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Russian Greek Tackles Tougher in El Camino Real Derby

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 2/17/2012 4:20:13 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Russian Greek, Daddy Nose Best, Lucky Chappy, Handsome Mike, Lady of Fifty
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The El Camino Real Derby
Where: Golden Gate Fields
When: Saturday, February 18th

Russian Greek is the top 3-year-old colt based at Golden Gate Fields. His stablemate, Lady of Fifty, is the leading sophomore filly on the Northern California circuit. They’ll meet for the first time this Saturday in the El Camino Real Derby, and will be facing a classy contingent of out-of-towners, which includes Daddy Nose Best (trained by Steve Asmussen), Lucky Chappy (Graham Motion) and Handsome Mike (Doug O’Neill). Will the home court advantage prevail?

Daddy Nose Best is graded stakes-placed on grass, and finished a creditable 6th (beaten less than 4 lengths) in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. His trainer/jockey combo of Steve Asmussen/Julien Leparoux has clicked for 27% winners and a positive ROI in 2011-12. The major question is the track…he’ll be making his first start on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface.

Lucky Chappy got the better of Daddy Nose Best in The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (4th…beaten 3 ½ lengths). Like Daddy Nose Best, he’ll be making his artificial surface debut. The Graham Motion trainee appears to be the main threat if he takes to his new surroundings.

Handsome Mike weakened late to finish in mid-pack in the Grade 1 Cash Call Futurity on Hollywood Park’s poly track, but earned a solid Beyer Speed Figure of 86 in the process. He’ll get blinkers for the first time on Saturday, which has proven to be a money-making strategy for O’Neill runners.

Lady of Fifty has won from just off the pace as well as on the lead. Her connections feel she is tractable. She may have to be in this spot, as there is an abundance of speed, with Cahill Chrome, Handsome Mike and Rockinarz Recruit all capable of contesting the pace.

Russian Greek need only pass the class test. He’s won both of his 2-turn starts locally, and will get the pace setup he needs to flatter his late-running style. By Giant’s Causeway out of a Grindstone mare, his breeding suggests he’ll answer the class question affirmatively. I’ll bet on #4-Russian Greek to win at odds of 2-1 or better.

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

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