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Across the Board with Mike B

Saturday at The Big A: All-Graded Stakes Preview

Clearly Now wins 2013 Bold Ruler.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

This Saturday at Aqueduct we are in for a real treat. We have a quad of very nice stakes races on tap, highlighted by the absolutely stacked Grade 1 Cigar Mile. The 2 year old fillies and colts will also be on display in a pair of Grade 2’s in The Demoiselle and The Remsen. Add in the Grade 3 Comely for 3 year old fillies, and we are looking at some very nice action tomorrow. I will be on scene for the first time as a HRN correspondent and I am looking forward to learning the ropes. I intend to be your eyes for the day, as I will be tweeting out paddock picks and live long shots that can round out our Trifectas and Superfectas (@mbarry24 on Twitter). It should be a special day, let’s see if we can find some winners now.


The Demoiselle: I saw this as a 2 horse race, but I am open to ideas. I went with Stopchargingmaria and Got Lucky on top. I thought I was being clever with Got Lucky until I saw the morning line, and she was tabbed the 5/2 second choice. Regardless, those are the 2 that jumped out at me after watching the replays. I will be watching the paddock and post parade closely to see if anyone stands out. I am not opposed to adding more in this one. Ones that I will keep a close eye on are Lexi Morgan and America. America is adding Lasix for this for Bill Mott and she may be able to step up her game a bit in doing so. Two year olds going 1 1/8th miles for the first time can be a tricky nut to crack, I wouldn’t argue with you if you went as deep as you can here.


The Comely: This race I found to be kind of tricky. I feel that there is a ton of speed in here and it could melt down. With that said, I am going to use Wedding Toast because I believe she is pretty talented. She may have the ability to overcome adversity and win anyway. The others I will use though will be coming off the pace. I believe Flash Forward at 20/1 on the morning line may run better today. She gets back around 2 turns for this and her win three back in Saratoga at today’s distance, albeit in restricted company, was pretty nice visually. I will also use Street Girl and Galloping Giraffe as I think they will be running late if this does collapse. A major contender I am against is My Happy Face. She is 7/2 on the morning line and I think she wants no part of today’s trip.


The Cigar Mile: What a race this turned out to be. I absolutely cannot wait until approximately 3:20 EST when this thing goes off. I am only going 2 deep in with Clearly Now and Groupie Doll, but you will hear no argument from me if you add a lot more. For me, I just think Clearly Now may have turned the corner to become a serious racehorse. The addition of blinkers seemed to work wonders as he annihilated the field in The Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont. I know he steps up in class here, but it may time to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. As for Groupie Doll, I think she is on a mission to make amends for last year’s loss in this spot. I was against her in the BC F&M Sprint and she made me look foolish. Mandy Pope purchased her for 3.1 million after her BC triumph and could have easily retired her to be a mom. I believe it speaks volumes that she turned up here to run. As for the others, I respect so many of them in here. I think Forty Tales may run a lot better after getting off the rail where he has been his last 2 starts. Saratoga Snacks is a personal favorite of mine. I’m just not sure on a class level where he ranks. He has done most of his damage in the state-bred ranks but I do expect him to run well in here and I am glad they opted to take a shot. The Doug O’Neill Charges of Goldencents and Private Zone I am kind of leery of. Out of the pair, I give the edge to Goldencents, but as we all know, he was helped tremendously by a biased track last out in the BC Dirt Mile. With that said though, his 1 turn races have been great. Private Zone, in my opinion, may have trouble carrying that super fast speed for a mile. Laugh Track and Capo Bastone may be coming late, but I didn’t trust either completely. I have no idea what to expect from Flat Out. He could win I suppose but he will do it without me today. As for Verrazano, I have said this a lot about him, but I feel he needs perfect conditions to perform well and I can’t see him getting those today. As you can see, this is a super tough race. Use as many as you can, you can make a case for so many of them.    


The Remsen: At first look, I thought this was merely a 2 horse race between Honor Code and Cairo Prince. But as I said earlier, 2 year olds going 1 1/8th miles for the first try can get hairy at times. It still may turn out to be one of these 2 on top, but the more I looked, you can knock them both a little bit in here. Honor Code races from way back and I would like to see him a little closer today. It is also his first try at 2 turns. While I expect him to handle it just fine, you never really know till they try. As for Cairo Prince, he did not draw that well for this and he also faces the task of 2 turns for the first time. So along with that pair, I am going to throw in Master Lightning. He had a tough go of it in The Nashua last out while racing in tight, surrounded by horses the whole way. I think he drew well for this while breaking from the 2-hole and I expect a better effort today. Others I gave a look to include Noble Moon, Wicked Strong, and Intense Holiday. Noble Moon scares me most. He was coming late in The Nashua and he drew well while breaking from the rail today. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won, but I am going to let him beat me. Wicked Strong had a decent maiden breaking win, but I just though he hung a bit late. And as for Intense Holiday, he does sport a 2 turn win. He achieved it while getting a soft, lone lead at Monmouth though and I just can’t see him getting that same trip today.

Best of luck everyone. I think we are in for a fantastic day of racing. As always, I hope I helped lock up your own opinions or turned you onto something you did not think of. Have a winning day, guys. Good vibes being sent you way.  


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Older Comments about Saturday at The Big A: All-Graded Stakes Preview...

Forty Tales? I don't think so but this is horse racing and to be fair I'm not sure who to play in this one. I'm gonna go Goldencents and Groupie Doll but I'm pulling for the Doll to win it. I just think it may be a little too far for her.
Got Lucky, My Happy Face, Clearly Now, Cairo Prince.
I think the Cigar Mile could payout huge ... Praetereo and Forty Tales are now my top two.

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 Meet Michael Barry   


 It all started 5 years ago for me after a spur of the moment trip to Saratoga Springs with my future wife.  I had always bet on the Triple Crown races, and made a few trips to Suffolk Downs annually, but not until that journey to The Spa did things get serious for me.  I fell in love with horse racing right then and there and I haven’t looked back since.  The following year I read every handicapping book I could get my hands on.  I became, and still am, a very passionate student of the game. 


Through this blog I hope to take you guys through my favorite aspect of the game, which is breaking down races and doping out winners.  I focus my attention between the NYRA circuit (mostly), Gulfstream Park, and Keeneland.  I also plan to provide very thorough coverage leading up to the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup.  I love analyzing the prep races leading up to both of those grand events. 


Wagering wise, I love playing pick 4’s and 5’s, and I have enjoyed some success in the past playing those types of exotics.  In any given race, I try to attack based on strength of opinion and value.  That may be in the form of an exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick 3, or by laddering my choice across the board.  Every race is its own animal and must be played accordingly.


Personally, I am a graduate of Boston University and reside on the South Shore of Massachusetts with my beautiful wife Tara and wonderful son Finn.  I work as a technician for a communications company by day. 


I can be found on Twitter @mbarry24 and I’m always up to discuss anything horse racing related.

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