How to bet the 2023 Hard Spun Stakes

July 24th, 2023

Presque Isle Downs will play host to the $100,000 Hard Spun S. on Tuesday, a one-mile and 70-yard event for Pennsylvania-breds on the synthetic oval. The pair of leading contenders in the heat each like to be on the front end, or forcing the pace, early on and could be vulnerable in the latter stages. I’ll structure my ticket by trying to upend both morning-line choices in the top slot.

#4 Extrasexybigdaddee (5-1) might lack the class of a few in the field, but the Michael Trombetta pupil thrives at this venue with an 11-4-5-1 local line and merits respect at a fair price. By Congrats, the five-year-old gelding missed by a head on the surface two back prior to dominating allowance foes in his latest venture. The five-year-old gelding has been very good at the distance, as well, and he will sit off the expected fast early tempo before putting in his strong late kick in the stretch. Willie Martinez will be in the silks.

Henry Miller’s #1 He’s A Mess (8-1) has won three of his last four races dating back to October and is another who has endured a lot of local success as a four-time winner at this venue. The Dramedy gelding was a strong allowance victor off the long layoff here in early June and has plenty of room for development having just 10 lifetime tries to his credit. The dark bay five-year-old packs a punch in the lane and will save all the ground with Antonio Gallardo in the controls.

#2 Buy Land and See (8-5) is the sure one to beat coming in with a trio of huge stakes tallies in succession since joining the Guadalupe Preciado shedrow. The six-year-old son of Cairo Prince has proven his class on both the turf and dirt this campaign, and a move to the all-weather seems like it will be a nice fit for the peaking gray. An expected contested pace, combined with his inexperience on the oval, makes it worth trying to topple the contender at a short price, however.

Defending champ #6 Nice Ace (5-2) dons a fantastic 17-9-6-2 mark on the strip and is an obvious threat for conditioner Tim Girten. The speedy son of Noble Mission comes in with a nice prep win when sprinting versus open company last time out, and a move forward third time off the shelf wouldn’t be surprising to me. The five-year-old will have to avoid a duel on the front in order to repeat in the contest with Pablo Morales in the stirrups.

Hard Spun Wager

  • $4 trifecta: 1,4 with 1,2,4,6 with 1,2,4,6 ($48)