Quick Picks for Saturday, January 18, 2013

A fantastic day of racing lies ahead, which is highlighted by the return of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man. Thank you to those of you who nominated the races that I should cover for this weekend (even those of you who nominated a race from Turfway Park...cough cough). As always, if there's ever a race you'd like me to look over, feel free to ask me on Twitter (@chare889). Best of luck to those of you who will be playing and enjoy the races!

Aqueduct Race 8: Evening Attire Stakes
#8 Cougar Ridge: Former runner in Europe who is on the improve. Won easily over a mile at Churchill Downs in November. Backed that up with a good win in a $62,500 Allowance Optional Claimer over a mile and a eighth locally. The slightest of progressions could see him scoring at a price.

#7 Cease: Most recently bounced back from a disappointing BC Marathon run with a win in a $62,500 Allowance Optional claimer locally on the Inner Track. Consistent horse

#1 Long River: Has won two straight, the most recent of which was the local Time for a Change Stakes, in which he beat the likes of Micromanage and Battier

Gulfstream Park Race 4: Maiden Special Weight
#10 Palace Gate: By Giant's Causeway o/o a multiple stakes winning Thunder Gulch mare. Has had trouble in the gate in both of his starts, but has shown ability in that he's finished 4th and 3rd in both of his starts, regardless. Pletcher-Stevens combo

#1 Tonalist: Finished fourth in debut in the Matterhorn-Harpoon maiden race at Aqueduct, which was over a mile. Stretching out 1 1/8 mi. By Tapit. Clement-Bravo, First time Lasix. Blinkers ON 

#3 Rompin Reid: Finished sixth in debut after being bumped at the start. By Medaglia d'Oro out of Runway Model (multiple graded stakes winning daughter of Petionville)

Gulfstream Park Race 6: Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Stakes
#3 Wishing Gate: Won the G2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar before taking the G3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita in October. Most recently finished sixth in the G1 Matriarch, but was only beaten a bit over 1 1/2 lengths. These aren't of that level.

#5 Silsita: Rallied to grab second vs Parranda locally over 1 1/16 miles last time out. Should relish the added distance

#1 Parranda: Daughter of English Channel is as consistent as they come (only one finish outside of top four in 2013). Defeated Silsita here over 1 1/16 miles two back

Gulfstream Park Race 9: Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes
#5 Fort Loudon: Lots of early speed signed up (Star Harbour, Ribo Bobo, and to a lesser extent Happy My Way). Big shot if they go too quick early. Got up for second in G3 Mr Prospector over course and distance last time out

#3 Ribo Bobo: Only non win last year was a second place finish. Loves Gulfstream and this distance. Two time course/distance winner last year

#1 Happy My Way: Big effort to win over course and distance in a $62,500 NW2 Allowance Optional Claimer in December. Starts from the rail, which should help

Fair Grounds Race 6: Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap
Pick 3 (Races 6,7,8): 7,9,10 / 1,2 / 6,8,10,11 & Pick 3 (Races 7,8,9): 1,2 / 6,8,10,11 / 3,4,7 

#10 Speaking of Which: Two wins in seven starts since arriving in the USA last year. Most recently got up late to win the G3 Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder. Cuts back to 1 1/16 mi here. Steadily improving speed figs as of late

#7 Potomac River: Most recently overcame a troubled start to win the G3 Stakes River City Handicap (same race in which Daddy Nose Best finished fifth) and a wide post. Fits in here speed figs wise.

#9 Daddy Nose Best: Won four of his last five. Only non win in that time span was a fifth place finish in a G3 after being bumped at the start. Most recently won a stakes over same course and distance

Turfway Park Race 8: Forego Stakes
#11 I'm Boundtoscore: Solid turf form against age group in 2012. Hasn't run since being checked hard in the BC Juvenile Turf. Good local work. Despite long layoff, may just be a classier horse than the others.

#7 Point Finish: Winner of two straight (both on the dirt). Very good local record (4 2-2-0)

#8 Ghost Is Clear: Most recently finished second, as the favorite, in a 7f Starter Stakes on the dirt at Gulfstream, past winner on the course

Santa Anita Race 5: Megahertz Stakes
#6 Fanticola: If I were to give you my best bet of the day, It would be Fanticola. Saying she's one of my favorite horses in the country is not an exaggeration by any means. This lightly-race four-year-old has never finished worse than third in her career and is currently riding a three race win streak. Undefeated on turf, Fanticola has won all three of those races at different distances. She prefers to have the lead, but has the ability to rate when necessary.

Santa Anita Race 6: Maiden Special Weight
#7 Little Curlin: Finished fourth in debut at Keeneland last October. Switching from synthetic footing to dirt and cutting back to five and a half furlongs. First time Lasix. Hollendorfer/Bejarano 

#8 Pimpernel: Finished third in both races in career, thus far. Son of Elusive Quality o/o Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Xtra Heat should appreciate the slight cutback in distance after fading to third as the favorite when running locally in December. 

Santa Anita Race 8: G2 Strub Stakes
#4 Zeewat: Most recently finished third in the G1 Malibu and took the local Damascus Stakes just before that. Stretching out to 1 1/16 mi here. Has twice won routes in the past, however

#6 Hear the Ghost: Second start off of a very long layoff. Finished runner-up to a very sharp Blueskiesnrainbows last time out. Won the G2 San Felipe over this course and distance last year.

#5 Govenor Charlie: Hasn't started since last year's Preakness Stakes, but if he returns to his prior form, he could be too much for these

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