Weekend Picks 11/22/2014

Churchill Downs Race 9: G3 Cardinal H: Royal Fury
While I'm Already Sexy looks lone speed, she may possibly be over the top and this is a bit further than her best distance, as well. Royal Fury is drawn wide, but should be able to move forward and track the leaders. She ran well two back behind Deceptive Vision, who I rate highly, and she simply didn't say the trip last time out. The cutback to nine furlongs and lack of a ton of speed out front should give her a nice setup if she can get any sort of luck out of the gate.
Play: #14 Royal Fury to win

Del Mar Race 8: G3 Red Carpet H.: Hijra
Daughter of Oratorio is lightly raced since arriving in America, but she's been awfully consistent since her arrival, having not finished worse than third in as many Allowance starts. Here looks to be one of her best opportunities to date, as she appears to be lone speed as one of the lightweights in the field even if the distance might be a bit of a stretch.
Play: #3 Hijra to win, exacta box: 3,5,9

Delta Downs Race 6: G3 Delta Downs Princess: Temper Mint Patty
Race looks to have plenty of speed out front which should compromise the two favorites, so I'll instead side with this daughter of Congrats who ships in for Dale Romans. She's done well thus far in New York and most importantly, she's shown both an ability to come off the pace and an affinity for wet tracks. If the track is in fact wet, she'll get a nice sized win/place bet from me.
Play: #3 Temper Mint Patty to win/place (if odds greater than 6/1, win only if shorter)

Delta Downs Race 7: G3 Delta Downs Jackpot: Red Button
Red Button is no new name to this blog, as we originally picked him as an across the board chance in the Frontrunner before he scratched and opted to run over the turf in the Zuma Beach, where he ultimately finished second to now Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Luck of the Kitten. Not only can he come from off the pace, but he accelerates very quickly, which is an asset around the tight turns and short stretch of Delta Downs. 
Play: #7 Red Button to win, exacta: 7 / 1,5,6,10 


Sha Tin Race 2: Master Viking
Put in an eyecatching run in his Hong Kong racing debut when finishing fourth over 1000m. He hit the line well in that run, so the step up in trip here should suit. He's appeared fairly one-paced in trials and in his one run, but he looks to have a good pace to run into if he can settle in midpack and the addition of a strong finishing jockey in Atzeni should allow him to show his best stride late even if he'll ultimately want further than this.  

Sha Tin Race 8: Rewarding Hero
Enters here with good form having closed well into two slow paces before flying home last start when finally getting what was essentially a pace meltdown behind Beauty Flame to run into. There's a chance the pace here could be contested with Secret Sham and potentially Same World going forward along with Gold Fun and perhaps even one or both of Packing Whiz or Rainbow Chic could find themselves in the first five or six early being first time blinkers and given the latter pulled hard in trackwork while wearing said blinkers. Perhaps he won't get the pace meltdown that he got last time out, but I'd be surprised if the early pace here wasn't at least a good one and carrying ten lbs lighter this time around, Rewarding Hero looks to have a an upset chance here.

Sha Tin Race 9: Willie Cazals
Enters here in good form after having put in eyecatching closing runs in both of his starts this season. He steps back up to 2000m here, which should suit and although the pace of this race could be fairly slow early on, I expect the pace to be contested behind Helene Super Star (similar to his most recent run), which should allow for the early backmarkers to have a chance. 

Sha Tin Race 10: Sugar
Finished third when first up last time out despite being hard ridden pretty much from the start, which in my mind suggests the step up in trip should suit at this time, despite him having struggled in his only two prior starts over 1000m. He looked fantastic on trackwork video for what will be his second time up and is another who could benefit from a jockey who's a bit stronger in the saddle, which he'll get here. He's one I'll use e/w and in quinellas with horse to watch Universal Union and High And Mighty.

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