It’s a big Saturday of racing action, and handicapper Tim Holland has some value plays among his picks for Keeneland, Woodbine, Gulfstream Park, Ruidoso Downs, and Prairie Meadows.
Brad Cox wins with 21% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and saddles #3 Bonny South (5-1), who was last seen rallying from off the pace to win the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in March. Recent works include a sharp 5-furlong move in :59 here for Cox, who wins with a solid 21% of his starters in graded stakes. Daughter of Munnings should find a decent pace to close into with Velazquez in the irons.
#2 Juliet Foxtrot (8-1) finished ahead of today’s main rival Rushing Fall when second in the First Lady (G1) here last fall and may have just needed her latest when weakening to finish sixth in the Mint Julep (G3) in late-May, her first outing since December. Daughter of Dansili has won 3-of-7 starts for trainer Cox, who wins with 27% of his runners second off a layoff and at a 24% overall clip this year. Mare has tactical speed and can be in good position throughout under Saez, who has won with one of his last five rides for the barn.
A competitive field for the Blue Grass (G2) includes #3 Art Collector (5-1), who comes off an easy front-running score at Churchill last month in his second start for trainer Drury. Son of Bernardini has show big improvement in his recent outings and Drury wins with 24% of his runners third time off a layoff. Colt has shown the ability to win from off the pace and can be in in perfect position throughout with hot-riding Hernandez remaining aboard.
#7 Olympic Runner (4-1) comes off a narrow loss to today’s likely favorite (Silent Poet) here last month in his first outing since September. Son of Gio Ponti gets a slight weight break from that rival and trainer Casse wins with 18% of his runners second time off a layoff. 4-year-old can be along from off the pace with Kimura riding.
Maiden claimers include #5 Magic Moonstar (30-1), a debuting daughter of speedy sire Uncaptured, who is out of a mare by Dehere, whose offspring win 13% of their first outings. Dark bay is a half-sister to two winners and has been working forwardly for trainer Parra, who wins with 10% of his runners in maiden claiming events. Filly is worth a look at likely long odds under Torres, who has won with one of his last two rides for the barn.
#5 Star Weaver (20-1) gave way to finish unplaced after making some early progress in his debut over the course and distance in a maiden special weight event last month. Son of Dialed In comes from a good turf family, and gelding will likely show more at this level with Pino riding.
Trainer Fincher saddles two newcomers here including #3 Jessica Lee (4-1), who is a half-sister to three winners. Filly cost $45K last year and has been working forwardly for Fincher who wins with a solid 32% of his first-time starters. Gray is likely ready to win at first asking under Juarez, who has won with 40% of his rides for the barn in the last two months.
Newcomer, #3 For Me Let It Be (8-1) debuts for trainer Von Hemel, who wins with 24% of her first-time starters. Daughter of Istan is a half-brother to two winners and has been working well for Von Hemel, who wins with 19% of her runners overall in maiden special weight events. Gelding can win at first asking with Corbett in the irons.
Another first-time starter with chances is #6 O’Lydia (15-1), who has a good win early pedigree being by Atta Boy Roy and out of a mare by Carson City. 4-year-old is a half-sister to six winners and works include a 3-furlong move in :36 3/5 from the gate last month for trainer Wellington, who wins with 20% of his first-time starters.