MIDLANTIC RACING HEADLINES: WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
The focus today is looking ahead to the weekend’s racing. There are some interesting tilts locally, and there are three major Triple Crown preps in the offing in which running one-two virtually guarantees the winner a spot in the Kentucky Derby.
NOTE: Laurel Park has canceled its racing this weekend.
Racing headlines from the Mid-Atlantic:
- Charles Town picks and analysis: April 17We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.
CONTENTIOUS MAIDEN EVENT ON CT FRIDAY
- If you’re looking for a reason to bet against morning line favorite Irish Knockout in Friday’s sixth race, a one-turn maiden special weight dash, note that the four-year-old has already lost against similar seven times. She’s certainly good enough to win here – she’s been second in three of those – and catches a group that looks to be a little bit light. With one possible exception: Wow Factor makes her debut here and has been training forwardly for trainer Jesus Cruz.
GRADE 2 WINNER SHOTSKI SEEKS RETURN TO WINNING WAYS
- Shotski, winner of the 2019 Grade 2 Remsen, hasn’t won since, but then again, he’s made only four starts. The now-four-year-old ran a good one last out when third at this allowance level, and the Jerry O’Dwyer trainee looks to build on that effort with Sheldon Russell in the irons in Saturday’s sixth race. It’s a wide-open group, though – Shotski is the 4-1 favorite – and includes the intriguing Rodney Jenkins trainee Valued Notion, who’s won two straight but will have to pop a big effort to contend with these.
TAYLER’S CHROME LOOKS FOR TWO STRAIGHT
- Tayler’s Chrome, a sophomore daughter of California Chrome, looks to make it two straight wins and three in five starts in Saturday’s ninth race, an allowance/optional claimer. Both her wins have come since shifted into the Claudio Gonzalez barn, and she’s 2-1 on the morning line. It’s a pretty contentious field, though, and one we’re curious about is Moonsafe. The Mike Trombetta-trained daughter of Mosler took four cracks to break her maiden, but when she did, she did it by 15 lengths last time out.
TIZ EVAN’S HONEY IN SATURDAY CT ALLOWANCE
- Tiz Evan’s Honey, a promising Tiznow filly, makes her second career start in a 7-furlong allowance that’s the seventh race Saturday at Charles Town. The Kevin Joy trainee was an easy debut winner going 4 ½ and will try to carry her speed two turns with top local pilot Arnaldo Bocachica in the irons. She’s the 7-5 favorite, but if the added ground and short odds make you pause, runners like Jamestown Road and Boundtobeok have proven their ability to win around two turns.
TRIPLE CROWN PREPS
A trio of race worth 100 points each to the winner on the road to the Kentucky Derby take place Saturday. They are:
- The Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. Greatest Honour, winner of three straight for trainer Shug McGaughey, including the two preps for this, is the 6-5 morning line choice. Post time is 6:40 EDT.
- The Jeff Ruby Steaks (yeah, yeah, we know) at Turfway Park, where the Rodolphe Brissett-trained Tarantino will try to live up to 3-1 favoritism. Post time is 6:25 EDT.
- The UAE Derby at Meydan on the Dubai World Cup, where 14 are scheduled to face the starter. Post time is 10:05 a.m. EDT.