Turf Stakes at Turf Paradise

turfparadiseWhile some of our runners from this summer have wrapped up their 2013 seasons, action still continues to the south with some of our Canterbury Connections. I’ll try a little something different this week, since two stakes in Arizona line up in a pick five with Minnesotan runners in both. Not all runners from Shakopee will necessarily be included, but why not try to get a few in there? The pick five is a fifty cent wager at Turf Paradise, and it begins in the fourth race on Saturday. This is the male version of the turf stakes, the Jack Coady Sr. (A name you may recognize). Not a ton of the locals have drawn into this one but a couple have taken very different paths to arrive at the same spot.

Race 4 – (The Jack Coady Sr.)

Dan McFarlane’s Red Zeus only touched our turf once, but made a respectable appearance against Dorsett in the Mystic Lake Derby – Dorsett would be about 1/9 in this bunch. After a brief rest, he returned to keep his record intact over the Turf Paradise grass – four starts, first or second in all four. The rail draw doesn’t leave him a ton of options in a field of this size, but he’s shown that he doesn’t want to be too far away from the front at any point in the past. The only other loss in his last six starts was an apparent rust-buster in July against much tougher.

This field is loaded with front runners, leading one to glance at another Canterbury runner named Gentle As A Breeze. He had the lead in a lot of his races up here, but in looking at the internal fractions that’s understandable. He made quite a living crawling on or near the lead this summer, but two back surprised from the outside by stalking & scoring at 5-1. He’s the one that we saw a lot of this summer on the grass, but he can take his track with him as he showed in his first foray in Phoenix. His post aids his cause a lot more than ‘Zeus’s, but the two are a similar sort of animal at much different prices. Sharp Richard draws the far outside for this event but could benefit from being forced to stalk rather than fight for what could be a heated lead. He didn’t run a bad third in California for Jeff Mullins, and drew the unfortunate rail in a jam-packed field that day. If that race can be duplicated he’ll be tough despite his slot in the gate.

With a couple of additions to these Canterbury runners, I’d go deep in this leg and hope one of these gets let go on the board – Very possible in a race like this. 1,5,6,7,9

Race 5

This is a curious conundrum. Two of the most dominant trainers in Arizona face off in a somewhat tough-for-the-level 12,500 claimer. Here, I’d recommend taking one of two routes. Robertino Diodoro is having a lights-out meet this fall, and has two Californians entered with opposite styles. Ol’ Steely Blue bit off a little more than he could chew last time around in allowance company but seems pretty realistically spotted off his $8,000 claiming price from Jack Carava. Willie Brown is a big, lazy looking gray who’s been away from California for a little longer, but is usually reliant on a pace meltdown to make noise. He very well could see it here, as the speedsters are stocked for the fifth. Either use these two, or single the morning line favorite on a win streak in CBY runner Mon Coeur. The layoff lines are many in only a seven race career. He’s actually won five of his races, but Mike Chambers had a lucky day when he claimed this horse. He was disqualified from his maiden win and got to do it all over again for his new trainer. Since that time he’s found whatever makes this horse click, and has reeled off four in a row with one coming at CBY. This barn is so impossible to throw out with this kind of layoff because they are SO GOOD at having a horse ready, but even this summer the red flags were starting to rise with scratches & lack of works.

I’d still lean this direction for pick five purposes – Going deep to get Mon Coeur at 1/5 is not fun, trust me. He’s on a slight rise in class and drew advantageously to track his competition. 7 only.

Race 6

Not all that much pace appears signed on for the bottom-level claimer in the middle of this sequence, so mostly speed will be used in this leg. Cliff Leavitt’s barn doesn’t run too many horses but the last horse that he brought to Turf Paradise second time off a layoff won – That was his only runner of that type this year. His Keepanosecrets gets Anne Von Rosen once again for his drop from open claimers to very conditioned foes. There’s a couple in here that haven’t won in over two years, and many that make one run from last. He was a claim at the end of the spring meet to bring back for this one apparently, as there are no published moves between his last race in April and October. He’s one of the more lightly raced commodities in this group and makes sense at a decent 9/2 morning line. Moose Lake from the rail makes obvious sense but doesn’t really get more than his one win a year and whole lot of pieces to fill in the space. He did get two last year but one was a winner’s DQ from a post-race test, and he’s already run 16 times this year. An interesting sort drew just to that one’s outside in Cash Receipt, another of the lightly raced ones in a field of vets. He is 4-21, and that last win came in an identical spot for a higher percentage trainer. His new conditioner hasn’t won with a new recruit in quite some time but this spot is just too perfect to leave him out.

With the thought being someone will steal this or the best closer will get up, I’d use 1,2,5.

Race 7 – (The Chandler)

The girls take their turn on the turf for a big purse in the seventh, and once again a Canterbury filly should make an impact on the inside. Kissmeimdanish is a very talented filly with minimal experience behind her, but tons of upside. She had an excuse in her last against older fillies, and had been off for quite some time. Barton will try again with her and her versatility should keep her close from the inside. There are a couple of dirt sprinters for her to chase early, but should some of them scratch the chances of Of Royalty improve drastically. She can come from off the pace but seems to prefer being in control. Regardless, she has been a different filly on turf and must be used with her perfect record on the local grounds. Katy’s Star is one of two from the Brinkerhoff barn, and certainly appears to be the more live of the two considering she’s raced more than once this year. She drew advantageously for her style and comes out of allowance company. Improvement is likely in her second tango over Phoenix turf, and the price should be right.

The fillies we saw this summer should be tough, but Californians are tough in their own right – 1,7,9

Race 8

Yes, the locals are live again in the 8th. This will be more a matter of trusting the trainers than their charges, as every entity in the box seem pretty evenly matched and high percentage barns send out their bottom feeders. Too many of them are good with the moves they’re making (Dropping in class, layoffs, claims, etc.) to leave many out, so once again in the sequence we’ll go deep. It’s tough to analyze this sort of bunch when not many have an established style and most have an affinity for the track. Again, in their trainers we’ll trust & use five – 1,5,6,7,8

Now of course this is NOT my typical $40 and below ticket, but of course play around with the numbers as you please. This is only a suggestion and the ticket is expensive. However, with the amount of familiar faces in the sequence I could not resist. With some of the prices included in this ticket, the investment could very well be worth it. Good luck this weekend!

This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela just completed her third year as Canterbury Park’s Analyst.