HRN stakes picks: Bold Ruler, Fayette, Twilight Derby

HorseRacingNation.com
October 27, 2017 10:52am
HRN stakes picks: Bold Ruler, Fayette, Twilight Derby
Photo: Courtesy of Keeneland

There’s still a week to wait until the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, but a trio of graded stakes across the country Saturday are as good as it gets until the championships at Del Mar.


The Horse Racing Nation Crew picked a strong renewal of Belmont Park’s Bold Ruler, analyzed McCraken’s return in Keeneland’s Fayette, and tackled the turf in Santa Anita’s Twilight Derby.


Also check out our video analysis and ticket for the early Pick 5 at Belmont Park.


Best of luck!



Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler (4:49 p.m. ET at Belmont Park)


Bryan Brinkmeyer, The Kentucky Derby Post (@thederbypost)


Winner: #11 Divining Rod


On the board: #9 Seymourdini, #7 Stallwalkin’ Dude


Longshot I like: #3 Ready for Rye


Analysis: After finishing runner-up in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap, which included a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, and firing a bullet work on Oct. 22, Divining Rod is ready to return to the winner’s circle. Can't leave the Ortiz brothers off the board. 


Jeffrey Byrnes, Byrnzzze's Corner (@jeffbyrnes96)


Winner: #6 Tom's Ready


On the board: #11 Divining Rod, #7 Stallwalkin' Dude


Longshot I like: #1 Tale of S’avall


Analysis: Tom's Ready returns to the site of his greatest victory and comes in off two straight third-place finishes. The pace is setting up to be hot, and with his lack of early speed, expect him to be flying at the end. Tom's Ready's lone race going seven furlongs at Belmont was a victory in the Woody Stephens one year ago. With a hot pace, Tom's Ready will be flying late on a surface and distance he likes. An 8-1 morning line price is very playable for this son of More than Ready. 


Jarrod Horak (@jchorak)


Winner: #11 Divining Rod


On the board: #7 Stallwalkin' Dude, #9 Seymourdini


Longshot I like: #5 Tommy Macho


Analysis: Divining Rod owns fine tactical speed and drew comfortably on the outside. 


The Plays: 

#11 to win

Exacta 11/7-9-10

Exacta 7-9-10/11

Trifecta 11/ALL/5


Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@writingcasey)


Winner: #11 Divining Rod


On the board: #6 Tom’s Ready #9 Seymourdini


Longshot I like: #2 Awesome Banner


Analysis: Divining Rod seems to be at home in the extended sprint category and should get a nice trip with the outside post and long run into the turn. Not a lot of speed in the race so again, he should get a nice trip and spot


Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner)


Winner: #11 Divining Rod


On the board: #6, Tom’s Ready, #9 Seymourdini


Longshot I like: #2 Awesome Banner


Analysis: When not up against Breeders’ Cup-caliber talent, Divining Rod usually ends up on top. He looks best in a classy renewal of the Bold Ruler, but it should be quite a battle with Seymourdini.


Matt Shifman, NY State of Racing (@andyscoggin)


Winner: #9 Seymourdini


On the board: #11 Divining Rod, #7 Stallwalkin’ Dude


Longshot I like: #6 Tom’s Ready 


Analysis: The Bold Ruler attracted a very deep and talented field of eleven that could easily pass as a Grade 1 or 2. If Seymourdini returns from his layoff in the same form as in the summer, he will run this field off its feet. He has been just too fast in 2017. Tom’s Ready is a horse that I really like, but he keeps running into very tough competition. Once again, he’ll be a good price and I give him a shot to be a factor coming down the stretch.


Jason Wood, The Paddock View (@thepaddockview)

 

Winner: #11 Divining Rod

 

On the board: #2 Awesome Banner, #6 Tom’s Ready

 

Longshot I like: #8 Beasley

 

Analysis: This is going to be a fun one! Divining Rod has been working nicely up to this race, but watch out for a longshot to sneak up late.


Grade 2, $200,000 Fayette Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET at Keeneland)


Bryan Brinkmeyer, The Kentucky Derby Post (@thederbypost)


Winner: #5 Honorable Duty 


On the board: #6 McCraken, #4 The Player


Longshot I like: #1 Giuseppe the Great


Analysis: McCraken could make a strong bid to overtake Honorable Duty, but the morning line favorite looks to hold on gamely and win his second consecutive graded stakes race. 


