Expert picks: Handicapping Saturday's Marshua's River Stakes

Expert picks: Handicapping Saturday's Marshua's River Stakes
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Marshua’s River Stakes is an interesting betting race featuring an eight-horse field at Gulfstream Park -- and a favorite, La Signare, making her first start in more than six months. The pace should be honest, and there are at least least six logical win contenders. Before choosing how to bet Saturday’'s race, set for 4:47 p.m. ET, let's analyze the field:

The Favorite

#7 La Signare (3-1) makes her first start versus older rivals, and her most effective running style is unknown. She closed ground in her U.S. bow, and she stole the Wonder Again (G3) last year before folding in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and going to the sidelines. She has five published works for this and might take too much win action.

Value Win Contenders

#1 BELLAVAIS (7-2) was my top choice in the My Charmer (G3) last time and she ended up an even fourth from the inside post on good turf that day. I loved her effort on firm turf in her first start for Todd Pletcher at Belmont Park on Oct. 24, and she can beat these if she runs that type of race. Javier Castellano has options from the inside post with the versatile mare. 

#3 Bombshell (6-1) has been in great form since moving to the Arnaud Delacour barn. The early pressing mare is 2-for-3 with a neck defeat on grass. 

Live Longshots

#5 Rose Tree (20-1) exits a nice flat mile dirt win and was not disgraced in her lone turf try in the Tropical Park Oaks. She shows back-to-back local bullet workouts for this engagement and might be able to spice up the exotics. 

Remaining Entrants

#2 Hogan’s Holiday (30-1) should get pace to chase but has yet to run fast enough to compete in a race like this. 

#4 Valedictorian (6-1) exits a good second in the Claiming Crown Tiara and should be in the thick of things throughout. This is the toughest test of her career. 

#6 I’m Betty G (5-1) did not put her best foot forward in her last three starts. She can be dangerous when left alone on the lead, but others in here are capable of showing speed. Her current form is suspect. 

#8 Monte Crista (4-1) was eased when last seen in the Pebbles Stakes and she probably disliked soft turf that day. She is 2-for-2 at this distance on turf, and we will see how she stacks up against older stakes foes.

Wagering Strategies

#1 to win

Exacta Box 1-3

Trifecta 1-3-7/ALL/5

Top Stories

Iridessa’s victory in the Filly & Mare Turf spared...
This year's Breeders' Cup is full of depth and gre...
Out of all Breeders’ Cup races, the $1 million Bre...
We are a little over a week away from the Breeders...
One week after saddling Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1...