Thursday, February 6, 2014

Robert B. Lewis Stakes Preview

A bit of a tough week at the office last week, as our choice Classic Giacnroll didn't stay in touch with the dueling Uncle Sigh and Samraat early and ended up finishing fourth. Our other choice Harpoon finished second in the Sam F. Davis and although he ran a bit greenly at times, he appears to be progressing albeit maybe not as quickly as he needs in order to truly contend for the Kentucky Derby. One bright spot was Deceived, one of our horses to follow, who easily won an eight furlong allowance optional claiming race for NY breds by eight and one quarter lengths. Now, on to this week's races. 




2/8/2013: Santa Anita Race 8: G2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes
In what is a very competitive field, I expect Midnight Hawk to go off as the favorite and deservedly so. Undefeated in two starts, this Baffert trained son of Midnight Lute was much the best in his debut at Hollywood Park and he backed up that effort with a win over Kristo in the Sham at Santa Anita. While he's definitely speedy and will figure into the early pace, this trip may be about as far as he can realistically stay and his inability to rate is worrisome, especially considering he's not the only horse with early speed in this race. Diamond Bachelor is one of the more seasoned horses in this field, having raced four times as a two-year-old. He's twice won on the turf at Del Mar and he finished second on the turf at Santa Anita before a disappointing ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, in which he was far behind early in a trip that is counter to his typical running style. That being said, expect him to be much closer to the front early here. By all accounts he's looked fantastic working over the dirt at Santa Anita and if he can settle behind Midnight Hawk, he has a big chance. Also making his three-year-old debut is Candy Boy, who most recently finished second to Shared Belief in the CashCall Futurity. He made the first run at pace setter Brother Soldier there, but when it was all said and done, he was dusted by Shared Belief. His one run on the dirt was a second behind Tap It Rich in another race where he just wasn't good enough. Chitu has easily won his starts to date, but he's a sprinter and I by no means expect him to be able to wire this field. Cool Samurai, a son of First Samurai out of an Unbridled's Song mare, finished a solid second behind Wicked Strong in his debut before breaking his maiden locally over eight furlongs. He benefited from a duel between Rough Passage and The Admiral in that race and still barely got past The Admiral at the wire, who if we're being honest, isn't that good. Bare in mind though, he came home much more quickly than Midnight Hawk and Kristo did in the Sham. He'll face much tougher here, but if Midnight Hawk, Chitu, and Diamond Bachelor make the pace honest, look for him to be the one to pick up the pieces in what will be his third career start.


Picks:

Win: Cool Samurai, Place: Diamond Bachelor, Show: Candy Boy


Bankroll Play: 

$5 win, $10 place on Cool Samurai









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