Jeffrey Byrnes, Byrnzzze's Corner (@jeffbyrnes96)


Winner: #5 Honorable Duty


On the board: #2 Neolithic, #6 McCraken


Longshot I like: #1 Guiseppe the Great


Analysis: Honorable Duty has done little to no wrong in his five starts this year. All three wins come in graded stakes company and is in career best form. Honorable Duty has a win and a second in two starts at Keeneland. With the right pace setup, Honorable Duty should sit mid-pack and move forward turning for home. As the most consistent horse in the field, Honorable Duty is a deserving favorite, and will be no surprise when he's in the winners circle for a fourth time this year.


Jarrod Horak (@jchorak)


Winner: #4 The Player


On the board: #2 Neolithic, #5 Honorable Duty


Longshot I like: #3 Fear the Cowboy


Analysis: The Player is back in top form and should be all over tepid early splits. He is a big threat if he handles nine furlongs. 


The Plays:

#4 to win

Exacta 4/2-5-6

Exacta 2-5-6/4

Trifecta 2-4/ALL/3


Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@writingcasey)


Winner: #6 McCraken


On the board: #2 Neolithic, #5 Honorable Duty


Longshot I like: #3 Fear the Cowboy


Analysis: McCraken will likely be more at home at the shorter nine-furlong distance and hopes to get back to his winning ways. It will not be a walk in the park, though.


Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner)


Winner: #5 Honorable Duty


On the board: #2 Neolithic, #4 The Player


Longshot I like: #1 Giuseppe the Great


Analysis: On paper, Neolithic looks primed to break through for a stakes victory after facing the best, but I’ll favor the proven winner Honorable Duty between the two speedsters here. McCracken would have to be at his best off a layoff and is risky to play here on the cutback in distance.


Jason Wood, The Paddock View (@thepaddockview)

 

Winner: #6 McCraken

 

On the board: #5 Honorable Duty, #7 Malibu Pro

 

Longshot I like: #7 Malibu Pro

 

Analysis: My boy McCraken has burned me plenty in 2017, but I am hopeful that a couple months off the track will do him well. He’ll have the freshest legs in the field which will come in handy down the stretch.


Grade 2, $200,000 Twilight Derby (7:19 p.m. ET at Santa Anita)


Bryan Brinkmeyer, The Kentucky Derby Post (@thederbypost)


Winner: #3 Big Score


On the board: #6 Sharp Samurai, #2 Cowboy Culture 


Longshot I like: #11 Ann Arbor Eddie


Analysis: Big Score and Flavien Prat strike back to get the best of Sharp Samurai and Gary Stevens after their duel to the wire in the Del Mar Derby last time out. 


Jeffrey Byrnes, Byrnzzze's Corner (@jeffbyrnes96)


Winner: #5 Just Howard


On the board: #6 Sharp Samurai, #3 Big Score 


Longshot I like: #8 Channel Maker


Analysis: Just Howard is coming into his own. He has won four straight races including the Commonwealth Derby in his last start. Making his first trip to California, Just Howard should get a nice pace set upfront and stalk from around mid pack. With a good pace, a hot streak, and momentum on his side. Just Howard can get the job done in the Twilight Derby.


Jarrod Horak (@jchorak)


Winner: #5 Just Howard


On the board: #6 Sharp Samurai, #2 Cowboy Culture 


Longshot I like: #9 Profiteer


Analysis: Just Howard owns improving numbers and can win his fifth straight. Sharp Samurai is the strong local hope with Stevens in the irons. 


The Plays: 

#5 to win

Exacta 5/2-6-9

Exacta 2-6-9/5

Trifecta 5-6/2-3-4-5-6-9/2-3-4-5-6-9  


Casey Laughter, The Tattooed Tracksider (@writingcasey)


Winner: #5 Just Howard


On the Board: #6 Sharp Samurai, #8 Channel Maker


Longshot: #11 Ann Arbor Eddie


Analysis: Just Howard is coming in with four straight wins while shipping in from Laurel. He has never finished worse than second at the distance and seems to be well-matched here. As for Ann Arbor Eddie, this will be his first start on the turf. It will be interesting to see how he takes to it.


Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner)


Winner: #3 Big Score


On the board: #6 Sharp Samurai, #2 Cowboy Culture


Longshot I like: #8 Channel Maker 


Analysis: The distance will challenge Sharp Samurai’s three-race winning streak, with Big Score looking to turn the tables from their meeting last time. Cowboy Culture is shipping in fresh. Channel Maker has a win going this long and runs his best races on turf.

 

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