Archive for February 4th, 2012

Robert Lewis Stakes 2012 Preview: Four-bagger for Liaison?

The Kentucky Derby 2012 trail heats up in Southern California on Saturday with the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park and morning line favorite Liaison seeks his fourth straight win for Bob Baffert.

Liaison

Is Liaison beatable on Saturday? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#2 Liaison (9-5) landed the show in his flat mile bow and Del Mar and it has been all smiles ever since. He graduated in a seven panel event at Santa Anita Park, and proceeded to win back-t0-back stakes races in the Real Quiet and G1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park. The hard knocking Baffert trainee owns fine tactical speed and is training well for this. This is a starting point to his sophomore campaign and he is already sitting pretty on the graded earnings list so he does not have to win this at low odds.

Liaison’s stablemate #5 Sky Kingdom (6-1) was my top choice in the aforementioned CashCall Futurity and he was hardly disgraced in a 4th place finish. He exits a facile allowance route win at the Great Race Place and appears poised to make a splash in the graded ranks.

#6 Rousing Sermon (5-2) finished 2nd to Liaison in the Real Quiet and CashCall in his last pair. He won the CalCup Juvenile at Santa Anita and will be finishing under Talamo. He needs a fair racetrack and some pace help.

#8 Chips All In (6-1) has a nose for the wire and should sit a decent outer tactical trip if he can avoid getting hung out to dry. The Mullins runner gets tested for class.

#7 Empire Way (6-1) is slowly improving for Mike Harrington. Royal Delta’s brother tries conventional dirt for the first time and will try to get involved late under Rosario.

#3 Groovin’ Solo (12-1) took to the local oval like a duck to water in his recent flat mile graduation run Dec 30. He sports two local bullets for this and is getting better but class is a cloud.

#1 Isn’t He Clever (6-1) is a New Mexico shipper with a hint of ability. The gelded son of Smarty Jones will probably flash speed from the rail under Nakatani. He will get a distance and class challenge.

#4 I’ll Have Another (12-1) would appreciate a speed favoring oval. He ran well in a pair of synthetic sprints last summer and has not been seen since struggling in the Saratoga slop last September.

The Plays:

$20 to win #5
$8 to win #8
$1 Trifecta 5-8/2-5-6-8/2-5-6-8 ($12)

Sam F Davis Stakes 2012 Preview: Is Reveron Vulnerable?

The first graded route for Kentucky Derby 2012 hopefuls at Tampa Bay Downs is the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes and Gulfstream Park shipper Reveron is the tepid 3-1 choice.

#10 Reveron (3-1) owns an ascending numbers pattern and is an obvious threat if he runs back to his Gulfstream Park Derby triumph. The improving son of Songandaprayer sat a favorable trip from an advantageous inner post in his last and may not be as good as he appears on paper. Casual Trick, the GP Derby runner-up, came back to run poorly at the Gulf last weekend and Reveron must overcome an outer draw at a different venue today.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

#9 Burning Time (12-1) seems worth a flyer. The late runner ran out of ground in the seven furlong Pasco here Jan 14. He won the Foolish Pleasure around two turns at Calder last year and will be finishing at square odds.

#1 State of Play (7-2) is an interesting surface switcher for Graham Motion. He captured his first two starts as a juvenile including a graded route at the Spa second time out before flopping from post 13 when last seen in the BC Juvenile Turf. The Team Valor colorbearer has ability and should track the pace from the rail under Alan Garcia.

#4 Ecabroni (7-2) earned a strong number in a sharp seven panel maiden win at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher on Jan 14. The likely target tries two turns and might get brave if able to shake loose early.

#11 Prospective (6-1) beat Burning Time and company in the Pasco and he also won the G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine as a juvenile. The versatile sort fits on class but must overcome a wide draw.

#3 Battle Hardened (12-1) is on the upswing for Kenneally. He almost earned his diploma from post 11 at nine furlongs in a Gulfstream special weight contest Dec 31 and his trainer struck with maiden Santiva in a graded stakes event.  His task is not impossible.

#6 Neck ‘N Neck (5-1) is getting better for Wilkes. He graduated under the Twin Spires in November and finished 2nd behind highly regarded Pletcher runner Discreet Dancer at the Gulf on Jan 7.

#8 Ravelo’s Boy (15-1) finished 5th in the GP Derby. He is a capable finisher and can rally for a minor share.

#5 Moroccan Brew (30-1) was not threat in the Pasco Stakes and will probably attend the pace before throwing in the towel.

#7 Fox Rules (30-1) seems most effective on turf and the NY-bred shows up in an ambitious spot.

#2 Holy Highway (20-1) exits a local maiden turf route victory but does not have the numbers to compete here.

The Plays:

$10 to win #9 

.50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-9-11/3/1-4-6-8-9-10-11 ($15)

. 50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-10-11/1-3-4-6-8-10-11/9 ($15)

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