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Top 3YO’s in the Weekend Spotlight

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/30/2012 4:32:33 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Eden’s Moon, Grace Hall, Union Rags, El Padrino, Summer Applause, Mark Valeski
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Santa Anita Oaks, The Gulfstream Oaks, The Florida Derby, The Fair Grounds Oaks, The Louisiana Derby
Where: Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds
When: Saturday and Sunday, March 31st and April 1st

There’s coast-to-coast action this weekend in the 3YO ranks, with many of the top members of each sex participating. There are some exciting newcomers, but I’ll be leaning toward those with graded race credentials. Following is a quick rundown, in post time order.

The Santa Anita Oaks features a rematch of Las Virgenes winner Eden’s Moon and runner-up Reneesgotzip. Peter Miller, trainer of Reneesgotzip, was unhappy with the multiple bumping incidents between his horse and the winner, but the stewards found no reason to change the order of finish. His filly gets blinkers this time, but the outcome is not likely to change. Eden’s Moon is fully capable of winning on the lead or from a stalking position, and her $390,000 2YO purchase price is already looking like a steal. I’ll bet on Baffert trainee Eden’s Moon to win at odds of 1-2 or better.

Yara sprung the upset in The Davona Dale at odds of 64-1, beating 4-5 favorite Grace Hall by a neck. Grace Hall was returning from a 3 ½-month break, however, and should move forward with that race under her belt. She also benefits from a positive 8-lb. shift in the weights vs. Yara. The most interesting new shooter is the unbeaten Zo Impressive (2-for-2), who left Bourbonette Oaks winner In Lingerie in her wake last out in an entry-level allowance score at Gulfstream Park. Zo Impressive could be any kind, but I’ll take a stand against her in this spot, as she’ll be making her two-turn bow and spotting valuable experience to Grace Hall. I’ll bet on Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Grace Hall to win The Gulfstream Oaks at odds of 8-5 or better.

Plenty has been written about Union Rags, and I’ll throw in my two cents with a prediction that he’ll be our next Triple Crown winner! I’m expecting Union Rags (6-5) to win The Florida Derby, with the tough and talented El Padrino (2-1) rounding out the exacta.

Summer Applause, last-out winner of the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra, has improved with every start, and looks like the most likely winner of The Fair Grounds Oaks. There’s plenty of classy competition signed on, including Believe You Can, Inny Minnie and Disposable Pleasure, along with unbeaten newcomer Small Kitchen (2-for-2). Small Kitchen has yet to race beyond 6 furlongs and this is her stakes debut, so the hurdles are significant. She’s bred for the distance, but this is a big step up. I’ll bet on Summer Applause to win at odds of 7-5 or better.

On Sunday, we’ve got the 99th Running of The Louisiana Derby, headed by the favored Brereton Jones/Larry Jones entry of 1-Mr. Bowling and 1a-Mark Valeski (2-1). Mark Valeski has emerged as Jones’ top 3YO colt, off his ultra-game nose loss to El Padrino in the Grade 2 Risen Star. Once again, we have an exciting newcomer in Cigar Street, who broke his maiden going two turns last out by nearly 14 lengths, earning a lofty Beyer Speed Figure of 99 in the process. Still, I’m betting on the more seasoned Jones entry (only if 1a-Mark Valeski runs) to win at odds of 8-5 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Sorry about all the chalk, but that’s how I see it. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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