Weekend Plays: His Glory fit for two turns in Golden Rod Stakes

November 29, 2019 01:19pm
When two horses hold the highest speed figure in a given race, it's often preferable to choose the one who posted that number in the same race conditions.

For example, in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs, Finite and His Glory tie for the high TimeformUS speed figure. But the latter earned the number around two turns, giving her the advantage and the lead in this glance at weekend picks.

Churchill Downs Race 9: Golden Rod Stakes (G2)

His Glory has come together in her past two starts, finishing a game second in the local Pocahontas Stakes (G2) and taking an optional claimer by 4 ½ lengths. Both races were at 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as the Golden Rod.

Not only does His Glory take a two-race win streak into Saturday, but she also ties for the high TimeformUS Speed Figure with a 104. Finite also earned a 104 in the Rags to Riches Stakes, but only ran around a one-turn mile.

Also, His Glory submitted a 103 in her runner-up Pocahontas finish, making it less likely the recent 104 was a fluke or one-off. This is her current level.

While Finite is the favorite and can transfer her form to two turns, it is not proven. His Glory draws outside and could either press Finite from the two path just off the pace. Either way, she is in a good spot.

Given His Glory is 7/2, it makes more sense to play her.

Churchill Downs Race 6: Allowance

With rain in the forecast, it is never a bad idea to bet on Bernardini's progeny. While it's not a hard rule, most of his sons and daughters handle it.

In this race, a son of Bernardini named Art Collector tries dirt for the second time in his career. His first attempt did not go terribly, as he made a move on the turn before oddly losing his action and falling back.

But Art Collected recovered well enough to regain his rhythm and finish sixth by 4 ½ lengths.

Art Collector deserves another shot. Not only will the rain help, but the fast pace will set up his move again. At value odds, he is worth a play.

Aqueduct Race 5: Maiden

Back in August, Always Misbehaving ran a 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure while finishing second to Three Technique in a maiden race.

Despite the short time off since then, Always Misbehaving still holds the high TimeformUS number here (albeit, by one point). Plus, he is probably an improved colt at this point with normal growth and maturity.

With the outside post, Always Misbehaving could follow the expected pacesetter Menelik and get first run around the turn. From there, he can hold off the 2-1 Secret Rules, who has lost ground to the winner twice.

Always Misbehaving is 9/5, but that is a fair price given his talent. As long as his odds do not dip below even money, he is the logical choice.

Gulfstream Park Race 5: Buffalo Man Stakes

Like Always Misbehaving, the 2-1 favorite Went West holds the high TimeformUS figure in this race at 106. But the difference is that Went West's number is significantly higher than most of his opponents.

Complexifier is 5/2 on the morning line, and his last two figures are 95 and 96, which he earned while breaking his maiden and taking an optional claimer in Kentucky. In fairness, he did earn a 105 three starts ago at Saratoga.

Shivaree is 7/2, and he earned a 97 TimeformUS figure while breaking his maiden by 9 ½ lengths in a state-bred race at Gulfstream Park West.

The 9/2 Iberico earned a 91 when taking a local optional claimer. Three starts ago, he picked up a career best 94 when breaking his maiden.

Clearly, Went West is ahead of the game with only one start under his belt. With trainer Jason Servis and owners Gary and Mary West behind him, bettors also get the reassurance of experienced connections with a high-percentage trainer.

As long as he stays above even, Went West is the choice.

Gulfstream Park Race 10: Smooth Air Stakes

Without a start or published work, the 30-1 My First Grammy is an oddball selection at first glance. But why is he in this stakes race?

High-percentage trainers do not take unnecessary chances. Only if they see something will they put an unraced maiden in a stakes event. In this case, My First Grammy's conditioner, Amador Sanchez, hits at a whopping 26%t over the past year at Gulfstream and 22% overall.

The lack of workouts is possibly a case of no one recording them.

Most of the attention will fall toward California Chrome sibling Fort McHenry in this race, but My First Grammy is interesting enough at mega odds to consider as well.


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Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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