Maldo gets on No. 2 No Contingency first off the Jeff Bonde claim, he will be gunning this 5yo gelding from the gate in the 5-1/2 furlong sprint. No. 5 Peacenik lost at .50 cents on the dollar in his last start, he was claimed for the second straight time and will be short again today. No. 7 Endless Cruise won here back in May for a $16k price tag and now is in for $10k, Bill Spawr may be playing some poker here as the meets comes to an end. 2-5-7
$75k maiden’s go one mile on the tall grass. No. 2 Larry Birdstone gets stretched back out after going down the hill in his last two starts, he has a nice last work and will once again be part of the exotics. No. 4 Big Discovery has run two times and he finished second in both starts going long on the grass, Tyler Baze gets his shot today. No. 7 Architop just missed by a nostril going this mile turf distance with straight maidens one race back, if he clears today he will be gone! 2-4-7
$20k maiden fillies and mares go 6 furlongs, jockey Fernando Perez got on No. 4 Mudge last time out and this filly missed by a neck, Perez is back on today. Trainer Richard Baltas who is having a career meet sends out first time starter No. 7 There Is a Limit who is out of the dam Silent Request who has dropped 4 winners from 4 starters. No. 9 Divine Tale has run back-to-back good races at this level. 4-7-9
No. 4 Next Right will be out winging it on the front end, he couldn’t hold off Its Living Water last out and that horse won next out, he has a bullet last work and will be the one to catch. No. 5 Mr. Cartagena was dropped in with maiden claimers last out and got the nice win, if we go back to the one time he went down the hill it makes him a contender. No. 6 I’ll Wrap It Up exits our HTW list off a good effort going a flat mile, his barn has been ice cold but this one is a must use. 4-5-6
Maidens go 7 furlongs, No. 6 Hook ‘Em Kurt will look to get away early and go wire-to-wire. No. 8 Colonial Power is a Curlin first time starter for trainer Hector Palma who is having a solid meet, he is out of the dam Provincial (Pulpit) who has dropped 3 winners from 3 starters, this colt looks like a runner. No. 11 Smooth Roller is a Hard Spun first time starter out of the Dam Catch the Moment (Unbridled) who has dropped 3 winners from 3 starters, he worked this 7 furlong distance here on the 20th and is set to roll.
Win and place 11
THE GRADE III $100K SENORITA
In this mile turf race trainer Phil D’Amato sends out two runners No. 1 Rattataptap and No. 2 Long Hot Summer. We will opt with the No. 2 Long Hot Summer who comes off a big win going down the hill and that last work on the grass with the dogs up says she is on go. The three times No. 4 Curlin’s Fox ran on the grass resulted in two wins and a second and her works ready to go. 2-4
THE GRADE I $300 K TRIPLE BEND
No. 2 San Onofre is fast and game, he has run eight times with 4 seconds and 4 wins. No. 5 Masochistic is also very fast and game winning 5 of his 7 starts. Bejarano opts for No. 4 Sahara Sky over No. 6 Wild Dude who he won the Grade II San Carlos with at this distance, very interesting, we will use both.
THE GRADE II $200K ROYAL HEROINE
The go a flat mile on the grass in the Royal Heroine. No. 4 Birdlover is very fast and in top form. Big race Mike Smith sticks but she will need to contend with the other very fast mare in here No. 7 Fanticola and these two could run each other into the ground or go wire-to-wire together. No. 6 Famous Alice likes this mile distance and she gets Gary Stevens who will be sitting back waiting to pounce. 4-6-7
THE GRADE I $500K GOLD CUP
They go 1-1/4 in the Gold Cup and Bob Baffert wheels back No. 6 Hoppertunity in just 14 days after running 3rd in the Grade I Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs. He may not have been fully geared up for that race and Baffert puts his main man on for this. No. 9 Catch a Flight has really turned into a top runner for Papa Mandella and will get the trip as her finished a game 3rd at this same distance in the Grade I Santa Anita handicap. Mike Smith who rode Hoppy last time out gets on the turfer and deep closer No. 11 Finnegans Wake, they don’t call him big race Mike for nothing. 6-9-11
This huge day ends with Cal bred maidens going down the hill. No. 1 Fritz Johansen is bred for this and comes off a good troubled effort going down the hill last out. No. 5 He Could finished a fast closing 4th behind Fritz in his first start, he can only move forward off of that effort. No. 9 Conquest Dreamin comes off the layoff for trainer Mark Casse and this 3yo colt is bred to love the grass, his mile turf race at Del Mar last year is a toss out and this one has been working with a purpose. 1-5-9
Win and place 9
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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].