Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Teaming Up for the Hoosier Park All-Stakes Pick 4

Fed Biz wins at Santa Anita Park on 2-9-12.


Saturday’s racing card at Hoosier Park is one for the record books. The racing program boasts 10 stakes with over $1.4 million in purse money. The fields are full and loaded with graded stakes winners and talented horses.


On the biggest day of the year for Indiana racing, Hoosier State of Mind teams up with Zipse at The Track to take down the 50 cent Premier all stakes pick 4. I will be analyzing race 9 (Michael G. Schaefer Mile) and race 11 (Indiana Oaks) while Scott Dick takes on race 10 (Mary Hulman George Stakes) and race 12 (Indiana Derby.) And away we go ...


Race 9 - The Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Mile


On paper, it looks like the three favorites, Shadowbdancing, Hoorayforhollywood, and Good Lord would be strictly the ones to beat in the Schaefer Mile, but of course races are never run on paper. It’s easy to see a scenario where all three are pressing a strong pace which could set things up for a closer. Fast Alex has the look of a horse screaming out for a solid pace to run at. He should get it, and hopefully a return to the good form he showed earlier this season in New Orleans is in order. Along with my favorite of the pace scenario horses, the razor sharp, Good Lord will be the two I use on both Pick 4 tickets, while Hurricane Ike, (good at the distance, Hoosier, and an off track) and Hoorayforhollywood, (possibly the fastest of all the speed) a will be included on the other ticket. I’ll take a stand against the race highweight, Shadowbdancing, who I do not expect to appreciate the pressured pace and shorter trip.



Race 10 – Mary Hulman George


Ellafitz looks to be the speed of the speed for the combination of Bob Baffert and Rafael Bejarano but she hasn’t raced since May 19th.  Even though she should be the fastest horse out of the gate she won’t have an easy lead. She could possibly see early pace pressure from Salty Strike and Brushed by a Star, Sweet Lemon Chello and She’s Picky also look to show speed which could leave Juanita sitting in the garden spot. I will use the favorite Ellafitz but I will also use the super right Brushed by a Star who comes into Hoosier winning 3 out of her last 4 with wins coming in the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows and the Molly Pitcher at Monmouth, her lone defeat was to some of the best older fillies and mares in the country (Love and Pride, Royal Delta and It’s Tricky.) Finally, I will use last year’s Indiana Oaks winner Juanita who should sit a dream trip for Hoosier Park leading jockey Leandro Goncalves.


[$500 Indiana Derby Free Contest on DerbyWars]



Race 11 – Indiana Oaks (Grade 2) 


Despite throwing in the towel pretty early in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes, I still believe that Grace Hall is one of the best three-year-old fillies in the nation and the class of the Indiana Oaks. The cut down in distance from 10 furlongs to 8 ½ should be right up her alley, and I would expect leading rider Ramon Dominguez to have her in a good stalking position early and ready to pounce on the far turn. I will use her as a single on one Pick 4 ticket, fully expecting her to win her third Oaks of the year. If she does falter however, I will use the enigma that is Eden’s Moon as the most likely to knock her off. Not the most consistent filly in the world, when she’s on her game her speed can be very dangerous factor for a rider, Rafael Bejarano, and a trainer, Bob Baffert, who are very comfortable shipping in to win big stakes. I’ll also use long shot, Holiday Soiree, on the second ticket. After two solid wins at Churchill and Indiana Downs this summer, she ran two deceptively good races in losing efforts in the Gardenia and Charles Town Oaks in her last two. She has speed to be in the race early, and as a daughter of Harlan’s Holiday, out of an Include mare, I believe she may appreciate the added distance in what will be the longest race of her career.



Race 12 – Indiana Derby  (Grade 2)


Baffert and Bejarano look to hold the keys to the engine with Fed Biz in the Indiana Derby. The colt is lightly raced with loads of talent and early speed. He showed a ton of courage in his first race off a long lay-off when winning the El Cajon stakes at Delmar. He’s a son of Giant’s Causeway so the 8.5 furlong distance should be to his liking.  Tritap and Second City look to be the pair that should pressure the Baffert colt early on. Second City broke in a tangle in the BC Derby forcing him to close, his previous starts were all gate to wire wins. O’Prado Again catches a brutally tough field to make his 3 year old debut in, but the Dale Romans charge has been blazing the track up in the mornings in preparation for his return to the races, he will need the race to fall apart up front to have a shot. Neck N’ Neck draws a tough post position and loses his regular jockey Leandro Goncalves to Bourbon Courage. Bourbon Courage has shown an explosive turn of foot in his last two starts but will need some pace to run into. Easter Gift draws the rail and comes in off a huge win in the Smarty Jones stakes at Parx. The son of Hard Spun has proven he can run on an off track and a fast main track, if it rains it won't be an issue for Easter Gift.  I will use Easter Gift along with Bourbon Courage and Fed Biz to take home my pick 4.








The Play:


50-cent Pick 4 - Fast Alex, Good Lord, Hoorayforhollywood, Hurricane Ike /  Ellafitz, Brushed by a Star, Juanita / Grace Hall / Easter Gift, Bourbon Courage, Fed Biz = $18


50-cent Pick 4 - Fast Alex, Good Lord /  Ellafitz, Brushed by a Star, Juanita / Grace Hall, Eden's Moon, Holiday Soiree / Easter Gift, Bourbon Courage, Fed Biz = $27





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I think I'll play a combination of the two tickets.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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