Horses to Watch

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HOLLYWOOD PARK

VOLKONSKY: First time starter out of the barn of Donald Warren took plenty of action being sent off as the second favorite at 2-to-1. He made a wide run at the 9-5 chalk, had Bejarano lose his whip but he continued to run a huge race finishing second 1½ lengths behind the winner while almost 6 clear of the third place finisher. He will be a solid single next time out. $$$

WOULD YOU: Trainer Cody Autrey, having his usual tough meet here on the West Coast, brought this one in from Oaklawn Park. He ran a winning race, but just missed on the line by a dwindling neck and was past the winner in a flash after the wire. He could get the win next time out. 

ICONIC SPIRIT: Steady filly for trainer John Sadler made a huge five wide run turning for home coming from last to second in a blink of an eye. She zipped home but missed by a half-length. She will be one tough cookie again next time out. A must use first and second in the exotics. 

NIAGARA FALLS: Looks to be a real marathon runner off this eye popping win going 1½ on the grass. He stormed home winning by more than four lengths and was still running at full steam on the wire. It looked like he wanted to go around again. Look for the move up in company and more long runs on the grass. Trainer Biancone seems to have a good one in this colt. $$$$$

BROWN BESS: Was coming off the layoff for trainer Hess and took all the money in this 20k maiden claimer going off at 3-2. He ran his race, but could not overtake the 22-1 shot winner who got the jump on him down the lane. Bess should get the job done next time out.

RAISED A SECRET: Stalked the pace from the rail on the backstretch. He was ready to make a winning run when having to steady hard in upper stretch, which cost him two positions. He got going back on the inside, but had to settle for the place money in a top effort. May need a jockey change. 

LUCAYAN: Classy import for trainer Neil Drysdale ran his race in his first start in the States finishing second behind the lone speed in the American Handicap. This one is a real runner and will be very hard to beat if he finds some pace to run at next time out. $$$$$

PUBLIC DEFENDER: May have been best in this 20k maiden claimer, but had a deceivingly bad trip. He was in perfect position down on the rail, but jockey Mojica took him back as he wanted off the rail. Dropped back and made a big late run to finish third by a half-length. If we get a jockey change we will be digging deep on this one next time out. $$$

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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