One change to report for Saturday’s big race at The Fairgrounds and that is, trainer Bob Baffert has elected not to ship probable starter FROLIC MORE. A Steve Asmussen trained horse, GUN IT will take his place.
With a heavy field of fourteen runners the Daily Racing Blog will take a look at just our top six picks in order of Post Position:
3. MR MONEY 12-1 He came down with a cough the morning before the Lecomte Stakes 4 weeks ago (at this track) and scratched, making this a lot to ask, coming off a layoff now stretching more than three months. Still, trainer Bret Calhoun didn’t have to choose this spot. He thinks that highly of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile fourth-place finisher, who by the way, had a Bullet five furlong workout last Friday.
5. HENLEY’S JOY 10-1 This Racing Stable nearly took last year’s Risen Star with SNAPPER SINCLAIR. The breeding for this guy doesn’t indicate he’s a good for racing on the dirt, but he has competed in some high level turf races. Worth taking a chance that he likes the switch.
7. MANNY WAH 12-1 His connections were on the fence to move forward on the Derby Trail after third in the Lecomte. He was a bit of a wise-guy selection for that race and took it to WAR OF WILL but was really no match. There are certainly pace considerations for him here.
9. COUNTRY HOUSE 20-1 Is this the year of trainer Bill Mott? He’s lining up 3-year-olds lately to the point where he has to leave Florida with this horse, an eye-catching last-to-first maiden winner January 17th at Gulfstream Park, where he absolutely blew the start but still won by 3 1/2 lengths with ease.
12. FROLIC MORE 10-1 It was an encouraging effort last time out as he ran 2nd behind OWENDALE, taking dirt along the way with the track drying out at The Fair Grounds. The general consensus is that he might be a cut below in terms of class as his maiden victory was four races into his career. We think his best racing is yet to come.
14. WAR OF WILL 5-2 Welcome to a worst case scenario. This guy has arguably impressed more than any Derby Trail Winner in the new year. Yet the last-time-out Winner of the Lecomte Stakes will have to overcome the outside stall here. A very vulnerable favorite.
Certainly the #14 is the one to beat here, but that Post Position will be a lot to overcome. Of the six horses DRB has profiled here we like the #9 as our best live-longshot. We would like to recommend the #12, but his Post Position does not help him either. Our play will likely be a Trifecta Key using the #9 over the #3-5-7-12-14. Also a three horse Exacta Box with 5-9-12. We will also do Win bets on any of these six with 8-1 odds or better.
Good luck, no matter how you play it.