Tim Holland gives his picks for this day of racing at Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and Los Alamitos.
Maidens on turf include #6 Black Magic Woman (5-2), who makes her first start on grass off a weakening fourth-place finish over 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga in late August in her second outing. Filly should take to turf being by Uncle Mo, and is a half-sister to Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Magnum Moon. Dark bay has been working well for trainer Pletcher, who wins with 29% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days, and can be in the early mix with Zayas riding.
#10 Sea of Blue (12-1) broke her maiden at this distance in her one previous start on this turf and was last seen finishing unplaced after pressing the early leader at Churchill in May in her first start for Walsh. Daughter of Midshipman is a half sister to Emcee, who won the Forego (G1), and Walsh wins with 21% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and has won with 15% of his starters this year. Filly has been working well and can be forwardly placed early under Gaffalione, who has won with 29% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.
Trainer Thomas wins with 32% of his second-time starters and saddles #7 Berenice (12-1), who showed little in her debut over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Belmont in October. Daughter of American Pharoah posted a sharp 4-furlong work in :48 from the gate a week ago and Thomas wins with 24% of his runners making this surface change. Filly cost $450K as a yearling and improvement can be expected with Lezcano in the saddle.
#4 Saturday Night (4-1) did not get the best of trips when fourth as the favorite in her latest at Indiana Grand over 5 furlongs last month in her first start since mid-September. Trainer Cox wins with 30% of his runners that were beaten as the favorite last time out and daughter of Tapit is a half-sister to Nickname, winner of the Frizette (G1). Chestnut has won one of four starts on grass and can be forwardly placed early with Bridgmohan aboard.
Jamey Thomas wins with 19% of his first-time starters and sends out #5 Atlantic Strike (8-1), a debuting daughter of 12% first-out sire Dominus who’s a half-sister to one winner. Filly has been working forwardly and Thomas wins with 20% of his maiden claimers and has won with 21% of his starters at this meet. Bay appears ready for a good first outing with Gutierrez riding.