Tim Holland offers his free expert picks for this Saturday in racing across North America. Tracks covered include Gulfstream, Kentucky Downs, Monmouth, and Woodbine.
Eddie Plesa does not win often with his first-time starters but saddles #9 Time to Wish (12-1), who may be an exception being by promising young sire Not This Time and out of a mare by Indian Charlie. $240K purchase earlier this year is a half-brother to two winners and has been working well for Plesa, who wins with 17% of his runners on grass. Dark bay appears ready for a good first outing with Vasquez in the saddle.
Little early pace should help chances of #9 Hackberry (10-1), who comes off a weakening fifth-place finish on the main track at Indiana in July. Son of English Channel finished a close fourth in the Del Mar Derby (G2) last year and has posted several good works since his latest outing for trainer Sisterson, who has won with 12% of his runners this year. Dark bay figures to be sent early with Beschizza riding.
#7 Cariba (8-1) has shown improvement since joining the Clement barn and comes off a win from just off the pace in the Caress S. at Saratoga last month. Daughter of Cairo Prince has won two of her four starts on grass and Clement wins with 15% of his runners in graded stakes. 4-year-old can be in good position throughout with Irad Ortiz retaining the mount.
Competitive field for the Turf Sprint (G3) includes #2 Stubbins (6-1), who weakened to finish fourth in the Jaipur (G1) in his latest at Belmont in June. Dark bay finished well when second in his one previous try on this turf and was a good fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). Son of Morning Line can get a good trip from just off the pace with Rosario riding.
Chad Brown wins with 20% of his first-time starters and saddles #10 Downsideprotection (6-1), a debuting daughter of Flatter who is out of a half-sister to Donn H. (G1) winner Graydar. Works include a solid 4-furlong move in :48 from the gate six days ago for Brown, who has won with 37% of his runners at this meet. Filly cost $400K as a yearling and is likely ready to win at first asking with Vargas in the irons.
A full field for the Queen’s Plate includes #10 Curlin’s Voyage (5-2), who rallied from off the pace to win the Woodbine Oaks in her latest over 9 furlongs here last month. Daughter of Curlin has won five of her nine starts on this oval and trainer Carroll won this event with a filly in 2011. Carroll has won with 25% of her runners at this meet and chestnut can be along from off the pace with Husbands remaining aboard.