 winner is the one to deny, but 6-5 isn’t very appealing. I’ll look for value elsewhere.
4-Connie and Michael: Off a highly impressive debut win at Keeneland, she was thrown to the wolves in The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she tired to finish eighth after pressing the pace. Once again, she looked sharp off the bench in her 3YO debut at Churchill Downs, drawing off to win by more than five lengths vs. entry-level allowance foes going a one-turn mile. Rajiv Maragh takes over the riding chores, and will likely attempt the front-end theft. Five-furlong work over the Belmont oval on Monday had to help get her ready for this daunting assignment. Merits respect.
5-Katy Now: You have to like her facile score over older fillies and mares on May 28th as the .95-1 chalk. She was equally impressive closing out her juvenile campaign with a win over entry-level allowance foes at Churchill Downs going one mile. Granted, this is her first stakes try, but note she finished second to Devil May Care last summer in the slop at Saratoga. That was her first start with Lasix and her final start with front wraps…can she turn the tables here? She gets a favorable outside post, and should get a nice stalking trip just off Connie and Michael. Her Tomlinson rating for the 1 1/16th-mile distance is a lofty 377, so this daughter of Tiznow should be strong in the stretch. The upsetter at 8-1!
Those are my horse racing handicapping tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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