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American Turf - Horses to Watch

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RULES OF PLAY: In our opinion, each horse listed below (and in our newsletter) has a reasonable chance to win or run well for second. If there are two recommended horses running in the same race, play both to win and place and in the exacta and/or quinella. We suggest giving precedence to a selection in a more recent report or, if you like, play the horse with the higher odds.

NOTE: Our recommendations have a life of one month, so you may want to print this page to keep for your handicapping. If, however, you find there are too many horses to watch simply discard the oldest issue in the one-month cycle. Horses switching tracks remain plays, and sometimes become our best plays as shrewd trainers place fit horses in excellent spots on other circuits, so keep an eye out in these instances. Good luck and always bear in mind: Play with your head, not over it.

Friday, December 19

LAUREL

CLASSIC SPEED: Broke from the outside post eight most recently, pressed the pace from the start, took over after a 1/4 mile, dropped back a bit on the turn but then came on again for second, fits nicely with $5k claimers.

DORSET DAMSEL: Three year old filly took some money for her debut going off at 9-1, came out running for the lead battled head to head for the lead but was overtaken and tired to finish seventh and last, should improve off that effort.

PETIT TRIANON: Always thought this filly had ability but she never reached her potential, was coming off an October layoff, got away near the back of the pack early on while being outrun and checked in an even fifth, look for her right back especially if she returns within a few weeks, tab.

SOMEDAY ON SUNDAY: Has been in good form since the end of the summer, ran a good second two back and then followed that up with an easy win against $4.5k conditioned claimers, ready for better for sharp barn.

WHERE'S THE RISK: Broke her maiden two back and moved up to face off against winners last out, was outrun some early on over a muddy track, made a good move to get into third but tired to finish a close-up fourth late at 18-1, tab.

BEST BET: FLAVOR: Eight year old gelding was sent off at 6-1 last out, got away slowly racing in seventh over a muddy/sealed track, came wide into the lane and closed well to finish fifth, is now 0 for 9 over wet tracks and should be given another right back on a fast track.

LONGSHOT: RED OCTOBER: Was turning back from 1 and 1/8th miles into a six furlong race, chased from third when breaking from the rail last out, was still there after a half mile but tired late to finish sixth at 18-1; give this one another shot with a slight stretchout in distance.

FAIR GROUNDS

BRENDON'S PIC: Was making his second start off a September layoff, broke from post 10, raced in eighth early on, made a big move to get into third but couldn't get to the leaders staying on for the show spot at 21-1, follow.

DION: Well bred runner was sent off at 5-1 in his debut, chased the sharp early pace from third but just couldn't go with the leaders in the lane tiring late to finish fifth, should improve and the further the better.

LLOYD: Was back in the Steven Asmussen barn for his last start, broke running when returning from a June layoff, battled head to head for the lead from the start with the odds-on favorite and tired late to finish third, follow right back.

METAIRIE: Seven year old gelding hasn't shown anything over the last few years, was sent off at 121-1 against NW3L $5k claimers, bumped hard at the start, raced in seventh early on and got into contention into the lane checking in an even fourth, will be huge odds again next out, use in all exotics.

WHERE Y'AT JOE JOE: Two year old colt was coming off an August layoff last out, broke from post 11, moved up three wide when chasing the pace but tired when it counted to finish fifth, should improve off that effort, follow.

BEST BET: ALONG THE COAST: Six year old gelding was making his first start over the turf last out, came out running in fourth early on, made a good move to challenge for the lead after a 1/2 mile, took over and then hung in gamely to score by a length easily outlasting the other speed horses, taken to repeat.

LONGSHOT: ENFORCER: Six year old gelding shipped in off a win at Indiana Downs, broke from post 12, chased the pace from sixth, moved into fourth while still wide and checked in sixth at 42-1, price play right back.


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