Photo: NYRA / Adam Coglianese
Don’t even go there! This “Trouble” has nothing to do with any issue involving the NYRA. You have the wrong Dutrow. It has everything to do with a brilliant 3-year-old named In Trouble, making his sophomore debut in the $500,000 G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.
The bay son of Tiz Wonderful last raced 5 months ago, an impressive victory in the G2 Futurity at Belmont Park. Coincidentally, Financial Mogul (#3 in Gotham) futilely chased In Trouble that day, finishing a distant 4th.
After the Futurity, In Trouble required surgery to remove a chip fracture from his left knee. “If there is any injury your horse would have to have, this is one in which they can make a full recovery and return to their previous form”, says Dutrow, who is credited for naming the colt because back then he was quoted, “… come his maiden race, that’s what his rivals will be in..”
The Gotham is far from a maiden race, but #2 - In Trouble (5-1) has been training smartly for his three-year-old debut and has the pedigree to stretch out from his 2-for-2 career sprint record, to hit the Derby Trail running. He’ll face 9 rivals as #5 – Monopolize will be scratched.
#1 - Noble Cornerstone (5-2) K. Desormeaux / W. Ward
#1A - Samraat (5-2) J. Ortiz / R. Violette, Jr.
#2 - In Trouble (5-1) J. Rocco, Jr. / A. Dutrow
#3 - Financial Mogul (10-1) S. Bridgmohan / R. Violette, Jr.
#4 - Uncle Sigh (3-1) C. Nakatani / G. Contessa
#5 - Monopolize --- REPORTS SAY HE'LL BE SCRATCHED
#6 - Deceived (15-1) R. Maragh / L. Gyarmati
#7 - Classic Giacnroll (20-1) F. Manuel / L. Guerrero
#8 - Extrasexyhippzster (4-1) J. Pimentel / M. Trombetta
#9 - Master Lightning (20-1) C. Velasquez / T. Pletcher
#10 - Harpoon (10-1) I. Ortiz, Jr. / T. Pletcher
HOW I SEE IT: Not an abundance of early speed, as In Trouble from the rail will force Rocco’s hand to go, as will Harpoon with Ortiz’s urging who is hung to the far outside post. The trio of Uncle Sigh, Samraat and Extrasexyhippzster will also be quick from the gate. Deceived and Master Lightning will settle mid-pack as Financial Mogul and Noble Cornerstone save their energy hoping for a strong run through the stretch.
Beyond the 5/8th pole it is difficult to call how this field will shake out since there are plenty of factors to consider like…
Is 5 lb. > 1 length (re: Samraat carrying 5lb. more than Uncle Sigh in rematch)?
Is a first start off 5 month layoff and stretching out too much to ask of a 3-year-old in a graded stakes race?
Why would Shaun Bridgmohan leave warm, sunny Florida to ride a longshot for first time since last July (5 starts ago)?
Is the NY jockey colony that weak for Gary Contessa to reach out to the West Coast for a jockey who already has a secured Derby contender mount?
Will backers of Samraat get bailed out when entrymate Noble Cornerstone shows why he was the Post Time favorite in the G3 Sam F. Davis, yet ran 7th by 12 but retains Kent Desormeaux?
Is it possible that one of the two Pletcher “second-stringers” pull an upset?
THE PLAY: $10 WP #2 and $2 Ex Box 2-3-10
Recapping previous blog posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, February 22nd, had 5 winners from 10 races (3 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $8.40 (1st race), $4.80 (2nd), $24.60 (6th), $4.60 (7th) and $7.20 (9th).
The BEST BET of the Day (6: 2-0-2) My Wandy’s Girl (1st race: 3-1 M/L; 5-2 PT) was a forward factor outside the early pacesetter down the backstretch, was put to urging mid-way on the backstretch, was fanned four wide by the leader turning for home, challenged for the lead between horses in midstretch then edged clear under energetic urging to win by a length, returning $7.20 to WIN, $4.00 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (6: 2-2-0) Charmed by Danger (2nd race: 6-1 M/L; 5-2 PT) between runners early, vied inside the winner nearing the turn, gave hard chase towards the rail into the stretch and faded to finish 4th.
FYI – the BEST BET of the Day selection will never be a M/L favorite and the LONGSHOT PICK will simply be the runner having the highest M/L odds among my top picks for an entire card.
PLEASE NOTE: Statistics provided for the BEST BET and LONGSHOT PICK in parentheses represent the Number of Picks: Wins-Places-Shows. For example, the BEST BET (10: 1-2-3) was picked 10 times resulting in 1 winner, 2 places and 3 shows. In the past, I would reset these numbers at the start of each meet. For 2014, I reset these numbers on Jan. 1st in order to chart results on a yearly basis.
Selections for Saturday, Mar. 1st at Laurel Park posted below are based on a FAST dirt track as the forecast calls for sunny skies with temps in the mid-50’s. Selections posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.
1st race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#5 – Harmonizer (4-5)
#1 – Breaking Up (3-1)
#3 – Moonlight Gin (5-1)
2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#2 – P and B and J (4-1) *** BEST BET ***
#4 – Lively Times (6-1)
#5 – Irish Irene (9-5)
3rd race – $6,250 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#2 – No Shenanigans (7-2)
#3 – Baby Time (9-2)
#1 – Regal Warrior (5-2)
4th race – $12,500 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#4 – Secret Jackpot (7-2)
#1 – Big Bad Ike (9-2)
#3 – Symphonic Hero (5-1)
5th race – $40,000 Maidens for 4 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#4 – Connemara Coast (4-5)
#5 – Charlie Allnut (5-1)
#3 – Saker Falcon (8-1)
6th race – $40,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – 1 1/16 miles
#3 – Grand Moon (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#1 – Moonstone Magic (7-5)
#6 – Awesome Lassie (20-1)
7th race – $25,000 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#3 – Another View (6-1)
#6 – Turf Craze (8-1)
#1 – Winning Player (3-1)
8th race – $50,000 Optional Claiming N1X for 3 y.o. – 1 mile
#6 – Jump Two (7-5)
#2 – Bound (5-2)
#5 – Smart Number (4-1)
9th race – $5,000 Claiming N2L for 4 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#7 – Art Class (7-5)
#10 – Irish Beau (6-1)
#4 – Flattering (15-1)