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Take Pletcher at Turfway, Baffert at Sunland

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/23/2012 5:17:49 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – In Lingerie, Heavy Breathing, Princess Arabella, Castaway
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Bourbonette Oaks, The Spiral, The Sunland Park Oaks, The Sunland Derby
Where: Turfway Park, Sunland Park
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 24th and 25th

The more things change, the more they remain the same. It should come as no surprise that trainers Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert figure to dominate the 3YO stakes scene this weekend. Pletcher trainees In Lingerie and Heavy Breathing are likely to go favored in the Bourbonette Oaks and Spiral, respectively, at Turfway Park on Saturday. The following day at Sunland Park, Baffert charges Princess Arabella and Castaway look formidable in the Sunland Park Oaks and Sunland Derby, respectively. Let’s take a quick look at these races below.

In the Bourbonette Oaks, the regally-bred In Lingerie (2-1) should appreciate the return to Turfway Park, where she was dominant in her career bow. She finished second last out in an entry-level allowance tilt at Gulfstream Park, despite being fractious in the gate and travelling wide behind a dawdling pace. Still, she defeated next-out winner Goldrush Girl by 3 ½ lengths. With Pletcher go-to guy John Velazquez retaining the mount, I’m optimistic that In Lingerie is ready to pass her initial two-turn test with flying colors. I’ll bet on #4-In Lingerie to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

Unbeaten (2-for-2) Heavy Breathing is the luke-warm morning line favorite in the Spiral at 3-1. He drew off last out at the Spiral distance of 1 1/8th miles, so the main question appears to be the artificial surface. Note this son of Giant’s Causeway worked a bullet on the Palm Meadows lawn back in mid-January, and has won on tracks labeled ‘good’ as well as ‘fast’, so perhaps he’s the type that can fire on anything. I’ll pay to find out, and bet on #3-Heavy Breathing to win at odds of 5-2 or better. You might also want to toss in a straight 4-3 Double on the two Pletcher runners.

While #3-Princess Arabella (2-1) is second choice on the morning line behind #5-Glinda the Good (9-5), all the buzz is about the ‘Princess. You’ll note she’s the only member of the field nominated to the Triple Crown (although she’s more likely to compete vs. members of her own sex in the short term). She’s currently on of the future book favorites to win the Kentucky Oaks. This unbeaten (2-for-2) daughter of Any Given Saturday went off at 1-10 last out vs. winners at Santa Anita, and made it look easy. This will be her two-turn debut, which shouldn’t pose much of a problem. I’ll bet on Princess Arabella to win at odds of 4-5 or better.

Finally, in the Sunland Derby, I’m high on the chances of #1-Castaway (2-1). Although he didn’t run as fast as Secret Circle did in winning the other division of the Southwest Stakes, he was equally impressive. This horse is capable of rating, and won’t have to be used early this time, due to the shift from the outside to the inside post. Castaway has trained well since returning from the Midwest, and should take another step forward in the Sunland Derby, stamping his ticket to Louisville in the process. I’ll bet on Castaway to win at odds of 3-2 or better.

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

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